Nearly anyone who works with salespeople knows that time is their most crucial asset. The more time they can spend on core selling, the more productive they are going to be. On the other hand, the more time they have to waste on peripheral activities (searching for relevant case studies, updating records, and so on), the fewer hours they can devote to closing sales and increasing revenue.
Because sales reps are so incredibly busy, that is precisely why sales enablement is crucial to their success. Reps need organized, strategic content within an organized, strategic framework. This cuts down on busywork and wasted time, which is the quickest, easiest way to increased conversion and real return on investment (ROI).
To get the most value out of your sales enablement program, integrate these six tactics into your business approach.
Sales Enablement Program: 6 Ways to Be More Effective
1. Think of Content as More Than What You Provide the Clients
Yes, a huge part of sales enablement is content marketing and providing your sales reps with all the material they need when interacting with prospects.
However, too often sales reps don’t get the onboarding and training they need to effectively use all that content. If reps don’t fully understand what a buyer persona is or what the buyer’s journey entails, they can’t be expected to successfully use content that’s targeted to specific personas at specific points in the buying decision.
It’s crucial that training material (written and/or video) is embedded into any content catalog. Reps must be able to quickly and intuitively access this to learn about how to interact with a particular persona or learn about that persona’s specific challenges and barriers.
Without training, sales reps will simply not utilize all that content that was carefully crafted to push prospects through the sales funnel. With all those lost sales opportunities, your ROI suffers dramatically.
2. Avoid the Pitfall of Wasted Content
Wasted content is one of the biggest problems companies must learn to overcome. Sirius Decisions, Inc., found that 65 percent of created content isn’t even used (28 percent can’t be found, and 37 percent is unusable).
To have success with sales enablement and to see concrete benefits in terms of dollars and cents, you need to combat these two issues. After all, you certainly don’t want to spend time and money creating content that is either unfindable or unusable.
Your catalog of content must be intuitive, quick and easy to use, and organized. Remember, sales reps are always going to be short on time. They need a system that allows them to access the exact piece of content they need—with only a few clicks.
Especially when you’ve invested a lot of time into sales enablement and you have created a large database of content, organization becomes imperative. If a sales rep needs to address a specific issue a prospect is having, the rep can’t sort through hundreds of articles or case studies to find the relevant one. Rather, the database should be organized in such a way that the rep can search by relevant persona and stage of the buyer’s journey to find links to those relevant pieces of content.
3. Harness the Power of Microcontent
Good sales enablement strategy also means creating content that concisely and specifically addresses your prospects’ common problems, questions, and issues. Therefore, a lengthy ebook that’s thousand words isn’t necessarily helpful in the sales cycle—if the prospect’s question only relates to one small section of that post.
This is where microcontent can really help your sales reps. After you’ve accurately identified your target personas and the common questions and issues they face, you can create content that specifically answers those questions and addresses those concerns. These short, relevant pieces of microcontent can be linked within your content catalog, ensuring the sales rep can find them quickly and that the content itself effectively aids the sales process.
Microcontent drastically cuts down on the time reps have to spend altering existing content to be relevant to particular prospects. And again, the more time your reps can spend on core selling, the better off the entire company is financially.
4. Work toward Common Goals to See Increased Revenue
The goal of both sales and marketing should be to close deals and drive revenue. If there’s misalignment between your sales and marketing teams, and they’re working toward disparate goals, you’re wasting time and effort that could go toward increasing revenue. Think the problem isn’t that significant? A 2015 Hubspot survey found that this misalignment costs businesses about $1 trillion each year!
To combat this, ensure you have a good sales enablement system in place. It should contain the right content—both in terms of internal content for sales training purposes and external content for use when dealing with prospects. Also, the organizational system should be based on buyer personas and the different stages of the sales cycle.
All this, when done properly, can lead to improved quota attainment. Historically, quota attainment has been a big hurdle for companies. (In fact, about 54 percent of sales reps do not hit this number.) However, by implementing programs that make your reps more effective, quotas go up, and revenue follows.
5. Create a Framework That Increases Conversion Rates
If ROI is important to you, then your sales enablement efforts need to increase conversion within the sales funnel. (Increased conversion leads to more closed deals, which leads to more revenue.)
Especially since more and more people are involved in the buying decision today, the sales cycle has lengthened over time. Effective sales enablement can keep people moving through the sales cycle rather than stalling out. It can also make your company stand out when compared to competitors, which can also garner you more sales.
A huge key to this system working is making your content catalog easy to access and intuitive for your salespeople. Ideally, they could simply log in to a digital asset management tool that would gain them access to all the necessary files.
Organizing the system by persona and buyer’s journey means reps don’t have to dig and search for relevant content. Everything will already be linked within that sales enablement platform. This combats a huge problem for sales reps, which is the fact that 64 percent of any given day is spent on administrative duties.
When sales reps can access relevant, effective content with a few clicks—no searching or amending necessary—they can divert all their energy to core selling, and that’s when you start to see better conversion, quota attainment, and ROI.
6. Be Strategic with Your Sales Enablement Efforts
To be successful and effective with sales enablement, you need more than scattered ideas and various processes. You need a strategically created overarching framework. In short, you need a great sales enablement digital playbook. You must know who your buyer personas are, what stages they fall into within the buyer’s journey, and what content is effective to integrate into the sales process for a specific person at a specific point in the sales funnel.
If your framework integrates training content and content for prospecting as well as key messaging to emphasize when interacting with prospects, you have a significantly better chance at increasing the effectiveness and productivity of your sales reps, increasing your generated revenue, and increasing your return on anything invested in your sales enablement efforts.
For more information about tactics that could benefit your sales enablement plan, please feel free to reach out to a representative of Brand Fuzion, Inc., today!
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