Every decade, new buzzwords circulate in the sales world.
Sales enablement is the newest among the crop.
If you go by the simple definition: Sales enablement is how you make it easy for your sales team to educate your prospects. But there’s a lot more to it.
Given its recency, there’s a lot of confusion in the market about sales enablement & its effect on the overall KPIs.
These confusions can directly affect your bottom line by reducing sales efficiency, confusing prospects, wasting the sales team’s time on manual work and making training new hires unscalable.
Moving ahead, let’s resolve those confusions:
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is a system created with the sole purpose of increasing the productivity and efficiency of the sales team.
The process entails giving tools, content & resources to your sales team to help them close deals with qualified prospects.
Sales enablement teaches prospects about the company’s products and services. The only alternative to this is for the sales team to teach prospects individually – this of course, is very time-intensive. Hence, sales enablement saves time for everyone across the board – sales reps, sales managers and of course, prospects.
What are the benefits of Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement carries a unique host of benefits. The core theme is that sales reps and sales managers get to spend more time on their core responsibilities and less on miscellaneous tasks. Buyers get to educate themselves and are better informed about moving ahead with your company, leading to improved conversions. Here are the benefits of sales enablement:
- Sales reps can cross-sell and up-sell products with ease.
With adequate training and resources thanks to sales enablement, sales reps are more acquainted with the products your company has to offer. By reinforcing which products to cross-sell and up-sell when a buyer buys a product, reps would be in a better position to up-sell and cross-sell.
In the absence of sales enablement, the ability of reps to cross-sell takes a downturn. It’s evident by the fact that companies observe a 40% increase in cross-sells after a robust sales enablement reboot.
- Pre-qualified leads are more likely to convert
It’s no secret that a huge chunk of marketing qualified leads are unqualified – In fact, almost 73% of them aren’t qualified. But how does sales enablement come into the picture here?
When buyers go through the content resources in each step of the buyer’s journey, they figure out if your product is what they want. Naturally, most of them get weeded out. The sheer volume of marketing qualified leads get slashed to half by the time they go through sales enablement.
This is good news for the sales staff. Because by the time the leads interact with sales reps, they know your product well beforehand. Thereby, making them likelier to convert. Goes without saying, it saves their time and energy too!
- The sales team doesn’t spend time on non-sales tasks
The biggest hurdle for a sales team’s efficiency is conflicting data and manual admin work across various software. Of course, you’d rather have your sales team do sales instead of easily automatable manual tasks.
By integrating the sales enablement data on your CRM, you can do just that. Not only does it make your sales team more efficient, your systems inherently become more scalable. Every change done in the CRM is reflected to the entire team, facilitating easier coordination between them.
- Managers spend less time training new hires
Training without sales enablement is as unscalable as one can imagine. What follows when you hire new trainees is months of training and a year until they become an invaluable asset to the sales team.
A sales enablement program with recorded trainings and dedicated, interactive modules can reduce the time required for the above by 60%! As sales managers, you can afford the time to do what you know best – hiring new employees, managing your team and hitting revenue targets.
How to effectively conduct Sales Enablement?
It’s a smart move to make a sales enablement ecosystem that remains just as useful as clients and sales reps increase. Whether it be training new sales hires or new prospects – the sales enablement system must solve their pain points just as effectively. By following the below steps, sales managers can do just that:
- Make buyer personas in tandem with sales and marketing departments
When you combine the experience of the marketing team in creating personas with the on-site experience of the sales department – you can create buyer personas for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
These personas give sales reps an idea of what to expect of a prospect – their pain points, the questions they ask, how to identify the right buyer, etc. Sales teams can further hone the personas by adding additional information about the common objections, behavioural patterns, etc.
This exercise effectively shortens the sales cycle thanks to the due diligence of both sales and marketing teams. Most importantly, buyer personas and their accompanying research direct the content team to make sales content.
- Create sales content that answers every buyer’s query
It’s easier to define sales content when you define what it is NOT.
What sales content is NOT is all of your website content. It’s not:
- brand awareness blogs
- how-to videos
- landing pages that sell a product
Then, what IS sales enablement?
It is content that educates the prospect about your product in a direct way. So to create a content library of sales content, conduct an audit of:
- Frequently asked questions by buyers
- Product demo presentations
- Video explainers
- Client case studies
- Client testimonials
- Pricing information
Creating a content library of the above resources can help sales reps easily source them when the prospect asks for them. You can make the content library on Notion, Google Docs, CRM or a wiki on your website.
- Showcase case studies
Case studies will and have always been the best way to convey the efficacy of your product to buyers. An effective case study details how your product solved the pain points of your customer and hence, demonstrates its ability to solve similar problems of other companies in the niche.
It’s a given that you won’t have a case study within days or even weeks of launching your product. But within six months of launch, you should aim to have at least one case study. Whether you have one or not, you should closely observe clients on your CRM that can be a potential case study for your product.
Sales reps can email case studies to the prospects in follow-up sequences to entice them to get on a sales call.
- Generate customisable email templates and sequences
Customisable email templates ensure your sales reps have a template answer for buyer queries, saving them the time and effort that goes into making email copy anew. Don’t forget to leave some wiggle room for customisations as each buyer has a unique problem waiting to be addressed.
Customisable email sequences equip the sales reps to always stay in touch with prospects. The automated sequences follow up on the prospects automatically when they don’t reply to their emails. They have email templates in place that address the buyer’s unique position in their sales journey. This, of course, saves sales reps much needed time and energy.
Since the dawn of time, marketing and sales departments have had issues syncing with each other. The marketing vs sales rivalry trope, although amusing, highlights the problems in communication between both.
Sales enablement is an attempt to bridge this gap for good and bring about massive business results.
In essence, It ensures that the torrent of leads brought in by marketing are catered effectively to by sales – without the manual work, wasted time on uninterested leads, or problems with scalability.
You can say that sales enablement is a sure-shot way to improve your bottom line while simultaneously keeping the prospects, sales managers and most importantly – the sales reps happy!