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What is sales enablement?

Sales has historically been about the commission; learning the patter, talking conversions, closing the deal and celebrating the success.

Today, sales is very different. It’s now more difficult to sell because people are busier than they’ve ever been. It’s a crowded marketplace and savvy salespeople are having to sell more effectively to deliver more value to the customer.

The web is now a source of almost all the information your buyer needs and the buying power firmly sits with them. Reportedly, 70% of a buyer’s research is done before they talk to a salesperson. 59% of buyers prefer not to talk to sales at all.

With the majority of people now doing their research on their own, they may only need a few important questions answered before they make a purchase decision and may even bypass a salesperson altogether.

This is where sales enablement can really help.

Consideration for the processes, content and technology that empower salespeople to sell more efficiently at a more frequent rate cannot be underestimated.

Start by asking yourself a few simple questions:

  • Are we meeting all our sales goals?
  • Are we confident we are always ‘on message’?
  • Are we sure that sales are using sales tools to their fullest extent?
  • Are we confident we can scale in sales without increasing headcount?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of the following questions, you should definitely read on.

Sales enablement has many sides to it and this means that the process requires the help of those working in and out of sales. 

Be One Team

Start by seeing your marketing and sales teams as one entity, both working towards a mutual goal of increased revenue for the business. Sales enablement is designed to increase sales results and productivity; aligning your sales and marketing teams is a great starting point.

Define the Buyer’s Journey

Central to sales enablement is a thorough understanding of your buyer’s journey. Remember that this is the process that buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate and purchase a new product or service (awareness, consideration, decision).

Let’s cut to the chase: sales has the opportunity to get involved at every stage in the buyer’s journey and can work alongside other teams, for example, marketing, in ensuring the right resource, appropriate for the stage of the journey, is being used in the right way.

Let’s take an example. The biggest mistake sales professionals make when navigating the buyer’s journey is offering a decision-stage solution for a buyer who is just starting out in the awareness stage - frustrating for all parties involved.

In this case, sales should instead be sharing helpful content that further assists the buyer in his or her self-discovery. The goal is for sales to help the buyer realise their pain, rather than jumping ahead to solve the problem - this is sales enablement.

Agree Ownership

As you start to build a sales enablement strategy for your business, you may consider who owns sales enablement. According to CSO Insights, almost 50% of sales enablement functions sit under the head of sales, while others might report into sales operations or marketing.

If you’ve got this far and are still unsure whether sales enablement can work in your business, a small takeaway is to remember that companies with sales enablement have reportedly 15% better rate wins than those without it.

Wanting to learn more about sales enablement and how it could work in your business? Give us a call to discuss further.

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