If your company is thinking about adopting a sales enablement strategy, there are some crucial steps to help ensure the process is a successful companywide transformation—and not just a group of disjointed efforts that ultimately show little or no concrete improvements. While the specifics of every sales enablement campaign are going to differ from company to company, the following four-step outline for success applies across the board.
How to Achieve Transformative, Companywide Sales Enablement Process
Step 1: Build Sales Enablement from the Ground Up
If you aren’t thinking about sales enablement in a holistic, companywide manner, your chances of success are going to be greatly diminished. One of the most common missteps when implementing a sales enablement strategy is jumping into the process without the requisite forethought, planning, and strategizing. Many companies will initiate a series of moves, such as leadership workshops and product trainings, in an effort to start enhancing the productivity of their sales team. While there’s nothing specifically wrong with these individual initiatives, the problem is that they are inherently less effective when done outside of an overarching sales enablement strategy—a strategy that has specific goals that take into account how the entire company can contribute to enhanced sales efficacy.
For sales enablement to be truly transformative, it needs to be integrated throughout the company from day one. When that happens, a company’s leaders have a process that doesn’t just teach sales enablement but helps ensure those lessons are internalized and applied through lasting behavioral changes.
Step 2: Establish Buy-In and Shared Goals throughout the Company
Without buy-in, sales enablement can’t even get off the ground, which is why getting everyone on the same page is essential. Rather than having one particular stakeholder create a sales enablement plan that’s then disseminated throughout the company, the more effective strategy is for all divisions to meet and come to a consensus about the ultimate vision and goals of this new sales enablement program.
Having everyone’s input accomplishes two important goals. One, it increases the chance of buy-in since everyone’s voice is acknowledged and heard, and two, it helps ensure all your bases are covered. When you get the input and perspective of every group, you’re more likely to accurately identify all potential roadblocks, change metrics, and roles and responsibilities necessary to make your sales enablement plan successful.
A service-level agreement (often between marketing and sales) is an effective, easy way to solidify and clarify expectations throughout this process.
Step 3: Design and Create Your Sales Enablement Content and Tools
Once the correct mind-set is established and the strategy is in place, it’s time to actually create the collateral for your sales team.
Sales Enablement Playbooks
Many companies who have had success with sales enablement find that the “playbook” approach is effective. This is a way of easily and effectively packaging content.
While playbooks are becoming more common across sales enablement strategies, it’s imperative that these documents are detailed and specific to both geographic region and persona. Typically, every persona will have a dedicated playbook, and within that playbook will be the following:
- Core messaging for that persona.
- Potential areas of pushback.
- Common questions from this persona and the relevant answers.
Although a playbook should be specific to a persona, the content is still mapped to the buyer’s journey. That is, a playbook should provide all the necessary detail, guidance, and information for a persona at every stage of the buyer’s journey. This way, the sales rep need only use one playbook for one persona—from that initial awareness stage all the way through to the decision stage.
Every persona’s playbook should be incorporated into the sales enablement software program. This ensures all parties within the company have access to the information, and it’s a quick, easy way for reps to find what they need. Because content is mapped to both personas and the buyer’s journey, reps never have to wade through unwieldly lists of content or search endlessly for relevant documents. Ultimately, this means reps waste less valuable time that they could dedicate to core selling.
As more companies take advantage of strategic content within their sales enablement efforts, it’s important to find ways to stand out, which is why every playbook should incorporate client-facing video content. It’s the quickest, easiest way to build credibility and trust with a lead while disseminating information in an engaging, digestible form.
Benefits of a Sales Enablement Platform
Having your entire catalog of content and sales collateral in one platform offers a variety of benefits:
- Content is shareable—internally within the company and externally to potential clients.
- Content is quick and easy to access. This means clients get relevant information quicker, and reps spend less time digging and searching for a particular piece of content. (Remember, content must be intuitively organized according to persona and stage of the buyer’s journey.)
- The platform can integrate with your existing CRM system.
Step 4: Ensure You Have Adequate Sales Enablement Training
Sales enablement is a complex, multifaceted process, and many of the concepts are often new (or, at least, unfamiliar) to the majority of sales representatives. That’s why it’s essential to provide various forms of training. This can come in the form of workshops or in-person meetings, but you can also embed training and coaching videos directly into your sales enablement platform. Compared to in-person methods, video is a quick, easy, cost-effective way for sales reps to receive the information and training they need.
Say, for example, a sales rep has never dealt with a particularly persona. Before making contact, the rep can access the relevant videos outlining core messaging for that persona (including challenges, barriers to success, and so on). This quickly and easily gets the rep up to speed and ready to interact with the potential client in a way that convincingly and effectively speaks to that persona.
Video also allows reps to view the training as many times as necessary and to receive that training anywhere and anytime they have access to the content management system. Remember, training isn’t a one-off process. It’s ongoing, and training material (including videos) should be updated as personas change and any other relevant information shifts over time.
For more information about how to effectively implement a sales enablement process from the ground up, feel free to contact a representative of Brand Fuzion today!
Learn how to increase marketing and sales productivity by developing a predictable, growing sales pipeline through sales enablement.