It goes without saying that revenue is directly related to sales made and deals closed. But what if there was more you could do? With the right tools, resources and support the opportunity for growth increases exponentially.
With a solid sales enablement strategy in place, you can grow sales, build departmental cohesion, improve sales training and reduce the time spent looking for content by up to seven hours per week. Sounds amazing, right? Let’s look at the steps you can take to build a sales enablement strategy that will help you achieve all those things and so much more.
1. Understand the fundamentals of sales enablement structure
Sales enablement doesn’t do just one thing and it’s important to figure out the working parts before starting to build your sales enablement strategy. Here are a few things to consider before setting off.
A good sales enablement tool will:
- Act as a repository for all of your organization’s digital content throughout its lifecycle (creation, storage, or deletion)
- Organize, categorize, and store all content in one easily accessible location
- Equip your sales teams with the most relevant content
- Provide customizable reports that help you understand the impact your content has on your customers
- Ensure the sales team has access to the latest, most applicable material
- Enable the sales team to share content across multiple channels and receive real-time feedback from their customers
You might consider these questions before building a sales enablement strategy.
- What are the strengths of your top performing sales reps?
- Is your company currently sales focussed?
- How do you train your new sales reps?
- What do you find are your greatest challenges when growing revenue?
- What are your greatest strengths?
2. Clarify your objectives and identify current challenges
Every company has its own challenges, some are unique to them while others are common hiccups that companies across the board face. Identifying them takes introspection and a critical eye. Taking the time to analyze your company tribulations will go a long way to helping you build a sales enablement strategy that’s specifically tailored to your pain points.
One of the best ways to realize what challenges exist is to include your frontline workers in the discussion. Your sales team can provide valuable insight into challenges and the current structure of the sales process. Don’t limit your discussion to just the sales teams, though. You’ll also what the perspective from the teams and departments that work with them. Open the floor to your customer success team, marketing team, and any other team that might be able to identify other pain points.
Once you’ve outlined your challenges, you’ll be better prepared to determine what your objectives should be. Keep in mind that they should be both manageable and measurable.
3. Get the support of the end-users
In order to deploy a successful sales enablement strategy, you’ll need the support of the sales and marketing teams. Being a dictator and demanding that your sales and marketing teams start using a new tool may have adverse effects. Encouraging these teams to come to the table with their thoughts and ideas will go a long way to helping them embrace the idea of changing their process. A sales enablement tool is designed to help, not hinder.
Getting the sales team on-board will be the deciding factor in the success or failure of the project. If you need to, meet with your sales reps to address any concerns or hesitation they have about your sales enablement tool. By having these discussions with the team, you can compile a list of struggles and identify how the new sales process will alleviate them.
4. Outline your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
An ICP defines the perfect customer for what your organization solves for. This is a fictitious company that has all of the qualities that would make them the best fit for the solutions you provide. An ICP lends itself very useful if your organization utilizes account-based marketing (ABM), allowing you to focus on selling to targeted accounts that fit your organization. If done correctly, an ICP can help define the problems you're solving for, align your product/service capabilities with customers’ needs, and assist in laying out your future road map for product/service updates and changes.
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5. Find the holes or gaps in your content and resources
You don’t know what you don’t know. Gathering your content together and arranging it into categories like brochures, graphics, fact sheets, videos, etc. will help you identify where your deficiencies lie. Although marketing is largely responsible for content creation, it’s very likely that your sales reps have created content that they either haven’t been able to find or didn’t know existed. Requesting a content all-call will help you gain clarity as to where you’re lacking and where you have an abundance.
6. Prioritize using lead-scoring
All leads are not created equal and treating them that way will put unnecessary strain on your sales team. To avoid this, most companies use a lead scoring system. You can score your leads based on multiple attributes, including the professional information they've submitted to you and how they've engaged with your website and brand across the internet. This process helps sales and marketing teams prioritize leads, respond to them appropriately, and increase the rate at which those leads become customers.
7. Set up training for your sales team
Even the best product or service won’t sell itself. So, when employees feel confident in their role and understanding of your product or service, their customer conversations can be more engaging and result more closed deals. Having even basic training can double a sales rep’s success and delving even deeper can improve it by up to 400 percent.
You want to make sure your sales team is confident using the sales enablement tool, especially because it is now part of your sales process. Give your team the opportunity to explore the tool independently and in organized training sessions. The more they practice using it, the more comfortable they’ll get and the more capable they’ll become at having meaningful sales conversations.
8. Be flexible and adapt to change
To paraphrase Robert Burns, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. It’s with that in mind that you must be willing to deviate from your plans and adapt to change when necessary. By continuing to review your sales enablement strategy, you’ll be able to figure out what’s working and what’s not. From there, you can pivot and make the required adjustments. At the beginning it will be a cycle of continuous learning, but the more time that you invest at the onset, the more likely that your sales enablement strategy will be a success.