Sales enablement is a complex concept that to a great extent has arisen as a consequence of complex sales. Crafting a successful sales enablement strategy is a matter of putting processes, people and tools in place to achieve your sales goals. But before you jump into it, read our tips below and get a foundation for achieving sales enablement success.
Get marketing onboard from the beginning
Sales and marketing alignment is a key success criteria of a great sales enablement strategy, and therefore the foundation for creating and implementing a sales enablement strategy is to ensure that both marketing and sales come to the table from the beginning. It might be called “sales enablement”, but the practice is as much a marketing function as a sales function. The reason being that marketing often creates the majority of sales supporting content and feeds the sales reps with MQLs (marketing qualified leads).
The importance of bringing marketing onboard is stressed by sales enablement expert Pam Didner, who has written a book about the marketer’s role in sales enablement. Last year we held a webinar in collaboration with her. Read the recap of our webinar, and get Pam Didner’s three pieces of actionable advice for aligning sales and marketing.
Make a Sales Enablement charter
To ensure that your sales enablement initiatives are effectively carried out, it is a great idea to make a sales enablement charter, which functions as a business plan and guide. A CSO Insights study showed that the companies that implement a formal approach to sales enablement with a charter can improve win rates by 19.2%.
A sales enablement charter ties your sales enablement efforts to your corporate vision, mission and strategy, defines objectives and metrics, the audience involved, the sales enablement capabilities and the sales enablement services needed, according to CSO Insights.
Clarify roles and responsibilities
Larger companies might have a dedicated sales enablement department that bridges the gap between sales and marketing, but for most companies the starting point for creating a sales enablement function is to make coworkers in sales and marketing collaborate.
Sales enablement responsibilities include managing processes, content, training and tools and it is imperative to state who is in charge of what and communicate it – preferably in your charter – so tasks can be effectively connected and smoothly handed over from one employee to another.
Map buyer journeys and content
Enabling sales involves engaging buyers with relevant content throughout the buying journey. Since no buyer follows the same path from discovery to purchase, it requires investigation to figure out what kind of content your buyers are looking for, at what touchpoints and at what stage. This requires that sales and marketing come together and share their knowledge, since marketing often creates and distributes content, and sales reps interact with buyers.
To get some inspiration, you can try to make an image search on Google for “content mapping”, and then you will get numerous examples of different templates for mapping content according to buying stages. When you have the content in place and it comes to organizing your sales content library and distributing relevant marketing content to sales reps, a content management platform is a great tool.
Apply the right tools
When you know what you need to do to succeed with your sales enablement strategy, you can benefit greatly from implementing sales enablement software. This allows you to automate tasks and reduce administrative work, so you can work smarter and spend time on the most valuable activities.
There are countless sales enablement platform vendors on the market. Therefore, a great place to start is with identifying your needs for a solution: what challenges must it be able to solve, and what results do you expect from implementing it? Next comes comparing prices and services: Consider whether user-based pricing or a subscription pricing model suits you best, and whether you need any additional services like training or tech support. Lastly, when you have narrowed the field of vendors down, check their expertise is your industry, e.g. by looking into their case studies with similar customers, and request a demo of the different platforms.
Use analytics and optimize practices
You will need to revisit your sales enablement charter continuously. If you have implemented sales enablement software you will get valuable insight into your sales enablement activities, which you can use to optimize practices and update your charter.
A common feature of sales enablement platforms is content analytics: Getting insight into your content usage and content performance is essential to boost the collaboration and alignment between marketing and sales. Content analytics informs the marketing team about what kind of marketing content that enables sales, which makes marketing more effective, since they will not spend time on creating content that goes unused.
Execute your Sales Enablement strategy with Napp
Napp is a sales enablement platform that helps you to have more effective client meetings and generate more sales. It is a web solution and app that effectively connects your sales material to the sales reps in the field. Napp stands out by enabling your sales reps to look up all product and stock information on the go and place orders for customers in the app, which saves you a lot of time on administrative tasks. Request a demo and we will give you a personal introduction to Napp.
If you are looking for an in-depth resource about sales enablement strategy, then we suggest a book on the topic. We have read and reviewed the top 3 sales enablement books on the market to help you choose.