Strategy | 3 minute read
According to CSO Insights, sales enablement can be best described as “a strategic, cross-functional discipline”, designed to “increase sales results and productivity, by providing integrated content, training and coaching services… along the entire customer journey”.
And, it is quickly becoming one of the largest priorities for enterprise organisations. It is easy to understand why. Research has shown that organisations who have committed to sales enablement have seen an increase in revenue by 65 per cent, and in an ever more competitive landscape, this could be the difference between closing the deal or losing it.
That said, there is still hesitancy amongst many businesses over the value of sales enablement, whilst some companies are simply unsure how to start, or how much work is needed to move things forward.
We explore the most common misconceptions of sales enablement and why this activity should be thought of differently to drive success:
“I’ve rolled this out already, what next?”
Sales enablement is not just a box to check in a list of business priorities, but something that should be viewed as a continuous process. New products are launched, existing products might be upgraded, and the market is constantly changing – so too must the way you discuss your offering. In addition, your customers’ needs and requirements will change, so you must identify the opportunities to solve their challenges before they do (and ultimately risk going elsewhere.)
“This is the responsibility of the marketing team”
Appropriate collateral or content will naturally make life easier in the sales process, but in order to make the activity as efficient as possible, the content has to speak to your customers – and who knows your customers better than the sales team? Typically, the frustration that may lie between sales and marketing in this activity is the output that is generated. Sales teams may identify customer requirements and seek supporting collateral, whereas your marketing team may be unaware of the need for it. Communication and collaboration between teams is the key to success.
“My sales team are all over this already”
The customer journey today is far longer and more complex than traditionally understood, so rather than considering this a ‘salesperson’s role’, consider it as something to equip each and every customer-facing person in the company. After all, it can take more than one person or touchpoint to close an opportunity. Company-wide collateral, mission and positioning statements, and wider internal comms plans to update the business on upcoming opportunities can all encourage and motivate your workforce to contribute to the sales pipeline. They are then equipped with the company story, what it is aiming to achieve, and how.
Sales enablement will mean something different to every organisation, and misconceptions can lead businesses to demote activity in favour of other things. With a change of thinking, sales enablement can have a positive ripple effect throughout your organisation. From improving your existing sales asset library to increasing collaboration between teams, not only can you enhance alignment but also unlock the insights that matter – selling more efficiently, faster, and smarter.
Author: Vicki Maggs-Sleath, Account Director