When you hire new talents, you choose them based on the skill sets required in the position they’re about to fill. However, the real measure of any talent lies in how much it can grow when given the right tools. While it’s the employee’s job to learn and grow, the manager’s job is to provide the resources and tools they need to strive in the workplace. This concept can be applied to practically any aspect of business—this is also what sales enablement is all about. For the sales team, sales enablement is the most effective way they can have access to the right resources that will help them generate more leads and significantly boost conversions. So what exactly is sales enablement, and How does it work? That’s what we’ll be covering in this article.
What is sales enablement?
In simple terms, sales enablement is about providing the sales team with the resources they need to close more deals. The resources can include a variety of things, including but not limited to tools, content, technological solutions, knowledge, and information the team can use to become better at handling their customers. In more technical terms, sales enablement is a strategic and cross-functional approach that’s aimed at improving sales and productivity. This can be done by integrating tailored content, training, and coaching for the sales team—including team members and managers—to guide them throughout the entire customer journey. More often than not, sales enablement relies heavily on the integration of technological solutions to fulfil its purpose. However, keep in mind that sales enablement is a tool, which means that it can be used and applied in different ways depending on the company’s vision and strategies.
How does a sales enablement strategy work?
To align both the sales and marketing departments on the same goals, a sales enablement strategy would typically integrate various functions. In addition to sales and marketing, this will include HR, customer care, product and brand management, and the legal team. This would be almost impossible to achieve without a sales enablement tool that streamlines the process across the different departments. The tool will integrate technological resources such as CRM software, to reach out to your clients; content development; buyer’s journey; talent management; and other ongoing processes.
For a sales enablement strategy to work, there are a few vital aspects to carry out. First of all, the feedback loop between the sales and marketing departments should always be a priority. Sales should always keep marketing updated with the insights they get, and marketing should customise all the content they create according to the continuous feedback they get. Moreover, the strategy should track the customer’s journey at all times, and not be tailored according to the sales cycle. Another crucial point is to keep measuring the performance and optimising the process whenever there’s room for improvement.
Who owns sales enablement?
While the concept of sales of enablement technically remains the same, its application can differ from one company to another. Most importantly, most companies have their own approach when it comes to assigning the function to a specific department—that brings us to the next most common question. Judging by the name, some might believe that this function would be allocated in the sales department. Once you start digging into the function and understand its scope a bit better, you’ll realise it’s much more complicated than that. Sales enablement requires the close integration of various functions, including, but not limited to, sales, marketing, and IT.
The main purpose of sales enablement is to create a solid strategy, process, or framework that aligns the marketing and sales teams on the same revenue objectives. In order to achieve that, there needs to be a close and clear communication feedback loop between the two departments; the sales team provides the insights they get from interacting with their leads, prospects, and customers, and the marketing team tailors the content that will boost sales’ conversion numbers. So, to answer the question, sales enablement is often owned by both the marketing and sales departments.
Over the last few years, the way buyers think and behave has completely changed. Trying to convert leads into customers via traditional ways is no longer efficient nor productive. However, this all changes once sales enablement enters the picture. With the right tools, the sales and marketing teams can start working together to inspect the buyers’ journey, based on which they can optimise content performance. In short, sales enablement saves a lot of time, optimises various work processes, generates stronger sales data, improves multi-functional alignment, boosts profit margins, and improves the overall reputation of the company.
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