By Kyle Crier
As a modern-day sales rep, there’s a good chance you hear the term “sales enablement” on a regular basis. You may even use it yourself. But what exactly is sales enablement? Do we really know what it means? And why the industry-wide ambiguity?
For one, there’s no central definition for this relatively new concept.
If you were to do a quick web search of the term, you’ll find plenty of outlets doing their best to concisely describe it:
“Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales organization with the information, content, and tools that help salespeople sell more effectively.” –Topo Blog
“Sales enablement is the technology, processes, and content that empower sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity.” –Hubspot
“[Sales enablement is] a strategic alignment of resources and actions to provide effective, efficient sales operations.” –Aberdeen
Those varying definitions floating throughout cyberspace all come down to this:
Sales enablement is a strategic approach that unites sales, marketing, and operations around the goal of providing all customer facing employees with the technology, information, resources, and services to enhance overall efficiency and effectiveness of the sales process.
So, what does that mean?
Basically, it’s a system designed to help sellers sell and buyers buy more effectively. Sales enablement has the capacity to improve sales tactics by aligning departments within your organizations. This helps to make transactional processes quicker on all sides, increasing sales productivity and revenue. Here are three simple ways sales teams can use it to their advantage.
Align Your (Sales) Objectives
Sales and marketing are like salt and pepper: they complement each other, and they both belong on the dinner table together, but too much of one can ruin a meal. Fortunately for us, proper coordination of these business condiments can bring about greatness.
According to a study conducted by Demand Metric, 41% of organizations report no sales and marketing alignment, meaning that marketing has no insight into which of their campaigns have the most impact on the company’s sales objectives.
This statistic may come as shocking to some. But many of us may see this in our own organizations. Both sales and marketing departments have large capacity for growth and easily become disorganized over time.
Ideally, one of the two should have structure. Then the other can conform accordingly. Sales enablement can help provide a solid foundation for sales objectives. It provides a good baseline to create a structure at which existing marketing campaigns can meet.
Sharpen Your Sales Team
A strong sales team is a force to be reckoned with. And strength comes about with sales enablement.
Teams equipped with the right resources will not only increase company sales but also improve the effectiveness of the sellers. Sales enablement effectually builds the gaps between departments within your organization. Everyone is ultimately working to sell the same product so why don’t we spend more time communicating the best way to do so? We can see the difference on performance when sales enablement is taken into account by looking at studies on sales trends.
This one by InsideSales.com found that European reps closed on average 13.2% more deals than their American peers. The difference between the two? European reps also spent on average 28.6% more budget on sales enhancing technology.
Other resources such as video content, case studies, white papers, FAQs, and fact sheets might be useful for your sales team while building credibility for your customer.
The proof is in the numbers, and these numbers don’t lie. Selling becomes more effective when sales enablement is in the picture.
Train More Effectively
New reps always go through sales training as part of their onboarding process. Unfortunately, training is often a long-winded process that is sometimes dangerously casual and freeform. Sales enablement solves this issue by providing the building blocks for trainers to abide by. Some of these “blocks” may include:
- Sales playbooks
- Gamification techniques for training
- Kill sheets
- Scenario training
- Buyer persona review
Sales enablement provides tools that align sales training with the organization goals. It makes training more effective for both the trainee and the trainer, creating more well rounded sales reps who are well versed in not just the sales cycle but also how it integrates with the specific culture and company. This is an important feat for sales teams to overcome.
Although the definition can be vague, sales enablement exists to make life easier for sales teams, marketing objectives, and the overall effectiveness of companies. Whether you’re looking to align departments, upgrade the sales team, or train the newcomers, sales enablement is the much-needed catalyst to doing it all. It’s a strategic move that will help improve sales on all ends and generate a high return on ROI. So consider the role sales enablement does or doesn’t play in your organization.
About the Author: Kyle Crier is an Account Manager at Badger Maps. Badger Maps is a sales route planner that helps field salespeople optimize their routes, manage customers efficiently, and close more deals. You can read more from Kyle on Badger’s blog and follow him and his team on Twitter @BadgerMap.
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