What Exactly is Sales Enablement?
While implementing Sales Enablement processes are a key strategy to maximizing your business’ revenue; few people (outside of the Sales Enablement field) have actually heard the term, much less understand what it is. Let me introduce you to this rapidly growing discipline.
Today’s Business Environment
In today’s business environment the buyer/seller dynamic has had explosive change. From the buyer’s perspective, they are under pressure to get results with less money; have far less time to make their decisions while having more choice not only of product, but also resources to research the product. They are no longer dependent sales reps to gain their product knowledge. While on the sales side of the business, sellers also need to get results with less money; buyers are reaching out to them far later in the sales cycle (leading to smaller, less profitable sales); and often have to deal with multiple buyers for one deal; each with a different interest.
On top of this changing dynamic, business’ have to deal with high employee churn, low sales rep productivity, poor lead quality and more deals getting stalled in the sales funnel while getting beaten up on price.
The Discipline of Sales Enablement
Phew! That is a lot to deal with. As a result, companies need to change how they sell, which has helped bring the discipline of Sales Enablement to the forefront. This is a discipline which empowers sales teams with the right tools, technology and training at each stage of the buyer’s journey to maximize their effectiveness when interacting with clients. And there is the key – mapping sales activity against the buyer’s journey.
The Five Building Blocks of Sales Enablement
There are five areas that I specifically focus on as a Sales Enablement consultant; which for me are the building blocks needed to develop a robust Sales Enablement program;
1. Buyer’s Journey - understand and map the buyer’s journey for each buyer’s personas.
2. Marketing/Sales Tool Content - map all marketing/sales tool content against each stage of the buyer’s journey and look for gaps
3. ** Sales Processes - define, map and implement sales processes for each stage of the buyer’s journey
4. Sales Technology - review and assess for effectiveness, all sales technologies which have been implemented
5. On-boarding and On-going Sales Training - review, assess and develop on-boarding and ongoing training processes
** From my perspective, this is the heart of a Sales Enablement Program and it is one of the least well defined processes in a business.
Once a business starts to map their tools, processes and technologies, gaps start to readily appear which can then be turned into opportunities for improvement. This process isn’t quick or easy; but it is definitely needed if companies want to decrease employee churn, improve sales productivity and effectiveness, improve deal size, increase margins and get those deals flowing through your pipeline.