Are you equipping your people with the resources they need to succeed? Sales enablement is an iterative process that can help your sales team close more deals and positively impact your bottom line.
Imagine you are tasked with building a house (not such a stretch of the imagination for some of you!). But you don’t have plans or soil samples, surveying information, zoning requirements, lumber, nails, or hammers…. Confident you can get the job done? Without relevant information, knowledge, and tools, it is all but impossible. This is the idea behind sales enablement, a process by which you provide your sales team with the resources they need to convert more leads into clients/customers.
The premise is simple: when you give someone a task and provide them with resources to use, they’re going to complete it more effectively and efficiently than someone who does not have those resources.
Leveraging the Tools of the Trade
The intent is to allow your salespeople to engage with prospects more effectively throughout the buying process and increase sales. An effective sales enablement strategy is built on:
- Knowledge of the Target Audience and Buyer’s Journey
This is the foundation: you cannot go further without understanding who your target audience is and where they are on the buyer’s journey. This informs what information and support they need at given touchpoints. Ultimately, sales enablement is customer-centric, and the goal is to empower your sales team to communicate more effectively with prospects by providing them with the resources they need to give customers what they want.
- Training and Development
Ideally, training is continuous. Sales enablement depends on not only the access to resources but the ability to utilize them to complete the objective (i.e. close more deals). Once-a-year trainings won’t cut it, especially when you’re introducing new product/service information, content, best practices, technology, analytics, etc. A sit-down training once a month or so, complimented by tools such as newsletters, collaboration platforms, and employee training portals, will help keep your sales team in the know.
It is also important to empower design and construction sales reps to report and share best practices. What are top performers doing that can help others boost their own numbers?
Content doesn’t just sit on your website, blog, or “Resource” section. It is an invaluable sales tool – a force multiplier, if you will. Your sales team can leverage blog posts, articles, whitepapers, podcasts, webinars, videos, how-tos, infographics, etc., to deliver value to prospects. When content is mapped to the buying process, salespeople can utilize it to drive the conversation forward, answer questions, overcome objections, build affinity… all on the prospects’ own time, which is essential in the digital age.
Sales enablement also means making sure reps are aware of these resources – and working closely with marketing and other verticals to develop content that drives sales.
- Expert and Executive Buy-In – and Time
“Sales” as a function does not only belong to the sales team. It is an integrated effort with support from marketing, leadership, and others in the organization. In other words, sales enablement recognizes that this is truly a team effort. This is becoming more important as buying processes change: if you’re dealing with large purchases, custom builds, or partnerships for example, decision-makers want to speak to senior executives or subject matter experts. When they provide their time, it indicates to the potential client/customer that your company is invested and committed to the relationship.
- Tracking and Measurement
Is the content you’re providing sales reps working? Is training effective? Is having senior buy-in leading to more design and construction sales? It is essential that you track which resources are being used and the results they are affecting. Look at the average sales cycle length, the number of sales reps who meet their target, the average deal size, and other key metrics.
Something that the sales enablement process clearly emphasizes is that sales is a business-wide endeavor. Support your reps with information, tools, training, and time so they can work their magic. They’ll be able to sell more effectively and efficiently, resulting in a boost to your bottom line.
Want to explore sales enablement further and see how it works in other businesses in your space? Home Artisans of Indiana brings together non-competing home improvement professionals to share their thoughts, ideas, learning, and success stories around key topics like this. Together, we’re building better businesses.