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65% of over-performing sales teams have a dedicated sales enablement person (or team), and 84% achieve their quotas when there’s a quality sales enablement strategy in place.
If you want to be one of those teams absolutely knocking it out of the park, therefore, it’s easy to see that you need a push for sales enablement.
This is sometimes easier said than done because great sales enablement involves collaboration across multiple departments. It also requires your company to allow your reps to take risks, and having management listen to constructive feedback.
The good news is that a strong strategy can make a world of difference here, and in this post, we’ll show you exactly how to create a sales enablement for your business that will drive real results.
Wondering whether or not you really need a sales enablement strategy? The answer is yes, and we’ll show you why.
Sales enablement is the process of setting up your sales team for success with all the training, information, and tools they need.
Keep in mind that 74% of buyers choose to move forward with the sales rep that’s the first to share value and insight; a sales enablement strategy will help you do that, maximizing sales and revenue. If you want to up your win rates, this is a must-have.
While this sounds simple, it’s crucial to have a formal strategy in place.
A strategy is a plan that will create a formalized, documented approach. Not only will this help fill in any gaps you may have missed without a formal plan, but it also keeps everyone on the same page for a unified approach.
The entire company will be on a single page, including the sales, marketing, and product teams. This facilitates stronger communication between departments, and between both the executives or leadership teams and their workers.
Finally, a standardization of processes is going to make future onboarding easier, while also maximizing transparency. And with transparency, it will be easier to identify potential problems and breakdowns— sometimes before they even happen.
If you don’t have a formalized sales enablement strategy, your sales team will be likely to experience the consequences— as will their sales quotas.
You may not have the right tools for them to succeed, which may as well be tying their hands behind their back. It can force your team members to put valuable energy into doing tedious, manual work instead of excelling in their core job role: selling.
There’s also the chance that you can end up with redundant assets or poor quality content that’s used to educate both your sales team and their potential customers.
Brands without sales enablement strategies typically end up with poor cross-department communication, causing different departments to work independently (and sometimes inadvertently against) each other.
Before you start launching into creating a sales enablement strategy, you need to first understand exactly where you are now and what’s happening with your team already.
There’s three steps that you absolutely must complete (and we really can’t overstate that enough): Internal research, market research, and competitor research.
As a note: Make sure that you’re being thorough here. Your sales enablement strategy will depend entirely on what you glean from the research stage. Inaccurate or incomplete research will skew— or even ruin— the strategy. So while the process may take a hot minute, you want to make sure it’s done well.
The first step here will be internal research, focusing on a thorough review of your existing business processes. Conduct a sales content audit as part of this process.
How does your sales team operate? And your marketing team?
Why do the sales processes look like this, and could they be done better? More efficiently, faster, or more reliably?
If so, what’s needed to be successful?
You may, for example, realize that your sales team’s standard process is to get marketing qualified leads (MQLs) that are at the very, very early stages of the sales process. All leads are dumped into the CRM unceremoniously, with little qualifying information, and it’s up to sales to try to schedule demos.
Improvements might be:
Make sure that you’re talking to your sales team directly to find out what pain points they have, and if they have suggestions or ideas. They’re going to be a wealth of knowledge, so take advantage of that.
This part of the puzzle is learning all about your audience to potentially improve sales performance.
Where do they live or work? Who are they?
What is your business’s ideal customer profile (ICP)? What traits and behaviors does your highest value audience segment have?
You need to understand:
Finally, it’s time to dive deep into competitor research.
You’ll need to first identify some of your top competitors. Look for those who are targeting the same audience you are, and who offer similar products, services, or features.
Ask the following questions:
Look at this from a marketing and sales perspective, because marketing is an important part of the overall sales funnel— it determines when you get leads and what types of leads your sales team may get.
Your research is done. You know where you stand, and you’ve got some ideas for potential improvement.
Here’s how you put it into action.
After the research discussed above, it’s time to take what you’ve learned and start to develop a plan.
As a reminder: The research process is essential, so don’t overlook it.
You’re going to want to start by creating the perfect sales tech stack. This means choosing tools that will fully support all of your sales teams needs, and may include:
Think about what problems your sales team currently has.
Do they struggle to keep track of leads? Do they have trouble getting custom deals to users quickly enough? Are they not gaining enough information to really nurture relationships effectively?
Look for gaps in your existing tools, and find tools that will fill them. This may mean swapping out a few tools altogether or adding a few to your arsenal.
During the proposal part of the sales enablement strategy, you need to develop and share that strategy with your executives.
This plan should be a polished idea to present to executives and to then share with your team. It needs to include documented processes and explanations for the following:
If possible, when presenting the sales enablement strategy to the decision makers in your organization, do the following:
Share as much data as you can to back up your points; this is what executives want to see. You can also include quotes about struggles your sales team is having, and showing how potential pain points or issues in the buyer’s journey may be preventing deals from closing.
Once your sales enablement strategy is approved by executives, it’s time to get your teams fully trained and onboard. In many cases, sales teams may be happy to see these changes, especially if they got to share their concerns or struggles during their research process.
If there is some resistance, that’s also normal; change isn’t always widely accepted, but over time they will adapt.
During the onboarding stage, you’re first going to need to install all new sales enablement tools and software. Make sure that your leadership is fully knowledgeable on how to use it, and that there will be a documented approach for how they want their teams to use it. You can likely reach out and get demos or training directly from the tools’ customer service teams if needed.
You’ll then need to integrate any existing tools with new ones, if relevant, and migrate any and all relevant data and content into the appropriate platforms. If you need help with integrations and there aren’t native options, tools like Zapier may be able to help with this.
Once this is done, train employees on the new tools and— just as importantly— on the processes for how to use it.
At this stage, make sure that different departments are able to collaborate and that there’s a clear process in place for it. Whether they need to request content, provide feedback, or share data, there should be an established workflow in place.
Keep in mind that this part of the process often takes time and money. Training, onboarding, adoption, and software installation is time consuming and may slow things down while your team adjusts. Budget and time flexibility are important; you probably don’t want to implement them right at your busiest season of the year.
Your tools are in place, your work processes are established, and your team is trained.
Now it comes down to execution.
Your sales team has the assets and data they need and can start engaging. Your content creators are getting feedback from marketing and sales to create stronger assets, and you’re getting more positive engagement and closed deals.
Make sure that you’re keeping an eye on your sales team and marketing teams during this process to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the strategy, truly understands it, and has been able to adopt it. You want to find hiccups early so you can adapt as needed.
You’ve implemented your sales enablement strategy, and things are chugging along. Congrats!
Unfortunately, the work never really ends. You’re going to want to have a core person— whether it’s a sales team lead, a sales enablement specialist, or a RevOps manager— keep an eye on how things are progressing and look for more ways to fine tune the system.
Talk to the sales team regularly. How do they like the tools? Do they think the sales journey could be adjusted for the better?
You’ll also potentially need to make changes as your business scales. Repeat the steps listed above, and modify as needed to take your business to new heights— and new revenue.
Wondering what types of sales enablement tactics will work for your strategy? There are plenty out there, but let’s take a look at three of the most common (and effective!).
Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are a great start, but it’s often product qualified leads (PQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs) that are more valuable to the sales team.
It’s been a common sales enablement strategy tactic for SaaS brands to find ways to qualify users more thoroughly before they reach sales. There’s a bigger push for free trials, for example, and product video walkthroughs that educate users about products.
You need to have all of your sales enablement and sales content in one, easy-to-access place for your entire team.
Sales enablement content can include training videos, product educational content, and documents about creating deals for customers. It may also include customer battle cards and competitive intelligence briefs.
Sales content may include product demo decks, white papers, pricing information, and case studies. These are client-facing documents that may need to be shared with customers during presentations or sales pitches
Content Camel can help here; it’s designed for marketing and sales teams, and makes it easy for you to organize and find content throughout the entire organization. We specifically designed our content sharing platform to work as a core sales enablement tool. You can see more here.
Your ICP is going to be central as a sales enablement strategy tactic, because this is one of the most valuable things you can do to support your sales team.
Do a careful analysis and look at what audiences you want to reach, and who you’re reaching now. Who is spending more, retaining longer, and having an overall higher lifetime value (LTV)? What do your high value audiences have in common?
It’s also worth taking a look at “lower-value” users to see if you can turn them into higher-value customers. You may, for example, realize that an individual at a large company is using your software, and that with the right push you could steer them towards company-wide adoption at an enterprise grade account.
Content Camel’s sales enablement content management platform is designed for marketing and sales teams. They’re our bread and butter.
Our search functionality and advanced tagging system ensures that no one will ever lose content (or not be able to find it). You can access analytics and data with your content to keep an eye on it, too.
And if there’s content your sales team needs but doesn’t have, they can request it from within the app.
We can help you share files and folders easily, with tracking links included, all from a single speed. We have a fast and easy content import process for fast uploading, and 24⁄7 online support and troubleshooting available.
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Content Camel is a sales enablement tool used for sales content management. High-growth sales teams use our system to quickly find and share the right content for each specific sales situation and measure content use and effectiveness.