The statistical data of CSO indicates a 49% winning rate for the organizations with sales enablement. Companies practicing sales enablement usually describe their enablement plan as formal or dynamic, but companies without the process describe it as random. Organizations like these are witnessed to be propelled with rapid returns, proper sales cycle, and better productivity because sales enablement is employed to drive the objectives of improving sales performance to an optimum rate and customers to brand loyalty. In this article, we shall elucidate demystifying sales enablement with all the nitty-gritty involved in the process.
According to the report, 30.6% of firms with effective sales enablement claim to be “Strategic Contributor/Trusted Partner,” vis-à-vis to 19.4% of organizations lacking it. These thriving organizations result in greater sales quota achievement and a higher lead conversion rate. Evidently, the sales enablement program has made a dominant and effective impact on businesses.
It’s crucial for survival, growth, and success in today’s economy.
Forrester defines sales enablement as “a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return on investment of the selling system.”
Sales enablement program is not a single or linear function of the whole plan; it is the amalgamation of different sales functions that includes multiple steps as a part of the enablement process. It advocates the systematic approach to increase the sales team’s productivity by the management of content resulting in rising revenue. This leads to a focus on metrics, optimizing, and reporting the ROI procured.
The definition of sales enablement is different for every individual. Some people describe it as an exhaustive training process, while others define it as the plan of laying a foundation for the onboarding staff for their future growth enablement. Some believe that sales enablement is the best sales strategy to provide access to the sales tools, content, or templates, while some define it as the conveying of the company’s message and brand value to the prospective customers.
Let’s begin demystifying sales enablement line by line or point by point to get to the wholesome sense of the plan.
The goal of the sales enablement program is always in accordance with a particular company or operational structure. The planning encapsulates the arrangement of the overlapping functions of sales, marketing, customer care, product management, human resources, and legal to enhance the organizational performance and increase user’s experience.
Here are some of the practices to be considered for the alignment of the sales enablement plan.
· Employment of technology resources like CRMs for sales orchestration
· Content strategy for sales communication
· Talent board for onboarding, performance analysis, enablement, and coaching
· Customer satisfaction for buyer journey improvement
Therefore, the emphasis is to drive the seller-buyer dynamic with the help of tools and other technological processes and further enhances the ROI for both buyer and seller, along with the alignment of the teams of the organization.
Sales Enablement Process works differently for the customer and the seller.
· The sales process should align with the customer’s journey.
· The enablement plan should comprise the personalization of engagement tools, sales communication, and content according to the buyer persona.
· It should offer a feedback loop among prospects, customers, and multiple internal lines of business.
1) Commence rigorous recruiting and on-boarding
Sales enablement is an integral part of the sales recruitment process because an organization requires deploying an accurate number of talents to meet targets, increase revenue, and being competent in a competitive environment. The talent acquisition team and HR team collaborate for a talent hunt procedure to retain qualified professionals with the required experience and skills.
2) Implement enablement and training
After the efficient onboarding process, sales management provides proper training to become aware of sharpening skills, harness resources to drive customer conversions by enabling them toward growth, and acquiring higher returns to achieve business goals. After the dynamic knowledge foundation is transferred, the sales teams can conduct seminars, workshops, and other engaging programs to shape and mold the salesforce according to the customer’s needs and the organization’s benefits.
3) Work towards tools and technology development
The world is dominantly reliable on technology and even talented people are not entirely able without it. In this tech-era, sales enablement brings about a plethora of tools to drive the sales team close to success. The enablement plan uses the tools to improve sales performance and conversations, shorten sale cycles, and develop more customized customer insights to close more deals. With the better implementation of CRM, content strategy containing videos, articles, infographics, presentations, and engagement overflow, optimizing each sales opportunity becomes easier.
4) Measure performance/effectiveness assessments
Through assessment tools like feedback devices or key performance indicators, you can keep a check on your sales reps and improve them with your insights.
With an effective assessment, you would be able to find:
a) The competence level of sellers and team leaders achieving their targets.
b) The working spots to drive more improvements and growth.
While demystifying sales enablement, we need to understand how different it is from traditional sales training. Sales training usually uses a linear or single event for all future customers or practices with no metric assessment or reinforcements, while sales enablement is a long shot game where reinforcement energy is on top.
Reinforcement is not only about testing, but it also includes strengthening plans:
· Sales input and implementation plans
· Organized communication plans
· Scalable and recurrent sales leadership training events
· Revenue- oriented, data-driven metrics, and KPIs
· Constant iterations, updates, and improvements
“Within a week, 90 percent of it will be completely forgotten.”- Art Kohn, CEO, AKLearning
Therefore, sales enablement should act as a light attracting the moths i.e. the departments of an organization (sales, marketing, product marketing, HR, training, etc.) to interact together. First-line managers hold an important position to work and align with the teams within the sales enablement process. These employees assure the efficiency of enablement practices, procedures, collateral, and tools used by client-facing people.
“Employees cannot become more productive in every sense of the word unless they are provided with continuous on-the-job training.”- Gregory Balestrero
Usually, a large percentage of organizations neglect the training investment and suffer later with incompetence and lack of growth.
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Sales enablement is a thought-provoking amalgam of art and science that needs a widespread understanding of your customers and advanced technology.
1) Set clear objectives for your sales enablement program such as fastening the sales cycle, improving content strategy, updating a cutting-edge tool, and other growth plans.
2) Make the program and other assets accessible to all stakeholders with effective communication. The assets include knowing about playbooks, engagement content, CRMs to optimize the advantage.
3) Use Sales Enablement to make sales reps more customer-oriented and make customers have power in their buying journey. The buyer journey needs to be aligned with the program to deliver customer satisfaction.
5) Sales Enablement should be transparent, integrated, and quantifiable at each step of the process. Every tool or asset should be linked with the tech-stack of the organization.
6) Update and evolve Sales Enablement processes occasionally vis-à-vis the evolving tech-sector to count your milestones and improve overall sales growth and potential.
With the fierce competition in the market, sales enablement has transitioned from being useful to being indispensable. In layman's words, you cannot do without it! Being customer-oriented, having better content management, using cloud-based technological tools, and optimizing sales pitches and outputs frequently are some of the methodologies to regularize the sales enablement program into your organization. Therefore, demystifying the overall sales enablement process meticulously to put into further use and ease of the organization and its sellers has become mandatory in the current marketplace.