Sales Enablement: What? Why? When? And How?

Sales Enablement

Sales Enablement

Understanding how sales enablement can help sales reps close more business deal and create a positive impact on the business bottom line

The marketing industry is always brimming with new trends, strategies, and buzzwords. These make sense since, in this ever-changing sector, brands and businesses are caught up in a race to show why their products and services are best. They try to keep up with the competition and come up with innovative ways to reach more and more buyers and maximize their profit. The latest addition to this area in ‘sales enablement.’ Analyst firm Gartner defines sales enablement as “the activities, systems, processes, and information that support and promote knowledge-based sales interactions with clients and prospects.” At present, this concept has captured the minds of sales managers and executives everywhere.

Why sales enablement?

In today’s world, buyers are digitally connected and execute more thorough and independent research throughout the buying journey before engaging with the seller party. Hence, brands need to revamp themselves to foster engaging relationships with buyers. Through sales enablement, sellers discover channels to connect with the buyers for the same using information, content, and tools. By working at the intersection of marketing and sales, it also improves the performance, marketing efficiency, accelerate sales, by aligning sales and marketing teams with the help of strategic tools and resources.  In addition, it helps marketing teams transfer great leads to sales, granting sales reps to focus on higher priority tasks. In short, sales enablement makes the sales process more consistent and predictable. According to a recent report, the sales enablement market is expected to grow worth more than US$ 3 Billion and at a CAGR of 20%  and above, over the forecast period 2020-2025.

Content Sources

Content is a precursor in sales enablement. The sources for content that can help in this process are of 3 types, viz—ungated, Gated, and Vaulted. Ungated refers to platforms that do not need specific access permission: E.g., blogs, podcasts. In gated, the seller needs permission to access the content, which generally comes in the form of eBooks and whitepapers.  And in vaulted, the content is accessible only internally or by sharing a specific link to a prospect outside the organization. It is important to understand the type of content the company needs through auditing both the sales and marketing team. Then, prioritize the type of content by requirement and for what stages of the buying process.

Understanding the KPIs

The sales enablement software not only makes businesses capable of achieving their business goals but also help establish what those goals are precisely. It also assists in deciding the specific steps that needed to be taken in order to reach them. Different companies leverage varying metrics to evaluate their sales enablement efforts. This evaluation is based on how the company structures the unit and which areas it focuses on. Some of the metrics are, time to close a sale, percentage of quota attainment, length of the active selling period, content usage, identifying elements involved in a sales cycle, sales funnel transition rates, average win rate and attach rate, a number of deals closed and percentage of products included in a closed deal.

Advantages

The immediate benefits of adopting a sales enablement platform include enhancing communication pipeline between sales and marketing teams using a better system for managing sales content, provide optimized and customized content through open collaboration to speed up buyer’s journey, and offer transparency into the effectiveness of sales and marketing processes. The long terms benefits are increased revenue, provision of effective solutions for teams of all types and sizes, meticulous understanding of your target audience, and their behavior. Brands can accomplish a higher bottom line, increased conversion rates with real-time access to actionable data analytics. It also helps to uncover hidden potential, discover weak points, and fully utilize your key players (and content) with user-generated insights. Plus, it checks if every employee is achieving department-wide goals and meeting their standard quotas.

When do we need it?

A business brand will need to adopt sales enablement when conversion rates have declined or stagnant for a long time, the company has inconsistent sales scripts and service, faces failure to meet quotas, suffers ineffective sales process or due to its inability to accurately track performance and analytics. Apart from creating marketing-sales alignment and boost content effectiveness, sales enablement can enhance the entire sales process by improving efficiency, providing detailed analytics on sales activities, and improving training and development processes.

Factors to consider for a successful initiative

To have a successful sales enablement, companies need to etch a culture of cross-functional collaboration and ensure that they have access to the dedicated resources to train and acclimate the salespeople to any new solutions that might come into the fold. This will also help in making sales enablement accessible to all stakeholders. Emphasize adjusting the program with the buyers’ journeys and tailor each engagement to deliver the best buying experiences. Communicate the value of materials at different stages of the sales process. The better the team understands the goals, the smoother, faster, and successful will be leads generation. Make the sales collateral accessible and sales enablement assets synced with the rest of the company’s technology stack. Lastly, have a technology to support the plan. Some of the commonly-used sales enablement software options are LevelEleven, Membrain, Whatfix, Seismic, Highspot, Unboxed Advisor, Ambition, Hoopla, Outreach, Salesloft, Vyond, Brainshark, and Chorus.