"If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will,” said Bob Hooey.
At the core your business is sales. If your sales team doesn’t sell, you lose market share. It’s simple right? Well, yes, in theory, but that’s when sales enablement comes into play. Basically, you want to make the sales transaction process as seamless for your sales team as possible. And by using sales enablement, you can achieve this.
If you are unfamiliar with the term sales enablement, it includes the systems, processes and tools to sell more. So as we previously stated, it gives your sales team a selling advantage when used correctly. Now that you know what it is, let’s discuss some of the benefits in our ultimate guide to sales enablement.
Benefits to sales enablement
Creates a selling roadmap
Yes, your sales team knows how to sell, but a reminder of the basics is sometimes a great idea. For example, training your team for the entire process from identifying prospects to creating a plan to closing the deals. That way whether you have a new team member or a seasoned one, everyone understands the company sales process and any weak areas can be identified and improved.
Materials are created in marketing to help sales teams sell. However, other departments may interact with sales as well, such as legal and even IT if there are digital sales materials to be built. All of these departments act independently of each other and there can be a breakdown in corporate communication to the sales team. However, using sales enablement, it ties together these various departments or teams creating a fluid plan for the sales team.
Helps retain top talent
Sales team members often move company to company. They get frustrated overtime with the selling process and look for improvements with another organization. As you probably know, it can be costly to lose sales staff and then to hire and retrain new team members. But by using sales enablement training, you can add knowledge and new skill development throughout the lifecycle of each sales team member. Not only will it make your team members more comfortable selling, but it makes them more marketable.
Gives a stronger picture of the customer
Since the essence of sales enablement is equipping your team to sell, a huge part of the process is knowing who they are selling to. While they may have a basic understanding of your customer, sales enablement creates a deep dive into the customer persona. For example…
- What are the buyer’s pain points?
- What are their needs?
- What are their concerns?
The more your sales team knows a potential buyer, the better they will be at selling that buyer on your product or service. Plus, by creating these customer/sales relationships, you’ll create more return or even lifelong customers.
This may be a given, but the bottom line is you want to make money as a company and without sales, that won’t happen. So a good sales enablement program can make the difference between a profitable year and taking a loss.
How to use sales enablement?
Now that you know why you should incorporate sales enablement into your organization, how do you go about this? Sales enablement implementation can be broken down into three areas. You need the right people, the right tools and the right process to an efficient sales enablement program at your company. Let’s take a look at all three components.
1. The Team
The first step is assigning team members who will be responsible for the sales enablement process. We’ll mention a few key roles, but if you have budget constraints or a smaller operation, one team member can take on several of these roles. The more important takeaway is sales enablement is a collaboration between the marketing and sales departments. While marketing creates the sales material, sales is responsible for using these tools correctly. So sales enablement team members define the collateral needed, train the sales staff on how to use these correctly and make sure this process is working.
So here’s a breakdown of team members and a quick snapshot of responsibilities:
- Sales Systems and Data Manager
This person is responsible for maintaining the CRM or BI database. This would include inputting closed/won, as well as closed/lost sales.
- Sales Process Excellence and Sales Coach
A Sales Coach offers one-on-one mentoring to the sales team. They offer suggestions or suggest behavior changes to improve the selling approach.
- Sales Training and Talent Manager
Training of the sales team needs to be a different approach than the rest of your training program. That’s why having a dedicated person for sales training is helpful. It provides skill growth, staying on top of the latest selling trends and creates a single selling strategy across all team members.
- Sales Report Design and Analytics Manager
This team member acts as a liaison between sales and marketing to support and implement data-driven decisions. After they build a program to analyze sales trends, they will use this information to design sales collateral. That way, the sales material is strategic.
- Sales Knowledge Manager
This team member is well versed in all the sales materials available. They can point to which tool is best for which selling pitch. This helps the sales team turn more leads into actual sales. Plus, this person can spot where new material may be needed based on the current inventory.
- Sales Process and Operations Deployment Manager
A Sales Process and Operations Deployment Manager oversees the entire sales department. They are responsible for solving problems, creating goals, objectives and making sure the sales enablement process is seamless.
Next, we have the tools. Once you have established a solid sales enablement team, you need to arm them with the correct tools to do their job successfully. Good systems will allow you to integrate to your CRM and other systems like Salesforce.
The nice part about using a learning management system like Continu is you have a training platform not only for your sales reps, but also complete company training, course development capabilities and built-in analytics to ensure successful training.