Sales enablement is all about helping salespeople succeed. This involves the process, practices, technologies and tools that improve the productivity and performance of the sales organization and sales team. Examples of sales enablement include playbooks, sales processes, collateral, CRM, success metrics and KPIs, and sales portals.
The benefit of sales enablement is improved win rates, faster sales cycles, larger deals, and happier customers. When the sales team is all executing the same sales process with the right training and tools, efficiency skyrockets and new hires onboard much more rapidly. Additional benefits include the latest sales information and collateral being easily accessible from home, the office, or the road.
Sales enablement doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective, in fact it should be simple. There are simple things you can do to assess your current levels of enablement and identify the gaps. Start by creating a matrix of the tools your team does have, and honestly assess them in terms of value and usage.
For example, does your sales team have a sales playbook? If so, great start, but is the playbook mapped to buyer personas and a sales process? Does your sales team use the playbook? Is your playbook current? If the answer is no to any of these questions, it’s time to drill down on this sales enablement tool and determine how to make it more effective.
Another way to better enable your team is to open up the lines of communication with your sales team. Institute 1:1 weekly meetings between managers and reps to stay up to speed on their status, and learn where they may need some help. In this frequently remote environment we find ourselves in, this has never been more important. After identifying tools that the team needs built (or updated), remember to hold a formal training on the new material to ensure its stickiness.
Since 2003, SRi has supported B2B sales teams of all types and industries by building enablement tools and training materials customized to their company culture, sales process, and desired buyer. In this blog, we’ve identified the 11 most important resources to improve sales team performance.
- Case studies: Customer success stories that give the prospect a true narrative about how your product or service solves the problem they are experiencing. Case studies often incorporate a customer testimonial, and prove credibility in the market that your product or service really work. Case studies are a good early-stage tool to use before providing references further along in the sales process.
- Scripts: Establishing key talking points or verbatim scripts is critical to not only improving and streamlining sales messaging, scripts dramatically improve the speed reps can make phone calls and send emails. If you're not providing and monitoring your sales team's scripting, each of your team members can be saying something different, and spending their valuable selling time duplicating the work of writing their own scripts.
- Fact/product sheets: Supporting materials that give the prospect more information about your company and products/services are vital. Well done fact sheets make a great first impression, quickly explain the value and benefits of your product, and boost credibility in initial prospect meetings. Attach them to follow-up emails to allow your prospect to self-educate on their time schedule.
- Competitive analysis: We typically share this with reps in the form of “battlecards”, a format that is easy to consume and quick to reference. This tool gives reps information to differentiate and provide value against competitors. Remember to store competitive information in a place easily accessible to the whole team, and emphasize the importance of the team keeping the document updated to ensure everybody has access to the latest competitive information.
- Corporate slide deck: A slide deck used for presentations in many stages of the sales process, from initial conversation until proposal presentation. As with scripts, sales presentations need be trained upon so that reps are able effectively use the tool and present with confidence.
- LinkedIn profile: Everyone in the sales organization should have a LinkedIn, and your company should have a page as well. LinkedIn is a tool with multiple purposes; it puts a face to the name when a prospect searches someone on your sales team, it is a great way to connect with prospects after an initial call, it is a helpful aid in list-making and blueprinting. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a paid tool, fantastic for sales reps blueprinting new accounts and building relationships.
- Sales processes for new business and account management: Easy-to-understand, well-defined, step-by-step processes that aligns with your prospect/customer’s buying process, provide the framework for reps to follow to maximize close rates. Your CRM should be mapped to your sales process, and different teams may need different processes to follow (think business development vs. account management or enterprise vs. small business).
- Call logging and email tracking: Recording of sales communications in CRM for internal review, analysis and training is critical to coaching your team, but is often a burdensome exercise for your team. Be sure to optimize the fields you use, where they fall on the page as it relates to a prospect conversation, and train on click-to-dial software and automatic logging as available.
- Training: Tools are useless if reps don't know they exist, can't find them, or use outdated versions. Conduct training on all new tools and technologies to get reps comfortable with them, and continually monitor usage to make sure enablement tools are being used properly. Most LMS software, and even Sharepoint will have reporting tools to provide insight on how the tools are being used, but 1:1s offer a great opportunity to get first-hand feedback.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Contact management is obviously a critical tool, and you probably already have a system in place. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the right one, or that it’s being used to its full potential. Our clients often struggle to get their teams to use CRM enough, but there are things you can do from an enablement perspective to get the data you're looking for while making data entry much less painful for your sellers.
- Sales portal: All sales enablement tools, resources, and training materials should be hosted in a shared place for easy sales team access. LMS systems are wonderful if you're able to invest i one, but a Box, Dropbox, or Sharepoint solution will work as well. If your portal is cumbersome today, It's likely not being used as much as you intended. Features such as tagging, user-based search, and mobile-compatibility are features to look for in a sales portal.
You may have some, or all, of these tools already; if so, evaluate what you do have to make sure it’s working properly. If not, consider implementing some of these tools into your sales organization in the coming year. Need help evaluating? Download our sales organization assessment worksheet.
Sales Result can support your sales enablement efforts. Our sales playbooks and processes are proven to decrease ramp times by 50% and get sales teams performing at a higher level with better presentations, scripts, fact sheets, and more. Operationally, we can provide recommendations to improve your CRM and sales portal technologies. If you’re ready to turn more cold leads into closed sales with enablement tools designed specifically for your team, schedule a complimentary consultation with SRi today!