Sales Enablement can be defined as 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.T oday’s environment is extremely competitive and customers are highly demanding so actively seeking sales excellence has become a survival skill. Sales Enablement has positive impacts in different domains such as sales efficiency, up-sell, cross-sell, customer success, or Marketing and Sales alignment for example.
So, if Sales Enablement is here to stay, how will it grow in the upcoming years ? In this article we will list 5 trends in the Sales Enablement area that will certainly drive its progress in 2022.
1. AI-enabled Analytics
Leveraging Analytics effectively is an essential part of Sales Enablement. Today enhancing analytics capabilities with AI is considered a nice-to-have. However, as the growth of Sales Enablement continues, such technologies will become a critical business need. In other words, analytics as well as AI will constitute a prerequisite for enabling sales processes and conversations.
Machine learning and AI powered analytics will drastically shorten the customer conversion cycle, and progress in this area is already happening. AI is also able to power a company’s messaging strategy to help build momentum, create up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. This type of capabilities encourage alignment and feed a full-circle sales process.
2. The growth of video
The video format was already growing, but it has definitely taken a leap in B2B since the beginning of the pandemic. Unique content that makes a brand stand out is a must nowadays. For example, you can often see across LinkedIn or YouTube short videos discussing professional topics. Video is an excellent way to deliver content that is relevant to customers and prospects. Moreover, the latter are more likely to engage with video on social media, so it is a win-win situation.
In addition, it is not uncommon to see experts developing content to talk about their expertise and become an ambassador for their organization. With the pandemic and the limited opportunities for face-to-face meetings, video is also a channel for Sales to reach their potential buyer. The versatility of this format enables companies to create content that will make a lasting impression and this trend will only keep increasing in the upcoming year.
3. The rise of hybrid events
As mentioned above, the pandemic had an impact on meeting face to face, and this includes company events. In this context, B2B marketers had to switch from life to online events. In the past two years, they figured their way through it and found a way to make this type of event the new normal. And, while online events undeniably have their benefits, live events will always be key for engagement.
Today, it is all about getting the best of both worlds with hybrid events. This means the event will provide both an in-person and online experience and leave it up to the visitors to choose. In a time where “to travel or not to travel” is a business dilemma, giving potential attendees a choice can only benefit an event’s overall attendance rate.
Social media holds an important role in today’s B2B business. Social media marketers work with different tools that provide detailed data, assertive insights, and automate processes. By having a strong presence on social media, companies can boost their visibility and reinforce their brand.
A very good example of this type of tool is Sales Navigator, the premium product distributed by LinkedIn. Sales Navigator is a lead generation tool that can be used to perform extensive searches and create your personalized lead database. Moreover, the app also allows you to send 20 InMail messages a month so it is also a channel to directly reach leads. In other words, it enables reaching the right person at the right time.
5. The way to Growth Enablement
Today, Enablement is frequently taught from a sales, pre-sales, and sometimes marketing point of view. However, it is becoming more and more important to expand enablement to other departments involved in the customer’s lifecycle.
Selling is happening in Sales, but not exclusively. For example, up-sell or cross-sell can happen in customer success or be induced by account-based marketing. In this context, those teams also need to be enabled to grow the customer’s loyalty and guarantee a longer life cycle. However, these teams are not enabled in the same way sales teams are. This is why experts are beginning to go beyond Sales Enablement and broadening enablement to every function that is involved in driving growth.