Fifty-seven percent of most sales teams don’t hit their targets. Less selling time, lack of training, flawed understanding of the buyer — many issues go into these numbers.
Ever-changing customer behavior and selling environments require sales reps to constantly rework their tactics. With the pressure of targets constantly mounting on your sellers, they need additional support to meet and exceed their quota.
Enter sales enablement.
A sales enablement function offers salespeople the education and resources they need to close more deals and reach targets. It’s a well-defined framework to cumulate your goals, resources and processes to increase sales effectiveness.
Turn your team into a well-oiled machine. This article walks through the building blocks of a solid sales enablement strategy and offers seven little-known tips to create your own.
What is sales enablement?
Sales enablement equips sales teams with guidance and resources to refine their process and — you guessed it — help them sell more. The proof is in the name: the purpose of sales enablement is to enable better sales.
An enablement team carefully assesses what reps need to sell better — like a deeper understanding of the buyer journey, better content delivery, stronger product knowledge or other gaps. Once identified, the enablement team fills these gaps with training and tools.
Let’s look at a few reasons why sales enablement could be a game-changer for your organization:
- Better team collaboration: Unlike the traditional setup, sales is more fluid and cross-functional than ever before. Sales enablement allows you to embrace this fluidity and align your sales process with your marketing goals and product features. It brings each department in sync to enhance the buying experience.
- Understand buyer expectations: Lead qualification is one of the most critical functions of a sales enablement team. Detailed insights about every lead through this qualification process help reps tailor their pitch to the buyer’s needs. This way, your reps are better prepared to tackle objections and offer support — leading to customer delight.
- Improved visibility into customer engagement: Sales enablement can create high-level insights into whether prospects engage with the content you share while selling. Monitoring customer behavior can put sales reps one step ahead of the prospects and increase the close rate.
- Equipping sales reps with better training: An enablement team seeks to train and empower sales reps to sell. They are constantly monitoring and improving the process in order offer reps the knowledge and confidence they need to boost their sales numbers and hit the company’s bottom line.
Now that we've drilled down the benefits of a sales enablement framework, let's look at seven handy tips for your team to prepare a foolproof sales enablement strategy.
7 tips to make a solid sales enablement strategy
If you’re setting up your sales enablement function or looking to polish your existing playbook, our seven-step framework is just what you need. Let’s dig deeper. Here are the top tips for creating a sales enablement strategy that enables (see what we did there?) cross-functional success.
1. Prepare a solid groundwork
A sales enablement charter is a great place to start your strategizing process. This charter is essentially a document of your goals and as well as an action-driven blueprint to implement your strategy.
There are four crucial components of a formal sales enablement charter.
- Primary goals: Review your current sales process and identify the roadblocks slowing your cycle. You can also analyze your team’s performance to see where they’re lacking and where they need additional support. Combine this data with the current market trends to decide your sales enablement strategy goals.
- Main stakeholders: Your charter should also include defined personas, like the CMO, Head of Sales, and the executive team. Share surveys with these key personas and understand their pain points and objectives. Then brainstorm the best solutions for your primary stakeholders and base your charter around this information.
- Key performance indicators: On top of outlining the goals, your charter also has to establish the expected outcomes to measure your success and ROI from sales enablement. Select relevant metrics to review the impact and performance of your strategy.
- Scope and resources: Revisit your goals to describe the scope of your strategy and the resources required to fulfill this scope. Think of staffing, tools, budget, and more components you need for executing your strategy.
Consider this charter as an outlining practice to pinpoint areas of improvement, organize your ideas and find the right direction for strategizing. It can create a solid foundation for your enablement function.
2. Map your strategy to the lead funnel
Once you’ve defined your outcomes and metrics, shift your focus to the buyer’s journey to kick-start your problem-solving process.
You might be surprised to know that only 43 percent of buyers engage with sales reps on their journey to a purchase. Given this reluctance to communicate with sellers, enablement teams can empower reps to approach buyers in a way that speaks their language, encouraging a real conversation.
Looking at your sales cycle from a buyer's perspective is critical for the enablement function to identify prospects' concerns, objections and deterrents at every stage of the journey.
Use your awareness of buyer needs at different phases of the sales funnel to shape your strategy. Here's how.
- Draw a realistic flowchart of your buyer’s journey from start to finish. Make another chart right next to it and outline your sales process.
- List down the questions your prospects ask at every stage of their journey. Simultaneously, prepare a set of goals your sales reps want to achieve in each stage.
- Merge your buyers' questions with your goals to define value points — think of solutions that nudge your buyers down the funnel and check off your goals.
Your sales funnel, and enablement strategy must constantly adapt to dynamic buyer behavior. This funnel mapping technique will come in handy to maximize your reps' convincing power and multiply conversions.
3. Bring product, sales and marketing teams together
Sales no longer work in a silo. It's intricately connected to and dependent on the product and marketing functions. If the three teams work together in harmony, you've got a surefire way to skyrocket win rates.
Built greater alignment and improve coordination between your product, sales, and marketing teams by:
- Setting org-wide objectives and key results (OKRs) that work for all three departments. One of your objectives is to eliminate friction from your customer experience. Each team can determine a critical result that makes your CX as frictionless as ever. In order to help keep everyone on track and aligned you can use these designer reports
- Create a unified roadmap that flows from the product → marketing → sales team. Include members from each department to finalize your goals, timelines and metrics.
- Bring more clarity in terms of the target audience and market. Include the three teams in strategic discussions to have more consistency in your approach to buyer experience.
- Build better coordination between all team members. This includes communication and process sales. Use a CRM or other software to align team members, and a process documentation cool like Scribe to build SOPs. Scribe auto-generates step-by-step guides in seconds, helping you streamline processes, conduct hand-offs and boost collaboration.
A tightly aligned sales and marketing setup can increase conversion rates by 38 percent. Add the product team to the mix and supercharge your enablement strategy.
4. Develop your learning materials
By definition, sales enablement offers all the resources, tools and education a team needs to close more sales. A significant part of this definition lies in training to consistently level up their selling game and boost sales readiness from employee onboarding and beyond.
Learning materials are naturally a key component of your sales enablement strategy. Here are a few vital resources you should share with your team.
- Buyer personas: to tell them exactly who they’re selling to.
- Talk track: to create better momentum for cold calls and make objection handling seamless.
- Demo recordings: to show sellers how they can approach every pain point and close the deal
- Case studies: to share stories and social proof that entice prospects.
- Relevant templates: to minimize repeat work and increase productivity.
The biggest challenge with these training materials lies in nobody knowing where to find relevant information. The lack of standardized resources also forces sellers to rely on piecemeal answers. Besides, repetitive documentation makes learning even more challenging. We highly recommend creating a knowledge base to ensure content consistency and reliability.
Scribe top Tip: Scribe can tackle all these challenges and massively simplify knowledge-sharing. The tool allows you to create visually appealing guides and documents in seconds. Share these resources with your entire team and promote peer-to-peer learning.
5. Outline responsibilities for each role
A good sales enablement strategy doesn’t just define the goals and means for business growth. It also designates the responsibility to carry out these means and reach the targets. So, while you chalk out your strategy, remember to delegate specific roles to every effort and clearly outline what is expected and when.
For instance, your sales reps are responsible for discovery calls, closing deals and documentation. Your sales operations team will look into prospecting and data analysis while your enablement function qualifies leads for targeted pitching.
This step of the strategizing process essentially dissects your bigger picture to assign relevant duties to each team member.
6. Build a robust sales stack to empower your team
Your sales enablement strategy should also shape your tech stack for optimum productivity by getting everyone on the same page and streamlining your processes.
Building your tech stack requires a thorough analysis of your workflows — which processes take too much time, which ones you can automate, which tools can enhance your performance if integrated into your workflows, etc. Some companies already use automation and AI models to streamline time-consuming and manual processes. The latter heavily rely on annotation tools to create training and testing datasets for model training.
While you can find gaps in your entire sales framework and build your tech stack, here are a few standard tools you need to beef up your performance.
Customer relationship management (CRM): Monitor your relationship with every customer from the lead stage.
Try: Salesforce, Zoho, and Hubspot
Outreach: Automate and accelerate your outreach processes with granular data and targeted insights.
Try: Pipedrive, Outreach, and InsideSales
Prospecting: Generate quality, industry-wise leads and simplify lead nurturing.
Try: Leadfeeder, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Workflow automation: Make selling more efficient and increase sellers’ productivity with automation tools.
Try: ClickFunnels, Zoominfo, and Growbots
Project management: Bring more organization to your team and stay on top of files, documents and resources.
Creating your sales tech stack is about trial and error. Identify your needs and scope for automation to add more efficient tools to your current setup.
7. Measure and optimize your strategy
You're not done and dusted once your strategy is complete — it's an ongoing process. One way to keep your strategy relevant and increase its ROI is by measuring the results and making necessary modifications.
You can measure the impact of your sales enablement function with multiple metrics. Here are a few important ones that you can consider:
- Lead-to-opportunity ratio
- Length of the sales cycle
- Time to productivity
- Time reps spend selling
- Win rate
- Quota attainment
Perform a thorough assessment of your team's performance based on your selected metrics. This timely assessment will reveal gaps you can fill by iterating your strategy.
Build a stellar sales enablement strategy
In this competitive market, you’re missing out without a strong sales enablement function to empower your frontline reps. A sales enablement strategy equips your team to effectively guide buyers through the funnel, maximize conversions and ultimately increase your bottom line.
A solid strategy can empower your reps with meaningful data and increased visibility into buyer personas. This translates into a shorter sales cycle and a higher win rate.
So, use this detailed guide to create a fail-proof enablement strategy and empower your team to produce better results.