Sales Enablement Best Practices-How Sales Enablement Benefits All Reps

Sales Enablement Best Practices-How Sales Enablement Benefits All Reps

Sales reps are constantly coming up against challenges and problems as they attempt to close deals and drive revenue. From wasting nearly a third of every day searching for or revising content to feeling frustrated at the lack of available content marketing training materials, sales reps have a lot to deal with in a day—and not a lot of time. If these problems sound familiar, know there’s a better way. By making an organized, strategic push toward sales enablement in your business, you can drastically reduce the problems your sales reps routinely battle and start to work toward better productivity and increased revenue.

Sales Enablement: Solving Real Problems for Sales Reps

Sales Enablement Starts In House

There is no single answer for what makes sales enablement effective. It’s about applying the general principles to find the solutions that address your specific problems. Therefore, one of your biggest assets is your group of successful sales reps.

These people are finding ways to genuinely connect with prospects, shorten the sales cycle, and close deals. If you’re thinking about building out a full sales enablement program, step one should be going to your top-performing reps and figuring out how they do what they do. One goal of sales enablement is to create a replicable, teachable system to all reps (new or otherwise), and your current performers possess much of that necessary knowledge base.

10 Benefits of Implementing a Sales Enablement Program


1. Increase Sales Rep Quota 

A best-in-class company is twice as likely to use a sales enablement program, and best-in-class companies enjoy 50 percent higher quota attainment than other companies.


2. Use Sales Reps Time More Efficiently

A sales rep’s time is extremely valuable, and any minute not spent on core selling is a minute not spent actively closing deals and increasing revenue. The average sales rep spends about 30 percent of the day looking for content or revising content to be more relevant to the prospect. No company can expect positive results and growth when nearly one-third of a sales rep’s day is needlessly spent.

Currently, on average about 65 percent of created content is never even used (37 percent is simply unusable or irrelevant, and 28 percent isn’t findable). Sales enablement can help with both these issues.

In terms of irrelevant content, sales enablement can implement the framework that gets your marketing team creating content that actually helps in the sales cycle. An estimated $2.3 million is lost in enterprise organizations due to underused or unused content. However, when your marketing team writes content that specifically addresses your company’s buyer personas at the different stages of the sales cycle, this drastically increases the likelihood that the content will actually be relevant and helpful to your sales reps. These processes limit the time (and money) spent working hard on content that will never be used.

Two, implementing an organized, intuitive content system, where sales reps can quickly and easily find what they need, will stem the tide of wasted time searching through file after file to find that one desired piece of content. Sales enablement, when done right, means your reps spend less time doing this kind of administrative work and more time selling.


3. Help Sales Reps Close Deals Faster

As more people have become involved in corporate buying decisions, the length of the sales cycle has increased exponentially. Creating hyper-targeted content that truly speaks to the buyer persona’s barriers and problems can quickly address those issues and efficiently lead that persona to the next stage. The faster your sales reps can close, the more deals (and money) they can generate.

Even if a rep has to deal with multiple personas in a particular deal, an organized, strategic content system will have whatever content is needed, and it will be quickly and easily at the rep’s fingertips.


4. Focus On the Digital Age

Sales enablement is largely based in selling in the digital age. It helps sales reps know how to be successful with the kinds of leads they encounter now, which do largely come through a company’s website.


5. Align the Sales Team and Marketing Team (and everyone else)

Proper alignment between marketing and sales is key to a successful sales enablement program. But it’s not just marketing and sales that need to be on the same page. Sales enablement should be treated as a business within a business, which effectively ensures all departments are working toward the same goal: doing everything possible to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the sales team in order to up revenue.


6. Assist in a Consultative Selling Approach

For a sales rep to be successful today, he or she needs to provide real value to the prospect. That means doing more than just answering a few surface-level questions about the company or product. It means taking a more consultative approach: learning about prospects and their challenges and finding creative solutions to address those. The more targeted and relevant the content, the more value it provides to the prospect. And when a prospect perceives a sales rep as truly valuable, it builds credibility and trust in that person, which leads to a better opportunity to close that deal.


7. Provide Helpful Training

Sales enablement is still relatively new, and many sales reps find themselves frustrated at the lack of helpful training material made available to them. Essentially, their companies tell them to sell in this new way, and then they don’t provide the road map to get them there. If a rep doesn’t know where to find content, doesn’t know how to talk to a specific prospect, or doesn’t understand that prospect’s core challenges going in to a conversation, there’s little chance the rep will build that requisite trust with the prospect.

A good training system, however, will inform the rep about the sales enablement processes, explain the reasoning behind those processes, and educate about how logistically to use the content system.

Good training will do more than just provide a tutorial on how to log in to a content system. It will explain the underpinning logic of the buyer’s journey and how content can play an effective role in the buying decision. It will also explain why the marketing team is creating content in a specific way. When sales reps see this whole picture, the processes make more sense, and there tends to be much greater buy-in and follow-through.

All this leads to more informed, more insightful sellers. Training can show reps how to deal with a variety of personas in a variety of situations—and still have success. These skills translate well to any subsequent selling position.


8. Provide Better Opportunities to Prospect Clients

When sales reps understand the whole picture, they can potentially go and find viable prospects through online channels, such as LinkedIn.


9. Experience Less Frustration

Not reaching a quota is stressful and frustrating for any sales rep. Nobody likes working hard every day only to see minimal results. When reps have this increased opportunity to reach and exceed quota, much of the frustration associated with the job can disappear.


10. Improve Selling—Across the Board

Sales enablement isn’t about teaching a rep to close a deal in one limited situation. It’s about how to have success in any given prospect interaction. Sales enablement helps reps understand the core messaging for a variety of buyer personas—no matter what stage of the buyer’s journey. They also learn how to qualify and deal with a number of objections. All this creates a more insightful, valuable sales rep, and an organized system ensures the content that rep needs is never more than a few clicks away.

For more information about how sales enablement can benefit every rep within a sales team, please feel free to contact a representative of Brand Fuzion today!

Learn how to increase marketing and sales productivity by developing a predictable, gowning sales pipeline through isales enablement.

What Marketers Need to Know about Sales Enablement

What Marketers Need to Know about Sales Enablement

More and more companies are recognizing the need to invest in sales enablement tools and practices, but there’s still a lot of confusion among marketing teams regarding how best to go about that. The following are some essential tips to help increase the efficiency and efficacy of your marketing team’s sales enablement efforts.


Why Marketers Must Understand Sales Enablement


1. Bridging the Gap between Marketing and Sales


Companies have heard it repeatedly over the  years: marketing and sales need to be aligned in order to be more effective. This has led to increasingly integrated teams, which is great. However, it’s not about simply generating a lot of leads. It’s about getting qualified leads—leads that are more likely to result in closed deals and increased revenue.

If you’re seeing increased lead gen but minimal client conversion, your problem most likely rests with misaligned goals. Yes, marketing and sales need to work more closely, but that’s not enough. Their goals needs to be explicitly similar. That is, they both need to be working toward getting qualified leads and seeing better sales conversion.

To accomplish this, keep the following pointers in mind:

  • A service-level agreement (SLA) between marketing and sales defines and makes explicit shared goals between the two groups.
  • Both marketing and sales should be held accountable for revenue generation.
  • To improve the quality of the generated content, both teams must quantify and track conversion at every stage. This identifies which specific pieces of content are working and which are not.
  • In general, companies are better about aligning their marketing and sales. To get ahead now, it’s about marketers working with sales teams to implement the right tools to help salespeople achieve their quotas.


2. Adapt to a Changed Sales Funnel


As time goes on, the sales funnel becomes less and less linear. Prospects don’t simply progress from interest to awareness to purchase. Instead, information gathering is increasingly crucial to the buyer in the purchasing decision.  Today’s sales team needs to be prepared to walk a prospect through this complex journey.

This means:

  • Content must be increasingly targeted to effectively persuade a buyer.
  • There is no longer a clear time to hand off a lead to sales, so more collaboration between marketing and sales is necessary throughout the buyer’s journey.
  • Content must be measured by conversion. This is a far more powerful metric than simple lead numbers.


3. Take Into Account Consensus Buying


In any given B2B sales decision today, twenty or more people can be involved in that buying team. As consensus buying becomes the norm, you must face the challenge of engaging all these personas. When the group goes offline to discuss and collaborate on this buying decision, neither sales nor marketing is directly involved at that point.

Your best weapon, therefore, is your content. Arm these key decision-makers with persuasive, relevant, targeted content that that is informative and proves your value. Every piece of content you provide should establish and build trust in your company, brand, or product and illustrate what sets you apart.

If, for example, you provide a generic case study that has nothing to do with the particular company you’re working with, when that team meets to finalize its buying decision, you haven’t provided anything of value to persuade that group. You haven’t established your competitive edge, your benefits, or your trustworthiness. And you’re minimizing the chance of that buying team coming back with a decision in your favor.


4. Time Is Your Biggest Asset—Don’t Waste It!


A staggering 30 percent of a salesperson’s time is consumed by looking for, creating, or customizing content for prospects. Salespeople today recognize the importance of good content when nurturing a lead, but they have to waste nearly a third of their time just to get that content into their hands.

To minimize this tremendous time sink, employ these two techniques:

  1. Have sales and marketing work together to identify what content is resonating with particular leads. Moving forward, use that data to weed out ineffective content and help create more content that speaks positively to your leads.
  2. Segment content based upon your buyer personas
  3. Create a content catalog that maps content to the buyers journey.
  4. Use a sales enablement platform (SEP).


5. Benefits of a Sales Enablement Platform


An SEP provides one place to put all your selling tools. This streamlines all sales enablement processes and allows marketers to get faster, more accurate feedback about the content provided to sales.

1. Integrate the SEP with analytics. Numbers don’t lie. Analytics immediately show what content is engaging and converting leads. A piece of content might seem extremely powerful, but if the analytics show it’s not effective, marketers need to be prepared to throw it out and learn from what is working. Analytics allow you to quantify a piece of content’s ROI, which shows you what types of content are financially worth your time and effort.

If a salesperson tweaks a piece of content, that’s great. But the changes need to be reflected and tracked within the SEP. That way, everyone can see if the changes improved the ROI. If it did, everyone can also learn how that improvement can be applied to other pieces of content to make them more effective.

An SEP facilitates this kind of insight and helps you eliminate the deadwood and use data-confirmed content as a model for future tools.

2. Carefully organize the SEP. A pervasive barrier to success continues to be marketing creating content that sales doesn’t use—either because it’s not relevant or because sales simply can’t find what they need. An average company spends 28 percent of its budget on content creation, yet 65 percent of content is never even used by sales. This is hugely wasteful and leads to the vicious cycle of marketers creating and creating content, while sales just keeps requesting more—because the content they’re getting isn’t accessible, easily found, or relevant.

Having everything centrally located in one SEP means sales has access to everything, and if that SEP is intuitively and effectively organized, sales can quickly and easily find the relevant content. For ease of access, pieces should be ranked based on what performs well for various selling opportunities (different customer sizes, industries, products, and so on). This way, high-performing content for a particular lead type will be readily at the fingertips of the sales team.

3. Ensure the SEP is for marketing and sales. Just because it’s called a sales enablement platform doesn’t mean it’s just for sales. This should be another aspect of sales enablement that both marketing and sales collaborate continuously on. It also highly facilitates closed-loop analysis. If either sales or marketing proposes a change to the SEP (or anything within the SEP), data can back up the suggestion and intelligently inform the decision-making process.

4. Make the SEP remotely accessible. Sales teams are increasingly spread across the country—even the globe. An effective SEP will be cloud based and mobile ready. This ensures team members, no matter where they are, can access and use the platform.

Sales enablement is a proven tactic. Companies that put an emphasis on sales and marketing alignment and sales enablement processes saw concrete results. Half the companies had at least a 10 percent increase in sales conversion, while 23 percent saw 20 percent of more. If you can identify your company’s best practices and make those practices repeatable, even new employees will be able to quickly and effectively hit the ground running. It requires collaboration, flexibility, and concentrated data analysis, but when that comes together, increased conversion (and revenue) often follow.

For more information about what marketing teams need to know about sales enablement, please feel free to contact a representative of Brand Fuzion today!

Learn how to increase marketing and sales productivity by developing a predictable, gowning sales pipeline through isales enablement.