Kendall | January 11, 2022 | SMB
Sales enablement is the process of providing your sales team with the resources they need to close more deals. You give them what they need to do their job more effectively, and, in turn, you close more deals and increase revenue for your company.
Sounds pretty straightforward and simple, right? In theory, yes. But in practice, it’s a bit more involved than you’d think.
You see, there’s a lot that goes into sales enablement. The process is all about fine-tuning your sales process, and in order to do that, you have to continuously review what’s working, what isn’t working, and what needs to change in order for your salespeople to guide prospects through the buyer’s journey more efficiently. And then, of course, you need to figure out how to implement those changes.
Many large corporations have entire teams dedicated to sales enablement, and because of this, they often have complex, structured sales enablement strategies. In the small business world, you have far less time, people, and resources to make this all happen, and the process may therefore look a little less formal and elaborate — but it’s equally (if not more) important.
No fear — I’ll walk you through why and how below.
First, let’s start with the why. If you think about it, the overarching benefit of sales enablement is pretty easy to understand. When you give your sales team what they need to do their job more effectively, your small business will close more deals, which means more revenue. And the numbers won’t lie, people!
To break it down a bit more, there are plenty of smaller sales enablement benefits that lead to this ultimate goal, including:
So there you have it: sales enablement is no joke. If you’ve already got a plan in place, good on you! If you don’t, it’s a worthy investment of your time and energy.
And that leads me to the how. If you’re considering building out a sales enablement strategy for your small business this year, here are a few key steps you’ll want to take.
A solid sales enablement strategy always starts with research. There’s no sense in just guessing what your sales team may need. You’ll see better results if you ask them.
A good place to start is by talking to your salespeople about what resources or tools work well, and which ones they wish they had to be more productive in their everyday tasks. Then, try reviewing and analyzing any lost deals to see if there are any commonalities between them. Pay close attention to pain points, as they’re often the best indicators of opportunity. While you could do this research in the form of a survey, you’ll probably receive more in-depth, constructive feedback by sitting down with your sales team and discussing it together. And in a small business, you likely have a good, intimate environment to do that in.
Software, technology, and automation are key to a successful sales enablement strategy. Here, I’m talking about investing in a quality CRM software — better yet, a CRM software that’s connected to your CMS (ahem, HubSpot).
The bottom line is, you need a central hub where all your materials and content can be stored, so both your marketing and sales teams can access, create, share, edit, and manage them easily. When your sales team has all the information and content they need, and they can easily find it, they’ll be in a great position to sell fast.
Another thing to mention here is investing in various technologies and automation resources within your CRM/CMS. Learning and using tools like chatbots and email sequences can streamline a lot of the communication between your sales team and their prospects.
And lastly, make sure your sales team is properly educated and trained on how to use this technology. What good are these tools if they don’t know how to use them, or if they don’t see the value in using them?
Aligning your sales and marketing teams is arguably the most critical factor in sales enablement. When each of these teams works separately, they can do a little bit to grow the business, in different ways. When they work together, they can do so much more.
We call this “smarketing.” Basically, smarketing means that your sales and marketing teams meet regularly to stay aligned on the same goals, brainstorm content ideas, coordinate campaigns with sales goals, share reporting and analytics, and ensure all their resources are in one location for all to access. This all helps to foster communication on how marketing can best help sales close deals and generate revenue.
Not sure where to start? We recommend this blog: Marketing and Sales Alignment Strategies That Cut Time and Boost Growth.
Salespeople need content too! In fact, personalized content is a huge factor in moving leads through the buyer’s journey. And when your sales team communicates which types of content would be most helpful for them, your marketing team has a better idea of what to create, organize, and distribute.
Some tried-and-true content ideas for sales enablement? Think of things your buyer may need or questions they may ask in order to move along in the decision-making process. Most often, this information is best distributed in the form of:
Sales enablement is a never-ending process, geared toward continuous improvement. Therefore, once you’ve started your sales enablement strategies and tactics, you should also start measuring and analyzing them.
Decide on a few KPIs that are important for your small business to track consistently, then stick to them for standardized reporting. At the same time, review your sales process again by asking what’s working, what’s not, and how it could be improved.
And while this is being undertaken, you’re working yourself back to the start of the cycle at Step 1, research. And so the process continues, until your salespeople are selling like never before, and your small business is becoming the most profitable it’s ever been, year after year.
Here at Evenbound, we're sales enablement experts — and we’re happy to share our knowledge! Let us help you develop sales enablement tactics that deliver serious results to improve your small business’s bottom line. Connect with us online today.