5 (+1) Sales Enablement Dos & Don’ts

Sales Enablement has been around for some time. However, it has only been a few years since companies across the world started to look more seriously into the matter. According to the annual CSO Insights report, in 2018 61% of organizations had a dedicated sales enablement program, person or function whereas in 2014, only 19,3% did.

What to do and what to avoid regarding:

1. Content Management

2. Training

3. Customer needs

4. Performance metrics

5. Collaboration

+1 bonus point!

Today, companies rely further on Sales Enablement and its various benefits to acquire a competitive edge. Whether it is by helping representatives address their prospects better, optimizing their content or streamlining the sales process every organization can gain in sales efficiency through Sales Enablement.

However, creating a successful Sales Enablement strategy requires some thought as well as context-specific actions. These Dos & Don’ts summarize some best practices that can be applied to boost your Sales Enablement efforts.

1. Content Management

As described in our Guide for Sales Enablement content management is a key point to address when building a strategy. It is therefore essential that both Sales and Marketing understand how content should evolve and why.

Do 👍

Define a content management strategy that takes into account both the needs of your Sales team and the brand vision of marketing.

Don’t 👎

Lose sight of collective goals and the need for collaboration between both teams. For example, if the content produced by marketing does not reflect the needs of the sales people, it will not be used. Similarly, if the content is used by the sales force without the marketing vision, the brand image will be harmed.

2. Training

Sales Enablement is a holistic approach to better the sales process, and this includes training for your sales representatives. To develop an efficient training program that will make your representatives productive long term, the process must be viewed as continuous rather than a one-time thing.

Do 👍

Offer continuous learning that can be scheduled into a routine and that focus on skills development. You can also try to diversify your training combining theory with practice.

Don’t 👎

Limit yourself to one-shot condensed training for new arrivals and avoid theory based only training.

3. Customer needs

The first step of any successful Sales Enablement strategy is to properly understand your customer’s needs. This might seem redundant, yet it is not uncommon for organizations to miss the mark. If you don’t properly assess your customer’s needs, the message you convey in your sales speech will certainly not echo in their mind.

Do 👍

Establish an environment that encourages ongoing evolution of buyer persona. This approach can be based on data as well as feedback and/or insight from your Sales team.

Don’t 👎

Fool yourself into believing customer needs cannot evolve drastically and rapidly. Our highly competitive environment is an answer to a more demanding and rapidly changing consumer society.

4. Performance metrics

Metrics are key to accurately assess and improve your Sales Enablement strategy. Since Sales Enablement implies collaboration between Sales and Marketing, it is only natural that said metrics are mutually understood and shared by both teams.

Do 👍

Define a clear set of metrics and common goals that make sense to both the Marketing and Sales team. Collaborate to understand what makes a difference in performance and how can each team most effectively contribute to the success of the Sales Enablement strategy.

Don’t 👎

Stop at establishing performance metrics without ensuring the follow up. It is key to keep both teams informed on their evolution so both teams are aware that their individual efforts have an impact on the collective performance.

5. Collaboration

As mentioned before in this article, Sales Enablement entails collaboration between Sales and Marketing. Aligning both teams and their efforts is essential to the success of any Sales Enablement strategy. However, a collaborative environment between two separate teams does not appear magically.

Do 👍

Commit to regularly scheduled meetings to ensure both teams are aligned in terms of needs and goals. These meetings can also be the perfect opportunity to share insights, feedback and inputs to improve the collective strategy.

Don’t 👎

Let the collaboration crumble as time goes by. Sales Enablement is an iterative process, and both teams should be as involved in improving the strategy as they were in creating it.

Bonus: Sales Enablement tools

If chosen wisely, a Sales Enablement tool can be a game changer for any organization. From creating and managing sales content to tracking lead generation and engagement, they can boost several aspects of the sales process. Unfortunately, they can also have a negative impact if they are not adapted to the organization, its structure and its needs.

Do 👍

Assess your organization before considering any type of technological implementation. Finding the key points where the sales process needs improvement will help guide the choice.

Don’t 👎

Decide on patchwork solutions to cover individual pain points without thinking about the overall impact. You should always keep change management and user adoption in mind before implementing a new tool.