Not so fast. Simple and fast fixes are a common false perception. Chasing the shiny object can lead to millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours wasted. Sales Enablement programs are created that don’t live up to expectations or never make it to the field. Sales staff become numb to the constant flow of ‘new and improved’ sales training programs. They become complacent and pay lip service to them. In this confusion, the reps continue just doing what they’ve always done. To access a list of emerging sales enablement best practices, download our workbook and flip to the Sales Enablement phase on pages 319 – 322 of the PDF workbook.
So what is sales enablement really? It’s about getting the right content into the hands of the right reps. It’s about getting it to them at the right time through the right channel. It sounds easy, but it’s not.
Below are 9 simple steps to help. They will ensure your team is executing a successful sales enablement strategy.
Step 1 – Sales Charter
What is a sales charter? A sales charter eliminates noise for the field. Anything that makes your sales team better belongs in your sales charter.
Why do you need one? Because it tells the sales enablement team exactly what to focus on. As a resource, read this recent article to go deeper.
Step 2 – Content Development
What does content development include? It involves developing relevant content to specific buyers during a specific stage of the buying process.
What is sales enablement’s role in content development? They are the communication vehicle. They must own the responsibility of getting the content out to the sales team.
Step 3 – Sales Playbooks
What is the purpose of sales playbooks? Essentially a playbook should answer this question – how does a sales rep interact with the content and the buyer at the moment of truth?
How should you execute? Take your content and package it up into bite-size digestible nuggets. These insights will help move the ball forward.
Step 4 – Technology Roadmap
What is a technology roadmap? This is figuring out how you’re going to serve up the playbooks and content to the sales team.
Some questions to think about during this step are how will they access this information? How will it be pushed to them? You want to eliminate the searching. Find a solution that provides guided selling to make interactions more meaningful and effective.
Step 5 – Sales Training
Notice there were several steps before sales training. These must be complete before you even begin thinking about the training piece. As a sales enablement leader, you should identify the necessary competencies, skills and knowledge for a sales team to be successful.
One thing to keep in mind – it’s a continuous education for all reps at all levels. The program should be designed to meet the needs of your internal personas.
Step 6 – Certification
What is this? This is where you test. You are ensuring the knowledge transfer and training were effective.
Why should you do this? The purpose is to change behavior, and identify gaps so you know where to focus your efforts. Educate and reinforce. That’s what certification is all about.
Step 7 – Gamification
Why? The purpose of gamification is to drive adoption in the field. It’s meant to be a fun, positive experience.
Education and incentive will lead to behavior change. And visibility breeds accountability.
Step 8 – Coaching
Why coaching? This is about change management. It’s about supporting your reps through the process.
How can sale enablement leaders help with coaching? They should build the framework and cadence. This is the rhythm behind the front line managers, which allows for constant reinforcement.
Step 9 – Measurement
Measurement is key. It allows you to quantify the program. It allows you to understand if what you’re doing is actually bearing fruit.
How do you measure this? Look at the behavior changes. Are your reps becoming certified? Is your gamification working? Also take into account the leading indicators. Are there more opportunities in the pipeline? Is the pipeline to quota ratio getting better? And finally lagging indicators – look at things like revenue run rates.
Sales enablement is way more than just sales training. If done right, sales enablement teams can help their sales leaders make their number more effectively and efficiently. To access a list of emerging best practices, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Sales Strategy section and flip to the Sales Enablement phase on pages 319 – 322 of the PDF workbook.