The world of sales and marketing is a rapidly evolving landscape. As technology and tools grow more sophisticated, a successful sales process will change according to new standards and best practices. When organizations don't recognize and address this fluidity, the underperforming sales may not fall entirely on the shoulders of the sales team.
Providing the right resources to promote healthy sales requires creating a culture and infrastructure that adapts to new challenges and executes a cohesive strategy throughout your entire sales process. This process is called sales enablement. You can utilize many tools to streamline your process and deliver more inbound sales with better sales enablement, but it all starts with the right content.
What is Sales Enablement?
The definition of sales enablement can seem very broad and confusing at first. At its core, sales enablement is an iterative process of identifying and providing the resources that a sales team needs to generate more sales. Sales enablement resources can vary greatly in order to provide your sales team with the right tools for any scenario that may arise.
Sales enablement is a process that involves every stage of your sales funnel and multiple facets of your organization. To provide the right resources to encourage sales, you first need to know what hurdles need to be overcome. Sales enablement is a continual conversation throughout your organization in which you continually learn what your sales ecosystem needs to succeed.
Even though the scope of what efforts fall under sales enablement may be pretty large, what qualifies as sales enablement can be pretty concise based on your goals with any particular undertaking. Your organization likely already takes many of the steps necessary for effective sales enablement and just needs a cohesive strategy to streamline your efforts.
Why Effective Sales Enablement is Key to Success
The components of a successful sales strategy have changed in the past few years and will continue to change. Without a defined strategy for sales enablement, you're likely making decisions based on incorrect assumptions, and leaving your sales team under-prepared to deliver. Crafting a methodical sales enablement process can have a myriad of advantages that all add up to increased conversions and increased sales.
Understanding Your Buyer Personas
A healthy sales enablement system means you always have your finger on the pulse of your prospective buyer. The more you understand their buyer's journey and challenges, the more prepared you'll be to craft materials that set your sales team up for success.
Your sales enablement strategy can give you important insights into critical points in the buyer's journey where specific content could have a huge impact on potential conversions. Sales enablement as a process is a never-ending loop to optimize your sales team.
The data you gather can inform your content strategy, which provides your sales team with more tools that they need to get the job done. The metrics gathered from the sales funnel and data from the customer service team will help you understand the sales process front to back.
Understanding your lead’s path can create significantly higher conversion rates. A recent CSO Insights study revealed that organizations who had aligned their internal sell process to correspond to a potential customer's path saw 17.9% higher win rates and 11.8% higher quota attainment than others.
Educate and Improve Your Organization
A healthy sales enablement system is, at its core, a training program. Your sales enablement strategy will keep you updated on the most effective content and sales strategies to maximize your organizations' efforts. This makes it much easier to keep your team up to date on the most successful practices but also makes it much easier to identify and teach what makes your top performers so successful.
Sales and Marketing Alignment
Your sales and marketing team have a shared goal — conversions. The end goal of your organization is sales, but your sales team can't do much without the support of your marketing team. Getting your sales and marketing aligned helps create a more cohesive unit with a unified goal. Your content is already selling your brand, your sales team should just have to close the deal. Your sales team can only do the job if they have the support and tools they need from the entire process.
Sales and marketing alignment is beneficial for your entire organization, and sales enablement gives it the infrastructure to grow. Setting goals together for your sales and marketing teams could avoid any potential competition that creates inefficiencies and helps provide a fundamental pillar of your sales enablement system.
What Makes Up a Good Sales Enablement Strategy?
An effective sales enablement strategy will vary depending on the needs, challenges, and goals of your organization. Here are some elements to consider:
Planning and Assessment
The first step to successful sales enablement is diligently refining your goals. What are you hoping to achieve with your sales enablement efforts and over what time frame? Set realistic goals at reasonable intervals so you can readdress them consistently.
To determine potential strategies, identify any underutilized resources. Data from your sales funnel will indicate important opportunities to improve your processes and identify the resources your sales team needs. The more data you have, the more easily you can identify trends in the buyer's journey to improve.
Once you've crunched enough data, make a plan to enact the improvements you identified in the research phase. Be prepared to continue the process, altering your strategy based on the most current data. This process will help you establish a strong sales enablement system. With further diligent observation and planning, it’ll only grow and become more effective each iteration.
Content is the primary tool you use to build your sales system. Your content is your opportunity to strategically engage leads and turn them into successful conversions throughout the buyer’s journey. This is exactly why your marketing team and sales team need to function cohesively.
You should utilize your sales team’s insight into your potential customers’ pain points to inform future content marketing strategies. Delivering collaborative and informative content to leads along their journey gives salespeople the tools to close deals.
The sales enablement content you create can take a wide variety of forms. Knowing your audience will help you decide which content types will work the best for them. Does your audience spend a lot of time commuting? Start a podcast. Do they want something they can read quickly with a lot of data points? Create a series of datasheets. Other forms of sales enablement content include:
- Product sheets
- Pre-recorded demos
- Pre-recorded webinars
- ROI calculators
- White papers
- And more
As you gather more data and see how content performs, you’ll see what works and where you need to pivot.
Who's Involved in Sales Enablement
Sales enablement is often an organization-wide process and one that nearly every member of your team has a hand in some way or another. However, to keep the process moving, some key players will need to lead the charge for sales enablement efforts.
Content Marketing Manager
Since content is key to sales enablement, a content marketing manager will need to push for better cooperation and communicate the wisdom gathered by sales enablement efforts.
Sales Leaders and Reps
Sales are the endgame. Your sales team may not realize it, but they usually hold the secrets to improving the sales process. Identifying the challenges your sales team faces is the key to providing the tools they need.
Your customer service team will have insight your sales team doesn't hear after someone converts. Oftentimes they can also verify issues your sales team encounters while talking to prospects.
Start Improving Your Sales Enablement
Here at Beacons Point, we believe the secret to better ROI on your marketing efforts is focusing on the customer and giving your sales team the resources they need. If you have any questions about how to cultivate better sales enablement systems in your organization, contact us today.