Long gone are the days of hiring heavy-hitting, well-connected sales reps with a thick black book stuffed with contacts. Today’s buyers have evolved. With just a few clicks, they can access a wide range of data to become more informed about your company and your competitors way before ever engaging with a sales representative. Power has shifted from seller to buyer.
According to data, 57 percent of buyers will visit a company’s website before engaging with a sales rep. Buyers that do engage in sales, therefore, have greater expectations going into their initial conversation. In response, sales must demonstrate product knowledge and provide relevant, engaging content that aligns with buyers’ needs and expectations.
Sales Enablement streamlines this process and ensures greater efficiency among Marketing, Sales, and Operations.
So, What is Sales Enablement?
There are varied interpretations about what sales enablement means, but at its core, it’s a business strategy. Sales enablement is an orchestrated effort between marketing, sales, and operations to empower and equip sales teams with tools—content, technology, and processes—to more effectively and intelligently engage and nurture prospective buyers throughout the buyer’s journey.
Despite the constant evolution of how it is delivered, there will always be a need for content. Without it, no one knows what you do, make, sell, stand for, and more. It is the fuel that enables the technology and processes part of sales enablement. The challenge is to create and curate tailored and relevant content delivered to the right audience at the appropriate stage of their buyer’s journey. Today, content must shift its focus to the buyer and how your product/service can solve their challenges and problems.
The internet has, undoubtedly, changed the way that business is conducted forever. The dot-com boom helped fuel sales enablement. Companies that create and maintain a robust online presence enable buyers to dramatically increase their knowledge of businesses as well as industries in general, mainly by having 24/7 access to content. Technology (software in particular) is used as a tool for sales to retrieve the content that marketing provides based on identifying where customers are on their buyer’s journey. Once leads are established, the software can nurture those leads by helping you deliver the right content to the right people at the right time.
The good-old-boy network has evolved. The rise of engagement culture means that we are connecting with prospects and members of our team in ways that are significantly different from those adopted by our mentors. With content created to be delivered at various stages of the buyer’s journey, your sales teams need to know the content’s value at each stage. Not understanding this process can lead to misalignment and confusion if not properly managed. Ultimately, every process involved in sales enablement should put the customer first and build brand trust.
Most Significant Benefits of Sales Enablement
An effective sales enablement strategy creates more efficiency, provides a more customer-centric experience, and helps maximize marketing and sales ROI. In other words, sales enablement creates sales-readiness that increases engagement and retention, leading to more sales and success.
More Targeted Content
Instead of relying solely on creative messaging and well-executed designs, there are tools available—such as brand stories and personas—that help you better understand who you’re serving and directly address what’s important to them. These fictionalized creations are based on real attributes designed to guide you, step by step, through the needs, challenges, objections, and preferences of your potential customers, enabling you to make strategic decisions about marketing to them.
Increased Sales Readiness
This involves all the strategic activities that prepare reps to sell, such as onboarding, coaching, continuous learning, and reinforcement, and covers everything a sales representative might need to know on the job: product details, messaging, competitive positioning, and the many skills required to have valuable interactions throughout the sales process. Done right, buyers will leave calls and meetings thinking their time with your reps was well-spent—even if it doesn’t end with a closed deal.
Improved Engagement and Retention
A well-trained salesperson armed with the right sales tools and content can provide a better, more tailored experience for buyers. Enacting sales enablement can more effectively meet the specific needs of your reps than traditional marketing tactics. In other words, materials can make a more lasting impression when the collaboration between sales and marketing is more closely aligned.
Do You Need Sales Enablement?
It can be challenging to know if, when, and how a sales enablement strategy might work for your business. You can have the most advanced software available, but it can’t perform to its peak until you give it the right fuel like a fancy sports car. Content fuels the technology and processes that will best equip your salesforce to be as successful. Minds On can help you identify and remove the barriers you face and provide your sales team with measurable resources. Contact us today for a free thirty-minute consultation.