If you are a professional salesperson or run a business with a sales team, you may probably come across the term sales enablement in recent years.
Unlike a lot of the buzzwords that are used in the sales world, sales enablement is an important concept that anyone working in the sales industry should understand.
Audience Advantage is amongst other things, sales enablement software and therefore we thought we would delve into the concept further.
In simple terms, it is the process of giving a sales team the resources that they require to sell more effectively. This includes any kind of technology, process, training program, or content that helps the team create and develop customers.
Although it is primarily focused on improving the sales team’s ability to acquire new customers and complete sales, it also plays a role in customer retention. Here is some more information about this important concept.
What kinds of resources are included in sales enablement?
There are three main types of resources used:
- Knowledge resources – This includes any information which helps a sales team attract, manage and convert sales prospects. This can include brochures, websites, sales scripts, standardised sales reports, case studies, lead tracking systems, white papers, eBooks, competitive intelligence briefs, and email templates.
- Skills – Skills that that are useful for converting sales are an important part of sales enablement. This resource types includes product knowledge training, communication skill building, and computer training.
- Behaviours – This resource type includes any tools that enforce sales team behaviours that lead to successful sales. This ranges from learned behaviours like active listening and rapport building through to computer software programs like SalesForce, which enforce certain behaviours amongst sales representatives.
There are several defining attributes of sales enablement, with the most important being:
Defining your sales program
Sales enablement involves the creation or implementation of many types of important resources. This includes resources like sales research data, CRM software, written sales procedures, sales scripts, and content for prospective buyers. These items eventually form your sales program as they shape the direction and processes of the sales team.
It’s all about the buyer
Although a great deal of the material produced during sales enablement process is for internal use only, it is always focussed on the buyer. Resources like customer research, telemarketing scripts, and brochures are all created to help the buyer (and your business) get what they want.
It always involves staff training
Sales enablement programs are worthless unless they help salespeople understand that there are additional resources available. That’s why it should always involve training sessions to teach your team how and when to use the resources.
The value of resources should be tracked
Any well-designed sales enablement program will keep track of how the sales team is using specific resources. This helps the business identify any problems with the resources or the sales team’s use of them, and maximises the return on investment.
Why is sales enablement important?
Sales enablement is important because it helps your sales team achieve quota in a predictable and repeatable fashion. It allows your team to use a best practice approach to sales that is supported by a variety of resources. Some of the other advantages include:
- The sales team can sell faster – Having a framework of sales resources will help your team convince prospects to buy your products or services much faster. They will be able to use compelling assets like sales pitches, brochures, and websites to close the sale as quickly as possible.
- Success can be scaled up – By giving all sales representatives access to useful sales enablement tools, your team will be less reliant on the top salespeople to carry the load. You can help the entire team improve their performance.
- A massive boost to productivity – Having access to the resources means your sales representatives can find information more easily, resulting in streamlined work processes. This can provide a massive boost to productivity and makes the task of selling a product or service easier.
- More sales data to look at – Many sales enablement processes focus on gathering data from salespeople and customers. This data can provide your business with insight into your customer’s buying preferences.
- Alignment between marketing and sales teams – Giving sales representatives access to content that supports the sales process is a crucial part of sales enablement. This includes material like pamphlets, brochures, infographics and websites. Ensuring that your sales team has this material on hand will also keep them aligned with your latest marketing initiatives, delivering a raft of additional benefits.