If you've ever asked yourself, “What is sales enablement?” then this is the episode for you. Not only do we broadly cover the topic of sales enablement, but we also break down the concept’s four buckets: Strategy, Content, Technology and Training.
Dani Buckley is joined by Charlie Riley, Director of Demand Generation at CybelAngel. Charlie delivers over 20 years of marketing, sales, and growth experience leading marketing teams, as the first marketing lead hired five times.
Elements of a Sales Enablement Strategy
First and foremost, it’s important to break down the various elements that make for a strong sales enablement strategy. As mentioned above, the concept has four essential buckets that break down as follows:
1. Strategy: This is not only the plan that you have in place for your overall sales enablement approach but the plan for each bucket as well. This can often come in the form of sales playbooks, sales plays, and an overall defined sales process.
2. Content: Ensuring that your salespeople have the right content and resources at their fingertips is so important. This allows them to address questions and objections, deliver value and to be educational, and generally be helpful throughout the entire sales process.
3. Technology: Find the right tools that help you perform better and faster. This includes finding the right CRM for your team or organization.
4. Training: We recommend ongoing, consistent training so that your sales enablement strategy is consistently being optimized.
And as for an overall explanation of what sales enablement can do for an organization? Charlie puts it simply:
“To boil it down, it’s making a salesperson’s job easier.”
Sales Enablement Eliminates Friction
“How do you allow [your salespeople] the most time in front of potential prospects, to solve a problem for them? That’s removing barriers, that’s organizing things so they can find [the answers] easier. So all of that rolls up to...take away the friction that cannot allow them to [perform] the right steps.”
At the same time, it’s important to strike the right balance between personalization and automation. That may be easier said than done, depending on the size of your company, but it's doable nonetheless.
“You’re selling at scale,” Charlie says. “Unless you’re very niche...the numbers can be big sometimes. And so, there’s a tradeoff there. How much time can you spend to personalize something versus bringing templates in and using a best practice that has already been built.”
“But there are ways to bring both [personalization and automation] in. You can have templates...but there are ways to insert personalization...[For example] It’s March Madness today. There are a lot of teams playing basketball, there are a lot of alumni out there. There’s a great opportunity to reach out to somebody with a personalized message that they might care about as opposed to a cold email that they might get out of the blue.”
“There’s a quality and quantity exponent there that you have to make sure you hit a nice balance with.”
Another component of a successful sales enablement strategy is alignment between your marketing and sales teams. This can result in even stronger content. Charlie highlights the following tip:
“I’ve always pushed the marketing team to sit in on sales calls or support calls. They’re going to hear how a customer actually talks. Marketing could use all of the data, all of the research to say, ‘this is what [customers] read. This is what they might search for.’ But if you’re on a call and you actually hear...how they talk, you hear about the pain points they’re bringing up. They might not align with what you think their friction is and what it actually is.”
“So that can really help drive a strong content strategy. I’ve seen that. By spending time with sales...you’re digging more into what the customer is talking about.”
As far as creating content goes, many find that aspect of sales enablement to be the “heaviest lift.” It can take a lot of time, money, and resources to develop strong pieces that effectively educate your customer base.
When talking about his own content development strategy, Charlie says, “It’s first starting out with, ‘what’s the real goal here?’ It really should be to drive sales. But that’s sometimes where there’s a disconnect of ‘selling at’ somebody versus just educating.”
“[Customers] care about, ‘what is this going to do for me, how much is this going to cost me, how much of a pain is this to switch from some other resource.’ I try to put myself in that ‘buyer’s mode’ as best as I can.”
“We try to start with telling compelling stories about what we’ve done for customers. That’s a really great point because they’re going to help you promote that as well...But I’ve just found talking to customers is the easiest place [to start].”
Lastly, for anyone looking to get started right away on their sales enablement strategy, Charlie emphasizes the importance of training.
“I think it's important to continue with training. No one is ever done learning. I continue to try and push myself personally and professionally from a training standpoint.”
“I can’t say enough about finding the right training, finding the right resources that you trust...and really relying on that. That’s really important.”
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