6 Tactics to Get the Most Out of Your Sales Enablement Program

6 Tactics to Get the Most Out of Your Sales Enablement Program

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!

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

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.

Sales Enablement Content Mapping Best Practices

Sales Enablement Content Mapping Best Practices

Sales Enablement content mapping is a pivotal step in the implementation of any sales enablement plan. It allows you to chart the organization of your content and create a more strategic plan for how you’re going to implement content into your selling process. Many companies have content at their disposal—in some cases, a lot of content—but it’s simply not being used effectively. Content mapping is a way to more strategically and thoughtfully organize, use, and analyze that content.


Sales Enablement Content Mapping : What It Is and Why It Matters

 What Is Content Mapping?

Sales Enablement content mapping is essentially a way to organize and categorize your content. Because every company has different types and volumes of content and different organizational structures, the specifics of what that content mapping entails are going to vary from company to company.

Most often, though, it’s as simple as a spreadsheet that organizes content by different factors (content publisher, content type, content description, targeted buyer persona, and so on). This aims to ensure that anyone who needs the content, specifically salespeople, can easily and intuitively find it.


The Steps Involved with Effective Content Mapping


1.  Identify the stakeholders.

The first step is to ascertain who’s going to be doing what with these various pieces of content. You’ll want to identify not only who creates the content but who publishes it and analyzes it after the fact. Determine who these people are as well as their roles in the system.

In a large company, there might be many people who deal with any given type of content. However, it’s best to have one publisher for each of these categories. That person can then manage the process and communicate directly to sales representatives. 


2.  Map the content.

Once you’ve identified stakeholders, it’s time to actually think about what content needs to be captured within this system. At this stage, it’s important to remember to be focused. Dedicate your time and energy to what’s most important for your salespeople rather than anything and everything content-related that a seller might need.

Time is a limited commodity for your salespeople, and they simply can’t sift through a burdensome amount of content. If, for example, you provide a salesperson with all your case studies rather than one or two highly specific case studies that apply to his or her selling situation, you’re just inundating that salesperson with content. If your system doesn’t provide precise information, you haven’t developed an organized, strategic plan of attack.

Remember also that the improvement process in this Sales Enablement content mapping stage is never complete. It’s always evolving and changing as your company evolves and changes, so waiting until the system is “perfect” or “done” is only going to delay the launch. Never lose sight of your number one job: making your map organized, easy to understand, intuitive, straightforward, and effective for your salespeople.

A content map, which will ultimately look different for every company, should include some or all of the following information:

  • Content type.
  • Publisher (including the one point of contact within a team or division who will manage this content type).
  • A brief description of the content.
  • Targeted buyer persona.

Limit the top-level content types to eight to twelve categories. For example, a content map could include:

  • Case studies.
  • Product marketing.
  • Demo material.
  • Sales training.
  • Sales tools.
  • Lead generation.
  • Competitor information.
  • Industry news.
  • Prospecting (including e-mail templates, social media prospecting, etc.).

Note, these categories should be broad. If they are overly specific, your Sales Enablement content mapping will quickly become unruly, confusing, and ineffective. When developing these topics, have your most universal selling situations in mind. Get your content right for these common, repeatable situations before organizing and dealing with niche sales, sales in specific regions, and so on.

These categories should always be obvious and unambiguous. The last thing you want is a salesperson having to guess where content might be stored or any other employee guessing what category to file something under.

That single point of contact for a content type is also crucial. Even if an entire team or department handles that content type, having one person as the lead minimizes confusion and facilitates problem solving. 


3. Consider the buyer’s journey with Sales Enablement content mapping.

As is the case with every step in this process, the buyer’s journey is going to look different for every company—and it could even vary for different selling transactions within that company. With that in mind, the steps of the buyer’s journey are not set in stone. They are always approximations of the stages people typically go through when making a purchasing decision, but they are certainly an effective starting point.

While the buyer’s journey is crucial to creating the right kind of content, it is not the ideal way to organize that content. A case study, for example, could be requested at any stage in the buying process. Therefore, trying to organize your content around a given stage will only lead to confusion, since case studies are equally plausible in the lead stage and the negotiation stage. 

Create plans for common selling scenarios within your company, varying content according to key differentiators, such as product, region, and customer type. (After all, somebody expanding the account of an existing customer is necessarily going to need different content than a salesperson dealing with a customer who’s never even heard of your company.) Limit yourself to no more than seven crucial pieces of content that salesperson would need in that situation. Create these plans for the various stages of the buyer’s journey and then create a generalized plan (for any deal at any stage) from that information.  

This is by no means a static process. Start simple and refine as you go, examining what is and isn’t working and adjusting accordingly. If you wait for the system to be perfect, you’ll never even get it off the ground.


4. Integrate existing resources with the new solution.

If you’ve invested in content marketing at all, chances are you already have existing resources. For example, you probably have a content catalog where this content is stored. To effectively implement sales enablement solutions, your existing resources will need to integrate with your new changes.

This integration includes the CRM you’re using to track sales opportunities as well as tools that enhance selling, such as web conferencing to facilitate demonstrating the product or answering questions in real time.

If all you have to facilitate your sales enablement efforts is a slew of content, you’ve probably already discovered just how little help disorganized content can be. By changing how you organize (or map) your content, however, you can ensure your content is findable, usable, and effective in closing more deals and generating more revenue.

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

Sales Enablement Needs to Be Managed As A Business Within a Business

Sales Enablement Needs to Be Managed As A Business Within a Business

Sales enablement continues to be a growing, evolving industry, and with those changes comes a level of uncertainty about how best to implement sales enablement solutions. From enterprise companies to middle-market firms to startups, alignment between departments is consistently an issue—as is overall organization and communication—making the implementation of sales enablement problematic. Obviously, companies want to increase the productivity of their sales teams and consequently increase revenue, but in today’s competitive business landscape it’s becoming more difficult to reach their sales goals. Treating sales enablement as a business within your business is one crucial step toward that goal.

How to Implement Sales Enablement as a Business within a Business

The Sales Enablement Society

Although the best practices of sales enablement historically have been difficult to define, the establishment of the Sales Enablement Society has done much to bring together various sales enablement practitioners and formalize the strategic processes and goals of sales enablement.

In order to make sales managers and representatives more productive and give them the ability to increase sales productivity, the Sales Enablement Society promotes this business within a business model. So, what exactly does that look like?


Establish a Central Location for Sales Enablement Programs

It’s not enough for a company to simply say it is dedicated and committed to sales enablement. The people running the enablement efforts for sales need to approach their processes, strategy, and implementation like any business. This ensure there is a centralized, defined department to handle these issues, and it identifies points of contact to deal with the enabling sales within a company.

Often, departments don’t know what sales needs to be effective. Other departments can even inadvertently work against the efforts of sales. By operating like a business, there’s a central place to identify, tackle, and solve these organizational miscommunications and issues. 


Alignment between Sales and Marketing and Other Department

Sales enablement is an incredibly effective way to bridge any existing gap between marketing and sales and ultimately make both teams more effective. However, a truly effective sales enablement program isn’t exclusive to marketing and sales divisions. It’s a whole-company approach.

For example, Human Resources needs to be involved because they’re crucial to hiring the actual sales representatives. If HR doesn’t know what to look for in a sales rep, they could hire people who will allow these enablement processes to fall by the wayside. Similarly, IT needs to be involved. They install and integrate many enablement tools for sales, such as your CRM, marketing automation functions, content catalogs, and more.


Three Steps to Implementing Sales Enablement


1. Identify internal stakeholders.

The first step is defining your internal customers, which will usually predominantly be the sales force. Just like any business, you have to understand your customers for success, so you must identify, define, and seek to understand the needs and barriers to success of the customers your sales  force is looking to help.


2. Identify business needs—and how sales enablement can address those needs.

For a sales enablement program to be effective, the company must first understand their overarching goals and then determine how enabling sales  can help facilitate those goals. Sales enablement goals must always align with overall company goals, which means specific enablement processes are going to be different for every company. This is part of why sales enablement is hard to pin down. The framework can be similar, but the specifics and the sales ennoblement playbook are always going to be contingent on the company.

As with any effective goal, you must define sales enablement services with measurable metrics. This will allow you to ascertain if your efforts are reaching goals and proving effective. Once you can quantify something, you can identify where errors are made and hiccups occur, and you have the framework to measure your improvement after changes are implemented.

Striving toward sales enablement goals is not a one-off process; it’s ongoing. The goals should be incremental, they should build on each other, and again, they must be measurable.


3. Define how sale enablement will affect the company’s bottom line.

When executives are presented with the possibility of implementing sales enablement, the first factor they consider tends to be cost. They see these measures as cost centers rather than revenue-generating potential. For enablement of sales to truly work, though, you need the full buy-in of the company’s higher-ups, and if you can prove the financial worth of sales enablement, your chances of getting that buy-in increase dramatically.

As with goals, there is no cover-all answer for every company. How to get executive sponsorship is always going to be customized to that business, but the overall approach should be tying sale enablement’s goals to revenue-related goals. This will prove the immediate and continued worth of sales enablement (through a financial lens). If you don’t speak in terms of bottom line and the pivotal metrics to gauge that progress, you risk executives dismissing  enablement of sales as nothing more than a costly addition to the company structure. 

Companies are used to paying for trainings and new technologies in the hopes of increasing revenue down the line. You need to show that enabling sales can provide the same value and remove those underlying barriers to revenue generation.

Remember also that establishing sales enablement doesn’t need to come with huge overhead. It doesn’t necessarily require hiring an entire new team. People already within the organization can take on these roles—with the possibility of one or two new hires to facilitate the process. 


One Common Barrier to Sales Enablement Success

A consistent issue that companies run up against when trying to implement sales enablement as a business within a business is that people look at the traditional hierarchy and organization of a company and try to find where sales enablement fits. They want a  enablement program for sales to plug into an existing slot within their organizational structure. However, this mind-set often leads to departments operating as individual, disconnected “islands.”

Instead, a company should streamline the communication channels between these departments. In this way, the traditional organizational structure is a huge barrier to success. Sales enablement should not be viewed as its own separate division. Although it will be operating as a business, it must interact with all departments to improve the salespeople’s ability to sell and improve other departments’ ability to facilitate sales in that goal.


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

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