Sales enablement in concept is simple — providing your sales team with the knowledge and resources to close more deals. However, in practice, it can be more challenging.
Sales enablement integrates sales and marketing to ensure sales teams have the insights, content, training, and tools they need to be more effective. Benefits include a shortened sales cycle, increased revenue, higher close rate, and more time for sales people to focus on selling.
CSO Insights’ data shows that organizations with sales enablement achieve a 49% win rate on forecasted deals, compared to 42.5% for those without.
Top Challenges for Getting Started with Sales Enablement
The top challenges I’ve seen hamper sales enablement (and therefore sales success) are:
A disconnect between sales and marketing. This challenge plagues so many companies and it affects far more than sales enablement. Marketing has its silo and sales has its silo and there is no streamlined integration between the two. While in theory, integrating marketing and sales seems obvious, companies consistently struggle with this disconnect.
Resistance from the sales or marketing team. Many sales people have been in the field for a long time, and they have their process that works for them. They may be resistance to change or feel sales enablement, for example marketing automation, means they are no longer in control of the sale. Conversely, there may be marketers who have been driving demand and handing off leads and believe their role ends there (it doesn’t!).
Lack of resources. Sales enablement takes resources in the form of technology, manpower, and skills (such as those needed for content creation). Particularly with smaller businesses, the resources required to effectively develop and execute a sales enablement strategy may not be there.
Getting Started with Sales Enablement
In order to overcome these challenges and implement a successful sales enablement process, there are six components that must be in place.
Buy-in and collaboration. The C-Suite, sales team and marketing team must buy in to the value of sales enablement for success. And buy-in isn’t enough. It must come with true collaboration.
Assign and define roles. Marketing and sales should each have a stakeholder for the sales enablement process. Their role should be clearly defined and communicated.
Get the right tools. Sales enablement is highly reliant on technology from marketing automation tools to CRMs to analytics. Without these in place, marketing won’t be able to help sales teams gain more insights or provide content that better engages prospects.
Identify existing and needed services. Training and content development are key to sales enablement. If your sales team hasn’t been trained how to properly use your CRM and aren’t adopting it, you’ve failed. If you don’t have a team or agency creating content for sales then you’ll need to invest in content creation.
Define the customer journey. If you haven’t mapped your buyer journey, then you should do this so you can identify which content can support sales in each stage of the journey.
Map your content and identify gaps. Finally, map your content to the buyer journey and identify any gaps where you need new content.
5 Metrics to Tracking Success
When evaluating the success of your sales enablement program, you’ll want to focus on some key metrics. While you should be tracking key sales metrics already as a part of understanding your overall sales success, here are five metrics to evaluate your sales enablement program.
- Sales enablement tool adoption
- Sales cycle length
- Close rate
- Total closes/month
- Percentage of time spent on selling