7 Best Practices for Optimizing Sales Enablement
By Gabe Sweet
Marketing and sales have traditionally had a bit of a contentious relationship in many companies. With miscommunication, vastly different goals and objectives, and sometimes an inability to see the other’s point of view – these two teams who need to work together often find themselves at odds. And out of that contentious relationship, a new role was born: sales enablement.
Sales Enablement is a strategic, ongoing process to equip the sales team with the tools, resources and skills to make them more efficient, and ultimately improve sales execution and drive revenue. As the head of sales enablement at Act-On, I tried to do this in three unique ways:
- Sales training (onboarding, continual training, sales methodology training)
- Communications (sales newsletters)
- Tools and resources (prospecting tools and company tools to tee up appropriate content)
Successful sales enablement involves a lot more than automated pricing guides and managerial oversight of the sales funnel. B2B companies are making huge investments in sales enablement tools, but too many begin with little understanding of the people, processes, and enterprise-wide insights they must bring together in order to make sales enablement a success.
“Research shows that 70 to 80 percent of the time, under-performance is due to environmental rather than individual factors, yet most of the time sales enablement solutions focus on improving the individual,” says Robert Koehler of TOPO Inc. (Koehler was employed at LinkedIn at the time of this interview).
Crucial to the success of your organization is ensuring that both marketers and sales understand the perspective of their prospects and customers. “Sellers tend to think in terms of features and benefits, but buyers think in terms of capabilities — the unique set of problems they can solve by purchasing your product,” says Candyce Edelen, CEO of PropelGrowth.
Clearly, it pays to take some time to understand the best ways to go about implementing effective sales enablement methods. Truly successful sales enablement looks at the bigger picture and earns the right to make both a strategic and tactical contribution. Here are seven best practices to help you succeed with your sales enablement efforts.
1. Hire the right people.
Theories about how to hire the right sales personnel are as old as the profession of selling itself. But modern sales enablement strategies and disciplines require professionals who are more flexible and teamwork-oriented than in decades past. Your company’s goal should be to hire salespeople who are able and prepared to help their customers dream and achieve.
2. Observe, evaluate, and understand your sales reps.
Successfully introducing new sales enablement technology and processes means looking beyond individual bottom-line production and taking on the attitude and role of a sales performance consultant. Approaching the sales enablement process with an open mind and inclusive attitude will help avoid common pitfalls, such as focusing too much on process automation, or forcing the entire sales staff to follow overly rigid scripts.
3. Provide continual product, competition, and buyer training.
If you have a physical location, maximize your calls to action at the point of sale or interaction with customers. Even if people are just window Go to the full article.