What is Sales enablement?
Sales enablement is a relatively new practise that creates the best environment conducive to a sale. I.e. providing the best resources to educate your prospect and enable your sales team to work as effectively as possible.
If your sales team is still just cold calling their way through the year, then good luck my dinosaur friend (please don’t eat me)
Your sales strategies should be being updated every three months, not every 3 decades (yes, that internet thingy is nearly 30 and it changed the way you should be selling bloody years ago)
The educated buyer is using said Internet to do their own research on you and all of your competitors, so if they eventually do choose to converse with the sales team, they are armed and dangerous. This shows that the marketing journey your prospects go through has more influence than ever before.
We’ve all suffered a horrendous salesperson in our time, someone who doesn’t know their ass from their elbow, that can’t help decipher the information they have found on the website, cannot ease your worried mind as you try and make a decision to part with your hard earned dollar?
With this in mind, surely the sales team should become problem solvers? They should have their own arsenal of knowledge to add value to the prospect and make themselves the trusted advisor (over your competition) Because FYI, if you don’t… your competitor will.
What are the benefits of sales enablement for my business?
More sales and a happier team, what more could you ask for?…
… How about:
- Better company alignment – All departments and teams working together, in the same direction as communication and education is consistently applied across all customer touch points
- Stronger company message – As communication evolves, naturally your company messages will merge and become stronger and more powerful in communication.
- Improved Productivity – organisation is the key to a productive organisation! With everyone singing from the same hymn sheet (yep, sorry) there is less room for errors in communication and therefore everyone is more productive.
- Increase in sales – the ultimate goal is that you achieve an increase in your sales. Well, with every aspect of the seller cycle being improved and optimised, your sales invariably increase.
- Better retention rates – and with your company brand becoming stronger and more consistent, and the sales team becoming better equipped to play the role of the trusted advisor, why would anyone look elsewhere?
Isn’t sales enablement the role of the sales guys?
Not wholly. The sales team cannot diagnose the customer’s needs then create and implement an effective strategy on their own.
The role of the sales guys is to be your personal voice to the public, it is a big responsibility and will require them to communicate fully with all other departments and keep themselves fully educated with the market at all times.
So, who owns sales enablement in my business?
The broad answer to this is every department. Sales enablement should be totally customer centric so everything from the web design team to the customer success team should be involved in that customer journey.
Ultimately though, it is the marriage between your sales and marketing department that will make this process the most effective.
Now, traditionally sales and marketing don’t mix… they are in totally different corners: On the red team we have the creative thinkers who adore brand rulebooks and consistent messaging, and on the blue team, we have the verbal communicators that laugh at the rulebook, and adapt as they go!
However it is absolutely critical that these two teams learn to get along because they each carry their own secrets, that when combined, will deliver a seamless kick ass customer journey, no one will be able to resist!
What is the best sales enablement software?
We know what you’re thinking. It’s got to be Kulea, right?
Well, as much as we love to love your love, I’m afraid Kulea falls under the marketing automation category more than it does sale enablement (or sales engagement, for that matter). Sales enablement is really a complementary channel to marketing automation (see how marketing automation fits with sales enablement here) and the tools used to drive it focus more around the creation and management of sales support assets.
According to b2bmarketing.net: The industry analyst company Research in Action recently surveyed 1500 businesses globally about their Sales Enablement software vendors, and the top 15 vendors based upon their ratings were as follows:
- SalesLoft (more from these guys later)
- Accent Technologies
What do I need in my stack
There’s a lot to choose from right? And that ain’t the half of the software available to you!
According to Saleshacker.com, a great sales enablement stack should include:
Intelligence (the technology you use to collect, present and integrate insightful client and prospect data to the sales people to use learn from.)
Enablement (the technology used to enable your sales team get to the right decision makers at the right time with the best information to make that sale)
Engagement (The best use of human touch points and AI/Automation to ensure you offer your prospects and clients the very best communication and get the greatest engagement)
Pipeline, analytics and measurement (The technology used to measure and track your important sales metrics and KPI’s)
Management and coaching (how you develop and grow your sales team with the operations and techniques that you see proven to work during analysis stage)
Here is Kulea’s Stack to give you an example:
Linkedin Sales Navigator / Prospect.io / get Prospect / G2Crowd
Kulea / Pipedrive / Ring Central / Zapier
Kulea / Zoom / WordPress / Smartsheets / Zendesk
Pipeline, analytics and measurement
Kulea / Google Analytics
Management and coaching
Zoom / Pipedrive / Zendesk
No it is not, but you raise an excellent question, because team Kulea strongly believes you should implement both.
Sales Engagement helps sales teams to automate the task and admin heavy parts of the sales process to enable them to spend more time where it matters – building trust and providing the best buyer experience. It helps you to increase activity without compromising value by allowing teams to drive pipeline, manage deals, and engage customers – all from a single platform, enabling them to contact the right people with the right message at the right time.
Sales engagement integrates with your CRM, enabling easy execution of all sales activity across multiple channels, like email, phone, social, direct mail, and video — whilst all activity is tracked, logged, and synced back to your CRM. Sales Engagement is essentially your co-pilot for your CRM. Whilst your CRM is a system of record, Sales Engagement is a system of execution, making all of your valuable data actionable.
Ollie Sharp, VP of Revenue @ SalesLoft
So, concluded perfectly by destinationcrm.com…while sales enablement aligns the sales process internally to ensure success, sales engagement focuses on helping sales professionals to communicate effectively with prospects and customers.
For this section we are going to pass over to our main man, Kulea Co-founder, Andrew Nicholson:
“There’s a bit of a Venn diagram around marketing automation, sales enablement and sale engagement, with overlap between the three areas. The reality is that any business that’s serious needs to have the tools in place to handle all three stages of this customer sales journey, plus of course a CRM in place to act as the single source of truth.”
He loves a good metaphor and likes to describe sales enablement journey as a classroom:
“Before you even start learning, your teacher has been hard at work behind the scenes building the assets required to educate you. The books, the Powerpoint presentations, the how-to guides. Basically, everything you, as a customer, need to get up to speed – that’s your sales enablement.
Marketing automation is the education programme – it ensures the right assets are seen by the right pupil at the right time, to educate and guide them towards their destination – graduation day. Without this delivery method, the assets the teacher crafted become useless.
And then you have your teacher, back in the classroom, making sure that the pupils are completing the work that’s set, and that everything is handed in on time so that you’re going to graduate on time and at the top of your class – that’s your sales engagement.
And all of this information is being pushed into your annual report, which everyone can see at any time – that’s your CRM.”
If that doesn’t answer your questions, please head over to our contact page and one of our smashing team will be happy to help further.
How do I make a good sales enablement strategy?
Your strategy should focus on three main areas:
- The productivity of your sales team
- The customer experience
- The effectiveness of your marketing team
The productivity of the sales team and the effectiveness of your marketing team will ultimately determine your customer experience, directly effecting your sales and retention rates.
With this in mind, you should create strategy that is:
- Competent – If you are going to become the trusted advisor, make sure you know what you’re talking about when you address your prospects and customers
- Responsive – Answer customers quickly and effectively before they ask your competitor!
- Credible – Make sure all content and communication is credible, believe us, your customer has already done so much research for themselves, don’t fall down here.
- Personalised – everyone now expects some kind of personal experience, this is where your marketing automation and sales engagement software really comes together, as they can automate most of this time consuming work for both sales and marketing teams.
- Consistent – It is incredibly important that every department, every touch point carries a consistent message, giving a really strong brand.
- Trackable – Track all touch points, digital, face to face etcetera, so you know what is working and what is not
Where do we start?
Take advice from the below and make sure you focus on these prompts in order:
1. Content – first of all you need a good, competent, credible and up to date stream of content for both marketing and sales to share. Make sure this content is regularly performance analysed, easy to distribute and fresh.
2. Structure – Create a good solid structure where your content is aligned with your sales conversation. Make it easy for your sales team to access and distribute this content in their process.
3. Experience – sales and marketing are as customer-centric as they have ever been. Its all about the customer experience, from the ease of your website to the tone of a phone call. If you don’t give the customer a pleasurable experience, they will move on.
4. Integration – Where does the above fit into your company machine? Integrate your strategy, using all of the tools you have: your CRM, Marketing Automation, Sales Engagement software for example, often through third party integration tools such as Mulesoft or Zapier.
5. Analytics – Make sure you study your analytics regularly, how efficiently is the machine working? Marketing can effectively gain insights from sales behaviour by implementing your digital analysis within each of your tools. Before you start decide on the KPIs you put in place to measure effectiveness.
6. Company engagement – communication is key here, unless the entire organisation is adopting, using and regularly feeding back on this structure and brands then how will you really learn what works and if you are enabling your sales to the best of your ability as a company? Hold regular meetings and share key responsibilities to keep flow and consistency in your team.
Sales Enablement has always been a part of your business, however with the huge shifts we see in buying behaviour, the process has never been so important.
Use this guide as a tool to get Sales Enablement on the top of your list and bring the whole company onboard. You will be amazed at the results.
Go fourth and ENABLE!