Sales enablement is now widely recognised as one of the best techniques for growing a business. It is used to provide sales and marketing teams with all of the information, tools, and skills they need to sell effectively.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at these sales enablement statistics:
- 19% more growth occurs when businesses align their marketing and sales department use sales enablement techniques to improve communication.
- 84% of sales representatives achieve their quotas when best practice sales enablement strategies are used.
- Failing to align marketing strategies between sales and marketing teams results in a 10% loss of revenue for B2B companies.
- 74% of companies that are “high performing” have excellent sales and marketing alignment within their organisation.
Although many businesses understand the advantages of sales enablement, they struggle to put sales enablement techniques into practice.
In this post I’ll explain how to develop a sales enablement plan that drives more business.
Essential Components of a Sales Enablement Plan
The overall goal of sales enablement is to help your sales and marketing teams sell better, using a variety of strategies, tools, skills, and resources. A successful sales enablement plan will include the following components:
Content plays a central role in sales enablement. Sales and marketing teams need to be able to find, share, and create valuable content that makes it easier to achieve sales.
It is critical that your sales team is taught how to use any new software, strategies, and resources.
A well constructed sales enablement plan will always have a focus on the customer and helping them through the sales pipeline.
Sales enablement techniques should be simple to understand and easy to use. They need to be ‘solutions’ that your sales team enjoys using, instead of barriers.
- Tracking and analysis
It’s important to track how effective your sales enablement techniques are. You may need to modify certain techniques several times based on employee feedback and statistical analysis.
Developing a Sales Enablement Plan That Works
Creating an effective sales enablement plan involves several steps:
1. Define Your Objectives
Before you begin selecting the sales enablement tactics you use to use, define the objectives your business is interested in pursuing. Before you simply reply with “Sell more products”, it’s important to understand that the more specific you can be with your objectives, the better your outcomes with be.
Look for objectives that are actionable, measurable, and tangible. An objective like “Increase the amount of time that a salesperson can spend selling by 25%” would be a great place to start. You can implement sales enablement tactics that are specifically designed to reduce administrative workload for salespeople and given easier access to the information they need. It’s possible to then track how much additional time your sales team is spending actively selling.
2. Take a Closer Look at Your Customers
One of the best reasons to use sales enablement techniques is that you can help the prospect throughout their buyer’s journey — providing them with the material they need when they need it. This can lead to a dramatic increase in sales.
However, before you can help the prospect, you need to understand who they are and what their motivations are. In addition to basic demographic data, you will need to learn your prospect’s pain points, purchasing preferences, and buying triggers. This information will help you anticipate the kinds of material that your sales and marketing team need to have easy access to. You can then implement sales enablement strategies that make it simple to provide the right kinds of content and customer interaction.
3. Talk to Your Sales and Marketing Teams
Sales enablement techniques will not work unless your sales and marketing teams are on board. The best way to get them on board is through a process of consultation. Ask them about the problems they experience during the sales process and what they feel customers need to move along the sales pipeline faster. Your team’s ideas will give you an indication of which techniques to pursue.
4. Create, Modify, Gather and Organise Your Content
As mentioned earlier, content plays a central role in sales enablement. You need to develop content that will help your sales team convert prospects more rapidly. This can include:
- Pre-filled templates, quotes, and contracts
- Sales scripts
- White papers
- Case studies
- Surveys and feedback forms
- Training material
- Social media content
- Blog posts
- Automated followup emails
- Best practice process for salespeople to follow
This content needs to be up-to-date and easily available. It should simple for a salesperson or prospect to obtain the information they require during the sales process. Software tools often play a role in making easy access to content and tracking its success.
5. Gather The Necessary Technology
Most sales enablement tactics require the use of technology. Your next goal will be to identify and integrate the right technology that makes it easier for:
- Sales reps to communicate with prospects
- Sales and marketing teams to collaborate
- Sales reps to Track and analyse prospect behaviour
- Staff to create, organise, and share content
- Customers to understand the value of your offer
- Staff to obtain the training they require
The most effective tools for these kinds of tasks include customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, communication, content management, and business intelligence tools.
6. Prepare training
Your sales and marketing teams will need to be taught how to use any new technologies that have been introduced. Use the content that was created in the content-creation stage to speed up this process. You can also use seminars and product demonstrations to explain any new technologies and work practices will make the sales team’s job easier.
7. Analyse and Iterate
Once you have implemented your sales enablement tactics, carefully track how much they improve your business’ performance. This fantastic guide from HubSpot will give you a good overview of the sales metrics that can be tracked. Use this information to continually improve your usage of sales enablement practices.
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