The success of a B2B marketer depends largely on the ability to help the sales team in their sales pitches. Passing on the right target group and product knowledge and provide relevant marketing content is of great importance. With Sales Enablement you support the sales team directly with content and structure.
Quick Refresher: What is Sales Enablement?
“Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return of investment of the selling system.” – Forrester Research
Some managers say that Sales Enablement does not suit their way of working, or that their organization is not ready for it. Or we hear that “Implementing Sales Enablement takes too much effort.” Meaning; they believe the costs outweigh the benefits. But the figures (source: Forrester, IDC and Outbound Excellence) don’t lie:
- – 45% of clients have already made their decision before they speak to a sales person.
- – Only 21% of salespeople have studies and examples relevant to the customer on hand.
- – According to clients, only 62% of salespeople have sufficient knowledge of the product.
- – Only 16% of prospects find the product the deciding factor for choosing a competitor.
- – Only 22% of salespeople truly understand their client’s problem and how they can solve it.
Does that sound familiar?
There are still too many salespeople doing prospect needs research haphazardly, without structure, and without touching the appropriate level of information, and asking the right questions at the right time. There are also many people that waste time creating presentation materials which have already been made by someone else.
The importance of Sales Enablement
Now you’re starting to see the importance of supporting your sales team in their sales pitch by giving them structure, content and interaction. If you can gain insight into sales conversations, you are able to continuously improve them. In short, there’s a huge need for Sales Enablement.
However, Sales Enablement is not just a magic word, it can’t just be turned on and all your problems are solved. For one, not every form of Sales Enablement is the same. You can see the various types here.
Sales Enablement shouldn’t be a straightjacket nor a control instrument for your sales team. Users must have enough freedom to let them build a personal relationship in conversations. They should feel “enabled”, it should help them shine in their conversations. Sales Enablement must provide guidance, while also allowing for freedom and flexibility (You can use Shaman Meeting Canvas for this).
Implementing Sales Enablement
Sales Enablement needs to be carefully implemented. Contrary to popular opinion, Sales Enablement is not just a tool, or a software solution, it’s a behavioral change in the organization. It represents an entirely different form of cooperation between marketing and sales teams. A new way of preparing for sales presentations, implementing, and follow ups.
If management wants to start with Sales Enablement, it’s important that it rolls out correctly the first time within the organization. A negative experience is difficult to undo later. Employees need to quickly experience that Sales Enablement helps make their work easier and faster. They need to see how it helps them achieve their goals. The collaboration between the sales and marketing teams will be made stronger. Ultimately, this saves a lot of time for both parties, but will initially take some effort to get them to speak the same language, understand each other’s worlds, and come closer together.
When you implement Sales Enablement, customers will start to see that they are approached with information that is more relevant to them. It will be delivered in a structured manner that is based on their needs. This makes the process a lot less frustrating for all parties, and contributes to a rise in sales figures.
Are you convinced that this professionalisation will turn out better for everyone? Now get the rest of your organization on board!