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Win over your salespeople with an effective sales enablement strategy

A carefully created sales enablement strategy can inspire and augment your salespeople to sell better and drive profits for your business.

Every organisation depends on their salespeople to drive sales and bring in profits. We know what makes a good salesperson, and we can hire the right people for the job—but that is only one part of the equation. 

Salespeople are fiercely competitive, and we all recognise that. Most of them are not satisfied with just meeting their quotas, they are often thinking about how they can exceed them instead. And while they have a responsibility to themselves to constantly refine their skill sets, businesses have a responsibility to enable them to perform at their best as well. 

To sell effectively, organisations need to equip their salespeople with the right tools and provide them with the support they need. In short, leaders need to ensure that they have a proper sales enablement strategy in place that not only supports their sales teams but inspires them.

Why sales enablement is a necessity

Sales enablement empowers salespeople to do their jobs effectively by instilling confidence and equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need to have more engaging interactions with potential customers.

Beyond just implementing sales performance solutions, it is also about formulating an effective bottom-up sales strategy that helps advance prospects through the sales pipeline, while keeping track of important leading and lagging indicators along the way. 

This is achieved by honing in on the customer's needs and preempting sales professionals with essential information to make a sale, such as the problems the clients face and how the product solves their problems.

Without adequate training and guidance, salespeople are likely to struggle to address the needs of the prospect and lose out on potential deals. 

A recent Salesforce survey reported that 73% of salespeople said their jobs have become more consultative and less transactional since the pandemic. The way that buyers evaluate and make purchase decisions has inevitably changed. 

Modern buyers have become more independent and research-focused, often armed with intelligent questions that can challenge even the most experienced salespeople. Buyers are demanding more value from the sales conversations and, in turn, salespeople need to better understand their products, the customer, and the business landscape. 

To do so, salespeople depend on their organisations to pool together information they have amassed over years of closing deals and synthesise that information into a sales strategy that can augment their customer acquisition strategy

Best practices for sales enablement

Sales enablement has traditionally been owned by both marketing and sales departments. However, businesses should not fall into the pitfall of siloing departments—a successful sales enablement strategy brings together all departments to create a seamless flow of knowledge that benefits all customer-facing teams. 

While sales enablement strategies can vary greatly depending on the industry and company size, there are several components that are universal. 

1. Start with the customer journey

Before starting development on any sales enablement strategy, it is vital to first map out the customer journey. Defining buyer personas and mapping out their lifecycle is important because it provides the necessary context for sellers to personalise their messaging from awareness all the way through to decision.

According to Gartner, B2B buyers today on average spend only 5% of their time with any one sales rep. This highlights the importance for sellers to get the messaging right based on the buyer’s position along the customer journey. Moving forward, the customer journey should be used to structure the sales enablement strategy and align sales processes.

2. Develop a comprehensive knowledge hub

Sellers are constantly bombarded with tricky questions from buyers about how the product can solve their problems, and they need to have the right answers to persuade effectively. As such, it is crucial for them to access the necessary information they need when they need it. 

Most organisations these days have an abundance of existing content that can be used to support sales conversations, such as proposals, blog posts, customer testimonials and whitepapers. But, it can be difficult for sales reps to find this information when it is fragmented across different cloud drives, email threads and productivity tools.

Consider reorganising all existing content to build up a sales knowledge hub that houses all relevant sales materials in one place. Break down the communication silos between sales and marketing departments so that salespeople are aware of upcoming content in the pipeline. 

This will not only benefit your existing sales teams, but will greatly ease the onboarding process for new salespersons in the future. 

3. Leverage technology to your advantage

These days, there are plenty of solutions out there that can benefit sales teams by leveraging automation. Here are some critical solutions that can help sellers succeed:

Customer relationship management software

Customer experience management tools that are essential for tracking customer data and identifying risks and opportunities along the buyer journey. Take things a step further by integrating CRM software with enablement tools for better visibility into sellers’ performances and individual KPIs.

Sales performance automation

Sales performance management solutions that help automate sales processes, improve operational efficiency, track KPIs and accurately forecast sales. 

Knowledge management solutions

As mentioned above, knowledge management can benefit salespersons by streamlining the search for relevant information. These solutions help organisations capture, distribute and effectively use their collective knowledge, saving sales teams precious time.

Conversation intelligence solutions

Call recorders and coaching solutions that leverage artificial intelligence to track keywords mentioned in sales conversations. These can identify coachable moments that can be used to train and refine soft skills used in sales.

4. Measure everything

As with everything in the business world, always keep track of progress towards goals. This is especially important in a sales enablement context, where there is a multitude of moving parts that span multiple departments. 

Here are some useful benchmarks for measuring the effectiveness of a sales enablement program:

  • Track the adoption of solutions that have been developed as part of the sales enablement strategy
  • Analyse which pieces of content or information lead to the most closed deals
  • Monitor overall deal sizes, win rates and sale cycle lengths
  • Evaluate employee ramp time and individual sales performances

An overview of what has worked or otherwise can be useful information in training future sales teams. 

The bottom line

Motivating sales teams to sell effectively has become mission-critical during this time of economic recovery. When done right, sales enablement breaks down organisational silos and empowers sales teams to drive revenue. By increasing collaboration, refining the training process and unlocking insights that lead to better business decisions, a successful sales enablement strategy will instil confidence in salespeople and motivate them to close deals. 

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