By Filip Witkowski, Crescendo
5 Reasons Sales Enablement is Critical for 2022
Over the past few years, we are witnessing a rapid digitalization of all sales processes. It is best exemplified in sales departments, where until recently many activities were carried out in a traditional way using paper documents and faxes, and, in later years, Excel. Nowadays, the most significant sales departments rely on CRM or SFA systems, allowing them to scale sales.
However, in the last few years, the business world has encountered yet another group of IT systems, revolutionizing the development of one of the most neglected and underestimated areas of sales, namely sales force competencies. And that is precisely what we are going to tackle today and try to answer the question of what sales enablement is and why it will play such a big role in 2022. Here we go!
What is sales enablement?
Sales enablement is a process that utilizes modern sales enablement tools to provide sales teams with the resources necessary to bring more and more sales opportunities to closure. These resources may include; tools, training, educational and informational materials, marketing resources, or product information to enhance the sales effectiveness of a product or service. A key feature of effective sales enablement activities is to support salespeople at every stage of the sales cycle, from initial prospecting right up to post-sales activities.
The implementation of sales enablement schemes is most beneficial when close collaboration is established between marketing teams, internal and external sales forces based on distributors and partner networks, as well as, more often, HR departments. We divide this information into two categories, namely the content that the sales department will provide to the buyer and the best practices, research and tools that the sales force will use as part of their work.
How do properly implemented sales enablement techniques support sales teams?
Sales enablement tools not only stand for a more effective cooperation with the marketing departments, but also offer a number of additional benefits resulting from the systematic improvement of skills and competences as well as the analysis of data concerning the salespersons’ current knowledge.
Sales enablement tools support the introduction and onboarding of new sales team members and the assessment of sales skills within the team, improve collaboration with the marketing departments in the creation of customer-oriented content for every stage of the sales process, as well as in the development of learning materials, templates and scripts for each stage of the sales process.
Through these methods, we can also handle sales training, analyze sales data to support decision-making, and engage salespeople in other development activities. This makes it easier for your sales staff to use such resources, which influences their knowledge and preparation for the meeting, but also the efficiency of their work, as good quality content that your sales staff provide to customers makes it easier to convince them of your offer.
Sales departments, on the other hand, no longer have to search through mailings and joint drives for a set of customer materials, but instead keep it all organized in a single mobile sales tool.
What does a well-thought-out sales enablement strategy consist of?
First of all, you need to define your goals. To do this, it is best to answer questions such as: What does the salesperson focus on in their marketing activities? Should they include detailed information about products and services or other data? What sales practices do you condemn? What means of sales, etc. By answering these, and identifying the ones that matter most to you, you’ll be one step closer to embracing your sales support processes.
Then, you need to focus on defining what the potential customer wants. To do this you need to take care of two aspects; make sure salespeople understand who the buyer is and the journey they’re on and map your sales plays and training to the buying experience.
Then you have a clear path to the final. All you have to do is create high-quality marketing content and introduce regular and professional training for your salespeople, and don’t forget to analyze and review the results of your sales enablement methods.
Why sales enablement is so important?
Against a backdrop of fiercer competition, constrained markets, lower barriers to entry and more opportunities for buyers, sales support solutions tools allow sales and marketing teams to save valuable time by optimizing their operation. Strong sales enablement solutions are no longer merely a welcome addition, but an undeniably competitive necessity in order to adapt to these new expectations and aims.
Sales agents are required to have the appropriate content at the proper time not only to maintain buyer engagement, but to reach them at all, given the difficult task due to the pandemic, and the gigantic competition. Without proper sales enablement processes, sales staff tends to fall back into old habits, and if those customs are not conducive to working effectively with prospects, you could see a sudden drop in sales.
Furthermore, without proper training and guidance by the management, sales reps are more likely to fail when it comes to negotiating, closing deals and properly dealing with prospects’ objections. Therefore, if you want your sales team to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace, you need a strong strategy to ensure that every sales representative has the tools they can use when talking to customers. And now we will focus on why these types of activities will be particularly valuable to business people in 2022.
Reasons why sales enablement will be particularly important in 2022
1. Improving sales even in times of pandemic
Nearly two years have passed since the first lockdowns and restrictions on movement, and although it would seem that vaccines will change a lot, unfortunately, as we know, it may still take some time for this situation to normalize.
Therefore, it is safe to assume that big changes are ahead, both in marketing and sales. Standard sales methods are becoming obsolete, which is why a properly structured sales enablement methodology will help you get through this difficult time without significant financial losses.
2. Training new employees
Unfortunately, as a result of the aforementioned situation, not only sales may suffer. You may also lose employees, or on the positive side, want to expand your employee base. However, without properly tailored training materials, a system of motivation and passing on the arcana of sales knowledge, the process of inducting new employees may not be one of the smoothest and fastest. Especially in a home office environment! And this is where sales enablement methods, compiled into easy-to-read marketing materials, can come in handy.
3. Practical support for salespeople
At its core, sales enablement is designed to support all salespeople, regardless of the number employed. So make sure that everything you make available to salespeople is easy to use and engineer with an eye towards usability. If you make sure that resources are easy to find and use, and that sales support programs track and enforce resource usage across the sales organization then you will quickly optimize any related processes in the future.
4. Creating a corporate culture
Sales enablement ought to be part of the process of establishing a corporate culture. If we truly believe that support of sales positively impacts revenue, then naturally all elements of the organization share an interest in the success of the process. Businesses understanding that all staff are involved in achieving sales results are those that truly understand the importance of sales enablement.
5. Simplifying communication between sales and marketing teams
Inadequate, or outright lack of collaboration between sales and marketing teams is most often since care has not been taken to ensure that each member can easily communicate with the others. This is why you need to create If everyone is working in the same office space, it could be a weekly meeting online or in the office to compare notes and experiences. And therein also lies the power of properly prepared and thought out elements of the sales enablement process.
As you can see, although the term sales enablement may sound a little vague at first, in reality, it turns out that if you equip yourself with knowledge of the subject, things are not that difficult. And the results of a properly implemented strategy of this kind are invaluable! Especially, in our times of ongoing pandemics. The benefits are plentiful, so if you have not yet incorporated these methods into your business, be sure to consider implementing them, whether on your own or with the help of automated solutions and systems.