To keep your business relevant and competitive, you need to move away from old sales tactics. These interruptive techniques will only hold back your company. Sales enablement, however, will help you and your sales people adapt to the new way people buy.
What exactly is sales enablement? It’s a multi-faceted term that refers to the tools, technologies, processes, and practices that empower sales teams and help them sell at a higher velocity.
To break it down, here are five factors you need to consider for success.
1. Sales and Marketing Alignment
Are your sales and marketing teams operating in silos?
To be successful, everyone needs to be on board with sales enablement. But aligning your sales and marketing teams (referred to as “smarketing”) isn’t always easy to do. When it comes to collaborating with marketers, your sales people might push back.
Make sure you communicate the value of combining these two departments. Marketers create relevant, high-quality content that your sales reps can use to sell. They’ll benefit from higher quality leads and a shorter sales cycle.
To make this union work, open and regular communication is crucial. Both teams should connect to share ideas, processes, and resources. As a result, your business will gain a competitive advantage and you’ll increase revenue.
Without a strategy, sales enablement is ineffective. You need a thorough strategy tailored to your company that outlines clear metrics and processes. Outline what success means to you—you simply can’t accomplish your goals if you haven’t set out a plan for what you hope to achieve.
To get started, assess where your company currently stands. Establish metrics so you can measure your success, including:
- Conversion Rates: These tell you how many prospects or customers have taken the desired action.
- Engagement: This tells you how people are interacting with your content (if they’re sharing, commenting, etc.).
- ROI: This important metric tells you how much you earn back over your initial investment.
3. Smart Content Creation
Today’s consumers are in control of the sales cycle. They want nothing less than to be interrupted by pushy sales people. Rather, they want answers to their questions and information that will add value to their lives.
That’s why smart content is crucial for successful sales enablement.High-quality content (that isn’t self-promotional) will help your sales people have more meaningful conversations and relationships with prospects.
To stay relevant and build credibility, you can’t just post a one-off blog and call it a day. You need to post high-quality content like e-books, case studies, infographics, videos, and blogs on a regular basis.
Plus, your sales people must be able to easily access this content. Their time should be spent selling—not searching for or writing content. Arm them with the case studies, testimonials, and other assets that will help them gain trust during the sales process and quickly close deals.
4. Sales Tools and Technology
The right sales enablement tools will streamline the sales process and allow your sales people to optimize their time.
By handling much of their tedious administrative work, the right customer relationship management (CRM) software will allow your sales people to shift their entire focus to selling. When they can focus on customer engagement rather than time-consuming manual work, the whole business will benefit.
Analytics are a major part of sales enablement. Make sure you have tools in place that provide detailed customer insights so your sales reps can see what’s working and measure their efforts.
5. Ongoing Sales Training and Coaching
Due to the ever-changing market, ongoing sales training and coaching are a key factor for sales enablement success. Learning shouldn’t stop after new reps are onboarded.
Your sales people need to stay on top of buyer behaviour as well as the latest selling techniques and trends. Training improves your sales people’s skills and confidence, which will, in turn, boost your overall sales.
Author bio: This is a guest blog post by Matthew Cook. Matthew is a serial entrepreneur and has over 20 years of sales and management experience in inbound sales and marketing and recruitment. As the founder of SalesHub, he helps companies generate leads, boost revenue, and adapt to the new way customers buy.