The days where there were a few existing sales approaches like cold calling, TV commercials or aggressive sales are gone. Sales is no longer just something between reps and buyers. Years ago organizations defined the way customers would buy from them, and now it’s a buyer who takes the stage and determines the way organizations should present their services or products.
The market requires new sales techniques to appear all the time. Moreover, there is always some extra potential for teams to perform even better no matter how effective they are now. To engage a customer, a salesperson should set SMART goals and get up-to-date knowledge during the entire sale cycle to be smarter, be prepared, and motivated in a better way to boost sales effectiveness. This new approach is often called sales enablement.
What is sales enablement?
There are several definitions that, at first glance, may seem to be entirely different due to the multi-faceted nature of sales enablement. You will hardly find one with the same definition, and it may be delivered under a few covers.
Its no wonder that even a few years ago the term was unknown even to MBA students who already were working in the financial sector. But all in all, the definition has characteristics in common.
Sales enablement is an ongoing strategic approach that is primarily focused on customers. It includes various aspects of coaching, training, analysis, content generation, improvement of technology processes, tools, and constant knowledge updates – all that sales team needs to boost sales. In other words, it’s a set of techniques and tools that will help sales teams to close deals faster and sell more efficiently.
Approaches to achieve final goals may vary. But the point where there are almost no debates is that sales enablement should be focused on customers. It is crucial to understand who your customers are and what they need. For this, sales and marketing teams should work cohesively.
Why is sales enablement important?
Like we mentioned before, the primary goal of sales enablement is to meet customer’s requirements to increase revenue. Marketing teams should work on creating valuable resources that sales teams should be using while talking to their customers and fulfilling their demands.
This is sales enablement that bridges the gap between teams. It helps to educate customers in a timely manner until they convert to happy customers.
Happy customers are much more likely to buy from you. According to the comprehensive annual survey based on data from hundreds of customer professionals and conducted by Esteban Kolsky, the successful customer strategist, researcher, consultant, and speaker with more than 15 years of experience, 8 of them with Gartner, 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience. According to the same survey, 84% of customers feel frustrated when a sales rep fails to provide the necessary information.
Thus, the importance of sales enablement is quite apparent: it helps to generate more revenue and retain your customers. The thing is that sales enablement should encompass some best practices that should be implemented to increase sales. Here are four basic ones:
What best practices in sales enablement can you rely on?
Focus on the customer experience
Given that sales enablement is focused on customers be serious about their experience and make it the groundwork for your sales campaigns. Focus on the improvement of their experience – it will help you to preserve your customers and build long-term relationships with them.
You can deploy various methods: gather feedback to understand the reasons why customers may churn; personalize communication between sales reps and buyers, etc. But remember that your customers should have a solid understanding of who you are so you can adequately provide them with the best solutions.
Provide sales training and coaching
Training is not something new. These processes have been in place at organizations and companies for years. The thing is that in most cases they were all inefficient. A sales team had a meeting or given materials and tools once a year. According to this scenario, up to 87% of all the information will be forgotten within a month. Are these pieces of training really able to boost your sales?
Sales enablement is all about ongoing training, coaching, and onboarding. Luckily, there are many ways to convert those processes into everyday ones. And they don’t have to be boring! Teach your sales teams and your customers will learn more about your product, service, success stories, value, and more. The more sales reps know the more information they can give to your prospects.
Create relevant content
Marketing teams spend a lot of time researching tons of sources and producing relevant and engaging content. In sales enablement, content doesn’t exist separately from your sales teams. Remember that content is a dominant force that can multiply your revenue. Of course, if you are using it correctly.
You need to support every stage of the sales cycle with content. Moreover, make sure that you provide sales reps the content in a timely and structured manner. If not, they may waste up to 30% of their working day looking for it and eventually not finding it. And if the reps do have everything at their fingertips and they know how and when to use it, they will save time because it is the content that will speak directly to your customers.
At the same time, sales teams should provide marketing teams with feedback. Thus, they show what content and channels work more efficiently and what requires improvement. A feedback loop will help sales reps offer ideas for marketing and create a win-win situation for all each party including customers.
Get familiar with technology
Technology is lighting fast. Many digital providers can make collaboration between teams easier. Some are used for marketing purposes, some – for sales. They are not saviors that can for once and for all solve every problem.
However, they can reinforce all your efforts and give an extra impact to your sales enablement processes and reduce wasted time.
These tools can have no direct connection to marketing or sales. For example, they may refer to project management software that helps organize tasks and processes. Or it could be a mind mapping software that is great for brainstorming new ideas. Even with no direct connection to sales, these tools can still indirectly boost sales if appropriately used.
Wrapping it up
The times when sales teams existed separately from other teams and departments are gone. Today, we have plenty of tools, methods, and approaches that can multiply revenue.
It all depends on whether you are open to challenges that can bring new perspectives to your business. But without close collaboration between marketing and sales teams today it is almost impossible to be successful.