Businesses today are always looking for ways to stay ahead of competition and Sales leaders are finding that Sales Enablement is a long-term solution to solving the Sales challenges of today. In these competitive markets, a smooth sales enablement process can be one of the biggest differentiators when it comes to winning new business. 

But what does "sales enablement" actually mean? Why do you really need it? And what are some best practices when it comes to Sales Enablement?

What is Sales Enablement?

Simply put, Sales Enablement is a strategic, iterative process of equipping your business's Sales team with resources, guidance, and training they need to effectively close more deals. 

In modern digital environments, B2B sales enablement solutions focus on removing those barriers that could hinder a smooth interaction with potential customers. Particularly in B2B, sales enablement will be buyer-focused, with the overall goal to assist your Sales team target the right prospects and engage with them effectively at the right stage of their unique buyer journey.

Given the significant level of barriers in today's markets than ever before, sales enablement should be prioritised by every organisation across the world.

Why do you need Sales Enablement?

You understand what sales enablement means, but why do you really need it? 

Do you want to maintain healthy, successful sales operations? Stupid question, of course you do! Sales enablement plays a significant role in maintaining this, and with heightened competition and more empowered buyers, incorporating sales enablement into your strategy will ensure your sales and marketing teams stay aligned.

The modern buyer has become more independent, and it is clear that traditional sales and marketing techniques no longer work to win and retain these savvy customers. With these B2B customers more informed and empowered than they ever have been, the modern-day seller often struggles to make a lasting impact with buyers.

For this reason, sales enablement is no longer just a nice to have - it is a competitive necessity. Your Sales team need to have the right content at the right time in order to keep your potential buyers engaged.

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You know what sales enablement is, and why it is crucial that your organisation ensures it is part of your strategy. When implemented correctly, sales enablement can improve the performance and productivity of your sales team, fundamentally generating higher conversion rates and greater customer satisfaction.

But how exactly do you implement sales enablement correctly? Below we have outlined our top 5 best practices for sales enablement:

#1 Continual Support & Training

B2b sales enablement is not a single task that you can tick off your list once you start it, it is an ongoing, developmental process which you continually improve and adapt as the market changes. Your sales team needs to be trained in selling skills, but also in marketing, product and industry to ensure they have well-rounded knowledge and the ability to manage in a sales enablement.

Past times would have seen organisations formulate quarterly training sessions for their sales and marketing teams. However, recent times have shown that this does not work. According to HubSpot, 87% of new skills are lost within a month of Sales training, proving that reinforcing your training is crucial

Successful sales enablement organisations integrate ongoing, regular training and communications into their processes to ensure their sales reps know exactly what is the most effective approach throughout the entire sales cycle at that time. 

#2 Always Tailor Content to the Buyer's Journey

Providing your buyers with the right content at the right time is the core of sales enablement. No two prospects are the same - when prospects arrive on your website, not everyone is ready to buy your product/service. Nor do they even realise that they have a need for your solution yet. If you provide them with content that they are not ready for, the only thing you will achieve is scaring them away. 

When it's time for your sales team to talk with the prospect, a standard sales pitch does not suffice. Every person and organisation is different and your sales team should be tailoring their conversation to address the buyer's specific organisation and needs. 

#3 Fully Integrate Sales & Marketing

Your Sales & Marketing can't just 'get along', they need to be fully integrated and work as one, collaborative team. As we continue to move forward in this digital era, it is becoming apparent that these two departments are not dissimilar. 

Your sales team cannot engage effectively with prospects without the creativity of Marketing, and your Marketing team's efforts won't ever improve or go far without your sales teams closing leads, or getting feedback on current content. 

Fully integrating your sales and marketing is the most effective way to ensure you fully captivate your buyers and create a successful sales enablement process.

#4 Data, Reporting & Analysis

Your sales world is driven by data, but are you using it correctly? Always use data to understand what is working and what is not working and your sales enablement professionals can create systems to make data a true asset - the evidence doesn't lie.

Sales enablement only works if it meets the buyer's needs, and those needs vary significantly between each prospect and over time. This is why analysing the tools, content and processes on a regular basis is crucial to ensure you consistently improve your sales enablement process. Always trust your data, if a piece of content is shown to not be resonating, then change it or use something else. 

#5 Embrace Technology

These days, there is a significant number of digital sales tools, apps and technology readily available that will help facilitate your sales enablement initiative. With the right technology solution, you can boost your sales efforts through help with forecasting, team collaboration, deal tracking, training and more.

With HubSpot's CRM your business is provided with full visibility into your sales pipeline in real time, as well as full access to a variety of marketing tools.  It easily connects your sales and marketing teams to create a sales enablement collaborative focused effort.

When businesses dedicate the appropriate resources combined with a measurable and structured sales enablement program, they benefit from the quantifiable improvements in revenue growth.

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