An estimated 82% of marketers have a sales enablement strategy in place, but if they’re failing to implement sales enablement best practices then they won’t be achieving optimal results.
Sales enablement is all about making sure your sales team has the right resources at the right times. Then they’ll be ‘enabled’ to hold optimal conversations with potential customers and drive deals through to completion.
For sales enablement to work companies need to overcome several obstacles and this necessitates a new way of thinking and working. Companies need to focus on aligning sales and marketing teams – and replacing random or reactive content management systems with centralised technology and processes. Make sure you check out our in-depth guide to sales enablement here Sales Enablement: The Secret To Predictable Sales Revenue Growth.
There has to be a whole sea-change in mindsets and practices across the organisation if sales enablement is to work.
In this post we’ll outline some sales enablement best practices that will help you better align your sales and marketing teams, reduce mis-communication and reduce wasted selling opportunities. By adopting these protocols companies can achieve higher sales quotas and see increased ROIs.
1. Get the team onboard with your CRM
So you can continually evaluate what’s working, and what’s not, you need to have insights into
- The activities your reps are running
- Where they are in the pipeline
- How your team is performing against goals
This means reps should be able to share and update their status regarding their deals in the CRM. Everyone should be able to access the same information to boost team working and communication. The CRM must become the hub of the organisation.
Every company is different. So it’s important to customise your CRM settings to reflect your sales processes. And your CRM must be able to integrate with other apps and dashboards so you can get in-depth reports that reflect your specific attribution and revenue models.
2. Make sure sales and marketing are closely aligned
As part of sales enablement best practices reps need to be able to access information that’s tailored to specific target accounts. To do this the sales team needs to be aligned with marketing. With sales’ help marketing can create relevant content based on reps’ conversations with target audiences.
Once the two teams are on the same page they can also identify what makes a lead ‘qualified’, assess how well the content is working, and make necessary adjustments.
3. Instill sales enablement best practices with regular training
According to recent research most business leaders say their sales managers
“Represent the most strategically important investment of our training resources, energy and attention right now.”
That’s because sales teams are in the unique position of being able to directly influence customer-facing revenue. Training shouldn’t apply when simply onboarding new recruits – but to offering regular training opportunities for reps throughout the year.
Sales need to be trained on new products and new methodologies – as well as on new sales techniques – including how to utilize content to its best effect.
4. Formalise the sales enablement process
Without a written set of guidelines you can’t be sure everyone is on the same page. For a sales enablement strategy to be successful everyone needs to understand their role in adopting and executing the new processes. A formal approach will ensure teams have the right mindsets and understand the importance of working together efficiently.
A formal approach is clearly a winning formula. CSO Insights suggest that companies with a formal sales enablement charter report the best results in terms of win rates.
5. Make sharing sales enablement best practices ‘best practice’
As every rep will tell you sales is a dynamic environment with products and messaging changing every day – as well as the needs of customers. Good reps should be in constant communication with each other, sharing what’s working well so that everyone can improve performance and meet or exceed quotas.
Companies need to create a closed-loop system of feedback around content, training and best practices. This applies not only to the sales team but cross departmentally. Marketing, in particular, needs to know how the sales teams are making best use of their content and assets.
It makes sense to find out how and why some reps are excelling in certain areas and replicate those across the company. If a member of the sales team has worked out a winning call cadence (that’s consistently landing them big accounts) it makes sense to make that a standard for all reps.
Organisations that implement structured, measurable sales enablement processes and invest in dedicated technology are getting impressive results. A commitment to developing a culture where sales enablement best practices are the norm is the ideal environment in which to build trust and motivate teams to sell more.
Companies that address the basics and have formal sales enablement processes in place look set to outperform those that don’t in this new era of selling.