Your sales force is a lot like a football team. Your reps are playing to win. To be effective, they need the right mix of coaching and equipment.
They’re looking to you, their sales enablement leader, at the start of every play. Maybe it’s first and goal. Or third and long. Whatever the situation, they need help reaching the goal line (i.e., a successful close).
Are you giving them what they need, when and where they need it?
Here’s why outstanding sales enablement is all-important—and what you can do to achieve it.
If Holes Exist, Your Team Will Stumble
Perhaps your sales enablement process is lacking or lagging. You’re not getting the right content to the right people at the right time.
What does that mean in practice?
- The sales process is slow and clumsy.
- Reps are relying on the same old inward-out tactics. (Get a meeting, negotiate, show demo, conduct contracts.)
- A lack of timely resources is hindering their ability to progress the buyer’s journey.
- Closing isn’t a logical next step; it’s a struggle to overcome the odds.
Now, consider the alternative: buyer-centric sales enablement that runs like clockwork.
Key to Success: Keep Pace with Buyers
Let’s return for a moment to our football analogy.
The NFL playbook contains roughly 10,000 possible plays. But only a select few make sense in any given situation.
Consider the buyer’s journey.
- Defining the problem
- Addressing concerns
- Evaluating options
- Reconciling concerns
- Making a purchase decision
Your sales team has to meet buyers where they are. Sales enablement makes that possible. It delivers content that helps reps make plays and move buyers long. It provides the momentum your team needs to score.
These are the elements you’ll need to make your sales enablement program a success:
Content That Speaks the Language of Sales
White papers. Case studies. Executive summaries. Battle cards with product comparison matrices. Whatever content you serve, it must be attuned to the needs of buyers and reps alike. It must reflect an expert-level understanding of the sales process.
Training That Helps Reps Improve Their Game
The goal of sales enablement isn’t to make reps’ jobs easier. It’s to help them do their jobs better by progressing their skills. Training and coaching should go hand in hand with product information and buyer personas.
Busy salespeople need content available on every channel. Use mobile technology to reach the right people at the right time. Make your documents, podcasts, webinars, and recorded training sessions instantly downloadable to any device.
Don’t Let Anything Hold You Back
Achieving synergy between sales enablement and the sales process isn’t easy. Time and again, we’ve seen companies struggling with the following obstacles. Here’s how you can overcome them.
Problem: You have a limited view or understanding of the sales process.
Solution: Speak with reps. Ride along with them (what we call “a day in the life of”). Document in detail what they’re up against and how they respond.
Problem: You don’t have the capability (skill) or capacity (time) to create the right tools.
Solution: Go outside the sales organization. Tap marketing and product SMEs and leverage their resources.
Problem: You haven’t identified knowledge and skill gaps within the sales team.
Solution: Survey your sales managers. Where are reps excelling? Where are they falling down? Find or develop content that specifically fills those gaps.
Problem: There’s a lack of adoption in the sales organization.
Solution: If you build relevant, high-quality, high-value content, they will come.
How Do You Measure Success?
You may think you’re closing the gap between enablement and sales. But how can you know for certain?
Early on, you need to decide how enablement will be measured. Possibilities include:
- Lagging indicators, such as revenue
- Leading indicators, such as content adoption by the sales team
- Pipeline growth
- Pipeline multipliers by individual reps
Just remember: Sales enablement is an investment. It’s a lot like marketing. You won’t see the fruits of your efforts right away. But you will in due time.
Make Sure You Never Fall Behind. Play it smart. Stay up to date with our SBI Podcast. No filler, no fluff. Just peer-driven discussions of real sales improvements and practical takeaways you need.