Sales Enablement is the iterative process providing salespeople with the right sales collateral to improve their performance and have a positive impact on sales efficiency. Depending on the organization the subject can be owned by Marketing, Sales or has its dedicated person, team, or even department.
No matter how mature your organization is in terms of Sales Enablements, there are a few common guidelines to follow if you are looking for guaranteed results. In fact, companies that execute the best practices for sales enablement that are ranked as best-in-class as a strategy experience an almost 14% increase in their annual contract values and overall deal size.
We took the time of compiling our 10 Sales Enablement best practices that you can adopt in your company starting today!
1. Conduct interviews
As you may already know, Sales Enablement is all about helping your sales team to be better at what they do. But, before you can empower your team, you need to understand them. In this context, our first advice when thinking about a Sales Enablement strategy is gathering relevant information on the matter.
Schedule interviews with your salespeople, as they hold precious information. Indeed, they are on the field daily and are constantly faced with feedback from prospects or clients. In addition, they know the product and might have some insights to share in terms of sales collateral for example. Finally, they are also very aware of the market tendencies so your sales people can also be great advisors in terms of content ideas for a blog.
All in all, these interviews will help you better understand your customer, which is the base to launching a successful Sales Enablement campaign.
76 % of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.
2. Define strategic roles
A second key point to consider is defining and assigning clear roles to execute your Sales Enablement strategy. This can sometimes seem tricky as Sales Enablement is at the crossroad of both Sales and Marketing, but it is crucial to think about it.
Roles and responsibilities may vary depending on the strategy’s main goal. For example, if the idea is to develop a content-based Sales Enablement, most responsibilities will be held by Marketing. On the other hand, if the idea is to work on Sales training and coaching, your Sales department is more likely to be handling the matter.
Finally, keep in mind that organizations are also choosing to create a dedicated role more and more. This role would be a bridge between Marketing and Sales to guarantee that the strategy serves the needs of both.
Companies with a sales enablement team are 52% more likely to have a sales process that’s tightly aligned with the buyer’s journey.
3. Produce relevant content for each stage of the buyer’s journey
Content is so essential to Sales Enablement, that it deserves its category within the strategy. Miller Heiman Group’s CEO, Byron Matthews says that “the modern buyer has become better at buying faster than the seller has gotten better at selling”.
In other words, sales need to adapt their approach so they can meet a prospect’s needs at any given point of the process. Customer
Customers are eager for content and will try and find it on their own before you even knew they might be needing it. To stay a step ahead relies heavily on the type and the quality of the content a company has.
For content to be truly relevant, it needs to be adapted to the customer’s journey. For example, you would not show the same type of content to a prospect who has never heard of your company as you would to a prospect who is practically ready to sign a deal.
The opportunity cost of unused or underused marketing content is roughly $2.3 million for enterprise organizations.
4. Update teams on latest content
Creating content is great, but it is not enough. To truly leverage its power, content must be used at its prime. In this context, whenever new content goes out, your sales team should be informed. Better yet, you can inform them and give them some elements of context so they know where and when it would be best to present it.
Adopting this routine has multiple benefits:
- Your sales teams will always be up to date in terms of content
- Your sales team will appreciate the effort and might refer the content to someone who might find it particularly valuable
- You will contribute to creating an organized “resource bank” that your sales team can access freely
Sales representatives spend an average of 440 hours each year trying to find the right content to share for their prospects and customers. And 90% of B2B sellers do not use the given sales materials because it is irrelevant, outdated, and difficult to customize to prospects.
4 Steps to content creation for Sales Enablement
5. Build credibility through blogging
Another great tip for B2B companies, much like ourselves, is to go into blogging. Indeed, when working on a certain domain it is best to be perceived as an expert on the matter. The more you share your knowledge and experience, the more you gain credibility within the industry.
Credibility is key as it will not only drive more prospects to you but will also make them trust you easily and create a better experience. Such factors create value and are therefore essential to closing deals.
80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.
6. Enable cross-team communication
As mentioned before, Sales Enablement includes both Sales and Marketing. For your strategy to work, both teams need to be implicated in the process. To create such alignment, the first step is to keep communication flowing throughout the process.
Scheduling regular meetings with the key stakeholders from each team as well as connecting both teams through a digital platform are some ideas to start acclimating the teams to the idea of ongoing collaboration. The most important thing is that both teams are conscious that collaboration will benefit them in the long run.
Sales and marketing alignment can help your company become 67% better at closing deals.
7. Establish an ongoing training/coaching program
Sales training is a structured and focused teaching method that focuses on specific concepts or skills. The main goal is providing high-level knowledge to sales representatives to help them understand their environment, their customers and products they are working with. Because it is structured, it can be provided to a group.
Sales coaching is a less structured teaching method for sales performance improvement. The main goal is equipping individuals with the right tools to continually improve their sales performance by working on their weakest points. Logically, it is provided one-on-one as every sales representative is different.
In both cases, it is important that both programs are solid. For example, you can mix a solid sales training program for onboarding and a regular sales coaching program after the onboarding period is finished.
If your sales reps don’t feel they are learning and growing in your organization, you’re at risk to lose upwards of 60% of your entire workforce within four years.
8. Leverage technology
In our highly competitive environment, sales operations and processes have become increasingly complex to provide prospects with the right information at the right time. In this context, the market for Sales Enablement tools has grown accordingly, with a wide range of different solutions available.
A Sales Enablement tool is a system or a platform providing increased visibility across the sales content lifecycle. If chosen wisely, it can be of major help aligning your sales and marketing teams, managing branded content, qualifying leads, or providing analytics.
Over 75% of companies using sales enablement tools saw an increase in sales in the first year. 40% of those companies reported an increase greater than 25%.
Sales Enablement tools: 3 areas where they can help you!
9. Create and follow analytics
The smart use of Data is a crucial way to direct your Sales Enablement strategy as it will help you pinpoint what you are doing right as well as what you can improve. A data-driven sales enablement strategy can go as far as giving you a competitive edge as it is able to innovate, compete and capture value.
The performance indicators that you should track and improve depending on your company’s industry, size, or strategic goals for example.
53% of respondents said the key roadblock in their sales enablement journey was the inability to measure the success of a sales enablement initiative
Sales Enablement tools: Are you leveraging your Data?
10. Share wins
Our final piece of advice contributes to Marketing and Sales alignment. Since both teams are collaborating and working hard for results, credit should always be shared. If a salesperson closes a deal using one of the latest content pieces produced by Marketing, everyone should know it was a team effort ! In the same way, Sales actively participating in content creation by sharing ideas and insights should be praised.
We have said this before but we will say it again : Marketing and Sales alignment has multiple benefits and will positively influence revenue generation.
74% of high-performing companies have strong sales and marketing alignment within their organization.