What_is_Sales_Enablement

 

Five years ago Sales Enablement was a fringe term.  Today, it is one of the fastest growing positions within the sales organization.

 

Why?

 

Sales leaders are asked to increase revenue with the same amount of resources.  This means sales reps must be more efficient than ever before.  The primary focus of sales enablement is simple: Increasing the effectiveness of each customer interaction.

 

Here is our more formal definition, broken into 5 Key Components:

 

  1. Get the right sales content…
  2. into the hands of the right sellers…
  3. at the right time…
  4. through the right channel…
  5. to move a sales opportunity forward.

     

Do you have a full-time sales enablement resource?  Download our Sales Enablement Sample Job Posting and interview questions.  It will help you source and hire the right candidate to increase your team’s productivity.

 

Many of the newest technologies are directly related to this new position. Gamification, Mobile Content (Tablets), Certification Courses, and Content Management all fall under Enablement.  Sales Enablement helps marry technology and initiatives to the overall sales strategy. Without this keystone position, effectiveness projects are unaligned with sales and become obsolete.  Think of all your unused iPads and ignored CRM initiatives.  This is why organizations need sales enablement.

 

Let’s break down the 5 Key Components of the above Definition:

  • Get the Right Sales Content: There are three key components of sales content: Persona, Buying Stage, and Format.  Sales Enablement should ensure there is an ample amount of each type.  A CFO involved in a late stage deal wants an excel ROI proforma.  A lead development rep needs an awareness webinar explaining a common problem. Sales enablement’s job is to ensure these materials are available, up-to-date, and relevant. But content is not just a physical or electronic document.  It is also the talk track used by sales to present a solution or problem.  Sales Enablement writes and trains on these as well.
  • Into the Hands of the Right Sellers: Different positions require different content.  For Sales Reps, this means presentations and talk tracks for group meetings.  Or Tablet Content for one-on-ones.  Inside Sales Reps want shareable content and live demos.  Lead Development Reps need nurture emails.  Content should be tailored for each position to maximize customer traction.
  • At the Right Time: Content should be at the fingertips of sales at all times.  This means being Social, Local, and Mobile.  If a sales rep needs a key document, they should know exactly where it is.  Content Inventory Management is a critical component.  If your reps can’t find it in 30 seconds, they’ll stop looking.
  • Through the Right Channel: Content should be in the format that customers and prospects prefer.  This may mean employing:

     

    • Email Templates in CRM
    • Printed Brochures for Prospects

       

    • Remember
    • A Content App for Rep’s Tablets
  • To Move an Opportunity Forward: The end game of sales enablement is increased productivity.  If your content doesn’t accelerate the sales cycle, or increase wins, it is worthless.  Make sure your content is designed to answer specific micro-questions along the buyer’s journey.  Inward-out content that only talks about your company will not produce a meaningful result.  Make the content about your customers. 

     

Sales Enablement is more than just a “Content” job. It is the rising tide that lifts all boats. It tests reps to ensure messaging and skills are learned. It measures adoption of programs and platforms. Sales VPs who ignore this new approach suffer these symptoms:

 

  • Efficiency projects that fail to achieve ROI Goals.
  • Dependency on several “A” Players to Make the Number.
  • Reps only selling products they are most comfortable with.
  • Product launch failures.
  • Static Revenue per Rep figures.

     

    Sales_Enablement_Job_Posting1

Hire the talent you need to hit your goals.  Download our Sales Enablement Sample Job Posting.  Give your team the messaging they need to improve their interactions. 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Drew Zarges

Helps small business owners overcome their biggest sales and marketing challenges to accelerate revenue growth.
Learn more about Drew Zarges >

Prior to joining SBI in 2011, Drew worked in the intermediary investment sales world. During that time, he worked his way up the ladder from client service representative to leading and coaching his former company’s sales team on the west coast. At SBI, Drew has served some of the company’s most prestigious accounts as a consultant. For these clients, he successfully executed everything from sales process and lead generation projects to highly technical account segmentation work. He now serves as the General Manager of SBI OnDemand, a unit dedicated to applying the firm’s battle tested concepts and projects to the small business community.

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