Though the buzzword is used often in the business world, there is no official definition for sales enablement. This is likely because sales enablement consists of many different factors rather than one single tactic. Whatever tools and processes are assisting your sales team to achieve their best success rates are considered sales enablement.
Simply put, sales enablement is a set of tools and operations that, when used together, help perfect and streamline your sales goals.
While it might not be obvious from the name, marketing plays a huge role in sales enablement. Enablement works best as a component of smarketing, where your marketing team provides crucial materials to assist sales, and your sales team implements that information throughout the sales cycle.
Without dedication and communication on both sides of the operation, you won’t reap the rewards of sales enablement.
Why Does Sales Enablement Matter?
Without sales enablement, your teams might as well be flying blind.
Though the success of a salesperson often relies heavily on charisma, that doesn’t mean that they don’t need a process in place. When equipped with the right tools, sales teams are prepared to efficiently sell products/services and eliminate time wasters.
More importantly, sales enablement assists in company growth. When marketing and sales work together to streamline the sales cycle, you will begin to see an increase in deals closed, a better bottom line, and the opportunity for your business to develop a larger customer base.
What Goes Into Sales Enablement?
Just as there is no official definition for sales enablement, there is no one official list of its components. There are, however, a few major segments involved in sales enablement:
Without trust, there is no sale. Your salespeople need a consistent message across the board, to build confidence and empower prospects as they make buying decisions. Consistency is two-fold, as it ensures your brand, products, and services are properly represented - and it eliminates confusion for both your team and potential buyers.
For your sales team to all be on one page, they’ll need to be working with the same materials. To achieve this, marketing and sales must work together to build a library of sales-ready content. For example, marketing might interview sales on common objections in the sales process, creating blogs, videos, and nurturing emails to answer and alleviate those concerns. As a result, your salespeople will have specialized content at their fingertips, no matter where the prospect is at in the buyer’s journey.
Your sales team is only as good as the tools they have at their disposal, so it’s crucial to equip your salespeople with the right technology that informs them to help make better decisions and pitches. One such technology you’ll want to have on hand is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. A CRM is an online database of all customer and prospect interactions. Depending on which tool you select, the smart software can track a wide variety of analytics, from email open rates to how much time a visitor has spent on your website.
Not only will this data help you evaluate the success of your marketing campaigns, but it can also help determine the optimal sales follow up time. Another useful CRM function is Lead Scoring, assign points to a contact based on specific interactions they make with your content. For instance, an email open may be worth 5 points, while visiting the pricing page could be worth 10. Once a contact has reached a certain score (as determined by your sales and marketing teams), they will be marked as a sales qualified lead (SQL), and the CRM will send an automated notification for your sales team to reach out. Lead Scoring saves time in the sales cycle, so your team can focus on the leads that are most likely to close.
Once you’ve implemented your sales enablement materials and tools, it’s time to assess the process. What this means is conducting an audit of everything, from what materials and data marketing provided to sales to whether SQLs were followed up on promptly and how marketing contributed to the number of deals closed. By tracking your success rates, you’ll be able to pinpoint whether your team, content, and tools are working, or if you need to go back to the drawing board.
Sales enablement can be a tricky concept to master, especially as an organization begins to scale. However, incorporating enablement strategies is essential for any business looking to grow. If you’re looking to put the above processes in place and aren’t sure where to begin, it might be beneficial to consider partnering with a growth agency or sales enablement expert to bring your sales to the next level.