What Is Sales Enablement And How Does It Work?

by | Sep 29, 2021

What do you think it takes to close a deal? Is it good selling skills, a positive attitude, or just luck? Or something else?

Yeah, those are a few attributes of successful sales reps and GTM teams. But it doesn’t mean you become overdependent on these characteristics. Sales reps need vital information that will help sell their product or service to its maximum potential. This calls for sales enablement, which has been proven to help sales reps attain the tools necessary to sell their products and services.

What Is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is the strategic and ongoing process of providing your various business teams with the necessary information, training, and resources to close deals.

In simpler terms, sales enablement is providing the best materials to succeed. As great as professional athletes like Michael Jordan or Tom Brady are, they were better able to perform with upgraded equipment, footwear, and training facilities. This same concept can be applied towards sales enablement; if our business teams consistently receive sales enablement tools, sales growth will expedite.

Also Read: Best Revenue Forecasting Models

Importance Of Sales Enablement

Statistics say 76% of organizations experience about 6-20% growth in their sales as a result of sales enablement. Also, organizations with sales enablement achieve a 49% win rate on their forecasted deals, compared to 42.5% for businesses without it.

The importance of sales enablement falls in the reiterated concept that salespeople are more likely to succeed in closing deals if they have the necessary tools, knowledge, practice, and resources. The benefits that can occur from using a sales enable strategy includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Preparation:

    Having your business team prepared is a key component of the sales enablement process. This includes all facets in which companies train their employees. Some of these strategies include onboarding, coaching, and module-based training. This sales enablement strategy covers everything sales reps and leaders need to know, such as product knowledge and messaging.

  • Communication:

  • It is not just employees that work in the background that need sales enablement tools; other team members such as sales engineers and customer success will also need vital information to communicate with buyers. The most important tools those team members will need are important product knowledge and go-to dialogue.

  • Insights:

  • When your business attains sales enablement tools, it reveals your business’s true sales potential. The results of understanding this potential output are various marketing insights. This is because now we have the necessary information needed to know what exactly causes deals to accelerate and what causes them to slow. This is important because it creates a roadmap for how to improve your sales process.

Also Read: How To Forecast Sales?

Important Components Of Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is necessary for the success of any sales and revenue organization. But it must have some essential components. Here are the important sales enablement components. 

  • A complete plan for learning and coaching
  • Up to date content
  • The right tools and technology
  • Strategic initiatives aligned to business goals
  • Reporting and analysis
  • Putting the right leader in charge
  • Define Roles and Responsibilities
  • Regulate operating processes and maintain check-ins
  • Sales performance metrics

  1. A complete plan for learning and coaching
  2. To implement a sales enablement strategy effectively in your GTM organization you will need a robust learning and coaching process. This requires creating an outline for the onboarding of sales reps that focuses on continuous learning.

    By integrating a learning plan, your sales reps will develop the right soft skills and learn what’s needed to close a deal. They’ll understand your products, target markets, and buyer personas in detail.

    But after the onboarding process the coaching plan is not done; your sales reps require regular learning sessions. This is done either through face-to-face meetings, videos, or online modules to sharpen their business acumen and remain competitive. Other than that, sales coaching provides sales reps with continuous feedback and the right guidance to show stellar performance.

    As a sales leader, you will need to monitor your team’s activities and jump in when necessary with the required coaching sessions. Your sales reps need coaching while closing a deal, not just when their learning calendar says so. Annual training programs are a thing of the past; need-based coaching will make your sales teams more successful.

    Also Read: How To Build A Go To Market Strategy?

  3. Up to date content
  4. Content is an important part of a successful sales enablement strategy. That’s because sales reps must provide value at each step of their interaction with customers, and for that, they must be armed with the best content. In addition, such content must be easily accessible to them.

    Content usually includes customized email templates, product description sheets, whitepapers, blog posts, and customer success stories. The more relevant and up-to-date content accessible to sales reps, the more confident and prepared they’ll be in dealing with their clients and prospects, build trust and relationships, and close deals.

  5. The right tools and technology
  6. Though it’s possible to achieve desired results from a sales enablement strategy without using any tools, we’ll not advise it. That’s because there are a wealth of tools available that can change the game for your sales reps, without wasting their valuable time.

    The market is flooded with thousands of such tools and technology platforms that boast to support your sales processes. Few examples are CRM tools, sales management tools, coaching tools, collaboration tools, and so on. Each tool offers different features and functionalities, and not every tool is meant for everyone.

    Choosing the right technology will help your sales reps close more deals by working efficiently and reducing the sales cycle. Invest in tools that suit your sales process, and reduce the burden of your sales reps instead of increasing their workload.

  7. Strategic initiatives aligned to business goals
  8. A successful sales enablement strategy must be aligned with your organization’s vision and goals. You may have the best of coaching, content, and tools, but nothing will matter if your strategy isn’t aligned with your business goals.

    For that, you’ll need to devise a well-thought-out strategy that includes key initiatives you need to take. You must take into account the unique attributes of your sales team and buyer personas. Just to give you an example, if you know at what stage of the sales process your sales reps struggle the most, it’ll help you provide the right coaching, or prepare the right content, or provide the right tool.

    So, make sure you have real and meaningful talks with your sales reps to identify areas where they need the most support. You can also prepare a complete sales playbook document that covers everything your sales reps need, as a part of your sales enablement strategy.

  9. Reporting and analysis
  10. The current business world is driven by data. However, it is important to filter out what data is most relevant to avoid overwhelming sales reps. Some ways of getting the most out of data with sales enablement solutions include both a standard reporting system and identifying qualifying leads.

    With a standard reporting system, your business will be able to easily understand the most important sales information. These metrics include leads generated or converted, pending actions from sales reps, and deals won or lost. This standardized reporting system allows companies to analyze weaknesses in the sales process that should be addressed by team leaders.

    Businesses are often going to attract leads that would hurt the business more than help. To make the sales process easier, sales enablement tools will help determine qualifying leads or find leads suited to make business decisions with. Companies will implement a scoring system to determine how certain leads match up against others. Additionally, those businesses with CRM can discover the best fit leads immediately.

  11. Put the right leader in charge
  12. One of the most important parts of sales enablement companies is who’s in charge of the sales enablement process. A stronger leader should be able to do the following:

    Be able to pivot. To implement a sales enablement framework there must be communication between team members, and a leader should serve as a middle-man in this process.

    Communicate! Leaders of any team must be able to deliver information to other team members clearly, and leaders of a sales enablement process must be able to additionally communicate with other employees in the company.

    Think like a sales rep. Authenticity is important in a sales process, so leaders must be able to understand the day-to-day life, interactions, and tools of sales leaders.

  13. Define roles & responsibilities
  14. Yes, implementing sales enablement is in fact done in a team. Therefore, certain team roles are necessary to carry out this process. The Chief Enablement Officer manages the sales enablement strategies other members of the team are using. Along with the CEO is the VP of Sales Enablement, who assists in overseeing the sales enablement strategy with the CEO. The Director of Sales Enablement is responsible for turning these strategies into actual programs. 

    The Sales Enablement Manager takes these programs developed by the Director of Sales Enablement and delivers them to the field. 

    The Instructional Designer cultivates the onboarding and training courses for sales representatives. The Content Specialist discovers the most beneficial sales enablement tools to use. Finally, the Sales Coach helps sales representatives reach their maximum performance potential. All of these positions are covered in an effective sales enablement strategy. The roles should be picked based on the characteristics that a leader in a sales enablement company should possess.

  15. Regular operating processes & check-ins
  16. For a sales enablement strategy to succeed, there must be communication about feedback between marketing and sales teams. 

    Sales teams must continuously provide insights on leads and customers that would be beneficial to the marketing team. The marketing team must constantly update content that would be useful in helping address concerns in the sales process.

  17. Sales performance metrics
  18. Finally, a sales enablement strategy is incomplete without metrics. 

    Well-defined sales performance metrics help you identify where your sales reps need the most help – coaching, tools, or content. Metrics also enable you to completely overhaul your existing strategy, just in case it doesn’t work out. A few examples of sales metrics include average deals size, win rate, sales productivity of reps/team, and average length of sales cycle. Metrics are useful to track and analyze how well your sales business is doing and to know what’s working well for you and whatnot.

Also Read: Importance of Sales Pipeline Management

How To Choose The Right Sales Enablement Software?

The right sales enablement software must be correctly chosen for your business dependent on the solutions it provides. The best way to do this is to assess such software’s:

  • Content Management
  • Content Creation
  • Customer Engagement
  • Presentation Management
  • Sales Onboarding/Training/Coaching
  • Sales Communication

Sales Enablement Services And Solutions

Sales enablement is a rather new discipline adopted by software as a service (SaaS) and enterprise-sized businesses, but the goal of these companies is to implement sales enablement as a package. 

To productize sales enablement, agencies must identify the best types of sales enablement tools and determine if these tools are one-time or recurring and should be sold as a product or on a retainer basis.

Sales Enablement Frameworks

A sales enablement framework consists of five pillars that cover each of the goals of a sales enablement strategy. The first one is the upgrading of technology or resources (often CRMs), which would boost the orchestration of sales. The second one is developing quality content, which helps the communication amongst marketing and sales. The third one is managing talent, which covers the idea of onboarding/coaching/evaluating employees. The fourth pillar is prioritizing customer satisfaction, which would optimize the buyer’s journey. The final pillar of the sales enablement framework is having ongoing process efficiencies, which tackles the concern of team collaboration.

Who Owns Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is often owned jointly by your marketing and sales teams. These two teams must be able to collaborate for the sales enablement process to run smoothly. Marketing is responsible for both providing information as well as creating content for the sales team. Then, the sales team must put this sales enablement strategy into action. During this process, sales can communicate with marketing what content or materials they may need to share with leads throughout the buyer’s journey.

Also Read: How Does Conversational AI Work?

What Do Sales Enablement Teams Do All Day?

It may already be evident that sales enablement companies have plenty of work on their hands. These tasks and responsibilities that are distributed amongst the sales enablement team members include:

  • Onboarding and coaching programs
  • Creation of sales team assets and content
  • Integration of the coaching strategy
  • Sales communication
  • Communication amongst marketing and sales teams
  • Management of best sales enablement tools and processes
  • Reports on the effectiveness of sales enablement services and performance

A strong sales enablement strategy is the key to sales success and maximizing potential. While keeping in mind these takeaways, companies should expect to see impressive win rates on their forecasted deals.

Aviso’s sales enablement platform is what leaves our customers elated with their sales growth. Our AI specializes in providing managers with sales rep performance insights such as sales efficiency, CRM hygiene, and relationship grades. Our Digital WarRooms help managers understand sales rep’s strengths and weaknesses to provide individualized coaching instructions.

Learn more about Aviso’s AI-Guided sales coaching model or contact us today to see how we can help you and your team drive sales readiness.

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