Sales

10 Things a Sales Leader Should Learn Before Investing in Sales Enablement Software.

Abhishikha Chatterjee
August 5, 2021
12
 mins read

Last modified on

Table of Content:
“77.1% of organizations with sales staff exceeding 500 people have dedicated sales enablement in place, compared to 39.3% of firms with 25 or fewer salespeople .” - G2

Purchasing sales enablement software is an intelligent decision for your organization.

But the software may or may not translate the benefits into business results.

Nurturing a winning sales team requires a more strategic approach to sales enablement.

To give you more perspective around how to make a sales software investment decision and purchase the best software for sales enablement, here are 10 things sales leaders must know.

Why Is Sales Enablement Important For Your Sales Team?

A recently promoted sales account manager walked into his senior’s cabin and reported last quarter’s performance of his Account Executives’ along with a surprising conclusion- fire the current guys. Let’s hire new ones. 

The sales lead contemplated the facts and outcomes presented to him. He asked the manager a simple question- What did you do to enable them? Did you or the organization add any value in their prospect meetings, discovery calls, demos, and collaterals? Did you coach them for winning calls? Or, has there been any contribution from the marketing team?

As you can make out the manager found himself baffled and gave his decision of firing a second thought.

A sales enablement process is important to enable sales guys and make them efficient in the market.
Am I at fault or the sales team?

Folks, sales enablement is a critical part of the sales process because it makes or breaks deals. 

A sales rep's performance isn't noticeable without sales-centric knowledge, tools, best practices, and resources. The organization and sales leaders need to invest in sales enablement practices to bring the best out of your sales team. Long story short-

You can empower your salespeople to sell more effectively with the sales enablement process, practice, and tools.

What Is Sales Enablement For A Growing Organization?

Survey form
Fill the Sales Sales Enablement Preparedness form here.

Once you have the answers in your mind(or notepad), you can determine if your organization is lacking in good selling practices or not. 

Good sales practices are linked to sales enablement strategy. Any organization investing time, money, and efforts into sales enablement is easily able to glide through the questions written above.

According to Gartner- Sales enablement is the process of providing salespeople with the tools they need to engage the buyer effectively.

Here’s what you should know about sales enablement-

Sales enablement is a strategic approach performed in an ongoing repetitive manner to facilitate the sales team’s performance. The approach is centered around encouraging and empowering achievers, and uplifting and coaching the underachievers. 

The sales enablement process aids sales teams by providing content, training, performance indicators, and a handful of best practices to nail critical deals.

The foundation of sales enablement is crucial. Several organizations focus on customer experience and engagement to frame a sales enablement strategy. Indeed, knowing your customer and their preference is more important in comparison to the sales teams’ slack areas.

Who Owns The Sales Enablement Process And Software?

Large organizations invest in building a sales enablement team that consists of folks from both sales and marketing teams. Marketing and sales jointly own sales enablement strategy and process. 

Sales enablement Team

Objective- Increase sales effectiveness and productivity

Involves- Marketing and sales guys

Key responsibility-

  • Work directly with salespeople and understand their challenges
  • Be involved in the early stages of the sale
  • Train and coach salespeople on products, services, and company details.
  • Report and track sales performance 
  • Simplify the sales cycle and processes
  • Continuously communicate with sales staff
  • Help in providing customers with pricing & ROI calculators and industry analysis

For smaller and mid-sized companies, the responsibilities remain the same but the stakeholders may change. Involving marketing is always welcome as it adds greater value to the content and resources.

Marketing and sales are part of the sales enablement strategy.
Involving marketing professionals in sales enablement practice is more valuable than you know.

Why Alignment Of Marketing And Sales Is Important For The Sales Enablement Process?

According to Gartner- Experts recommend that sales and marketing do not work in silos when it comes to sales enablement in the organization.
The relationship between sales, marketing, and customer in sales enablement process
The relationship between sales, marketing, and customer in sales enablement process

Having touched on sales and marketing sharing the responsibility, here are a few facts about how marketing adds value to sales.

  • Marketers fill the gap of missing content and resources at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
  • The marketing team is responsible for curating and distributing sales-specific content and similar resources.
  • To keep track of all sales-driven activities, marketing teams access sales management software and sales enablement software.
  • In the process of developing case studies, marketing is often involved as the first point of contact when receiving survey feedback from customers.
  • Marketing invests time in creating resources such as presentations, brochures, blogs, whitepapers, e-books, product guides, datasheets, competitive analysis, sample demos, and support sales reps with prospective customers in presenting and sharing.

Another important area marketing handles is maintaining a repository of all sales and marketing content and maintaining customer data by leveraging recorded demo or conversations.

How Does an Organization Practice Sales Enablement?

How to practice a Sales Enablement Strategy?
How to practice Sales Enablement Strategy?
  1. Identify a team or sales enablement stakeholder

    Together with sales and marketing, building a strong team is the first step to sales enablement success. Since we have discussed the team and responsibilities extensively in the previous sections, we won't repeat it and bore you. 

    Nonetheless, assembling a team is an important step and cannot be left to amateurs.
  2. Define Goals for Sales Team

    No, we don’t want you to focus on sales outcomes. The effectiveness of a sales enablement strategy is determined only by the performance of the sales team. 

    To put it another way, your goals must encircle sales teams' improvement in areas such as call quality, number of demos, improvement in handling product queries, etc. 
  3. Align sales and marketing

    After goals and people are selected, develop a culture of collaboration between sales and marketing. The two teams should coordinate their efforts and, more importantly, exchange information about customers and markets.
  4. Customer-focused approach and resources

    The second goal of a sales team is to leave the prospect/client with an unforgettable engagement experience. Because, even if all your prospects don’t convert into customers, a positive experience may make them come back another time. Also, a good experience makes a customer a referable customer. 

    Therefore, be attentive to the buyer’s journey, pain points, industry, and the persona you’re dealing with.
  5. Leverage a sales enablement software

    To aid the sales team, you need to maintain a repository of your resources and content. You’ll need to create and make a sales playbook accessible to your sales team. 

    While there are many manual and time-consuming methods, investing in a centralized automated sales enablement software will make your sales managers' lives easier and sales more fun. 
  6. Track results

    Tracking and reviewing are key components of the sales process. Ignoring this step would cost you several dollars in investment and many customers. We'll get into the details of KPI's later. 
  7. Make improvements 

    There will always be hiccups and flaws at the beginning of a new process or strategy. 

    With each iteration and failure, new amendments are important. Both sales and marketing should be open to implementing new suggestions and practices that benefit the selling process.

What Is Sales Enablement Software?

Sales enablement platforms give your sales teams access to impactful and well-designed sales collateral to research and share the company’s value proposition during the buyer journey. 

A sales enablement software is devised to empower salespeople by offering a repository for sales playbooks, best practices, and collaterals. The idea behind adding a sales enablement tool is to train salespeople on an ongoing basis. Before and after a sales call, anyone can find relevant data, from a new hire to an experienced salesperson. 

Sales representatives can easily access information that is productive, helpful, and timely during all phases of the selling cycle. 

You can ensure that your sales rep finds content on the fly, offers prospects, and trains every client-facing stakeholder. Plenty of sales enablement software is backed or integrated with conversation intelligence tools to access analyzed and transcribed sales calls.

A well-designed sales content and transcribed sales call are pivotal during client interactions.

Why Do You Need Sales Enablement Software?

According to the latest 2021 G2 reports, organizations with sales enablement in place have achieved a 49%-win rate on forecasted deals, compared to 42.5% for organizations without sales enablement.

Initially, most companies don't use a sales enablement tool in the beginning. In other words, they have a small team, less content, a small pipeline, and a low customer influx. 

However, once the organization has grown in terms of sales resources and clients, it's important to stop focusing on quantity and start worrying about quality. This status quo cannot be achieved by manual sales enablement practices. The right software can create a factory of quality content that is accessible to all sales personnel. 

Biggest Pro- Salespeople can stop relying on marketing by using the sales tool and make them responsible for content creation.

How Do You Choose the Right Sales Enablement Software Solution for Your Business?

Let’s make a simple checklist for your reference-

  1. First, do they match your sales and marketing content & training requirements?
  2. Is the solution making sales enablement and training agile?
  3. Can sales guys access customer data on the fly?
  4. Is the software solution equipped with conversation intelligence?
  5. Can the solution analyze call data and capture important moments?
  6. Is the solution compatible with other sales tools such as CRM, Dialers, etc.?
  7. Is the sales enablement solution scalable and able to keep up with growing demand & staff?
  8. Is multimedia support and content sharing capability available?
  9. Is the sales enablement software equipped with analytics? Does it track marketing, sales, and customer content?
  10. Does the solution offer mobile-friendly features and access?
  11. You must check for software reviews on the marketplace.
  12. Lastly, you must check for competitive pricing and additional charges, if any?

You must answer the above questions and collaborate with team members for feedback. The finalized list of responses will support the quick shortlisting of vendors.

How to Assess the Success of Your Sales Enablement Software?

The success of implementing a sales enablement technology can be evaluated in two ways-

  • Direct outcomes- Usually, sales enablement teams observe noticeable changes in conversations, sales cycles, staff attrition rate, sales productivity, time spent selling, and generating valuable business insights.
  • Indirect Outcomes- The sales team’s skill improvement translates into higher win rates, faster speed to revenue, high lead conversion rate, increase in the number of closed deals, customer brand loyalty, and revenue. 

List down the Best Practices of Using Sales Enablement Software.

To maximize revenue growth from sales enablement software, every member of the sales enablement team and the salesforce must follow a few key best practices:

  • Prepare for change management
  • Encourage smooth collaboration and cross-function workflow
  • Make sales enablement approach more buyer-centric
  • Focus on customer call data along with marketing collaterals
  • Don't just implement the best sales enablement software, periodically improve and evolve it.

Following the purchase of sales enablement software from the vendor, there’s a long road ahead. The process of accepting changes and onboarding people is grinding and time-consuming. 

Understanding the value adds to the software is crucial. Over time, sales enablement software solutions can result in doubling results and outperforming the competition. 

We hope these 10 spotlight discussions will help you make the much-needed changes to your sales process. 

Are you ready to invest in sales enablement software?

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