Sales Enablement: What is it & Why it’s Critical to Your Business
What is sales enablement, and why is it important?
Anyone in sales knows that the sales process is rarely linear. For major purchases, in particular, customers require regular, value-adding touchpoints to aid the decision-making process. From changing markets and buying habits to aggressive growth goals, sales have become ultra-competitive. Without a proven, collaborative, and adaptive sales strategy, many businesses lose leads throughout the customer journey.
Sales enablement helps prevent these losses. Even better, it’s a proactive approach to sales that delivers results. Why? Where traditional sales strategies are simply focused on lead generation, sales enablement is rooted in creating effective sales processes.
These include training and coaching, using modern tools and software, and crafting content for every customer segment. Most importantly, it keeps sales and marketing teams aligned, so insights and feedback are exchanged and used to optimize the customer journey.
What is the goal of sales enablement?
Ultimately, a sales enablement strategy is aimed at increased sales through productive and value-adding sales processes. It fosters a culture of constant learning and collaboration, empowering sales and marketing teams to share revenue goals and milestones. Here’s how:
- Empower sales reps: Sales enablement helps reps master the basics of a good sales strategy. It emphasizes the basics, like goal-setting, pre-call planning, call execution, improvisation, and continuous coaching and learning. By honing the basics, sales reps are able to create more value in each customer interaction.
- Provide management support: Sales enablement solutions allow management to support sales teams over the long haul. Providing the right resources, such as content and coaching allows reps to learn advanced skills that lead to increased sales, and cultivate relationships with engaged and loyal customers.
- Support content training, clarity, and alignment: An effective sales enablement strategy is collaborative. It creates alignment between sales and marketing teams, ensuring content is clear, consistent, and effective so reps can translate brand messages and keep customers engaged. And when it doesn’t work, sales enablement also allows for feedback and redesign using insights from customer interactions.
Sales Enablement Framework: Tools and Process
There are lots of moving parts in every sale — and a good sales enablement strategy accounts for all these. Sales enablement relies on a strong communication feedback loop to align sales, marketing, customer service, and product or brand management teams. Together, these intersecting teams drive productivity and revenue through improved customer experiences.
Key Components of Sales Enablement
- Sales and marketing automation tools, such as CRM implementation
- Content development based on collaboration and knowledge sharing between marketing and sales
- Talent management, including onboarding training, coaching, and performance analysis of sales teams
- Sales process optimization, including custom content development, enhanced lead generation and lead scoring, lead nurturing, and continuous learning.
4 Step Sales Enablement Process
1. Create Target Buyer Personas
Who are your target customers? What are their demographic and psychographic characteristics? Sales enablement starts with identifying who you’re selling to, so sales teams can sell effectively.
Buyer personas are archetypes of your ideal customer. Sales and marketing teams can collaborate to identify who these customers are, and align content development and lead nurturing strategies from that point. With clear buyer personas, marketing teams can develop content for optimal conversion, and sales teams can leverage these insights into their buying habits to guide conversations and touchpoints.
2. Align Sales Process With the Customer Journey
Sales enablement requires paying attention to the customer journey. Sales and marketing teams need to look at customers’ decision-making processes to identify what moves the purchase along, replicate effective strategies, and address bottlenecks.
This means looking at the sales funnel to determine how customers find your brand and what information they look for, what content formats best resonate with them, and how they decide between two products. Next, track progress for lead generation and lead nurturing, and employ tools such as a CRM for marketing automation.
3. Customize Content and Communications Per Buyer Persona
Different types of customers respond to different marketing offers. Sales enablement cultivates a customer-centric mindset, meaning all your sales and marketing materials should be developed based on customers’ buying preferences and motivations. A collaborative content development process allows both teams to exchange ideas and insights, ultimately enriching the customer journey to move the purchase along.
Similarly, different sales enablement solutions should be applied accordingly. Beyond content, it’s important to consider what mediums and channels customers respond to and engage in. Sales teams can provide insights on which channels they engage the most customers on, such as mobile apps, social media, chatbots and more, then build out phone or video conferencing touchpoints from there.
4. Create Bigger Feedback Loops
Aside from aligning sales and marketing, it’s important to expand sales enablement strategies broadly throughout your company. Foster collaboration with customer care, and product and brand management teams to generate more insights and ensure that feedback is circulated widely.
For example, customer care teams can share valuable insights from existing customers, which can inform content strategy. By bringing teams together through sales enablement, you can create a culture of learning, knowledge sharing, and teamwork towards a shared goal.
How do you create a sales enablement strategy? Ask our experts
When was the last time you reviewed your sales processes? Start with sales enablement guided by our experts. Consultus Digital offers full-service enablement solutions, from strategy to implementation, and continuous learning. Take a peek into our process:
- Structure realization: Build your sales department, starting with identifying team members and roles, distinguishing between cold callers and closers, and auditing your sales tools and software.
- Sales process identified: A rundown of the customer journey, focusing on how leads are distributed and how they move along the sales process. We audit your current inbound and outbound sales processes to identify gaps and necessary improvements.
- Sales process optimized: The bulk of sales enablement, where we implement a cohesive strategy and solutions, including tools and software, and feedback mechanisms between sales and marketing teams to align content and communication strategies.
Struggling to reach the right customers and close needs? Consultus Digital can help with a full-service sales enablement strategy and industry-leading software. Let’s talk about your sales process, strategy, and revenue goals.