What Is Sales Enablement? (Everything Sales Teams Need to Know)
Today, more than 60% of companies use sales enablement, leveraging the process to drive lead generation and nurturing efforts, as well as business growth.
Keep reading, because this post provides you with a complete guide to sales enablement. Learn the definition of sales enablement and how to create a competitive sales enablement plan for your business.
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What is sales enablement?
Sales enablement describes a process that provides sales departments with insightful and actionable data, as well as content and tools, that make it easier for sales teams to qualify and nurture leads, close sales, and grow their sales knowledge.
What does sales enablement look like?
For a better perspective of sales enablement, consider the following applications of sales enablement:
Curated resources for leads
Resources are a critical component of sales enablement.
If your sales team wants to nurture leads, you must provide the information they need. For example, your leads may have questions about how your product compares to a competitor or how your product helps with a company’s specific challenge.
A range of resources can help your sales team be a hero to your leads. A few examples include:
- Blog posts
- Email newsletters
- And more
Companies, however, need to create this content to take full advantage of sales enablement.
Depending on your business, your in-house marketing team may assist. Or, you may partner with a content marketing agency that can produce on-brand content for your sales team.
Training opportunities for sales
Ongoing learning is another component of sales enablement.
You want to ensure that your sales team can use every resource, tool, and piece of data provided by your sales enablement program. If they can’t, your business won’t see the results that you want from adopting sales enablement.
That’s why your company needs to devote time and resources to training opportunities.
Ensure that your sales team (from new hires to experienced team members) can use every resource, tool, and piece of data provided by your sales enablement program.
Onboarding programs for new hires, for example, should include hands-on training sessions. With these training opportunities, you can teach the latest members of your sales team how to qualify, nurture, and secure leads.
For the best results, your business should invest in ongoing learning opportunities for experienced team members. Maybe, for instance, select certain team members to attend conferences or online classes. Or, have your sales department host regular lunch-and-learns to share knowledge and strategies.
Scalable sales software for sales
Businesses that adopt sales enablement tend to use sales enablement software.
Sales enablement software tends to streamline the sales enablement process. It’s easier for your team to qualify, manage, and track leads, for example. Team members can also share and access data on-the-go, which helps when traveling to pitch and meet with leads.
If you use sales enablement software, it’s critical to choose the best software for your business.
While you want to set a budget, you don’t want to leave your company (or your sales team) with a cheap solution that doesn’t help. You want a fast, reliable program that offers the features and tools your sales team needs to drive results.
Otherwise, you’re wasting your money.
Trackable sales performance metrics for sales
Sales enablement also takes the form of tracking your sales team’s performance.
Your choice of sales enablement software plays a role here. Depending on your platform, your business may have the capabilities of tracking individual and departmental performance. This feature can help your company encourage the competitiveness of team members.
Use sales enablement software to host and track competitions, as well as monitor your team’s overall performance automatically.
For example, your business can host quarterly competitions. These competitions can encourage sales team members to secure more sales, like during your busy season, or generate more leads, like during your slow season.
Even if you don’t host competitions using your sales enablement software, you can use the platform’s tracking capabilities to monitor your performance. This data can help your company track growth, lead generation patterns, and more.
What is sales enablement software?
Sales enablement software provides users with a center for all your marketing and sales data and content. With sales enablement software, users can access essential resources, like content, faster and connect with leads sooner. MarketingCloudFX is an example of a sales enablement software.
With a sales enablement application like MarketingCloudFX, your business can:
- Track and manage your leads
- Discover and monitor companies looking at your website
- Investigate and track competitor traffic, market share, and more
- Analyze and assess content and its overall value
- Get data-backed insights for improving content
- Develop and implement automated lead nurturing strategies
- Personalize website experiences for current and potential clients
- Calculate marketing and advertising expenses, like cost-per-lead, automatically
Using MarketingCloudFX, your company can make your sales processes and sales enablement strategy stronger. Plus, you can power your strategies with data, thanks to the billions of data points housed and interpreted by MarketingCloudFX’s artificial intelligence program, IBM Watson.
Why does sales enablement matter?
For businesses today, sales enablement matters for a few reasons, including:
Sales enablement gives sales teams the means to grow
While sales enablement may help your business increase its revenue, it also helps your sales team grow professionally as well. With sales enablement, your company promotes information-sharing, compiles essential learning resources, and more.
Essentially, it becomes a knowledge hub for your sales team.
Sales enablement provides sales teams with the data to sell
In addition to helping your sales teams grow their knowledge and expertise, sales enablement also provides your sales department with valuable data. In an instant, your sales team can access essential lead data, which makes qualifying and nurturing leads easier and faster.
That’s because sales enablement removes repetitive and time-consuming sales tasks.
Sales enablement gives leads the information to sign
Besides benefiting your sales team, sales enablement also helps your leads. When you use sales enablement (and one of the best sales enablement tools), you can provide your leads with the content they want and need.
Whether it’s a guide, a blog post, or a video, you can use sales enablement to compile and store all your essential content. This feature saves your sales team time, plus makes a great first impression on your leads.
Sales enablement: Sales vs. marketing
When it comes to sales enablement, business leaders ask the same question, “Who owns it, sales or marketing?”
Before your company adopts any form of sales enablement, it’s essential to understand that both sales and marketing have ownership of sales enablement.
That means sales and marketing need to collaborate to make the most of sales enablement.
Both sales and marketing have ownership of sales enablement.
If not, your sales enablement efforts have a high chance of failing. When that happens, you look bad, and so do your marketing and sales teams. Not to mention, your business will likely see drops in its sales and leads.
Getting marketing and sales to work together, however, can have a tremendous impact on your company. A recent study discovered that companies with aligned sales and marketing teams generate leads that are almost 70% more likely to become clients.
How to create a sales enablement plan in 5 steps
Are you ready to start using sales enablement for your business?
Follow these five steps to create your sales enablement plan:
- Set your goals: Decide what your company wants to accomplish with sales enablement. Do you want to improve close rates, decrease employee turnover, or enhance sales knowledge? Whatever you want to do, decide what it is before you launch your sales enablement initiative.
- Outline your buyer and buyer’s journey: Refresh your team, as well as sales program, by outlining your buyer and buyer’s journey. Look at who your buyer is and how they progress through your buying funnel. Then, spot opportunities to make their path to conversion even easier.
- Build 10x content: Use your revamped buyer’s journey to find content opportunities. Is there a common question among buyers that a guide can answer? Or, are there top-of-the-funnel questions that your company’s blog could answer with content optimized for search?
- Create an ongoing learning program: Give your team the tools to grow by launching your learning program. Compile must-read online articles, audiobooks, and more. Or, create in-house initiatives, like lunch-and-learns to encourage experienced team members to share their knowledge.
- Monitor your progress: Move your sales enablement plan towards success by tracking and monitoring your progress. Check the performance of individual team members, as well as the close rates of leads that receive content.
With these five initial steps, your business can get started with sales enablement!
Takes your sales enablement efforts to the next level
Sales enablement offers your business an immense opportunity. You can build the expertise of your sales team (and their close rates), plus increase your revenue. With sales enablement software like MarketingCloudFX, you can make it even easier for your team to launch its sales enablement plan.