*This post was originally published on The Center for Sales Strategy blog
One of the largest inhibitors to sales enablement in organizations is taking a random approach to it.
According to Salesforce, 58% of pipelines stall because sales reps are unable to add value. Is your current sales enablement content addressing the issues your clients and prospects are facing? Research says for many companies the answer is no, and it’s due to the lack of a sales enablement strategy.
As you look to grow your sales enablement efforts, our experts want to offer their tips on successful sales enablement best practices that they know are proven to work.
The Four Buckets of Sales Enablement
Our team at LeadG2 and The Center for Sales Strategy (CSS), we believe sales enablement helps salespeople sell smarter and faster by enabling sales teams in four specific areas — strategy, content, technology, and training.
Sales reps need relevant and valuable content to use during the sales process to reach prospects in all stages of the customer journey. But, if this content doesn’t fit into a strategy and address issues and common concerns of the prospect or clients, what good is it?
Expert Advice on Sales Enablement Strategies
Matt Sunshine, Managing Partner
If you want to create a sales enablement strategy that will allow reps to have more quality conversations with prospects and lead to more wins, you must build that strategy first! It sounds simple, but all too often, we see businesses dive head-first into sales enablement without a strategy. Once that strategy is in place, then you ensure you have content that salespeople can use for every part of the sales process and the buyer's journey.
Dani Buckley, General Manager of LeadG2
Don’t underestimate the power of sales enablement content. It’s really the gas that drives the entire engine, and if you don’t have valuable resources for your salespeople to use throughout the entire sales process, as well as that are applicable to your buyer’s unique journey, then your sales enablement strategy will be lacking.
In order to be successful with any kind of sales enablement initiative, leadership and management must be bought in and embracing the strategy and tools 100%. If they aren’t leading by example and fully onboard, it’s going to trickle down and hurt your entire efforts.
Dean Moothart, Director, Client Solutions
Give your team the tools (CRM, HubSpot Sales Pro, etc.) and make sure they know how to use them – not just so you get your reporting, but so they are more efficient and productive. Too many sales managers only care about the report their CRM will spit out and not the impact it has on sales performance. Always be on the lookout for free tools that sales can use to improve — Vidyard and Hunter.io are two examples.
Content, content content! Never stop creating and publishing new content that can be used to not only generate leads but also facilitate the “next-best-step” in the sales process. Map the content into specific sales play for various sales scenarios and show them how to use content effectively. And, if your content library doesn't have case studies, then it's not complete. Relevant case studies are the most overlooked and underutilized sales collateral.
Be disciplined about pulling the best ideas and tactics out of the heads of your team. You need to foster an environment where everyone feels free to share what’s working for them. Then embed these ideas into your sales playbook, so you can make every good idea repeatable and scalable.
Build a sales playbook and then use it. Too many organizations have sales playbooks that just sit on the shelf and gather dust. It should be a dynamic document that is continuously challenged and updated. If you expect your sales team to generate at least some of their own leads, don’t turn them loose until you have helped them map out their target prospects and a strategy to engage them.
Trey Morris, Senior Consultant
Let the technology work for you. Most sales enablement systems offer sales automation tools that let an Account Executive build sales plays that allow the system to initiate each step in the sales process. Salespeople can pre-build sales outreach sequences that will automatically be sent after the pre-determined set of time. Yes, it does take some time to set up the automation sequence, but once it is built, your AEs can just enroll a new prospect and let the system do all of the work for them.
Maryanne McWhirter, Inbound Marketing & Sales Consultant
Get your sales team in the habit of using content pre-emptively. Sales reps who use content to overcome objections and answer questions before they arise helps them stand out among the competition who are sending “just checking in” emails.
Greg Giersch, VP/ Client Experience
Sales Enablement is needed in every step of the sales process. In the past, many organizations thought the ready-printed “one-sheets” they provided were sales enablement. Most organizations have come to realize that there are a variety of tools and content they can provide to help move the sales process forward. Yet. to many, sales enablement still means helping a salesperson get the meeting and there is still an overemphasis on the connect step.
It’s important to look at the entire sales process and provide material to “identify” and research the best prospects. And beyond “connect” to provide the data and response to objections needed for the “discovery, advise, and close” steps. And finally, things like recaps and service agreement for the fulfillment and “grow” step.