Successful sales enablement can have a huge impact on an organization. The goal is to increase conversion rates by providing real value to the customer. For this purpose, sales enablement services equip sales professionals with relevant insights for the sales process, helping them identify what they need to do next to increase the likelihood of closing the deal.
Here are the five components that sales enablement should include:
1. Training and Coaching
Training and coaching are essential for sales enablement to be effective. Through training, salespeople develop the necessary soft skills and learn what they need to know about to close more deals, from the products they are selling to the buying personas. After the first onboarding sessions, continuous learning through e-Learning or face-to-face sessions will keep employees engaged and competitive. On top of that, coaching provides employees with feedback and guidance to guaranty a steady improvement in their performance. Sales leaders need to keep an overview of their team’s projects and activities so that they can step in with the right coaching sessions at the right time – salespeople need coaching on deal closing when they are about to close a deal, not when their training plan says so. Annual training plans are passe. Coaching on demand is what makes sales teams and organizations thrive.
Sales content is a critical part of successful sales enablement. According to the principles of sales enablement, salespeople should deliver value in every interaction with the customer and to do so, they need to have the right content available at each step of the process. These pieces of content can include product sheets, case studies, messaging guides, email templates, blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, etc. The more classified content salespeople have at their disposal, the more prepared they’ll be to effectively approach the customer, build trust, and eventually close the deal.
There is a great number of tools with different functionalities in the market that aim to support the sales process: content management, communication, prospecting tools, CRM and sales management tools, coaching tools… the list goes on and on. Having the right technology in place will allow your sales team to work more effectively, shorten the sales cycle, and close more deals. But be careful: investing in new technology only makes sense if the implementation effort doesn’t exceed the outcome. Consider that a tool without training is useless. Only invest in tools that suit your processes and allow your team to be efficient without meaning any extra work for them.
Successful sales enablement begins with a strategy that brings all these components together and aligns them with the company’s vision and core message. You can have the best tools, give your salespeople regular coaching and training at the right time, and develop quality sales content in a row… all these initiatives won’t bear any fruits if you don’t have the right strategy in place. Developing a sales enablement strategy requires a clear understanding of your organization’s goals, buying persona, and sales team. Finding out where your salespeople struggle within your defined sales process will reveal the areas where they need more support, whether this support means training on a specific topic, a piece of content, or eventually a new tool.
A sound sales enablement strategy can’t be based on gut feeling. That is why you need metrics. Metrics are important to understand where your sales team needs more support, allowing you to provide the right training, content, and tools, or even make changes in the overall strategy if needed. Some key sales enablement metrics include win rate, average sales cycle length, average deal size, and sales productivity for the team as a whole and each salesperson individually. If you have the right tools in place, you can go further and keep track of the content that you send out – does your team use the content, do your customers read your emails and open the links – and the sales activities you work on – how many emails did you send before getting the first call, how many calls have you had before closing a deal. Start by looking at a broad variety of metrics and then concentrate on the few that show you what to improve.
Successful sales enablement equips sales teams with the knowledge, skills, content, and tools to excel in every step of the sales cycle. PDAgroup supports companies in the development and implementation of their strategies and offers training and coaching solutions to help sales teams boost performance. Furthermore, PDAgroup has teamed up with Membrain, a B2B sales enablement CRM that guides sales reps through the entire sales process. For more information on sales enablement, request our latest sales enablement whitepaper here and get in contact withBritta Lorenz.