Mackenzie | March 31, 2020 | Sales Enablement
Sales enablement is the process of empowering sales teams to sell more efficiently at a higher success rate. This process is supported with technology, tools, and content that works to shorten the sales cycle. It's become so effective and popular that it's now offered as a HubSpot service by digital marketing agencies and growth experts alike.
In plain English, when we talk about sales enablement, we're talking about giving your sales teams more training and better tools to sell better and faster.
Inbound marketing really took off in the early 2000s. The idea was to market to customers, rather than at them by pulling them into the marketing and sales funnel with content and service that genuinely answered their questions and solved their pain points.
The problem is that until now, the majority of this focus has been placed on marketing. If your company is using inbound marketing tactics, but hasn't applied the inbound methodology to your sales process, your leads and customers are being met with a discord, likely causing some of them to drop out of the sales funnel.
Think about it this way — your marketing team is functioning on a pull methodology — pulling leads into your sales funnel. Your sales team, on the other hand, is still functioning with a push methodology — pushing products and services at those customers until something sticks.
For your prospects, there's an unsettling shift when they move from dealing with your inbound marketing team to your push sales team.
Sales enablement is the solution to this shift.
By offering your sales team the training, tools, and technology they need to continue offering a genuine, inbound sales experience to those prospects, you not only retain those prospects in your sales funnel, but you shorten the length of that sales cycle.
Okay, so sales enablement can help shorten your sales cycle. Sounds great, right? But how, exactly, does it do that?
Let's show you.
Here are a few of the tactics we're talking about, so you can see exactly how sales enablement tactics work to increase revenue and shorten your sales cycle.
Content marketing is a successful marketing tactic, but it works for more than just your marketing department. An important component of sales enablement is developing content that can help your sales department nurture their prospects closer to making a deal. Not sure what we're talking about? Here are a few examples of content marketing that helps enable your sales team:
For prospects in nearly any stage of your sales funnel, a case study can be exceptionally useful. Case studies show those prospects exactly what you've done in the past for clients just like them, helping them imagine how their services can help you too.
For many of our clients, pricing tends to be one of the biggest qualifiers for their sales prospects. If you're finding that too many of your prospects are dropping out of the sales cycle the minute they see your prices, stop making your prices a surprise.
Package your pricing information into a nice, downloadable PDF or content offer, and let prospects find it on their own.
Once they download your pricing information, your sales team can reach out and ask if they have any questions, but they're not wasting their time on leads who don't have the funds to invest in your products or services.
Your sales team fields questions about your product or service all day.
Take those questions, and turn the answers into whitepapers. Not only will you have developed a piece of content that makes your sales team's life a little easier, but you'll have a content offer that's attractive to those prospects. If you're giving those answers out freely, those prospects are likely to turn back to you for more information.
We've talked about how training and targeted content can foster sales enablement, which means that the last part of the equation is technology.
As you already know, we're a HubSpot Partner Agency, which means we're partial to their sales enablement tools, but there are plenty of options out there if you're not ready to jump on the HubSpot bandwagon. Let's focus on a few general tech tools you can use to empower your sales team to sell better, and faster.
Automated email sequences are a key way to help your sales team close faster. Just as email workflows help nurture leads through to your sales funnel, so can email sequences nurture prospects towards closing. Using an email sequence tool can make this process so simple for your sales team to implement, they hardly have to think about it.
They can set up customized email sequences that follow up with a prospect if they haven't responded in a few days. This way, your sales team is making sure no prospects fall through the cracks, without having to think about it or take extra time out of their already busy days to send those follow ups.
One tool we're loving lately is automatic calendar linking, also known as automated prospecting. This tool allows your sales team to connect their calendars directly to their emails.
When they send out an email to a lead, automated prospecting allows that lead to schedule a time to meet with your sales rep, whenever is most convenient for them. This removes a big step in the sales process, and makes it easy for leads to convert to prospects on their own.
Direct messaging, aka live chat, is another seriously useful sales enablement tool that HubSpot offers. Live chat gives your sales reps the chance to talk to prospects at the exact moment they're thinking about your company and browsing your available services.
Best of all, the HubSpot live chat is easily optimized so that the chat option is only shown for high quality leads. This way, your sales team doesn't waste time on every visitor who comes to your site with a question.
Sales enablement is the process of empowering your sales reps to sell better with the tools, the content, and the data they need to close bigger deals, faster.
If you're not sure where to start with sales enablement, we'd recommend adding just one or two tools. Investing in a CRM like HubSpot is also a great way to get all the functionality you need, plus the training help that can get your sales team onboarded and using the tools in as little time as possible.
If you have more questions about sales enablement, we're here to help. Chat with the Evenbound team or leave us a message online — we'd love to answer any question you might have.
At Evenbound, we're all about helping our clients grow. We use inbound and outbound marketing strategies to deliver you the qualified traffic and leads you need for serious growth. And we have a lot of fun doing it.
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