Equipping your sales team with the proper knowledge, tools, and systems enables them to close deals faster and more efficiently. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Sales enablement lays the foundation for streamlining everything from sales to marketing. But you still need the proper support to enable your team to do their jobs with finesse.
You can’t rely on generic support programs. Your enablement strategies need to be tailored to meet your team’s needs. We’re here to help you identify what those needs are.
At the end of this guide, you’ll get a robust understanding of sales enablement strategies and how to choose one that fits your team. First, we need to learn the basics:
- What is sales enablement?
- Why every business should implement sales enablement.
- Core elements of sales enablement.
- Sales enablement strategies.
- Sales enablement tools
- Sales enablement vs. training and operations.
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is the application of sales optimization theories into practice. It helps unify every department relevant to the customer’s journey. That means creating sales, marketing, and operations support through resources, technologies, and systems.
Doing so allows departments to provide value at every customer journey stage. However, it’s not a one-and-done deal. It’s an ongoing process that needs to be dynamic as customer needs change over time. This makes enablement essential for every business.
Why Should Every Business Implement Sales Enablement
You Can Transition From Salesperson to Advisor
Transitioning from salesperson to advisor positions you as an expert rather than somebody trying to close a sale. Conversations become consultative rather than transactional.
Your sales reps become not only experts on your products or services but experts in your industry with the right resources. Such insight ultimately provides better value to customers wherever they are in your sales funnel.
You Get Updated on the Latest Sales Trends
The world of sales is constantly changing. Salespeople need to be good at understanding what customers truly need and provide those needs in whatever medium.
Sales enablement equips your salespeople with a system to consistently provide value whether you’re going for a cold email, phone call, video sales letter, or in-person sales campaign.
Your Business Can Grow Sustainably
The unfortunate truth is that more and more niches are becoming saturated. To keep up with the competition, businesses must ramp up sales and acquisition strategies.
Going aggressive might work out. However, we don’t want to speculate. Growing sustainably in saturated markets demands doing more with less.
We can do so by optimizing our sales processes through sales enablement to boost each salesperson’s efficiency and productivity toward dollar-productive tasks.
Fundamentals of Sales Enablement
Before getting into sales enablement strategies, we need to understand the fundamentals. Here are the core elements you need to learn about:
Leading Sales Enablement
Executives can provide quality support and resources to their sales team through the following:
- Shifting focus from sales to revenue enablement: Realigning focus from sales to revenue enhances productivity by setting deliverables or goal-setting.
- Enhancing Seller Experience: Sales enablement provides sellers with a better overall experience. It reduces obstacles required to close sales and combats burnout.
- Optimal Learning: Every salesperson learns differently. Leaders need to identify the best approach to learning at an individual level for each salesperson.
- Leveraging Tools for Productivity: Organizations must adopt new technology to streamline, optimize, and automate daily sales tasks.
Understanding buyer behavior helps you close deals consistently. Organizations that create a tailored approach around buyer behavior allow them to engage and position offerings effectively.
Sales leaders must build customer profiles that fit their unique criteria. Customer profiles can be categorized into four types: Traditionalist, fence-sitter, adventurer, and transformer organizations.
Traditionalists value stability. Fence-sitters lack direction and often look toward commercial insights to take action. Adventurers are risk-takers. And transformers embrace change.
Technology and tools are essential in any sales strategy. Organizations that integrate automation are more productive and streamlined.
With the right tools, sales leaders can provide faster recommendations, training, and coaching to their sales teams. AI can even help sales teams qualify leads faster through organic conversation.
Unmotivated salespeople often output lackluster results. Sales enablement provides the tools and resources necessary for any sales team to improve drive and reduce drag.
Drag is the feeling of demotivation. Think of things like boredom, heavy workloads, or avoiding tasks. To reduce drag and improve drive, sales leaders need to:
- Provide immediate and actionable feedback.
- Communicate effectively with their sales teams.
- Enable more avenues for collaborative sales strategizing.
- Improve development opportunities.
Like chains, a sales team is only as strong as its weakest link. That’s why skills development is essential for every sales team.
Sales leaders and executives must focus on developing skills by using tools and new technology, understanding data and analytics, and sense-making—the ability to help customers make a more confident purchasing decision.
Sales Enablement Strategies
Now that we know the core elements, here’s an in-depth look at the enablement strategies you can employ that can help bring out the best in your sales team:
Reporting and Data Analytics
Analyzing sales data is an integral part of any sales strategy. It helps you monitor campaigns, track relevant KPIs, and qualify leads more efficiently.
However, volumes of sales data can easily cause information overload. That’s why reporting needs to be standardized. Standards vary between organizations, but most include:
- Tasks done by your sales team.
- Demos booked.
- Deals won and lost.
- Lead acquisition progress.
- Goals achieved.
Once report standards are created, reviewing the sales process will be easier. Organizations can then make better decisions to improve the overall sales process, especially lead qualification.
With sales enablement, sales teams can create reporting standards for lead scoring. Your CRM can notify your sales team when prospects are qualified from any of your channels.
The best way to provide value to your audience is through high-quality content. Reps need quick access to this content to nurture leads down your pipeline further.
Consider auditing your content. Ensure that it’s accessible across all departments. Some of the content you need to audit includes the following:
- In-depth case studies.
- Downloadable content like whitepapers or eBooks.
- Pricing or discount information
- Topical map of your content.
Optimization should also extend to business-enabling content such as email templates, communication strategies, or sales playbooks.
As a rule of thumb, always personalize email templates for each prospect. Use automation tools to help you scale personalization.
Purchasing automation tools isn’t enough. Leaders must train their sales team to use these tools to enhance productivity. Resources must be ready and in-house training should be provided.
When a sales team is knowledgeable and experienced with new technology, organizations can scale faster and more sustainably without wasting precious time and resources.
You can automate everything from warm-ups that improve email deliverability to prospecting and lead qualification. For example, a chatbot can answer customer queries 24/7 and automatically guides them to the next step of the process.
Sales Enablement Software
Sales enablement software centralizes and streamlines all resources, tools, and content your sales team needs to do their tasks efficiently.
Both sales and marketing need enablement software to improve collaborations. Marketing and sales must have the same voice in the content they share with customers—that’s just business communication 101.
Different enablement software can help your team optimize a variety of tasks. For example, Instantly helps in automating cold email marketing campaigns.
You can automate email sequences and follow-ups and analyze data through an intuitive analytics dashboard. Instantly has also launched its Dealflow CRM, so you don’t have to use a third-party CRM to monitor and nurture prospects.
Sales Enablement Technologies
Sales technologies continue to improve. Organizations that fail to use these technologies efficiently risk being left in the dust.
Any technology that enables your sales team to improve the quality and convenience of their work is considered sales enablement technology. Here’s a look at the most popular types:
Sales Content Management
Content management tools enable your sales team to create, store, share, and manage content across all departments.
Choose a management system with built-in analytics and advanced search options. Such features help you create better content recommendations for your prospects and sales teams.
Use your management system with your CRM to personalize content for each prospect. Here are some examples of software you should consider:
- Bloomfire: This tool emphasizes knowledge engagement to empower salespeople through centralized information repositories.
- Seismic: If you want to automate the tone or voice of personalized content for buyer interaction, try Seismic.
- Uberflip: Uberflip provides a content hub for organizing curated content for your target audience.
Training and Coaching
There will always be a salesperson on your team that stands out from the rest. But relying solely on a few individuals won’t help your organization grow.
Every salesperson needs to be at the same baseline level. Training and coaching tools such as the following help with that:
- Ambition: This sales enablement tool gamifies training. It supports remote and in-person onboarding and skills development with various communication tools.
- MindTickle: MindTickle provides a mobile-friendly app your sales team can use for training reps and tracking progress.
- Tango: This app was made to help simplify documentation, training, and evaluation of sales reps. It offers intuitive features for providing guidelines and best practices.
Sales reps can consistently win deals using the proper tools to supplement training. To enhance the chances of these wins, sales teams also need the help of buyer engagement tools.
Sales teams need standardized systems for engaging prospects. To support these systems, you need the right buyer engagement tools.
Qualifying inbound sales leads or outbound prospects becomes streamlined with the right tools. These include CRMs, marketing platforms, and automated engagement tools such as:
- Instantly.ai: Sales team can automate entire marketing campaigns, lead nurturing, and email warm-ups that improve deliverability. Instantly has a dedicated CRM, so you don’t have to rely on third-party apps when tracking leads.
- Structurely: Structurely is a lead qualification platform that leverages AI to converse with leads, understand pain points, and qualify leads for sales reps to engage with.
- Social Media Platforms: Platforms like Facebook or Instagram are excellent tools to engage directly with your audience. Try implementing tactics like UGC and social proof.
Strategy and Planning
Sales teams rely on dynamic strategies and planning to edge out competitors. There should be a standardized plan for everything from what email sign-offs to use to growth strategies. The following tools help with that just:
- Balanced Scorecard: A balanced scorecard tracks your sales goals across several categories and departments that are balanced against one another. This helps your team visualize what tasks to focus on to help avoid conflicts within departments.
- Five Forces Model: The five forces model outlines strategic planning that centers around “critical forces” that impact your goals. These forces include buyers, suppliers, the threat of newcomers, the threat of substitution, and the threat of rivalry.
- SWOT Analysis: SWOT is a tried and tested strategy that allows organizations to identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It serves as a foundation for strategic planning.
Sales Enablement vs. Training
Sales enablement and training are two different entities. While enablement includes skills development training, it also branches into several other elements.
In other words, sales enablement allows for developing holistic sales strategies. Meanwhile, training is more focused on individual sales reps and how they can apply theory to practice.
Sales enablement provides organizations with the tools, knowledge, and systems required to improve the overall sales process. Multiple departments benefit from enablement strategies and unify efforts toward achieving sales goals. Remember the following best practices to make the most of your enablement strategies:
- The core elements of sales enablement include leading sales enablement, buyer behavior, automation, seller motivation, and skills development.
- You can use sales development strategies like reporting and analytics, content optimization, and automation.
- To support sales enablement, consider utilizing technologies and tools for content management, training and coaching, buyer engagement, and strategy and planning.
With the right strategies implemented, your organization can find, nurture, and convert leads more consistently. If you’re looking for the best sales enablement tool for buyer engagement, look no further than Instantly! Try it out for free today!