You have built a sales enablement team. Everything is up and running. Now what? How do you scale this new team? How do you fix bottlenecks? What is the ideal team structure? These are some common questions companies run across after creating their sales enablement team. Here are some sales enablement best practices to take your team to the next level.
Sales enablement is necessary
Before we get into perfecting your sales enablement team, let’s remember why it’s important in the first place. This will help redirect your focus to making it the best team possible. Sales enablement utilizes analytics and marketing tools to help the sales team sell more effectively.
It’s important because it provides several key benefits:
1. Buyer behavior has changed
With more and more information available at a click of a keyboard, buyers are more educated today. As a result, selling has changed. Gone are the days of cold calling or push marketing. Selling needs to be more tailored to individual buyers’ needs. And sales enablement accomplishes this.
2. Maintain customers longer
It’s a lot easier to keep a customer than gain a new one. Sales enablement creates a bond between marketing and sales. Teaching your sales team how to use the marketing materials available, will help maintain your customer base. Basically, a new customer won’t need the same products or services than a long-time customer would. Sales enablement recognizes this fact.
3. Keep valuable sales team members
Your sales team is key to creating sales enablement best practices. Why? Because you have spent the time training these employees and have coached them on how to close more sales. The last thing you need is these team members quitting. It costs a lot of money to hire and onboard new employees. With a great sales enablement structure in place, your sales staff will want to work for your company. They will be making more sales, maintaining more long-term relationships, and will understand the company goals more clearly.
Common sales enablement problems and solutions
Now that you are reminded of some of the benefits of sales enablement, let’s discuss some common problems and ways to solve these. You want to make sales enablement as streamlined as possible for success.
- Improper training in place
You may have a sales enablement team in place, but does every team member really understand the company selling goals? What are the different sales enablement roles within your organization and how does the team interact? That’s where training comes in. Your sales team needs to be trained on how their role fits within your organization. They also need to be trained in how to use the marketing vehicles available to sell better to their customers. Training needs to be constant from onboarding to new product rollouts to shifts in company goals.
- Sales and marketing not communicating
Another common problem area is sales and marketing operating separately from one another. As we discussed earlier, the core of sales enablement success is the sales team working directly with the marketing team to gain and keep customers. It’s important to have ongoing meetings between these two departments to discuss strategy. And if there are any issues on either side, to iron these out with strong communication and solutions in place.
- Low-quality marketing content
It’s not enough to pinpoint areas of sales weakness in sales enablement. You need to take this a step further. Once you see where more sales can be made, you need to supply your sales team with the right tools. Sometimes organizations focus so much on the sales bottlenecks, that they forget about the solutions. Producing high-quality content like blogs, social media posts, and white paper is crucial to your sales team’s success.
- Improper lead capturing
Another area of sales enablement weakness is often times the tools that capture closed/won and closed/lost sales. Utilizing a strong CRM is key to driving more sales. It not only serves as an analytical tool for a sales enablement manager but as a guide for the sales team. It can provide insight on how to start conversations with prospects and what marketing content may be best to use.
- Too focused on sales numbers
You may say, but the goal is to gain as many sales as quickly as possible. Yes, a universal goal of any organization is to sell more, but there is a right and wrong way to go about selling. Simply sending a flurry of emails or placing several calls to potential clients won’t result in the high-quality customers you want. Instead, sales enablement should be helping you target your sales pitches.
This is where training is so vital. Try peer to peer training with your sales team. Your team members should be going the extra mile with prospects. Customers should understand product/service choices completely, feel their sales team member communicates when they have questions, and gives constructive feedback when needed. All in all, you want customers to feel they have a true relationship with your company.
Scaling your sales enablement team
Once you have worked out any issues with your sales enablement process, it is time to move forward. Whether you have a team of one or a large sales enablement department, growth should be top of mind. How will you scale your sales enablement team to land more sales? Here are some ways to take your sales enablement to the next level.
1. Learning Management System
Make sure you have a learning management system (LMS) in place. This is a great place for the sales team to access product updates and take the necessary training needed. If you have one in place already, make sure it is set up to scale with your sales enablement team. It also needs to be flexible where sales team members can access it via desktop or mobile. Lastly, a strong LMS should be able to integrate with other sales software. As you grow your product or service offerings, your sales enablement team should grow their knowledge of these as well.
We recently added assessment capabilities to the Continu learning management system! Every Continu customer now has access to assessments. Click here to find out more about how it helps you improve your corporate learning.
2. Marketing content for sales team
Marketing content is usually created for customers in mind. But you also need to think about your sales team. When creating content like blogs, craft messages that are helpful to both customers and your sales team. Then make sure your sales team is reading these consistently. This will help them understand how the company is positioning products and in return, the sales team can better explain product offerings to customers.
3. Sales portal
It’s one thing to give your team the selling tools they need, but are they using these tools and properly? As your company and team grow, managing sales enablement best practices becomes harder. In return, systems put in place may go by the wayside. In order to keep your sales team on track, build a sales portal. This could be on your company Intranet or an even better idea is to utilize your learning management system.
Make all sales tools accessible whether the sales team is in the office or on the road. This can be housed on your learning management system. That way training, tools, and tracking are being done within the same system. This holds the team accountable for practicing what was taught.