Sales teams need tools, resources, and knowledge if they are to perform well – and that’s what sales enablement is, in effect
How do you create a sales strategy that works?
How do you build a sales team that closes deals on autopilot?
There are a lot of factors that contribute to a great sales strategy, but it all starts with the team you build. Sales teams need tools, resources, and knowledge if they are to perform well – and that’s what sales enablement is, in effect.
In this blog post, I’m going to talk about why you need sales enablement to improve your sales and show you how to implement sales enablement in your own business.
What exactly is sales enablement?
Simply put, sales enablement is the process of providing your sales team with everything they need in order to perform and reach their maximum potential:
- Knowledge and content: all the information they need about your business and about your target audience, training, relevant content, and any other educational materials they might need to perform their job to the best of their ability.
- Technology: i.e. any apps and tools they need in order to be productive with their time, while also boosting their results.
Knowing this, the reason it’s so important to implement sales enablement becomes obvious; you’re providing your team with everything they need in order to perform well, which then leads to better sales results overall and improved productivity: a higher conversion rate, more sales closed, and a happier sales team overall.
There are several aspects that makes up a sales enablement process:
- On-boarding new talent
- Continuous coaching and enablement
- Sales tools to facilitate selling
- Performance assessment
On-boarding new talent
Whenever you bring new talent to your sales team, you need to make sure you’re giving them all the information they need in order to start their job confidently.
Sales enablement implies creating an onboarding process that is efficient for both the company and the new sales rep. The company doesn’t lose time unnecessarily with the initial training while the new sales rep can easily get all of the information they need to get started.
A good onboarding process for new salespeople would include, for example:
- An easy way to assess their knowledge and skills
- Courses and learning paths for new sales reps
- Relevant information about the company, the target audience and the overall sales and marketing strategies
Continuous coaching and enablement
Once you’ve gotten new employees up to speed, sales enablement and learning don’t end there; your sales team needs continuous coaching and easy access to information and resources to keep evolving and generating even better results:
- Regular coaching programmes
- Access to resources at any stage
The idea behind continuous coaching and enablement is that there’s always room to grow. Every sales rep has their own specific skill set and in order to enable them to really hone in on those skills, you need to help them. Assessing them and providing them with resources and knowledge will ultimately help them get better at their jobs.
Sales tools to facilitate selling
Last but not least, your sales team needs several software and tools to perform their jobs and be as productive as possible.
Their needs might differ, but generally, these are the main types of tools and software a sales team needs:
- Customer relationship management/CRM tools
- Collaboration tools to facilitate collaboration between members of your sales team, as well as across departments (especially the marketing team)
- A content library/knowledge management tool where your sales team can access any information or content they might need when speaking with a lead or prospect
- Email marketing/marketing automation tools to help sales teams connect with prospects, send follow-ups and nurture leads
Ideally, you should listen to your team regarding what software and apps they need, as well as what tools and features are important to them.
Is your sales enablement strategy working? How are your sales reps performing? Are your sales reps reaching their targets – and if they aren’t, why is that?
Assessing your team’s performance regularly should be a big part of the sales enablement process; since you’re investing all of these resources to aid your sales team, you want to make sure that the solutions and tools you implemented are generating real results.
But performance assessment is not just about establishing ROI (return on investment); it’s also a way of evaluating each of your sales reps and identifying their skills and skill gaps, as well as help them improve any weaknesses, while also helping them hone in on their top skills.
Below is a list of useful sales enablement tools that can help you put your own sales enablement strategy into practice:
As I mentioned earlier, onboarding and coaching are a big part of a good sales enablement strategy.
To make the entire process much easier, you can use a tool like MindTickle – a sales enablement tool that you can use to onboard new talent, coach all of your salespeople and analyze your results, among many other sales enablement features.
It helps from the first moment someone new joins your team as; for example, you can automatically assign new employees with learning paths so they can easily get all of the information and training they need to get started.
As they grow in your company, they’ll be able to keep growing and learning through continuous coaching, as well as role-plays and simulated sales scenarios – and these are just a few of the features worth exploring.
A good CRM tool is one of the most important tools for a salesperson. They need to be able to keep track of all the leads and prospects if they are to ultimately turn them into paying customers.
There are a lot of great CRM tools out there, but I’m a big fan of Hubspot which offers a free but extremely powerful CRM tool:
The tool automatically tracks any interactions with customers and potential customers via email, social media, or even a call – all you need to do is sync them up to get started. Plus, all of these interactions are clearly stored in any customers’ profile page (under timeline).
You can also use Hubspot for a variety of other tasks, including; sending personalized sequences of emails and connecting with customers directly using the built-in live chat, among many others.
Accent is another sales enablement tool but this one focused more on the content side of things; namely, helping you deliver the right content at the right time. Plus, it also helps salespeople and managers prioritize their tasks and save time, as you have access to a built-in CRM and useful visualizations of all sales activity.
As I mentioned before, Accent puts great importance on content so any sales rep can easily get the content they need from absolutely anywhere (mobile, CRM, Outlook, etc.). There, you can add all of your relevant content, useful tools, and valuable data so that anyone who ever needs it can quickly access this content and data.
Implementing a sales enablement strategy can work wonders for your businesses’ success; however, it’s important to understand that this is a continuous process and that beyond onboarding and coaching, you also need to listen to your sales team and provide them with the tools and knowledge they need.