Are you looking to develop and deploy a sales enablement strategy for the first time? You’re certainly not alone, as all types of organizations and sales operations have gotten on trend with enablement programs. Perhaps you’ve done so already, but are looking for tips to solidify implementation and ensure execution toward goals.
Bottom line: A sales enablement strategy can drive more deals, grow reps’ skills, engage clients, align internal departments, generate revenue and so much more.
However, to realize these benefits, your company needs to have a built-out sales enablement strategy. There are many steps to this process, and each of them is as important as the other in ensuring you have a rock-solid foundation and framework for effective sales enablement.
We’ve gathered some best practices for rolling out your strategy, maintaining it and continuously improving it — as well as how technology plays a role.
Ask yourself questions
Whether you are creating a sales enablement program from scratch or fine-tuning your strategy, the process always begins with asking yourself some questions. Common queries you might want to ask include:
- Are sales and marketing working closely enough together?
- Are reps ramping up in the expected timeframe or taking longer?
- Are clients engaged and interacting with our content?
- Are buying experiences personalized enough to drive conversions?
- How efficient are reps at selling?
- Are reps stagnating in terms of personal/professional growth?
- Do we have the data to drive decision-making?
Even if you might not have a solid response for each, these answers will help you pinpoint the areas of focus when developing and implementing your sales enablement strategy. Whether that means focusing a little bit more on onboarding (if ramp time is a problem) or on inspiring collaboration between sales and marketing teams.
The roadmap to launching a sales enablement strategy
Showpad knows sales enablement and we know what it takes to construct a strategy. We’ve even put together a 7-step process in an ebook you can dig into — but for the sake of this article, let’s distill those stages of building a sales enablement strategy and consider some best practices at each touchpoint.
- Draft and ratify a sales enablement charter: Formalize the process from the start by writing down a plan that outlines the who, what, when, where and why of your enablement program. This document will be your guiding light and should be shared with everyone across your organization to raise awareness.
- Develop an enablement cadence: Sales enablement is all about being dynamic, so your efforts should reflect that. You should provide diverse enablement activities and opportunities, including classroom training, self-directed learning and personalized coaching. Consider periodic, scheduled sessions so reps know what to expect and when.
- Assess your sales team’s knowledge: Before you can grow their skills, you must first know your reps’ weaknesses. To get some insight into this, use quizzes, tests, surveys and role-playing scenarios to identify skills gaps. With that knowledge in hand, you can create coaching and training programs that lift your sales force and address individual enablement needs.
- Develop an ongoing communications plan: A lack of communication will doom your sales enablement strategy before it even has a chance. To avoid this, you must clearly and frequently communicate with sales teams and other stakeholders, like those in marketing or executive leadership.
- Make content engaging and easy to find: Content is king in sales interactions, and will reign for a long time to come. Ensure that your reps have easy access to content assets (e.g., one-pagers, case studies, testimonials, personalized pitch decks, etc.) so they can create superior buying and client relationship experiences.
- Evaluate and streamline your enablement tech stack: You’ll need a lot of software to deploy a comprehensive sales enablement strategy, unless you get all those tools in one solution, like Showpad. A tech stack consolidation and upgrade could give you everything: training, coaching, conversations, content solutions and more.
- Measure and optimize your enablement program: Continuously track and analyze data to keep your enablement program up to date and valuable. A platform like Showpad can give you deep data reporting and enablement intelligence.
Other things to think about
The above roadmap can help tremendously in rolling out a sales enablement strategy, but there will always be some type of issue and speedbump to get over. To help you troubleshoot before problems arise, take the following suggestions into consideration when building your strategy:
- Generate buy-in from the grassroots to the C-suite: You need total buy-in to achieve enablement success. Put your plan in front of everyone from individual reps to business leadership.
- Solicit ideas, feedback and reactions: Nothing will be right 100% right from the get-go. It will take iterations of your plan to craft the optimal program, and feedback from stakeholders will help guide you in the right direction.
- Consider using a business methodology: Changing management or business process management can be massively helpful in preparing your sales operation for implementation and then ongoing use of an enablement program.
- Track and measure implementation: You should be looking at metrics from the outset to measure enablement activity, like sales and marketing interactions or completion of training modules.
- Conduct a review of what went right and wrong: Assessing the entire rollout effort will help you correct any missteps, as well as standardize enablement best practices for the future.
Drive effective selling with Showpad
As we mention in step six of our roadmap, technology is a fundamental building block to a winning sales enablement strategy. That’s why Showpad gives you all the tools and capabilities you need to bring your sales enablement vision to life.