We all know that in the business world, recruiting and maintaining a talented team is critical for growth and long-term success. But it’s equally as important to equip these people with the tools necessary to excel at their jobs. Specifically, on the sales side, it's a common mistake for businesses to set goals for their team, and then leave them on their own to figure out how to get the goals accomplished.
Presuming that all members of the sales team have equal information, experience, and skill sets is a critical misconception, Sales Enablement aims to solve some of these inequalities. Forrester Research defines Sales Enablement as a "strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return of investment of the selling system.” Below are some common questions that startups and growing companies ask regarding Sales Enablement.
What do you mean by “problem-solving lifecycle"? If a person has a problem, won’t they find the cheapest solution, buy it, and move on?
If only things were so simple! While it is true that the internet has allowed for leads to research various products on their own, their conversion from a lead to a customer involves much more than just price. It is a complicated process that involves the lead's specific persona, the kind of attention they receive, and when they receive it. It is possible, and even likely, that you will capitalize on the complicated process by using Sales Enablement. That is because Enablement focuses on the entire lifecycle, from the moment someone realizes they have a problem, throughout their research and consideration, all the way to when they sign the dotted line. These individual cases will have nuanced differences and that is precisely why you want to enable your sales team to genuinely reach out and help them along each step of the way.
How can I sign my team up for Sales Enablement training?
Let’s make something clear right away: Enablement is not the same as training! Having an elevator pitch and a customized phone script are useful trainable tools. But bringing in Sales Enablement is not so much a tool as it is a system: a client-facing culture revolving around customer-centric service and access to the necessary tools required to convert leads and close deals.
Which team members are responsible for Sales Enablement?
As stated above, Enablement should be thought of more as a culture or mindset than as any specific tool. This means that to truly enjoy the benefits of Enablement, your entire company should share the mindset that the best way to grow your business is to find leads on their terms, present honest information, and help them understand your value at any given stage of their buyer’s journey. This is especially important for your Marketing team, as they will work closest to the Sales team. Make sure both departments have access to the same information, resources, and strategies for your leads. Sales and Marketing can sometimes be at odds with each other over who the best leads are and how to reach out to them. Having monthly meetings adds transparency and encourages cooperation between the teams.
I know I’ll need Sales Enablement later in our company’s future, but why should I incorporate it now when we have a Sales “team” of 1?
Startups certainly face unique challenges that larger, more developed companies do not. Low initial capital usually means startups must be lean: Each member of the team must be part of the startup’s core, and they must bring a necessary, viable and impressive skillset to the table. In today’s e-commerce marketplace, your website gives potential leads all the information they could ever want, but it is your salesperson who can translate the information into a conversation by addressing the specific pain points of individual customers. Sales Enablement means teaching your sales rep the ins and outs of your company and product or service. It also means giving that rep the ability to tell a story. Using previous customer testimonials and positive press are means of expressing your company’s competitive advantage in an accessible, authentic way.
I understand how to incorporate my website into the Sales Enablement process. What about mobile?
Over 70% of companies which utilize a mobile strategy report positive ROI, meaning that the mobile funnel should be a priority for sales. Today’s salespeople are not sitting at their desk all day; they are out in meetings, they are working remotely, and they are constantly on the move. By incorporating a Sales Enablement mobile strategy, it grants these team members access to concise, relevant information both about the products they’re selling and the customers they are selling to.
The goal of mobile Sales Enablement is to allow for out-of-office productivity and ultimately short sales cycles.
Sales Enablement practices have grown rapidly throughout the last decade, and show no signs of slowing down. As more companies incorporate these practices into their methodology, it has never more important to keep up, lest your sales team gets left behind.
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