B2B Articles - October 25, 2015

What is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that focuses on equipping salespeople to have more valuable conversations with qualified leads, improve their productivity and increase their targeting capabilities. Here are some statistics on sales enablement to provide context on its benefits and relevance.

What is sales enablement? Segmentation based on behavior.

Sales enablement involves increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your salespeople, so they are more successful in making sales calls, targeting prospects, pursuing new sales opportunities, and managing your top accounts. In general, sales enablement falls into four key activities that are performed by your company on an ongoing basis to ensure success:

1. Recruit and hire top salespeople. The first sales enablement activity is to make sure you have the right people on your sales team. This involves putting time and energy into recruiting and hiring results-oriented individuals who are focused on driving revenue, building lasting client relationships, and continually improving their skill set to meet your company’s objectives.

2. Coach and train your salespeople in inbound sales. Once you have the right people on your sales team, you need to train them to be successful. We recommend educating them on inbound sales, which is the most effective way to sell to web-generated leads today. It involves focusing on individual buyers and their unique needs, goals, and pain points – rather than using the same generic sales technique on every single prospect. It’s a highly effective strategy that is free of spam, hard sells, and elevator pitches – and instead focuses on having engaging, helpful conversations that build trust and drive sales.

3. Provide your salespeople with the resources they need to succeed. At the core, sales enablement is providing your salespeople with resources that will improve their effectiveness at common sales activities, like making calls and targeting prospects. This involves giving your team high-level training content, critical analytics, feedback, buyer personas, buyer insights, industry data, and buyer pain points – essentially, anything they may need to access easily in order to have a successful sales conversation.

4. The right tools, analytics, and technology. Measurement is a critical key to sales enablement because it allows you to continually adapt to ensure your salespeople have the precise resources they need and are operating as effectively and efficiently as possible. We recommend prioritizing the ongoing measurement of how effective your salespeople are, how skilled they are in speaking to prospects, and how successful they are in reaching their goals. If you find that their performance has room for improvement, you can use that insight to tweak your sales enablement activities – such as recruiting new salespeople, re-training and coaching your existing salespeople, or adding new resources and content that can help them perform better.

Improve your analytics by adopting the following:

  • A cloud-based CRM (allowing for on-the-go access to data and records)
  • A CRM that is easy to update and manage
  • Segmentation of the CRM database
  • Integration between marketing (lead generation) data and your sales CRM
  • Mobile access to the CRM
  • Reports on lead behavior
  • Lead scoring
  • Progressive profiling solution - collect data on leads through multiple interactions
  • Feedback between marketing and sales efforts
  • Shared content between marketing and sales
  • Create content based on newly identified needs
  • Email analytics and open rates for both sales and marketing
  • Training and feedback to sales team members
  • Inbound sales nurturing - learn how to work with web-generated leads
  • Email drip campaigns (automated and triggered) to help nurture leads higher up in the buying lifecycle

What is Sales Enablement? -- Needs for B2B sales teams

Further reading: 4 B2B Sales Enablement Best Practices

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