Sales enablement is a term that has become popular among those working in sales. It’s been discussed in many companies, but it still sometimes brings confusion, particularly in defining whether it’s just another buzzword or a legitimate field of practice.
Sales enablement is the process of providing a business with the information, content, and tools that help their sales department close deals more effectively. Sales enablement tools can be found on the Internet. Some of them are free while others are paid applications. The fundamentals of sales enablement include providing salespeople with whatever they need in order to fully engage the prospect throughout the entirety of the buying process.
Most sales enablement efforts involve equipping the sales team with relevant information for the sales cycle they are currently in.
That being said, there are some practices that seem to be useful at first but can lead to negative results in the long run. Prevent yourself from committing these mistakes during your sales enablement procedures!
Over-reliance on Technology
Technology is definitely something that plays a major part in keeping things in check, especially in sales enablement efforts. For people that have only taken note of sales enablement for the first time, treating technology as the solution to all of their problems becomes a dilemma.
It’s acceptable that people would conclude that sales enablement tools are probably a one-stop shop for all of your sales reps needs, but that isn’t the case. Take note that technology is just one of many factors that can affect your sales. Content and personnel training are also important to focus on.
Technology is highly effective in sales enablement, but sometimes you don’t need to invest in it as soon as possible. You should make sure first that the content that you created is full of relevant information for selling conversations. That being said, you should have content for each sales stage, preferably covering the entire process. And of course, align marketing content with sales training and methodology.
Not Having Enough Collaboration Between Sales and Marketing
A company that has the sales team and the marketing team working with no cooperation whatsoever will have a hard time implementing sales enablement efforts. It’s perfectly fine for the sales department and the marketing department to be completely separate from one another, but in the case of sales enablement initiatives, their collaboration is paramount to success.
When the two departments are working together, they should be on the same page when it comes to most sales enablement efforts. This would then result in more comprehensive strategies and more detailed content for the use of sales reps and potential leads!
Just Focusing on Content
Some sales companies tend to jump the gun and put all of their efforts into creating content without performing a content audit. Take note that most of the time, there’s a low percentage of marketing content that is actually used. Adding more to it may help in some way, but ultimately, more content doesn’t necessarily entail more people finding it.
You should also take note that content is just that — content. It’s only a supplement to sales engagements. These alone will not close deals, but content that is used effectively will.
With that being said, create content that is manageable and well-informed. The sales team and marketing team should both pitch in on content creation. Have prompts alongside content so that sellers can have better conversations. Prepare content which is aligned with the sales stage. This way, you can provide them with information that is relevant to the stage in which they’re at!
Failing to Provide Enough Training to New Sales Reps
You need to train your sales reps on how to properly use all the tools at their disposal. That includes content, coaching, and advice that can be provided by the company. Without the proper knowledge, newer sales reps can have a hard time closing deals and maximizing the content that they have. Knowledge is just as important in sales as a skill.
Make sure that you provide the necessary training for your sales reps and ensure that they are competent in using the content that they have in order to maximize the chances of them closing out deals!
Using an Inefficient System
In most cases, sales reps have to do most of the auxiliary jobs on their own. Primarily, looking for collateral, emailing back and forth to find time with a prospect, digging through folders to get important files, etc. All of these are slightly trivial actions that prevent a sales rep from doing their main job — selling.
The easiest way to solve this problem is to simply look for tools that would do the trivial matters for your sales reps! Working too hard doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re productive all the time. Make sure that your sales representatives do more selling than administrative work!
Measuring the Wrong Metric
The only way for you to know that your sales enablement efforts are resulting in something great is by measuring particular metrics. Most companies focus on measuring a few, sometimes a single metric which is usually the total efficiency of all the sales enablement efforts.
In truth, to be very precise in measuring the effectiveness of sales enablement, you should take note of different metrics pertaining to different facets that are affected by sales enablement.
Keep a close eye on the performance of each sales rep, both before and after the implementation of a sales enablement process or tool. Most of the time, those that are in the middle of the sales enablement efforts are the best metric you could ask for. You can also measure the correlation between the content’s role in guiding both sales reps and buyers through the sales cycle and the rate in which deals are closed.
These two are probably the easiest to measure as it makes use of variables that are directly affected by the changes implied by sales enablement.
At the end of the day, sales enablement is supposed to boost the efficiency and the effectiveness of your sales reps in closing deals. This includes the use of content, coaching, training, and many other processes. Keep in mind that jumping to conclusions and getting tunnel vision is something that can result in a few mistakes in sales enablement. Keep an open mind and think logically about the decisions regarding sales enablement to prevent any kind of mistakes from happening!