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How to Build a Winning Sales Enablement Strategy

October 11, 2023
How to Build a Winning Sales Enablement Strategy

The marketing and sales teams share a common goal; they both want to deliver a consistent brand experience across multiple channels and when communicating with current and prospective customers. Teams have several tactics at their disposal for effectively and consistently closing sales, with sales enablement being one of the most valuable.

You may have heard of sales enablement but remain unsure how to best go about it for meeting your objectives. Outlined below are the crucial steps necessary for building a successful sales enablement strategy that boosts the performance of sales and marketing teams, ultimately increasing revenue for the business as a whole.

Why Sales Enablement Is the Game Changer

What is sales enablement? It refers to a process in which sales teams receive a range of support, including access to key information, training programs, and tools, that empower more productivity. An effective sales enablement strategy has implications for the marketing team, helping them develop the right messaging, content, and resources to better serve the sales department.

Sales enablement was born from the realization that sales operations were often impeded due to organizational red tape and other barriers to success. Today, there are numerous technology companies offering software to help organizations achieve and manage sales enablement.

The Importance of Sales Enablement

Given its benefits for sales processes, it’s understandable that sales enablement is an increasing trend among marketing and brand managers. Research from Sales & Marketing Management states businesses that utilize sales enablement experience a 49% win rate on the company’s sales, as opposed to 42.5% for those who don’t.

A strong sales enablement program delivers multiple advantages, but two of the most significant are aligning sales with marketing efforts and improving sales performance. Sales are essentially an extension of a brand’s marketing, so marketing specialists need to be involved just as much as salespeople. When marketing and sales teams collaborate on sales enablement, they can accomplish the following and more:

  • Pinpoint possible inconsistencies happening in the buyer’s journey during the consideration and decision stages
  • Note questions and concerns that sales reps frequently encounter and develop more tailored messaging
  • Participate in sales calls together or hold meetings after to craft more relevant content sales reps can supply potential customers during these calls

When sales teams have the necessary information and resources to meet customers’ and prospects’ needs during interactions, the sales cycle benefits. Consider the following ways sales enablement contributes to better sales cycle performance:

  • Deliver consistent sales pitch practice and feedback across the sales funnel
  • Provide a model for top-seller behavior
  • Can shorten the sales cycle and boost win rates
  • Can help create specific case studies for different products that showcase the problems they solve for the target audience

Crafting Your Sales Enablement Strategy

Most businesses share the bottom line of increasing sales and revenue growth, but how they accomplish these objectives may depend on their model and vision. However, some components of a sales enablement strategy are universally beneficial. Whether you’re starting from scratch or refining an existing program, these aspects provide a comprehensive and effective sales enablement strategy template:

1. Set Clear Objectives

Inherent in the phrase sales enablement strategy is the need for a sound strategy. Otherwise, sales enablement initiatives are likely to fall apart. This framework will outline a company’s goals, expectations, processes, and any specific considerations.

Typically, businesses utilize a formal document called a charter to describe their sales enablement strategy. Sales enablement charters aren’t set in stone, but rather open documents subject to ongoing revision as your organization experiences new challenges along the way.

2. Establish the Sales Enablement Team

You’ll need a team of talented individuals to execute and oversee sales enablement. Additionally, as sales enablement may be a new concept, you need to make sure everyone at the company, from C-suite executives to entry-level employees, knows who the team is and their role within the organization. It’s also important for getting buy-in from key stakeholders, specifically executives.

3. Facilitate Collaboration Across Departments

The most important relationship for a sales enablement strategy is between the sales and marketing departments. When these teams work together, everything from the development of buyer personas to the launching of marketing campaigns improves. Product development teams may also help with sales enablement.

4. Map Out the Buyer’s Journey

With the ultimate goal being to close deals, customers are at the center of any sales enablement strategy. Therefore, you need to adjust your sales enablement plan to match your customer journey. Consider their pain points, the general buying process, and other factors to ensure sales reps have a technique or tool to leverage at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

5. Create content personalized for your specific audiences

How do marketing and sales teams enhance interactions with customers and prospects? It’s through relevant content that resonates with audiences. To ensure messaging resounds with the buyer, personalize it to suit their data, such as location, interests, and pain points. The result is an enhanced customer experience where buyers receive the right pieces of content when they need it, boosting the likelihood that sales reps target the right prospects. Beyond just creating content, businesses need to think about a content management system for consistency and continual improvement.

6. Investigate Sales Enablement Technology

When businesses begin new strategies, one of the first steps they take is to explore technologies to streamline processes and bolster sales productivity. Various software tools are available for augmenting sales enablement, from sales engagement to sales asset management to conversational intelligence.

Some companies invest in multiple sales enablement technologies simply because they believe they can solve all their challenges, but organizations are encouraged to be intentional about these choices. A recent study from Harvard Business Review acts as a good reminder; it states sales reps who feel inundated by technology are 43% less successful with quota attainment than those reps who don’t feel overwhelmed. For this reason, businesses ought to thoroughly investigate different tools to maintain a tech stack that supports their objectives.

7. Integrate with CRM Platforms

In addition to sales enablement software, one of the best tools for supporting sales enablement is customer relationship management (CRM) software. When integrated with sales enablement tools, CRM allows teams to glean data quickly during sales processes, generating efficiency. Other benefits include:

  • Measuring the efficacy of sales enablement efforts, creating a feedback loop for improving performance
  • Providing sales enablement leaders with more oversight
  • Allowing reps to consolidate sales tools to simplify data tasks
  • Helping marketing teams analyze which assets spawn the most leads

8. Train and Coach

Sales enablement may be new to sales and marketing team members, meaning a training program is necessary for equipping employees with the knowledge and skills to conduct sales enablement processes. In addition to the specific sales enablement skills, program developers should also think about general abilities like strategic thinking, critical thinking, and empathy.

Sales training involves teaching personnel how to use the new technology implemented to guide sales enablement. You’ll notice more buy-in if you include sales reps in the selection, as well as offer incentives to those who use the software or tool. Through sales coaching, sales managers and reps are better prepared to reach quotas faster and more reliably, driving performance.

9. Consider Social Selling

Social media has become the prime location for interacting with buyers. If you want to reach Baby Boomers and Generation X, Facebook (Meta) and YouTube are the best bet. Interested in connecting with Millennials and Generation Z? Add Instagram to your marketing strategy. Beyond being the ideal space to engage with customers and prospects, social media is integral in building brand credibility and trust. Through social selling, companies can develop long-term and high-value relationships with their target audiences.

10. Implement Metrics to Evaluate Success

Now that your sales enablement plan is in place, you need metrics to measure if it’s truly meeting your objectives. For a complete view of the effect sales enablement has had on sales performance, a set of KPIs is needed.

In addition to metrics, organizations need a means for reporting on data-driven insights gleaned from KPIs. For example, dashboards enable sales teams to identify the marketing materials most beneficial for specific sales reps. With this information, brands can duplicate success to increase the impact of marketing campaigns.

Real-Life Sales Enablement Strategy Examples

If you’re unsure about sales enablement, it’s helpful to see how it manifests in real-world business applications. Businesses across many industries leverage the technique, and one such sector in which it’s often utilized is finance.

Many financial institutions, like banks, are multi-location and multi-channel organizations that need to ensure sales and marketing teams stay aligned with sales enablement goals. They also must consider proprietary information and several risks when pursuing leads. A sales enablement strategy gives these businesses more confidence when building customer relationships that processes are effective and compliant.

Improve Sales Enablement with Marcom

The steps above aren’t exhaustive; businesses may find the need to incorporate additional components to maintain quality sales enablement. No matter what your strategy looks like, having the right sales enablement platform can simplify tasks. Marcom Portal is a full-service brand management and distributed marketing platform that empowers organizations like yours to boost sales and achieve growth through centralized brand management.

Reach out to request a demo or get a customized quote.