The past five years have seen a 343% increase in sales enablement adoption. When you consider that companies with a dedicated sales enablement program see up to 12% higher win rates and 35% average increase in sales quota attainment, it’s easy to see the appeal.
But what is sales enablement and where does it fit within an organization? Sales enablement is the strategic process of providing sales teams with marketing content and resources to engage buyers and close more deals. Successful sales enablement programs assess the buyer journey and produce resources and training for sales teams that address specific pain points at each stage of the sale.
While department structures will differ by company, sales enablement typically falls under the responsibility of both Sales and Marketing. The teams need strong collaboration to create a consistent and engaging customer experience, from generating leads to closing the deal. Marketers provide Sales with content like white papers, webinars, blogs and product sheets. Sales provides content to prospective customers and assists them through the conversion process.
Whether you’re planning your first program, or just need to refresh your current strategy, we’ve put together four actionable sales enablement tips for success from planning to rollout.
The ultimate purpose of sales enablement is to increase revenue by closing more deals. How you get there depends on the needs of your organization. Talk to your sales team to identify problem areas in the sales process. Based on these findings, you can establish goals for your program. Some examples include:
- Increase deal size
- Up- or cross-sell to more current customers
- Shorten the sales cycle
- Create a training program for the sales team
- Improve your library of content used by Sales
Keep in mind that when rolling out a new sales enablement program, consistency and patience are key. Win rates increase the longer you run your program—companies that have a sales enablement program in place for more than two years see a 5 percentage point increase in deals won.
Develop relevant content
Arming your sales team with the right content at each stage of the buyer journey is essential for a winning B2B sales enablement program. Buyers are increasingly drawn to a personalized experience, with 74% choosing to move forward with the salesperson that shared the most relevant, insightful content.
To help you identify content opportunities, you can:
- Catalog and audit your current assets, determining which are usable, need revision or should be retired.
- Talk to your sales team and map out the buyer journey, asking about problem areas and gaps in content coverage.
- Conduct customer surveys to gain insight into pain points and better understand how they use your products and services.
Once you have conducted your research, create a content strategy framework and rollout plan. Provide your sales team with an inventory of each content piece including audience information, stage of the buyer journey, and links to collateral, landing pages and other resources. When your new content is live, track performance to optimize future iterations and revise your content strategy.
Track your data
When it comes to optimizing your sales enablement program, tracking performance and campaign data is critical to knowing which content is effective. But 90% of marketers say they can’t measure the ROI of their content on deals. This lack of insight makes it difficult to pinpoint gaps in the sales process or refine your content strategy.
Here are some easy ways to start tracking the impact of your content:
- Track customers at all stages of the sales cycle with customer relationship management (CRM) software and create reports to monitor campaigns.
- Set up web analytics to track page views, downloads, visitors and other important site information.
- Monitor your social media accounts and use them to test messaging and content types.
After the data is collected, you can use it to guide your future sales enablement efforts. Reports from your CRM can be used to identify where prospects are abandoning the sales process. Web analytics will tell you which topics and content are most popular, and social media will let you know which content your customers find the most engaging. All of this should help you create more targeted, effective content across the entire buyer journey.
Train the sales team
Creating content for a sales enablement program is only half the battle—your sales team needs to know how to use your content, which audience should receive it, and where it fits in the sales cycle. Properly training your sales professionals on effective use of your materials will allow them to create a more personalized experience for their buyers.
There are a number of ways to implement sales training at your organization:
- Conduct dedicated training sessions, webinars, or lunch-and-learns to review materials and campaign strategy.
- Develop campaign blueprints for the sales team, illustrating the flow of each piece of content as it relates to specific audiences, pain points, and stages of the buyer journey.
- Create training videos that walk through each stage of the buyer journey, calling out content pieces to use and best practices for engaging the buyer.
For any sales enablement program to work in the long run, Sales and Marketing need to stay aligned on strategy and goals—a recent LinkedIn survey found that 60% of respondents believe misalignment between marketing and sales can impact revenue.
Conducting regular check-ins with the sales team to discuss content performance helps address any gaps or identify new opportunities. Sharing campaign performance and other metrics lets Sales understand the message points and tactics that are most effective, or where the organization can focus on improvement.
Turn plans into action with PMG
Sales enablement has become an essential part of revenue-driven marketing strategies. PMG partners with tech and SaaS marketing organizations to drive business value through high-impact sales enablement programs and content—helping companies define their strategies, deliver on objectives, and smash their revenue goals. Contact us today for your free 20 minute consultation.