Thirty-two percent of organizations say sales enablement will become their top priority in the next 12 months.
While it's growing in popularity, there are still questions regarding what sales enablement is and how to approach it successfully.
What is sales enablement? Simply put, sales enablement is a strategic process that gives the sales team the content, training and tools they need to drive more business.
When you dive deeper, sales enablement focuses on giving sales staff content that can be delivered to a prospect for each stage of the buying process, a variety of ways to present that content, the ability to customize the content, a platform to communicate with customers to follow up, and metrics to see how effective the entire process is.
HubSpot customers can utilize the power of the Sales Hub to garner these capabilities. Other sales enablement platforms on the market right now that offer this kind of capability include MindTickle or Brainshark.
To better clarify sales enablement, here are five things you (probably) didn't know about this evolving methodology.
Research shows 65 percent of sales reps say they can't find content to send to prospects.
Let's say a prospect has agreed to a live demo. What's the next move? How can the sales team take this qualified lead and provide more information?
What if the sales rep could also send a short demo video that highlights the software's best features before the live demo? What can he or she leave behind for the client to review?
The sales team needs pieces of content specific to each buying stage to help close the deal.
Three-panel brochures and direct mail postcards aren't going to win over new prospects. You need content with a wow-factor.
Content should be as modern as your business. In other words, embrace digital content. You should create blog posts, infographics, videos and interactive materials like online quizzes to truly engage modern buyers.
Why create digital content? Take a look at these statistics:
Visual components are important, too. Marketers see visuals as the most important aspect of a piece of marketing material, according to HubSpot. Be sure to include engaging images that add relevance to your digital content.
You can still incorporate traditional materials like direct mail into your go-to-market strategies, but if you do so, add a pathway to digital. For example, add a vanity URL the recipient can visit and interact with.
The sales team not only needs content, but they also need training. Sales reps should have an in-depth training course that helps them:
This kind of in-depth training lasts more than a day-long workshop. Investing the time up front will result in a better understanding of your product and the target audience, and will drive more sales because of it.
And, it never hurts for marketers to join the sales training either. With a more cohesive approach to lead generation, both departments can do their part to boost revenue.
Building a successful sales enablement strategy takes time and effort, which is why you need the means to track your success.
For example, does the demo video work? How many prospects watched it? For how long? You need metrics that measure the content you provide and metrics that measure how effective your training and coaching efforts are.
Which metrics should you track? Watch your win/loss rate. You can segment this by team or by individual sales associate to identify areas for improvement.
You can also see which reps consistently meet their quotas. Consider setting up a roundtable discussion with this group to discuss how effective various content (including phone and email scripts) is.
Again, using a sales enablement platform like those mentioned above is your best bet to track metrics. Many of these platforms can integrate with a CRM, which gives you a more streamlined approach to customer data.
One of the best benefits of sales enablement isn't just a revenue boost, although it's certainly welcome. The best benefit is actually how it affects your employees.
When your sales team can meet quotas, everyone is happy. The board is happy with increasing sales, bosses can skip the, "we must do better" speech, and employees feel genuinely happy to come to work because they’re engaged.
When employees are engaged, they’re more invested in the company. Research suggests engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave their job compared to disengaged employees. Retaining quality sales staff can be challenging, which is why giving them the tools to succeed directly impacts your bottom line.
While sales enablement means something a little different to every company, the premise behind it is to strengthen sales efforts through teamwork and collaborative tools. Using these pieces of information, you can start researching a sales enablement process that suits your company.
Discover insight from seven CMOs at top companies regarding their experience with setting up successful CRM strategies in our free eBook, The CMO’s Guide to Sales Enablement and CRM.
Limor is a technical writer and editor at Agile SEO, a boutique digital marketing agency focused on technology and SaaS markets. She has more 10 years' experience writing technical articles and documentation for various audiences, including technical on-site content, software documentation and dev guides. She specializes in big data analytics, computer/network security, middleware, software development and APIs.