What is sales enablement? It’s a seemingly simple question, and yet there are so many different answers out there. There are tons of sales enablement tools, platforms, and expert opinions available online, so it’s easy to get swept up in it all. The truth is, the “what” of sales enablement is simple. It’s the “how” part that’s tricky.
What is sales enablement?
Sales enablement is the process of enabling your sales team to do their best work. That’s it!
How can I make sales enablement work for my team?
That’s a harder question to answer. It depends on your team, your customers, and your goals. Is your team’s best work closing more deals, or making more meaningful connections?
And in our increasingly virtual world, experts at sites such as LinkedIn and SalesHacker suggest that your ideal solution might include sales enablement tools or a sales enablement platform. But there are so many—how do you know which tool is the right one for your team?
Check out our top tips for making a sales enablement process work for your team.
1. Take a deep breath
Seriously! Your team does great work. Sales enablement is not the be-all end-all of your team’s success—it’s a process meant to help you succeed even more. You’ve got this!
2. Scale for success
An enablement strategy for a company of 10 is going to look very different than it will for a company of 10,000. Larger companies—especially remote ones—tend to see better results when they use a software tool or program to streamline their process. That way, no one person has to carry the mental load of managing the process.
3. Teach your people what they need to know
While excellent learning isn’t the only key to sales enablement, it’s a really important one. If your sales team doesn’t know what they need to know, then they can’t do what they need to do. And if there isn’t a central source of knowledge, everyone’s approach will be different, which leads to inconsistent results.
4. Reduce friction wherever possible
When your people don’t use their resources, it’s not because they don’t care—it’s usually because they can’t find them, or they don’t know how to apply them, so they don’t bother. When it comes to training materials, focus your energy on creating high-quality materials that are easy to use and easy to apply.
5. Let your reps build relationships
Often, making a sale is all about getting the right content in front of your customers at the right time. This means you have to focus on the customer’s journey—their feelings, their needs, their processes—even more than you have to focus on your own sales cycle. A good enablement process allows for your reps to recognize that and factor it into their decision-making.
6. Play the numbers game
Once you have a sales enablement process that works for you (or even if you don’t yet,) it’s crucial to establish metrics and track meaningful data. It’s the best way to know what impact your process is having on sales. Some data points that can be helpful to track:
- Average sales cycle length
- Number of reps achieving quota
- Average deal size
7. Strategize, share, unite
Your sales team is not an island. Successful sales enablement often hinges on involving other teams in the process, especially marketing. When everyone’s aligned, everyone gets results. It’s a team, after all!
One last question…
The “what” is clear. The “how” is beginning to make more sense. But you might still wonder “why?”
The answer is this: The sales world is moving forward, and fast. As life becomes more digitally-oriented and customer needs shift rapidly every day, you owe it to yourself (and your team) to have a simple, well-thought-out process that enables your sales team to do their best work.