Sales enablement. It isn’t a new concept. The idea that businesses need to empower theirsales team by ensuring they have the right tools to lead effective conversations with customers hasbeen around for years. But sales enablement has become the latest buzz word, as companies look for ways to optimize their sales and revenue. Here’s why sales enablement really is what your sales team needs to succeed.
What exactly is sales enablement?
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 of investment of the selling system.”
That’s quite a mouthful. Let’s put it another way. Sales enablement empowers your sales team with resources and tools to excel. Your team uses these resources and tools to target optimal customers and close high-value sales.
Empowering your sales team through sales enablement requires focusing on four key areas:
- corporate alignment
- data and analysis
- content optimization
Get on the same page: corporate alignment
What happens when direction and focus are unclear? Typically, customers tend to fall through the cracks and/or processes fall apart entirely. That’s why companies need strategic goals and objectives communicated across all lines of business. Lead requirements, revenue goals and core objectives should be developed and implemented through all teams, including the sales team. Why? Ongoing communication and visibility create transparency and remove silos between product, marketing and sales. This empowers the sales team to have more meaningful conversations with prospective customers because they are armed with purpose and a consistent message.
Shrink the wide world of data and analysis
Companies can collect vast amounts of data and information on prospective and current customers. This can be good, but it’s crucial not to overwhelm your sales team with the irrelevant. Data should be analyzed and parsed into standardized sales reports that the sales team can actually use. Reports providing quality leads based on specific customer attributes enable the sales team to focus on clients that are of value to the business.
Collateral counts: optimize content
According to the CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, marketing creates only 39 percent of content used to engage with prospects. This is a problem because if marketing isn’t creating the content, who is? Often, it’s the sales team, and the result is less than desirable. As the report shares, only high-quality content (ranked “meets or exceeds expectations”) can improve quota and revenue generation so that it is above average (59.3 percent).
To optimize content, a content assessment should be completed that involves resources from product, marketing and sales. Content gaps should be addressed and redundancies removed. Additionally, to truly optimize content and empower your sales team there needs to be taxonomy and a content management framework in place to easily search and find relevant information.
Enablement technology is no longer a “nice to have” but a “must have” for businesses wanting to empower their sales team. Companies can have established goals, standardized reporting and optimized content; however, if the sales team is unable to access it, then their sales efforts are impeded.
Sales enablement technologies automate processes that allow sales teams to sell better and faster. They let your sales force stay aligned with marketing and business goals, identify valuable prospects, access and search relevant content, upsell and cross-sell products and trigger automatic customer communications. Most importantly, sales enablement tools help streamline workflows and remove unnecessary tasks so the sales team can focus on creating revenue.
Maybe by now you’re assessing your organization’s ability to empower your sales team. Want to know how you’re faring? Revecent can complete an analysis of your sales enablement capabilities and identify areas for improving and accelerating sales. Request a consult now and start seeing powerful results.
Revecent experts recruit, train, equip and manage high-performance sales teams to accelerate revenue growth. We work with technology, manufacturing and professional service organizations. Contact us today to see how we can help your organization’s sales team exceed expectations.