This blog has been updated with new information and new data as it relates to the latest industry and sales trends.
Sales Enablement can make a difference when it comes to winning business in competitive markets. It's how your sales team can work more effectively and efficiently. In fact, many companies today are investing in new enablement techniques and sales content to engage with customers and boost sales.
An effective sales enablement strategy provides benefits for both the company and the customer. Sales enablement has the potential to:
- Decrease wasted effort;
- Close deals faster;
- Improve the customer experience;
- Build stronger relationships;
- Win more business, and;
- Boost your bottom line.
Implementing sales enablement strategies
The ultimate goals of sales enablement are to improve productivity and drive revenue, but there are many steps between deciding to invest in sales enablement and actually seeing a profit. The following steps will help you organize your strategy and implement it effectively.
- Understand your customer – Sales enablement is all about empowering salespeople to engage the buyer, so effective sales enablement must be customer-centric. The customer experience should guide your efforts. First, start with an in-depth understanding of who your buyer is, what they want, and the journey they will take to get there. Then, map your strategy to key points that you identified in the sales cycle.
Customer journey mapping is a way to visualize the customer experience and how they interact with your business. The customer journey should guide your sales enablement efforts.
- Develop resources – Once you understand what your customer needs to know and when they need to know it, it’s time to develop content. Your sales reps need to have the right set of tools to be effective. Examples include: sell sheets, videos, guided selling tools, whitepapers, and presentations. Each piece of content should enable your sales team to effectively engage with prospects, move them along the buyer’s journey, and maximize their selling opportunities. For instance, custom presentations with targeted information can be a powerful tool for in-person conversations while premium materials like sales kits will help them promote the quality of your brand.
Guided selling uses a series of questions and assessments to help customers narrow their choices and find the product that’s best for them. Guided selling is one of the most effective tools you can have in your sales enablement arsenal.
- Ensure accessibility – The next step is to integrate sales enablement technology that gives easy, organized access to the content you created. Even the most precision-targeted content won’t drive sales if your reps don’t want to use it. That’s why an effective sales enablement strategy should take into account where, when and how sales reps will use the materials. Much of the content created for reps is never used because it’s hard to find, out of date or inaccessible in the field. You can eliminate these issues for your frontline by investing in sales enablement technologies — like asset management tools and presentation builders — that offer a single, centralized source for easily accessed, reliably up-to-date sales materials.
- Provide training – Finally, it’s time to provide the training that will allow sales reps to successfully utilize their selling tools. They need to know how your newly developed sales enablement content can help them position your products and services, address customer points of pain and differentiate your brand from competitors. For every dollar a company spends in training, it receives about $4.53 in return — a 353% ROI. Training is a smart investment and a critical component of sales enablement, but it’s important to provide training that’s effective. Here are a few ways to make sure your sales training helps your team and supports your goals.
- Make it active – Adult learners remember about 20% of what they hear, 40% of what they read, and 80% of what they do. Boost employees’ information retention by providing active-learning opportunities with tactics like interactive quizzes and role-play scenarios.
- Make it consistent – After new concepts are introduced, they need to be consistently reinforced in order to truly become part of your sales team’s routine. Make sure your training is an always-on effort with regular coaching, monthly formal training, weekly check-ins, and programs that reward success.
A final word on sales enablement
Effective sales enablement can be a significant revenue driver. With the right content, technology, and training in place, you can empower your sales team to maximize every opportunity. Sales enablement provides a better experience for both reps and their customers so they can build stronger relationships, close deals faster, and ultimately earn more business for your company.