At the core your business is sales. If your sales team doesn’t sell, your organization misses out on crucial revenue. You need to make the sales transaction process as seamless for your sales team as possible.
This could be achieved through hiring seasoned sales staff, providing solid sales training or sales enablement.
An important component of structuring your program is what sales enablement offers to salespeople. The majority of what you deliver is information. This data is divided into two categories:
- The lead will receive content from a salesperson
- Internally, sales will embrace best practices, research, and tools
Sales enablement has several aspects, which means it requires the support of other departments, such as marketing.
Benefits of sales enablement
Sales enablement can help your salespeople and marketing department work together more effectively. It can also help you improve your sales process and grow your consumer base.
Here’s a list of sales enablement benefits:
Creates a selling roadmap
A selling roadmap lists out the stages of 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.
Ties multiple departments together
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 over time 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 re-train 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.
- 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.
Drives profit and revenue
This may be a given, but the bottom line is you want to make money as a company. Without sales, that won’t happen. So a good sales enablement program can make the difference between a profitable year and taking a loss.
Who is responsible for sales enablement?
Sales enablement is owned jointly by sales and marketing. Marketing provides reps with a variety of resources they need to effectively sell. Sales can communicate with marketing about which types of content and materials are missing that they can share with leads throughout their buyer’s journeys.
Since we know which departments handle sales enablement, let's check out how to structure a team and what they'll be in charge of.
Sales enablement team structure
While every company has budget constraints, in an ideal world, a sales enablement team would consist of a team member dedicated to each of these roles:
Sales systems and data manager - responsible for maintaining the CRM or BI database. This would include inputting closed/won and closed/lost sales.
Sales process excellence and sales coach - offers one-on-one assistance to the sales team. They help manage behavior and offer suggestions on how to improve selling style.
Sales training and talent manager - in charge of sales training programs which generate continued growth, staying ahead of the competition, and a streamlined selling approach across all sales team members.
Sales report design and analytics manager - bridge the gap between sales and marketing to support and implement high-quality, data-driven decisions. They will also ensure data is accurate and consistent by designing and creating the processes for analysis. Plus, this person will help in copy direction for sales and marketing material making sure it supports the data gathered.
Sales knowledge manager - responsible for knowing all sales and marketing materials available for the sales team to utilize. A sales knowledge manager will know what tools are available for selling and will be able to direct the sales team on which vehicle is best. They will also be able to see opportunities for different vehicles based on customer feedback and competitor research.
Sales process and operations deployment manager - oversees the entire sales department. When there is a bottleneck or a major glitch in operation, this person is in charge of solving it. They will also create sales objectives goals for the team each quarter. This person acts as the umbrella for the entire department.
If you are a smaller organization or just starting a sales enablement team, one person could cover more than one of these areas.
Sales enablement best practices
At first glance, implementing a sales enablement system appears to be a difficult task. However, following this list of tested sales enablement best practices can help your sales team turn more leads into customers.
1. Provide ongoing sales training
In order for your sales team to continually grow and improve, you'll need to provide ongoing training. As your product or service changes, so should your training efforts. A program the learning and development team put together two years ago might not hold up today, especially when onboarding new sales staff.
Ongoing sales training can help your organization:
- Retain top sales team members
- Free up HR department from finding new salespeople
- Reduce the cost of training
- Continuously upskill salespeople
- Keep up with industry standards
- Beat out competition
- Provide effective product training
2. Select a modern learning platform
Sales enablement revolves around developing training materials and learning resources for your sales team to help them close deals. One of the most common ways to accomplish this is with a modern learning platform.
Legacy LMS's are clunky, require multiple tools in order to create these sales enablement materials, only provide certain content types, and not provide training for external users like customers, partners, or vendors.
That's why it's super important to choose an LMS that solves the above-mentioned problems and comes with the following features:
- Create entire sales training programs within a single system
- Develop learning materials using powerful eLearning authoring tools
- Import third-part content and videos to consolidate resources
- Track and measure a salesperson's training progress
- Host webinars or workshops with attendance tracking (Zoom integration)
Luckily, Continu offers all those features and more!