Sales enablement is an iterative process of providing your business's sales team with the resources they need to close more deals. These resources may include content, tools, knowledge, and information to effectively sell your product or service to customers.
While it may sound simple, it’s actually a complicated, strategic and imperative role that has important implications on the success of a business. In fact, according to Highspot’s State of Sales Enablement 2017, more than 75% of respondents from companies using sales enablement tools reported higher year-over-year sales, even within an environment of increasingly complex sales processes.
If you’re resolving to improve your sales enablement process in the new year, here’s a list of questions you should ask of yourself and your team to help make 2020 your best sales year yet.
- Do you have a well defined-sales enablement function? In 2013, fewer than 20% of companies dedicated resources to sales enablement. Fast forward to today when close to 60% of companies are focused on this vital business function and CSO Insights expects this figure to continue to grow rapidly.Sales enablement should be viewed as a strategic role vs. a daily task.
- What’s hurting your sales team’s productivity? Sales productivity is the number one challenge for 65% of B2B organizations. According to Salesforce, the average sales rep spends 64% of his or her time on non-selling tasks and 25% of those are administrative tasks. Identifying—and solving—inefficiencies within the sales process can help you spike productivity, while positively impacting revenue margins and your bottom line.
- Are you utilizing content to its fullest? High-value content plays a critical role at every stage of the buyer’s journey and the selling process. Buyers want to engage with more content throughout the sales process. In fact, 95% of buyers choose a provider who delivers the content to help them navigate through each stage of the buying process.
- Are you using the right technology and tools? Your reps need current tools and tech that enable them to deliver the right content in the right way, exactly when your reps need it. If you’re still relying on static slide decks to wow customers, it’s time for an update.
- Are your sales enablement metrics aligned with company/team goals? Connecting sales enablement initiatives to the big picture is critical. This comes in different shapes and sizes, according to CSO Insights. A less mature program might focus on metrics such as time spent selling or searching for content, while a mature organization might directly tie initiatives to sales results.
- Are we measuring success? Real-time analytics and reporting can help you identify issues quickly before they become deep-seated problems. Do your tools have this capability? If not, it may be time to reevaluate them.
- Which sales enablement metrics should we be measuring? Metrics will vary by company size, industry and goals, but a good starting point is determining the KPIs and sales skills that matter most to leadership. You also need to have a clear understanding of how your sales organization defines success in order to map out how to achieve that success.
- Do we need a sales enablement charter? Creating a sales enablement charter (a business plan that clearly defines the organization’s vision and goals for sales enablement) is associated with a 19% higher win rate, according to CSO Insights, which recommends all sales enablement functions develop a charter. A charter should document a formal strategy and establish executive sponsorship, and include details like services provided and how enablement success will be measured.
- Are we training our reps adequately? Your reps should be fully knowledgeable about a topic before they engage with buyers and it is the company’s responsibility to make sure they have true sales readiness before every single sales presentation. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter how good your marketing content is if your reps don’t know how to use it. Content Marketing Institute and LinkedIn found 80% of marketers in companies with good sales and marketing alignment show sellers both how and when to use content. Predictive content and coaching can go a long way towards improving sales and marketing alignment because in sales, just as in life, preparation is key.
- How can we improve the alignment between marketing and sales? B2B organizations that have closely aligned sales and marketing operations achieve 24% faster three-year revenue growth. Working together to identify the most important questions customers have at different points in the sales process enables marketing to create content that will provide the most benefit to your sales team.