Sales Enablement 101
Today it might seem obvious that sales enablement is a critical business function, and for many organizations, the importance of a structured sales enablement team has only very recently gained traction. For those early in their journey toward better sales enablement, here’s a primer on what it means, where you should focus and how you can measure success.
What is Sales Enablement?
At its core, sales enablement is the strategic process of equipping sales reps with the skills, knowledge, and collateral they need to drive buyer interactions and sell more effectively. It’s an ongoing practice that puts sellers in your customers’ shoes and empowers them to be in control of buyer conversations. Truly effective sales enablement helps all sellers — not just top performers — become more efficient and better consultative partners.
Prepping Your Sales Team with the Right Training
Sales enablement should start with proper training surrounding the sales methodologies and processes, programs, demos, and any other important skills in which you want your reps to become experts.
Traditional training methods are tempting but reps sitting down for a full day (or days) of training is rarely effective. However, training for sales enablement is most effective when you provide learning materials in a simple format that each rep can review at their convenience. This is not only easier for sales leaders in that they can distribute important training as soon as it’s ready, but also for reps, who are more likely to study when they can do it on their own time. Digital, video and mobile content makes the learning easier to access and more enjoyable for your reps. Play up the competition and incentivize the training with online leaderboards, offering a prize for the final “winner.”
Arming Salespeople with the Right Content at the Right Time
Buyers have little time on their hands and can lose interest quickly, so content must be compelling and relevant. Content like case studies, white papers, webinars, and more can do a lot of the talking for salespeople and be quite effective in the process, as long as they are shared in a palatable way at the right time. Supplying buyers with relevant information shows you understand their needs and challenges. As a result, you’ll be positioned as a consultative partner and they’ll move forward in their journey.
Having a breadth of content available for salespeople takes collaboration from both marketing and sales enablement teams. The content should be updated regularly to properly reflect changes in your business, product or service, or target industries.
One of the most important elements of sales enablement is analyzing data, otherwise you won’t know if the efforts put into the strategy, training, and content creation are paying off. By measuring the success of specific pieces of content, marketing can regularly monitor how they are performing and make alterations and updates as needed. You can also track what content is being used the most, who is using it, and what customers have or have not seen it.
The success of your content may also depend on the knowledge and skills your reps have. Evaluate whether sellers are completing the training materials you’ve provided, as well as how well they score on quizzes and tests. Use this data to identify knowledge gaps amongst the team and inform your individual management of every seller.
With a combined effort, your sales enablement strategy can have a significant impact on the performance of the sales team and the success of your organization. The training, content, and analysis should happen continuously and in tandem to encourage ongoing learning and improvement.
Showpad’s sales enablement platform allows you to automate training and content processes, giving your salespeople more time to actually sell, and making them far more efficient. Contact us to learn more or request a demo.
Need help building your sales enablement blueprint? Download our sales enablement planning guide and learn critical steps to a successful sales enablement strategy.