Sales enablement can be a highly effective strategy for increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your sales team, by equipping them with the tools and resources they need to close more deals.
It’s been reported that organisations that adopt a sales enablement strategy report a 15% increase in win rates for forecasted deals (according to Brainshark). However, you’re probably wondering what exactly Sales Enablement is? How do you use it for maximum effect? Or even how it differs from Sales Operations and Sales Engagement. We answer these questions and more in this comprehensive guide to sales enablement.
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What Is Sales Enablement? | Guide to Sales Enablement
Sales Enablement is a strategic process and collaborative discipline intended to provide your sales team with all of the resources, tools, content, and training they need to close more deals quicker than ever.
Its main goal is to add value to the sales process by providing consistent, scalable enablement services that allow customer-facing professionals to do what they do best. However, Sales Enablement requires consistent, collaborative input, management, and motivation to be successful. But, it’s no surprise that businesses with seasoned enablement disciplines report better performance metrics than those lacking an enablement practice.
Why Do You Need Sales Enablement? | Guide to Sales Enablement
Sales enablement isn’t just about making profits; it’s essential to help salespeople be effective sales. The right sales enablement strategy equips reps with the training, coaching, and content they need to be successful.
With an increased focus on effective sales onboarding, coaching, and continuous learning, sales enablement functions enable sales reps to hone necessary skills. Which, in turn, increases valuable conversations in each sales process stage.
Training and Content Clarity
All of your teams, in some capacity, are enabling your salespeople to close deals, whether that’s by marketing, product management, sales operations, or even your legal team. However, the issue is that many businesses don’t have consistent support and communication between these teams, which often leads to confusion and, unfortunately, mistakes.
Ultimately, it’s essential to understand that effective Sales Enablement is a real collaborative effort to provide your salesforce with all of the resources they need. Whether that’s internal and external content, sales tools, value messaging, and market intelligence – It’s crucial to keep your sales team engaged.
Equips Managers to Support Their Reps
A Sales Enablement strategy that hones in on a sales manager’s skill development will ensure that they’re adequately supporting your operation every day. However, a real passion, willingness, and vision for training and pushing sales reps to achieve their best are crucial.
Obviously, metrics are everything. You more than likely, measure the bottom-line value of your sales process, so there’s no reason you can’t apply the same principles for your Sales enablement.
To gain accurate insight and develop detailed assessments of your sales enablement process, you’ll need to gather a substantial amount of data. The minimum recommended amount is around a week’s worth; that way, you can determine how well your team performs. However, it’s worth noting that a more organized method is to conduct these monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
Increased Sales Conversions
The ultimate goal of sales enablement is to increase your sales conversions. Therefore it’s imperatives that sales and marketing work in close alignment to create valuable customer data, produce unique insights, and most importantly? Create meaningful, long-standing relationships with customers.
Who Is Responsible For Sales Enablement? | Guide to Sales Enablement
The ownership of sales enablement entirely depends on the structure of the business, however it’s reported that around 50% of sales enablement is under the Head of Sales in most companies. Regardless of who takes reponsibility, teams will need to be ensuring that they’re handling the following activities:
- Implementation of a Sales Coaching Strategy.
- Creation and distribution of sales training content.
- Measuring and reporting on the success of sales enablement program success.
- Management of sales tools and relevant best practices.
Commit to infuse sales enablement processes and technology in day-to-day business.
Drive success in content management, customer engagement, performance analytics, and sales training content.
Develop effective content as measured by engagement and impact on revenue.
The Ideal Sales Enablement Team | Guide to Sales Enablement
Sales Enablement Manager
The Sales Enablement Manager is at the team’s helm, responsible for encompassing and setting the companies vision or mission. Their primary focus is to understand and communicate the bigger picture while also developing the Sales Enablement Teams strategy framework. However, it isn’t the Managers responsibility to implement these strategies, merely to answer the question of “What should we be doing?.” For instance, perhaps your team could benefit from having an E-learning platform, accessible all sales reps at all times for vital resources.
Sales Enablement Developer
Sales Enablement Developers’ primary focus is developing the software and user experience, whether for technology, video, brochures, E-Learning platforms or sales calls. They construct this development by conducting plenty of user research, asking questions to Sales Reps such as What do you need? What are you working on? What would help you achieve your job role?
Sales Enablement Analysis
Sales Enablement Analysts are responsible for measuring the success of the adoption outcomes. They achieve this by reviewing specific data insights to understand how it’s performing; however, they’re not seeking to know if it’s successful – but to know why it is.
Sales Enablement Marketing
Sales Enablement Marketers are responsible for developing target personas concerning their developed technology. Answering the questions of “Who is this technology for? How will they benefit and why?.” More so, they also focus on producing specific sales messaging to encourage their team internally to adopt said technology.
Sales Operations vs. Sales Enablement
Sales Operations are defined as technical activities associated with the business’s day-to-day sales process. Such as maintaining a CRM system, closely monitoring data in terms of opportunities, leads, and how many deals are closed, and crucially managing aspects of the company-wide technology stack.
Comparatively, Sales Enablement is a broad strategy designed to drive both Marketing and Sales to achieve closer alignment, overcome roadblocks, and ultimately close more deals.
Train, Coach and Reinforce to Optimise Sales Enablement
Sales training is a continuous, constant and collaborative process that requires content and tools for sales teams to sell effectively. However, they’re entirely redundant if salespeople don’t understand how to use them to the best of their ability.
Sales enablement services commonly fall into three categories: content, training and coaching.
Whether it’s quick tips embedded into sales team meetings or quarterly to annual live training sessions, sales training is a vital component of sales enablement that shouldn’t be kept to only the onboarding process.
Sales enablement content provides the sales team with the tools, data, and content they need to enhance their sales process and reinforce training.
Providing routine individual and group coaching is critical to strengthening your teams’ essential skills, as well as aiding them with solutions to the specific challenges they’re currently facing. Opportunities for Training and Coaching
A crucial moment for sales enablement training is when onboarding new hires; preparing comprehensive training that focuses on the vital role sales enablement performs in attaining quota will help familiarise them with existing content and tools. Therefore, the more familiar they are – the more likely they’ll continue embracing, utilising, and contributing to them.
Many companies like to use our sales training platform SOCO Academy to train their teams.
Send simple problem-solution-result success stories via newsletter emails to ensure salespeople digest and understand the information presented. Other useful forms include daily email tips or even asking salespeople to share short success stories quarterly.
By offering your sales reps, a platform to learn, share and chat with each other is crucial for dissecting internal issues or concerns and encourages immediate colleague feedback. For instance, an example of internal social media includes tools such as Slack, Google Workplace or even Facebook groups.
Check out our complete guide sales technology to get more ideas for tech tools your sales team can use.
Monthly or quarterly formal training is optimal because many experts agree that one-off or annual training isn’t effective for long-term results. Therefore, it’s vital to plan a consistent schedule to be continually upskilling your team.
Sales Training Tools Every Team Needs
Playbooks are your sales team’s holy grail; they encompass the best sales practices and how to use them in relevant situations. Although an excellent and valuable resource for sales and marketing teams to recall and implement in real-time, they’re ideal for gaining insights to aid the sales process’s refinement. Sales playbooks help teams to collaborate and determine where the best opportunities are, identify any roadblocks before they happen, and agree upon their message to prospects.
Creating a bank of email templates for prospects at every stage of interest and timing is invaluable for your sales team while also providing a concise, united message company-wide.
Collection of Best Practices
Ask your team to create a portfolio of best practices, you can even provide an outline for them, to avoid unnecessarily long, sales success stories.
Sales Presentation Scripts
Sales scripts culminate traditional marketing techniques and digital sales strategies used as a “prescribed set of talking points” in the later sales funnel stages. They crucially act as a streamlined reference tool for your sales team, aligning with the tone and message of your organizations brand. However, they shouldn’t be a word-for-word script; instead, sales teams should view them as prompts or starting points.
Provide your team with the opportunity to learn new skills whenever they want. E-learning is a cost effective and time saving way to allow staff the opportunity to learn skills at home, during their commute or when there’s downtime. While some companies create their own library of e-learning material, others use ready made solutions like our online sales training platform SOCO Academy.
Sales Enablement Content
Here’s the type of content many sales enablement teams are incorporating into their system.
Blog posts are invaluable throughout every stage of the sales process and often have a long shelf life when constructed well. However, they’re not a replacement for your sales team’s expert advice and should only be utilized as an additional tool that can be accessed anywhere and anytime.
Long-form blog posts are necessary for educating prospects. They are often crafted in a collaborative process by salespeople, product specialists, and technical service experts.
White Papers are an excellent tool to use as gated content for very early prospects. They’re deeply rooted in research, analysis, and statistics that are useful and easy to understand. They’re instrumental in advancing the prospect through the sales cycle.
Case Studies are instrumental; salespeople need reputable references to share with prospects. Preferably in the format of video testimonials or written documents. They’re critical to outlining the benefits customers will gain from using your company’s products and services.
An ideal case study structure would be:
- Explain a challenge that a particular customer faced.
- Question how your team would have handled this situation.
- The positive result.
Social Media is a central communication tool for everyone around the globe. So it’s only natural that salespeople should share the right content with their connections: particularly long-form blog posts and videos, to engage and understand their market just that little bit more.
Do you record your sales expert’s speaking at industry events? If you don’t, you’re missing out on utilizing your ability to show expertise in the field and educate prospects – just keep it value focused instead of a sales pitch in disguise.
Tip-Sheets are one-page documents that educate your prospects in a particular area of your product or service. They aim to highlight benefits to the prospect and further persuade them that this is the solution to their problem. These sheets should be accessible to all of your sales team, so upload them to your company cloud service.
Competitor Research & Analysis
Persuading prospects that you’re the ideal solution to their problem involves demonstrating how you compare to your competitors, not just commenting on what they’re currently doing and offering. You’ll want to include how competitors connect and work – and why it’s inferior to your process.
Infographics are excellent tools for visual learners. You can display a variety of information using images including: benefits, competitive comparisons, research stats, and whitepaper highlights.
Another excellent tool for informing visual learners is video. It’s instrumental for explaining the processes behind your service or products. However, when hosted by experts, you can use anyone from your warehouse right up to your CEO. It’s worth considering that sales teams will probably prefer to present videos to prospects via social media or even included them in an email. So you’ll want to keep it short, informative, and concise.
Webinars are a great way to engage leads and customers and have conversations with them at scale. Value rich webinars can be shared by sales reps to educate their prospects on different aspects of your product or service.
Creating your own podcasts are an excellent way to showcase your top sales reps and allowing your audience to get to know them better. There’s also a wealth of Podcasts out there full of valuable information that will help keep your team at the top of their game. Here at SOCO we have our own podcast called Selling in Asia.
How SOCO Can Help with Sales Enablement at Your Company
SOCO/ is an expert-led, award-winning sales training company. We’ve spent decades working with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies across Asia and the world.
Have SOCO train your team in the top sales skills needed to take on 2021 through either Virtual Instructor Led Training through video conferencing software or let your team learn new skills in their spare time using our popular e-learning platform – SOCO Academy.
Not sure which of the top sales training programs is right for you? Book an appointment with one of our program advisors who will be happy to build the right training plan for you.
Don’t just take our word it. See what others are saying!
“We recently had Tom conduct a virtual external Sales Training Program for our entire commercial organization at Carousell Group for our different brands in 5 countries.
Tom shared great insights on consultative selling and needs analysis to win new customers. He energized and fuelled our sales & trade marketing teams to apply the concepts they learned into their day to day interactions with customers. Throughout the session, all 200+ attendees were fully engaged and inspired to apply the concepts shared into their interactions with clients.
At the core of Carousell, we constantly raise the bar, growing and inspiring one another. Thank you Tom for helping us raise the bar. “– Vishal Salunkhe | Head of Sales Operations & Enablement Carousell