An important fact to remember is that 70% (aligned to achieve) of prospects buying decisions are made before they talk to the company. If so which department of your organization truly has a more significant impact on the actual sale? Sales or marketing?
The answer would be both. By aligning these two teams and getting them to work together, you are setting yourself up for success.
As the time has passed the internet is revolutionizing the way sales works. Before the internet, a prospect would ideally go through every process with a salesperson. However, with the internet being present and providing an abundance of information regarding everything you could imagine, it has changed the role of a salesperson.
This is a good thing for you; you have to adapt to it and know how to use it to your advantage. Firstly, you have to make sure your sales and marketing teams are practicing Inbound techniques which are all about generating content that is helpful along with providing appropriate resources that will attract people to your business. Attracting people regardless of your industry and its size has become much easier and effective in comparison to chasing down prospects, cold-calling them and trying to convince them to buy from you.
So, what is sales enablement?
Sales Enablement is the processes, content, and technology that empower sales teams efficiently at a higher velocity- and that’s a task marketing is well equipped to execute.
The foundation of this process is to primarily provide your sales team with useful tools to successfully engage the prospect throughout the buying process. These tools may be sales practices, customer-facing content and others. Regardless of what strategy you use and means you choose to provide them with making sure it is easy to consume and reusable throughout the sales organization.
What makes sales enablement important?
While you may have those confident overachievers who always fulfill the quota, sales enablement helps you enable a broader spectrum of sales reps to achieve quotas.
Sales enablement provides your sales team with tools, resources, and knowledge they require to be successful. Organizations tend to overlook the importance of sales enablement; it is a marketing function less than 8% of the time (CSO insights sales enablement optimization study, 2016). This is a significant disadvantage to your business because your marketing team is already well equipped with the skill sets for the job and more importantly they are the foundation and own your company’s relationship with prospects presale.
To be able to extract value from prospects it is essential that you teach your sales team to provide value to them. Prospects will not invest without getting something in return.
While 70% of prospects do all their research before they even think of speaking to sales, 59% (aligned to achieve) have conveyed that prefer not speaking to sales at all. However, if at all during their buying journey a prospect HAS to talk with a sales rep, they will be fully prepared with their research and information before making that call. This is where a risk factor comes into play. If at this point when a prospect is communicating with a sales rep and the information they have versus the information the sales rep provides is not aligning you will hit a roadblock, and potentially kill the deal with your prospect. This is because a prospect would not feel confident in doing business with you as your information is not aligning. This is why sales important is crucial for any company in any industry. Your sales and marketing teams must be aligned, or you are putting yourself at risk of losing potential customers.
How to practice sales enablement?
For any of the practices mentioned below to work for you efficiently, you need to understand that you need to find a way to align your sales and marketing team perfectly. All the strategies, content and offers are created by your marketing team, for your sales team to reach their fullest potential they must be in sync with your marketing team. As your marketing team will build the foundation for your sales team.
1. Clearly define the objective of your program.
2. Provide your sales team with all the tools, information, strategies and training necessary to engage and convert prospects. You may even realize that just one or more strategies work for your company.
3. The buyers' experience should be your base for sales enablement. Make sure they are fully aware of the buyers’ journey and then help them mould their tactics accordingly keeping the buying experience of your prospects as a top priority.
4. Keep creating updated and high-quality content, while maintaining a track on trends. Efficient sales teams are now relying on using high-quality content to get a grasp on prospects, and it is the building block of their relationship with them, instead of being pushy and overbearing the content will speak for them.
5. A significant part of sales enablement is sales training; this must be an ongoing effort. The continuity of sales training will keep the sales team up to date and help keep the information they are absorbing fresh at all times.
6. Just providing the necessary tools is not enough, you need to make sure your sales team knows how to use them effectively to its fullest potential and that they leverage what you are giving them to boost your ROI.
Related Reading: Asking these questions can help you align your marketing with sales
Which department owns sales enablement?
Sales enablement does focus on boosting your sales team and providing them with a technique that is crucial in this day and time. You cannot stick to old school methods; while they may give you results once or twice, you need stability and consistency. You need the best results at all times. For this, you need to understand that the sales team owns sales enablement in conjunction with your marketing team. This is because it is essential that they collaborate on the resources for your sales enablement program to be successful. We are arriving at a point where you cannot see your sales and marketing teams as spate; instead, you need to look at them as one. Without one the other will fail. Bringing them both together is what will help you keep up with today's empowered buyers. To thrive in the world of business, your sales team needs powerful content, the best training and it is your marketing team that provide them with all of that.