Effective sales enablement is a critical ingredient in the recipe for a successful revenue team. According to data from Learn Hub, 76% of organizations see as much as 6% to 20% sales increase as a result of sales enablement.
Unfortunately, many companies end up fumbling their sales enablement strategy. Some fail to adequately define sales enablement professionals’ role in the sales process. Others wait too long to assemble a sales enablement team. Some companies make both errors.
To help you maximize the benefits of your sales enablement program, let’s take a look at what effective sales enablement entails, when it’s a good time to hire a sales enablement team, and how sales enablement can empower your sales reps to perform at a higher level.
What Is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is the process of providing salespeople with the tools, content, and information they need to sell an organization’s products and value more effectively. Common sales enablement initiatives include tasks such as:
- Acquiring and implementing sales enablement tools and training sales reps on how to adopt these tools.
- Producing sales content such as presentations, templates, and reports for salespeople to leverage with customers.
- Developing and conducting sales training initiatives.
- Building and expanding onboarding and ongoing education initiatives.
- Bridging the gap between the organization’s sales and marketing teams and facilitating coordination between the two.
- Tracking sales productivity by analyzing a variety of sales metrics.
- Producing and updating sales playbooks and training sales reps on how to utilize the playbooks.
Thanks to the wide range of responsibilities that a modern sales enablement team has, sales enablement plays a crucial role when it comes to ensuring that your sales team has the resources needed for success. Research shows that 84% of sales teams can reach their annual quota when they have “best-in-class” sales enablement. However, only 50% of teams can meet their quota without effective sales enablement.
When Do You Need Sales Enablement on Your Team?
Many organizations realize too late that an effective sales enablement strategy is what their sales operations process is missing. This is a costly error. Because sales enablement is an exploding field, it’s more difficult to attract qualified candidates to fill sales enablement roles.
With that in mind, it’s important to assemble a sales enablement team as early as possible rather than waiting until issues arise with your sales process. This way, they can scale alongside your sales team.
Sales enablement teams within your organization can recognize issues within the sales process and the broader revenue organization in order to develop strategies to address them. Here are some scenarios where sales enablement can make a difference:
- If there are pain points with your sales reps preventing them from reaching their quotas.
- If there are issues with onboarding new reps and/or problems with the ongoing training you provide to your team.
- If there are inefficiencies or missing features within the sales tools your team leverages.
- If you are struggling to facilitate effective coordination between your sales, marketing, and product development departments.
- If your product doesn’t do what your sales reps say it does, or your team doesn’t have a truly solid grasp of the product’s capabilities and benefits.
If your sales managers or sales team members are questioning any of these things, it’s time to deploy a sales enablement strategy.
5 Benefits of Sales Enablement in an Organization
From improving CRM and customer experience to ensuring that your sales reps have the right resources and training to be successful, several sales enablement benefits will boost your organization’s bottom line.
Below, we’ll explore five of the most substantial benefits that a solid sales enablement program can offer your business.
1) Efficient Cross-Functional Alignment
Effective sales teams do not operate in a vacuum. The most effective approach for modern sales teams requires ongoing collaboration between the organization’s sales team, marketing team, and product development team.
For example, working with the organization’s marketing team can allow reps to understand the buyer’s journey better. It can also provide them with crucial marketing materials that they can use to close deals. Working with the product development team provides reps with a better grasp of the product’s key features and selling points, which can help them create better sales pitches.
Coordinating partnerships between these departments can be easier said than done. Often, a sales organization will end up operating in silos where its various departments work almost entirely independently with minimal cross-functional alignment. By serving as a bridge between sales, marketing, and product development, sales enablement can break down these silos and ensure smooth cross-functional alignment across your entire sales organization.
2) More Effective Sales Hiring
Finding talented candidates to round out your salesforce can be one of the most challenging and time-consuming parts of optimizing your organization’s sales performance. In addition to helping onboard the new reps, an effective sales enablement team can assist your organization in searching for qualified talent.
Few professionals within your organization will have a better understanding of what to look for when hiring new salespeople than your sales enablement team. For this reason, sales enablement tends to play a central role in the sales hiring process. They can define the candidate competencies and traits needed for success as well as provide helpful sales interview questions and prompts to assess this.
3) Better Sales Training
According to data from Sales Hacker, 25% of sales reps feel that they have not gotten enough sales training. In addition to properly onboarding new reps, it is also essential to provide ongoing training to your team.
Hermann Ebbinghaus’ “Forgetting Curve” theory shows that we only remember about 20% of what we learn after 30 days of being exposed to new information. For sales reps, this means that no matter how good the training material is, they may not retain much information unless it is revisited regularly.
From designing and implementing team-wide training initiatives to providing managers with pull-through materials and sales coaching, sales enablement takes an active role in training an organization’s sales reps. As a result, there is a 29% improvement in sales training effectiveness for companies with a dedicated sales enablement function, according to data from TaskDrive.
4) Improved Process and Tool Implementation
Modern sales teams rely on a broad range of tools and software solutions in order to connect with potential customers and present products in the most compelling way possible.
However, with so many different apps and sales tools on the market, it can be challenging to determine the best solution for your team. Implementing the solutions and integrating them into your sales process can also be complex. Thankfully, sales enablement makes both of these tasks much smoother and more effective.
Curating and implementing sales enablement software and other sales tools is one of the primary responsibilities of a sales enablement team. Sales enablement gives your organization a dedicated team to choose the best tools, apps, and solutions for your business. Then, the team can help integrate those solutions into your sales process and train your revenue team on how to use them to be more productive.
5) Improved Sales Content Creation
Producing compelling, relevant content is one of the many roles of a sales enablement team. Sales enablement professionals coordinate with sales managers and marketing and product development teams to produce a number of helpful tools, including:
- Templates and scripts for sales conversations
- Documents and product reports
- Sales playbook updates and other content management
A sales team can leverage this type of targeted content to guide a client through the customer journey, and to close deals more effectively.
Sending sales reps into the field without the right content is like sending a chef into a kitchen without all the ingredients. With an effective sales enablement team, you can ensure that the various departments within your organization work together to produce the sales content your team needs to be successful.
Thanks to all of these benefits, effective sales enablement is often one of the most impactful elements of a productive sales team. At Sales Assembly, we’re dedicated to helping sales organizations optimize their teams — from sales and marketing to RevOps and customer success — through our industry-leading certification programs. If you’re ready to provide your employees with the training they need to leverage the benefits of sales enablement to the fullest extent, Sales Assembly can help.
Empower Your Sales Team With Help from the Sales Enablement Experts
Facilitating effective sales enablement is just one way Sales Assembly works to empower B2B tech businesses. With a membership, your team receives the training, certifications, resources, and peer connections you need to boost sales performance and ultimately improve your bottom line. To learn more, contact us today.