Searches for sales enablement has grown almost 50% over the last two years. Aberdeen found that 74% of high-performing organisations have strong sales and marketing alignment; a key aspect of sales enablement.
Although impressive statistics, correlation does not always imply causation. Many sales directors have invested in training, technology, and content that’s supposed to help their sales team perform at higher levels. The benefits don’t materialise or are marginal at best.
Why are some companies reaping the rewards while others feel like they’re pouring money down the drain?
We take a look at what sales enablement isn’t and how to get started with sales enablement that’ll actually be worthwhile for your team.
Training? Content? Technology? We Already Do This
Many sales and business leaders often misunderstand what sales enablement is. You might have technology in place and training for your team. Each of these aspects is important, but none of them in themselves are sales enablement.
Instead, think of sales enablement like a football team and imagine technology, training, content, and strategy to be players in the team. Each player individually might be great, but if they’re all playing at the same time without a position or co-ordinating themselves, they’re going to lose to the team that is.
Sales enablement is like bringing the captain or manager in, and rather than the players working independently, they communicate and are aligned towards the same goal.
Not only will the fans (the customers) have a better experience-but with everyone working towards the same goal-there’ll be less of a strain on individual people or departments.
How to Get Started with Sales Enablement
With so much information out there, it may seem daunting. Fortunately, we’ve put together 6 simple steps to kickstart your sales enablement journey.
1. Put a leader in charge
Sales enablement requires an ongoing commitment to getting it right. If you don’t have an executive taking charge, you’ll need strong buy-in and support from upper management to ensure any changes you make stick with sales and marketing.
2. Identify where you are already at
We can draw learnings from Veelo’s sales enablement model to give us a better understanding of what we need to achieve for an optimised state of sales enablement.
3. Develop sales and marketing alignment
This won’t happen overnight and there’ll be disagreements along the way. Start by establishing a shared revenue goal, then work backwards to find out the number of leads required. Create a service level agreement for when leads should be handed over to sales.
4. Develop easy to follow processes
Overly complex sales processes hidden in a file directory somewhere aren’t going to help your sales team. In the building and construction industry, sales processes can be complex but it doesn’t mean learning and following them should be.
Create playbooks. These capture best practices for a range of situations. They include stages, steps and milestones. Embed these into your sales reps’ day to day workflows and it will help to guide them through the sale.
5. Put content at their fingertips
Often, departments will have their own folders or systems and only on occasion does content get shared to other departments. Studies show that 90% of marketing content goes unused by sales.
Instead, put it on a content management system and let sales know in your sales and marketing alignment meetings. Ensure your team knows which stage of the specifier’s journey the content is most relevant to.
6. Seek to improve
With technology nowadays, there are a range of tools both free and paid to collect data. Setting up something like a dashboard on a TV monitor will allow you to track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and identify holes in your funnel.
Make it easy to share and update the process to reflect best practices based on these KPIs (e.g. win/loss, quote to order ratio and leads to customers).
Beginning your sales enablement journey can be daunting at first. It’s important to have somebody take charge to help guide the business through the process.
Aligning your sales and marketing teams will be challenging. Once co-ordinated, not only will you save time and resources, but you’ll also reap the rewards of shorter sales cycles and higher win rates.