Sales enablement is in the spotlight.
More companies are embracing sales enablement strategies as a way to modernize, drive business or sales transformation and keep current with the customers and markets they serve. Sales enablement can be rocket fuel for revenue creation and skills development.
Yet as new businesses first dip their toes into sales enablement, it’s important to understand this wide-ranging concept and the pillars to successful sales enablement.
Showpad’s sales enablement definition is one of the best you’re going to find on the internet. Our knowledge of sales enablement is informed by our product, people and vision, and can help you build your own enablement program to drive success.
A simple sales enablement definition
Sales enablement is the process by which teams procure all the resources, data, intelligence, techniques, knowledge and content they need to effectively sell and engage clients across every stage and touchpoint of the sales cycle.
The point of sales enablement is to be proactive. The longer reps wait for updated collateral or focused coaching, the more likely they are to underperform.
If you can enable your sales team from the start with everything they need to sell, all they have to do is sell. That means handing them the tools and resources for personalization, automation and innovation — not sinking large amounts of time into manual tasks and other activities that don’t directly add value, foster long-term customer relationships or drive revenue.
A more expansive sales enablement definition
While the idea of sales enablement is easy to grasp on the surface, the concept runs much deeper. Sales enablement is a continuous mission-critical process by which sales organizations gather, share and maintain resources and collateral that drive deals and create a superior client experience.
Sales enablement is:
- Strategic: There’s no winging it in sales enablement. You must strategically identity, plan, forecast and deploy enablement initiatives to meet the needs of your sales force.
- Ongoing: You’re never really “done” with sales enablement. There is always something else or something new to do. New products are launched, new markets are entered, customer preferences change — each can be addressed with sales enablement.
- Consistent and systematic: A loose collection of policies is not enough to constitute a fully fleshed-out sales enablement program. You need to formalize sales enablement, whether that means standardizing and sharing top practices or tracking onboarding progression across new hires.
- Collaborative: By its very nature, sales enablement is a careful interplay between rep, manager, team, leader, marketing and other stakeholders. Enablement is the responsibility of each, and a collaborative environment breeds success and efficient, effective selling.
What are the steps to implementing a sales enablement strategy?
A sales enablement definition is all well and good — until you actually need to construct your sales enablement program and bring your vision to life.
Our simple seven-step process that you can use as a roadmap for developing an impactful and sustainable sales enablement program are as follows:
- Draft and ratify a sales enablement charter: Craft a business plan outlining the who, what, when, where and why of your enablement program. Then, disseminate it across your organization to generate buy-in.
- Develop an enablement cadence: Consider mixing up your enablement activities and interactions, including classroom training, self-directed learning and personalized coaching. Then, deploy those strategies with predictability to ensure reps are always ready to sell.
- Assess your sales team’s knowledge: Leverage quizzes, tests, surveys and role-playing scenarios to identify skills gaps and opportunities for improvement through appropriate coaching.
- Develop an ongoing communications plan: You can never have too much communication. Formalize a plan for ongoing collaboration and coordination within the sales team and with other departments, like marketing.
- Make content engaging and easy to find: Content is king. The less time reps spend searching for and personalizing content, the more time and resources they have to craft an engaging experience for buyers.
- Evaluate and streamline your enablement tech stack: A unified sales enablement platform — like Showpad — gives you everything in one solution: training, coaching, conversations, content solutions and more.
- Measure and optimize your enablement program: Sales is a dynamic industry, and so you should avoid letting your sales enablement program stagnate.
What are the benefits of sales enablement?
No sales enablement definition is complete without touching on the advantages that such strategies can provide.
With the right plan, your business can achieve results across the scope of your sales operation. Showpad data found clients were able to realize:
- 40% increase in cross-sells and upsells
- 17% increase in sales within one month of the program going live
- 60% reduction in onboarding ramp time
- 300% increase in content usage
- 30% time savings in admin tasks
There are also intangible benefits to a sales enablement strategy. For one, sales and marketing are more aligned within a structured enablement framework, with cross-departmental teams working hand-in-hand to seamlessly create, personalize, update and share content. Open lines of communication and collaboration between the two are the product of successful sales enablement.
Implement your sales enablement program with Showpad
In order to realize the ideal sales enablement definition in your operations, you’ll need to make good on that sixth step in our process of rolling out a program: streamline your tech stack.
Showpad is a unified sales enablement solution that can provide you with tools and capabilities across all functions of enablement. It has everything you need to elevate your training, coaching and content strategies to win more business and develop reps’ skills.