Sales is a collaborative effort. Your old tactics no longer work. It’s too easy for prospective buyers to do a google search, download content, and make a purchase without ever speaking to a sales rep. To get your reps into the conversation, they need to show that they offer more than what’s readily available. Buyers don’t know what they don’t know, and it’s the sales rep’s job to show them exactly what it is they’re missing. The problem is, your buyers are more knowledgeable than ever. So, how do you adapt your sales team into an invaluable asset that meets the modern market needs? You implement a sales enablement strategy.
What Does Sales Enablement Mean?
Sales enablement connects the people and resources that provide the necessary touchpoints along the customer journey. A good sales enablement strategy works with marketing and customer success teams to gain a thorough understanding of the buying cycle, find where gaps in knowledge exist, and create content that fills in the holes by offering meaningful information in compelling ways that demonstrate value and necessity to buyers.
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Sales enablement isn’t a static strategy. It’s a complex, dynamic system that’s ever-changing. Teams need to be agile to accommodate changing customer trends. Sales teams that are equipped with measurable insights, ROI-based value propositions, and tools that monitor and measure the effectiveness of their process are going to be the ones capturing and retaining leads.
What does sales enablement get you?
A good strategy doesn’t just drive higher revenue and client acquisition, it also provides more intangible benefits your teams can use to their advantage. Sales teams who use sales enablement have:
A strong line of communication with other departments
Sales and marketing alignment is an important aspect of successful business practices. Ensuring that needs are being met throughout the funnel, customer feedback is received, heard, acted on, and impacting goals means shorter sales cycles, greater acquisition, and increased loyalty.
More time to focus on selling
When your reps don’t have to spend time tracking down or creating the information they need, they have more time to focus on closing deals and following up with new leads. The more time they can pump back into their own process, the more revenue you’ll see.
The ability to stay accurate and on message
When sales assets are always up to date and on target, the amount of miscommunication decreases, keeping the friction between the rep and client to a minimum. It makes for a smoother journey, a more pleasant customer experience, and strengthens the relationship with the client.
Building Your Strategy
Sales enablement is still a relatively new practice, and many sales teams struggle with crafting a plan to implement it within their organization. It doesn’t necessarily start with leadership. Start with your team, and build up over time. The best place to begin is to look within and examine your team:
1. Define Your Goals: What are you aiming to achieve? Sure, every sales team wants to win more deals, but consider, specifically, what roadblocks exist that are keeping you from closing deals right now. Identify the points in your sales funnel where you face challenges, and what needs to happen so that your sales team can overcome those challenges in order to win deals.
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2. Map Your Journey: How will you accomplish this? It’s important before you begin to understand how you will get there. Map out the things you can accomplish quickly or need first, and determine how your funnel will change as your problems are solved. You’ll need to be prepared for how to adapt that happens. You can have all the resources you need, but they won’t help if you don’t have a clear vision on how to implement them.
3. Assess Your Needs: What are you missing that would make your job easier or would enable your approach to be more effective? There are myriad opportunities for additional collateral, resources, and tools that can demonstrate ROI and value, so you need to examine which tools will actually benefit your team, and which will clog up the process. Also, consider what it will take to attain those things. Are they in your budget? Is there someone in your organization who can build them?
4. Assess Your Team: Where do the skill sets on your team exist? You need to be purposeful with your plan so that it aligns with the talent you have. Build systems that compliment the strengths you already have, rather than trying to plug people into a system that isn’t tailor-made for you. The more coherent the plan is with your team, the more seamlessly they’ll be able to implement it.
5. Measure Your Progress: How is it working? Revisit your strategy regularly to identify the parts that work well, how you can apply those successes to other areas, and eliminate the parts that just aren’t clicking. Consistent analysis of your process is the key to finding the best possible solution for your team, and it makes it easy to adapt when things change or new problems arise.
Whether or not sales enablement is new to your team, revisiting these steps is an important part of evaluating your team’s performance and identifying where opportunities exist. There is always going to be something new and unexpected, but with the right tools and resources in place, your sales team can quickly recover and patch any holes as they uncover them. A good sales enablement strategy doesn’t just support the funnel you have now, but also prepares reps for unforeseen challenges, keeping them ahead of the competition and closing more deals even as others may fumble to meet their changing needs of the market. If you want more information on how ROI calculators can contribute to your sales enablement strategy, contact us today.
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