Do you know how to successfully employ a sales enablement strategy for your business? There are multiple dimensions to this multi-step process, which is aimed at giving your sales team the tools and resources they need to boost your bottom line.
Sales enablement is a cross-functional discipline that brings together elements from asset and content creation, training and coaching, communications, and more. You’ll need to have a strong understanding of the big picture to form a winning strategy. You’ll also need a detailed plan that’s tailored to your team’s unique needs. The following sales enablement best practices will help you craft the perfect playbook to empower your reps.
Understand Your Team’s Unique Hurdles
No two sales teams are exactly alike. Their unique characteristics and circumstances mean that each will have unique challenges standing in their paths. Your sales enablement strategy should possess the necessary elements to address those challenges. By and large, the pain points facing a sales team fall under five main categories:
- Finding good leads
- Connecting with prospects
- Engaging multiple decision-makers
- Closing the deal
- Knowing what technology to utilize
Your goal is to gain specifics, though, so you should also make sure to ask your team the five big “power” questions to gain insight on their situation:
- What is the biggest obstacle to adding new customers?
- What is working — and what isn’t?
- What are your most (and least) significant opportunities?
- If you had a magic wand and could fix one problem, what would it be?
- Who is your toughest competitor and what are they doing right?
These initial questions will start to paint a picture of the unique challenges your sales team is facing and where you should focus your sales enablement efforts. Additional questions you might consider asking include the following:
- What’s your ideal customer or lead like?
- How does the typical sales interaction go?
- What info do prospects typically have before first contact?
- What industry trends are forcing change?
Once you have your answers, you’ll have an overview of where your sales team is faltering and where your sales enablement strategy should focus. By shoring up the areas where your team is weaker, you’ll be giving them a leg up in future interactions with prospects.
Remember Your Best Practices
Even as you’re zeroing in on specifics, there are several guiding principles of sales enablement you’ll want to keep in mind.
First and foremost is that you need to set your team up for success. This means that after identifying your key challenges, you’ll need to formalize processes to deal with them. Invest in training so that your team has the skills to stay competitive and supply the tools your team needs to perform in the current sales landscape.
As a leader, you’ll need to craft an environment where your team is free to express their needs. This, in turn, will allow you to provide them with what’s necessary to meet your sales goals. To aid yourself in this process, you should be holding regular meetings where you can take the “pulse” of your sales team performance. Facilitate conversations between sales leadership and frontline sales so that both are on the same page.
Proper sales enablement will require coordination with your marketing team. Their access to the right content and marketing materials is a crucial component to swaying customers. Additionally, you need to remember that your sales enablement strategy should also be addressing the buyer’s journey while empowering your reps to meet prospect needs.
Emulate Your Top Performers
When it comes to creating a template for training your reps, you should replicate what’s working for your elite performers — those who are selling the most with the greatest ease. This doesn’t mean you should try to clone your all-stars, but you should definitely be taking a close look at what characteristics those top performers possess. What skills are driving their success? What tools do they use most to help them sell at a high level?
Once you understand what’s enabling your top performers to perform, you’ll want to provide the same tools and knowledge to the rest of your team. Ongoing training will be critical in helping the team develop the right skills. You’ll also want to codify the specific processes of your top performers so that they become a formalized part of the entire team’s routine.
Focus on the Right Technology
In sales, having the right tools is just as important as having the right skills to succeed. That’s why your sales enablement strategy must also address supplying your reps with the technology they’ll need to identify and connect with prospects.
Having the right CRM, for example, is critical to giving your sales team an overview of all your clients and dealings in one location. It’s absolutely vital to keep your team on the same page so that they can coordinate in trying to reach prospects and sharing strategies that work. You’ll want to make sure you aren’t hindering your reps by investing in a CRM solution that doesn’t meet all of their needs.
In a similar vein, you should be providing your team with the right technology to get ahead on social networks. Prospects are spending more time than ever on social channels, so your sales team has to have the right tools to track down and reach out to leads in this landscape.
Automation tools like Sharetivity are part and parcel of quickly building deep relationships through social channels. They should be a key component within your sales enablement strategy.
In order to develop a sales enablement strategy that will put your team on the path to success, you’ll need to balance elements like understanding what obstacles they face, providing the right training, and giving them access to all the tools they need to sell with ease.
As a part of your strategy, you should learn more about how social selling and automation can play a critical role in improving your sales. Read up on how Sharetivity can put you ahead of the curve when learning to master automation in the social selling landscape.