Sales Enablement can be a huge beast to tackle, but its importance can’t be understated. Aberdeen tells us that companies with best-in-class Sales Enablement strategies achieve 84% quota attainment by reps. Sales Enablement can also help establish Marketing ROI, reduce time-to-productivity, and much more. Here are our top 7 quick tips to lead you to Sales Enablement success:
1. Formally define who owns sales enablement. Often times, organizations don’t delegate one specific person to handle Sales Enablement. The responsibility often falls on the lap of sales operations, upper-level marketing management, sales directors, training and development leaders, or the communications team.
SiriusDecisions’ State of Sales Enablement report in 2017 reported that Sales Enablement is handled the most by sales (40%), followed by the CEO, sales operations, and marketing respectively. The report also indicates that 78% of those in Sales Enablement have sales experience, while only 28% have marketing experience.
However, a well-rounded Sales Enablement practitioner would ideally have experience across sales and marketing. Regardless of who you choose to handle sales enablement, make sure you formalize it. Too many cooks in the kitchen can lead to messes!
2. Interview your sales teams. What are their main concerns/barriers? How can you, running a sales enablement initiative, bust through those barriers? No one knows better than those out in the trenches! And don’t forget that sales team interviews aren’t a set-it-and-forget-it task – continuous communication is key. Buyer needs and preferences are changing constantly, and sales reps are getting new information every day that, when applied, could help another deal progress forward.
3. Establish your pre-Sales Enablement KPIs. Every successful experiment has a starting point. To help justify the cost and time associated with Sales Enablement, make sure you have key metrics for your current sales process. How long are your sales cycles? How many touches are required before getting in contact with a prospect? What is your current deal size? What’s your close rate?
4. Establish a single point of truth. When it comes to process, or content, or messaging, who has the final say? Who are your sales people going to for help? Who is marketing conferring with to make sure everyone has the latest messaging? Without a single source of truth, chaos will ensue.
The process of getting the right messaging or content or processes for a specific situation should requite as little searching as possible. Every minute sales reps spend searching and surfing is a minute they aren’t able to spend selling. And they’re already spending 440 hours a year searching for content – how much more time can they spare?
5. Define your budget, if it exists. What money do you have to spend on sales enablement? Where is that money going? Sales training? Sales enablement technology? Content creation? Make sure you allocate that money in the way that fits your business initiatives.
6. Get technology in place. Sales Enablement platforms have become key parts of successful organizations’ tech stacks. Sales Enablement platforms can help you distribute content to your sales team, share tribal knowledge, run training and just-in-time learning initiatives, collaborate within departments or cross-departmentally, and establish value on your marketing content. A well-adopted, smart Sales Enablement platform can take a Sales Enablement initiative from satisfactory to excellent.
7. Get executive buy-in. Sales enablement isn’t a quick fix, a temporary initiative, and most certainly not an unnecessary venture. Be sure to establish the value of sales enablement with your senior management. Statistics always help establish need – check out this infographic created from Bigtincan’s 2018 Sales Enablement Survey for some inspiration!