If you are new to online marketing, there are a lot of terms and ideas that you are just learning about.
You want to be effective in your inbound marketing so you know there are tools that you need to utilize, processes that should be followed, and best practices that must be implemented.
Ultimately, generating sales is your business goal. Sales enablement is all about increasing the efficiency of your sales processes.
What is Sales Enablement
Sales enablement is an evolving term. In a nutshell, sales enablement is the tools, processes, content, and technology that helps your sales force become more effective and close more deals. It’s all about leveraging all of your assets in the most effective way to get more sales.
Increased sales and profits represent the core ideas of sales enablement. When the sales process is more efficient, the result is more sales and less waste.
Sales enablement accomplishes this by aligning the entire business to a new focus on sales and making it easier for the customer to purchase your products.
To make the most out of your sales enablement efforts, it’s important to follow a few best practices. Doing so will help you maximize your results and speed up implementation.
Top 5 Best Practices for Sales Enablement
1. Utilize Technology and Tools
It’s important that technology is employed in your sales enablement activity. There are a wealth of tools out there to help a business implement true sales enablement.
A good start is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. A CRM system can help the entire company keep track of customers and where they are in the sales funnel process.
Leads, prospects, pending customers, and past customers can be tracked and, when appropriate, contacted for followups.
Business Intelligence software is also effective for sales teams. A good BI system can help identify trends in the marketplace and industry.
It can help identify areas of waste and areas of growth. The information can help optimize processes.
Surveys are a very important tool when it comes to customer retention. There are countless services that can help companies survey their customers.
These surveys can be designed to find areas of improvement as well as areas where the company is doing well.
Customers feel that they have a voice and their concerns are being listened to. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an important indicator of customer satisfaction and retention and is only available through surveys.
2. Provide Appropriate Content to Your Customers
Providing appropriate content to your customers is something that can’t be overstressed. Customers have different content needs depending on where they are in the sales funnel.
Gone are the days when customers would reach out to the sales staff when they were still in the initial research stage. The rise of the internet means that potential customers are scouring the web in general and company sites in particular when it comes to gathering information about a company’s products and services.
A best practice in sales enablement is to share a wide array of content with potential leads and customers.
These include case studies, white papers, blog posts, and more. The idea is to provide self-service information for customers throughout the sales process.
A white paper can provide information that can create a great lead. A case study can provide a good use case for your product or service. A blog post is shareable and can reach those who may not have heard of your products and services otherwise.
Content accessibility shouldn’t be limited to customers. The sales staff needs access to internal documents that can help them meet customer needs and expectations.
These can include product manuals, product catalog, and product specifications. Moreover, they need to be trained on how to use both the customer facing content as well as the internal content. They need the training to effectively communicate this information to prospective customers.
3. Provide Sales Enablement Training
Sales enablement and training go hand in hand. Sales enablement training means training your entire staff on how to best utilize it.
They will learn about the different tools and technology that can help them and most importantly, how to use these tools.
They will learn about their own role in the sales process and how to use the sales funnel. They will learn about their products so they can share appropriate content. Most of all, the training ensures that everyone is on the same page.
Training isn’t a one and done process. It’s a continual process to keep employees aware of tools and content that they can use to improve their personal sales performance as well as collectively as a team.
4. Make Sales Enablement Implementation Plan
A company-wide realignment of objectives requires a solid plan to begin the process. The plan can detail out the beginning steps needed to implement sales enablement.
It doesn’t need to provide all the answers or even all the steps that will be taken. A good plan is one that provides a basic framework to begin meeting goals.
These goals need to be well defined. The actual plan can and should be evaluated regularly to ensure that goals are being met.
5. Take Ownership and Leadership
Finally, you need to take ownership and leadership of your sales enablement. All employees need to feel like they have an ownership stake in the sales enablement process.
They need to feel that empowerment that they can do what it takes to help turn the prospect into a customer.
You need to show the leadership needed to help your staff meet feel that ownership. You need to lead by showing how important Sales Enablement is to your business.
You can make this happen by taking an active role in training your employees. Take an active interest in the content being generated.
Visit with your sales staff regularly and support their efforts. Evaluate how they are doing in reaching their goals and provide the help needed to reach those goals.
Sales enablement can help take your online marketing efforts to the next level. Utilize these best practices and your company can find the kind of success that you’ve been waiting for.