What exactly is sales enablement? That’s a tough question to answer — even if you work in sales enablement. The challenge is that the field is still being defined. So, you’ll need to create your own best practices from scratch. That’s why we’ve interviewed some seriously talented sales leaders about their favorite sales enablement lessons learned:
“I once thought that Sales Enablement required much research, vast knowledge curation, and a full-time program manager.
As a start-up, there are too many unknowns, a sales model still in development, and it is early in our category creation. For example, at PandaDoc we are pivoting the sales team to include outbound selling as part of our model. Rather than wait to hire for a Sales Enablement position, we are doing 2 activities:
A. Teaching Social Selling - how to create a social brand, drive content and find prospects, and
B. Creating Outbound selling Workshops where we are teaching Outbound Process then co-creating the outbound messaging as a team. It’s 3 sessions + social selling skills lessons.”
—Diane Updyke, VP of Sales at PandaDoc
The Takeaway: Treat sales enablement like any marketing channel. Only this time, you’re testing 1:1 messaging. As automation becomes more prevalent, it’s going to be more important to have these conversations at scale. Learning is key to the process.
“This is what sales enablement means to me: Give your sales team the knowledge, tools and content to deliver a more valuable buyer experience.”
—Max Traylor, Inbound Marketing Strategy Leader and Consultant
The Takeaway: The best way to empower sales reps is to empower them to be creative. Sales enablement is about staying current in your industry through research. Keep your sales reps connected to wider insights into your market. Give them awesome conversation pointers.
“At our company, sales enablement is a matter of culture. It means that we’re all empowered to be curious humans. Leads don’t come in at convenient times—ever. Make sure that your sales reps are always empowered with the information they need to react and respond. Part of that is the technology piece in getting the notifications. Another part is having the right templates.”
—Josh Harcus, Head of Inbound Strategy at Huify, Author of "A Closing Culture: Your Marketing and Sales Process Is Broken. Here's How to Fix It."
The Takeaway: Automate as much as possible. Sales leaders are naturally creative. They should be spending time learning, testing out new messaging, and building genuine relationships. Nobody has time to do these things if they are buried in admin.
“When I think of sales enablement, I think of giving sales reps the content, training, and software they need to be more productive and hit their number. What I love about sales enablement is that you don't have to be a sales guru to help your sales team be more productive. Most salespeople are really good at activity and closing deals. But they are not very good at creating content or making sure best practices get spread consistently across an organization. There are a lot of high yield sales enablement opportunities out there just waiting to be taken advantage of.”
--David Weinhaus, Partner Sales Enablement at HubSpot
The Takeaway: Focus on empowering your sales team. In addition to being attentive to their needs, work with them to co-create the content they’re seeking out. Interview them. Find out what questions they’re hearing over and over. Focus on alleviating points of friction.
The key is to increase the value of every communication touchpoint that you have with your prospects. Customer communication is highly fragmented and scattered. A solid document management strategy can help you do that. But before you get started, you need to figure out what sales enablement truly means for you and your team. Looking to get started? Stand up from your desk, and walk over to the sales cube in the next room (or hop on the phone if your sales reps are remote). Happy learning.
Ready to jumpstart your Sales Enablement? Give PandaDoc a spin.