Sales Enablement Best Practices
Sales acceleration, sales enablement, sales and marketing alignment; sales and basically any agility-related word seem to work as a business term nowadays. However, there are some that are actually useful for your sales department to implement, and one of these is sales enablement.
Sales enablement is the process of providing sales with the right tools, effective content and necessary information to help salespeople sell more successfully. In other words, its about providing salespeople with what they’ll need to engage with the prospect through the sales process.
Bulldog solutions has shown that effective sales enablement can positively impact revenue growth up to 3 times. Furthermore, 95% of buyers chose solutions where the provider provided them with a high amount of content to help them work through the various stages of the buying process. This shows that content can be crucial for your salespeople to sell effectively, in fact when marketing and sales are in sync, Marketo found that companies became 67% better at closing deals.
There are various best practices to achieve successful sales enablement which will be explored throughout the course of this article for your marketing and sales departments to employ in their efforts. It is important to take into consideration that sales enablement is inherently related to marketing and sales alignment which we’ve also written about here. However, sales enablement is more specifically focused on the sales side of things. So this article is definitely worth a read as well if you want to dive deeper into this topic.
Easy Content Access
According to the American Marketing Association, 90% of content goes unused by sales. This is primarily due to the fact that it is often difficult for sales to find this content. Important things to take into consideration, in this case, are whether the sales enablement system is flexible. Is content organised and meaningfully integrated to allow easy usage? Moreover, is content analysed to determine which content is most effective and which should be left behind? These are all things one should keep track of to ensure optimised sales enablement.
Ah, the dreaded: “can you send me some more information by email” or “do you have a slide deck to send me”. These are questions which any inside sales rep will have heard at some point in their career, and for many, it is the harbinger of a long progression of follow-ups and unanswered emails which often turn embarrassing earlier rather than later. However, having an aptly put together slide deck with a high degree of marketing input and design, can make the difference in terms of receiving a response after a discovery call or initial outreach. This is where marketing can work its content creation magic to create an engaging slide deck which effectively generates more interest in the prospect (which can sometimes mean not giving too much information) rather than falling flat on the ears of the lead.
The 2016 sales enablement practitioner survey found that 65% of practitioners felt that improving sales training was the primary priority for sales-oriented organisations. The most successful sales organisations, implement a continuous cycle of training within their content and tool strategies so salespeople can consistently make the most of the options provided to them. As new platforms and software are consistently making their way into the majority of sales departments, assuming that your sales force is easily up to date and trained in all the resources available to them, will lead to losses in potential sales success.
Have Content Relevant to Each Buyer Journey Stage
As aforementioned, 95% of buyers purchase from someone who provided them with relevant content at each stage in the buying process. Therefore, aligning selling process and the content strategy with the customer journey is important to keep the customer engaged.
Listening and evaluating sales call recordings is a very effective way for sales teams to improve their sales success. There are various software which will analyse these for you, however its important to analyse them in one to one meetings and to share the most relevant ones with the whole team.
Roleplays can be carried out effectively within a sales team or with other departments that suit the profile of the customer. Having someone play the role of the customer within a specific context provides a good opportunity to practice general sales strategies and tactics. However, best practices may be difficult to identify in role-plays as they tend to be strained and unrealistic in various factors and it may be more relevant for inexperienced salespeople.
Enabling salespeople with the opportunity to sit in on live sales calls, can have a big impact to understand what best practices are good to take on and repeat. Most importantly, including clear objectives or specific things to observe during these calls is necessary to ensure the salesperson takes the right input from the call.
New Tools and Technologies
Many sales departments, especially from smaller organisations may not have the necessary resources to choose and onboard new technology. This is where marketing can provide significant help. For example, choosing platforms to enable faster lead qualification or CRM’s that take some administrative tasks away from salespeople can often be effectively evaluated and deployed by marketing professionals within an organisation.
Identify and Repeat High Performer Activities
Ensure that the best practices and sales tactics of the top performers or otherwise are identified and repeated within the sales team when relevant.