What is Sales Enablement?
Every organization strives to increase sales. And that is the norm if you are in business. You would often find that the traditional methods of improving sales seem do not work well, and this is where the role of — sales enablement — comes in.
But you would find it quite hard to find a unified definition of sales enablement. Say, if you ask its meaning to five people, you will elicit five different interpretations as each of them will define it in his way. That would confuse most as to which definition to choose. However, you can adhere to a loose definition that sums up the entire concept.
The description goes as — Sales Enablement is the process of providing the salespeople with buyer-centric information and content along with the necessary tools to enable them to sell more effectively.
Sales Enablement is a Strategic Approach
You might tend to view sales enablement as a sequence of steps. It will, however, not be correct as that is a kind of strategic approach.
The framework of sales enablement will be unique to each company depending on the respective size, resources, and industry. However, the underlying objective will be apparent, straight forward, and shared—to support the sales team with the necessary resources so that they can make sales more effectively.
You would certainly agree that your sales team needs empowering with the appropriate resources for enabling them to deliver positive results. There is also no denying the fact that it is tough to find people with a natural ability to generate sales. And to retain them is even harder.
So, you must have understood that you cannot rely solely on the talent of your sales team for the desired results. You need to provide them with resourceful information, content, and tools to empower them. And, sales enablement precisely does that.
Why Understanding the Buyer is Important?
Would it be more helpful for your sales team members if they get to know the tastes of their leads? And will that not also help them in establishing a relationship with the potential clients? The answers are obvious.
Sales enablement provides salespeople with the necessary information so that they can meaningfully engage prospects during the sales cycle.
There would be a better chance of lead conversion if your sales team already knows relevant details about the leads before contacting them. Information about the following can help:
- The content frequently read by the lead
- The emails read or replied or forwarded by the lead
- The time the lead visited your website and the time he spent on the key pages
- The communication the lead had with employees
Fundamental Functions of Sales Enablement
The core function of sales enablement is to empower salespeople with the necessary information, content, and tools to enhance their selling effectiveness. So that they can generate more sales.
Sales enablement helps organizations in aligning their sales strategy along the lines of tastes of its prospects as well as customers. By providing sales enablement content comprising of buyer-centric information, it allows salespeople to communicate effectively with buyers. The essential functions of sales enablement include:
- Development of sales enablement content for impactful sales communication
- Management of sales team with the components: proper selection, periodic performance analysis, and training
- Optimization of the buyer journey to elicit ways of satisfying customers
- Optimization of technology, such as CRMs, for sales coordination
- Process efficiencies for sales collaboration
Importance of Sales Enablement
Bear in mind that you cannot merely afford to trail behind your competitors if they have already started implementing sales enablement solutions. With stiff competition brewing in the market, the necessity of sales enablement is becoming stronger and stronger as it enables salespeople to be in tune with the needs of buyers. Besides, it saves time for the salespeople to engage themselves in actual selling.
It goes without saying that buyers today have become more independent as well as knowledgeable. Hence their modes of evaluation and making purchase decisions also have changed drastically. Traditional techniques of sales and marketing no longer work in neither retaining nor winning them. Only sellers who can add substantial value to help buyers with their purchase decisions can win today. Since buyers have changed, sellers have no option but to adapt and change as well.
3 C’s of Sales Enablement
Sales enablement presents confusing or even contrasting definitions. But there is a unified, meaningful, and straightforward definition though the 3 C’s of Sales Enablement, analogous to the 3 C’s of marketing. What are the 3 C’s? These are Content Management, Customer Engagement, and Coaching Excellence.
It is now an accepted fact that hyper-relevant content is critical to sales success in the highly competitive business environment prevailing today. Salespeople need resources to locate as well as share the relevant material concerning the prospects and customers.
Nowadays, only those businesses appeal to customers that give them sufficient content about every step in their buying process. With the predominance of the internet, buyers nowadays prefer to learn about the products and services online before deciding upon their purchases.
Companies thus should take adequate care to distribute more relevant content, tailored to the choices of buyers. Only then more buyers are likely to respond positively.
You cannot engage customers today via a one-size-fits-all formula. What would create magic in your would-be customers is personalized and responsive content. With the customers getting more and more quality conscious, they tend to seek highly personalized as well as responsive sales service. But in reality, a salesperson spends only around 35% of their time in active selling, and the rest of the time gets spent in non-productive work, such as searching customer data, writing proposals, and searching for relevant content.
So, they need tools to free themselves up from the non-productive work to enable them to pursue customer engagement actively. To maximize their active selling time, they should be provided with tools such as templates of proposals, deal size information, profiles of buyers, etc.
Focussed training programs for new sales hires are a must for imparting efficiency. According to the available statistics, new sales recruits who undergo a structured training program are likely to remain with the organization for at least three years. And they eventually become highly efficient marketers to derive profitability for the organization.
The training programs should be structured with efficient methods so that the salespeople do not spend much time in learning, unlike in the time-consuming traditional training programs. They must be allowed to spend most of their time in engaging customers, conceiving solutions, and stressing on deal closure. They should be able to gain access to digital training and coaching programs—webinars, video tutorials, playbooks, and best practice pointers.
So that they can utilize maximum time in productive work, knowledge must be shared throughout the organization through centralized hubs.
At the same time, Sales Managers must play decisive roles in ensuring the sales team achieving the desired results. Sales Managers should track the performance of the sales representatives with the necessary tools so that they can figure out the essential training needs of the salespeople.
The Ideal Ways of Getting Started
To get started, you can avail the services of a sales enablement consultant who would evaluate your organization and the processes involved, and subsequently recommend you what to do. For keeping yourself abreast of the latest developments, tools, and tips, you can refer to the numerous sales enablement resources, like blogs on Forrester, LinkedIn, Salesforce, MarketingTech, Garter, and so on.
To carry things forward, you need to consider purchasing one of the best sales enablement platforms available in the market. The key features of such platforms include:
- A repository of marketing content
- Allows customers to access and share content
- Enables tracking of customer engagement and prospects
- Allows system integration for seamless flow of content and information
- Provides the necessary tools for marketers
You can try out Crescendo, which is among the best sales enablement platforms. It has all the essential features to enable you to implement successful sales enablement in your company.
The sales enablement industry is poised for substantial growth to be driven by the effectiveness it imparts to the sales function. According to the estimates in place, the global sales enablement industry is expected to reach around USD 1.1 billion by 2024 from USD 1.1 billion in 2019, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.8%.