Sales Enablement – What Is It And How to Master

sales enablement representation

It’s frustrating when you know you have a great product but seem unable to generate leads. The missing ingredient doesn’t seem to be in what you’re selling or the capabilities of your sales team. The issue must lie somewhere in between – but where?

This is where sales enablement comes in—implementing sales enablement strategies across your brand arms your employees with the knowledge to put their sales talents to use. It helps you understand how leads need to perceive your product to make a buying decision.

Our complete guide will transform your sales process. Let’s get learning.

What is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is a process that:

  • Helps you identify suboptimal sales and marketing strategies
  • Equips your sales team with the specialist information they need
  • Tells you when and where your customers are most likely to make a purchase
  • Lets you engage with a wider audience
  • Uses data-driven strategies to improve your sales performance continually

Sales enablement focuses on your frontline sellers, but implementing it effectively is a company-wide procedure. Employees in every department need to understand that lead generation is the endgame – this lets them furnish your sales team with the knowledge it needs.

Conversely, your Sales team needs to report back to Higher Management, Marketing, and Product Development to identify areas where the pitch is falling short. The most effective companies have no communication barriers – removing these barriers is a fundamental goal of sales enablement.

Who Owns Sales Enablement?

The process is mostly owned by the Sales & Marketing departments. However, Higher Management needs to remain actively involved in the process. Your Development team also needs to be engaged in optimising a product for lead generation – here’s how it runs through your whole company.

The Marketing Department

The Marketing department needs to consider who will implement its strategies and how. For example, your Marketing team might design an email campaign – email marketing is still considered among the most effective strategies.

What makes it effective? It’s not simply the fact that “it’s email.” An effective email marketing strategy uses well-designed templates that can be optimised for whomever they’re being sent to.

  • Cuts down on the work involved in designing bespoke emails for each client
  • Retains the personal touch
  • Relies on the person sending the email to understand how to use the template

In this example, if the Sales department hasn’t been shown how to use email marketing templates effectively, it will waste time and potentially send out incorrect communications to clients. Marketing needs to enable the Sales team by ensuring they are properly trained to implement its strategies.

The Sales Department

On the frontline, your Sales department needs to assess its best practices constantly. This doesn’t just mean “selling more aggressively” – it means reporting back to Marketing and Higher Management. Organised reporting identifies areas where leads are being missed and lets your Sales team devise a better approach.

Your frontline staff is not merely being “enabled” by the practice. It’s an active component of informing your strategy, and the team needs to know this. Your Sales team isn’t a blunt tool – it’s part of an organised process that improves the entire company.

Higher Management

Higher Management is tasked with overseeing the process. It needs to be open to reports from all departments – this is how communication barriers are identified and removed.

Higher Management also needs to understand how sales enablement is key to making its product a success. Blind faith in your offering won’t attract leads; a willingness to re-assess and re-organise your resources is essential.

Your Wider Team

Whatever your company’s structure, every team member should have something useful to contribute. Useful contributions enable a smoother, more effective sales process. Contributions could include:

  • Reporting common problems in IT
  • Noting a clunky web interface
  • Important development information about your product
  • Reporting poor communication

When management addresses any issue, it should go out of its way to show employees how their feedback will improve the business’s sales performance. Your employees want to know that their job matters – when they give you valuable information that you can use for sales enablement, involve them in the process.

Why Is Sales Enablement Important?

Selling your product is what will keep your business afloat. It’s what will help you fund improvements, expansions, and new developments. Sound obvious? Then you’ll understand how important it is to arm your Sales team with the right information to do their jobs effectively – but not so much that they become overwhelmed.

Managing and delivering this information is how sales enablement works. 

Developing a Lead-Driven Structure

From development to web design, every aspect of your business needs to help your frontline sellers do their jobs.

  • The software they use to process client information needs to run smoothly.
  • The web interface where your clients find you needs to offer a guided journey.
  • Your product’s developers need to analyse the product’s most sellable features.

This helps your brand develop a lead-driven structure where everything funnels towards increasing sales.

Streamlining Your Company’s Operation

Communication is central to any successful company. This goes both ways – Management needs to effectively communicate the company’s goals. It needs to provide achievable targets and all the information required to achieve those targets.

Likewise, your employees need to be able to identify problems and report back. There should never be a moment where an employee is confused and doesn’t raise the issue.

Streamlining your operation means enabling communication both ways. Sales enablement practices empower your team to raise issues. It shows Management what staff members need to know and how to communicate this.

Making Your Sales Department’s Life Easier

Information overload on the frontline won’t help you sell your product. There needs to be a process behind this team determining the most important information to pass forward. This involves collecting data, analysing it, and presenting findings back in a manageable form.

Give your frontline staff what they need to know. Show them why this information will help them achieve and exceed their targets. It will make their lives easier and their jobs more enjoyable.

Pooling Knowledge

Virtually all successful marketing strategies rely on data. You need to constantly retrieve data from your Sales team and every area where your customers find you. You can organise and analyse this data to identify weaknesses in your selling process and test out improvements.

It also helps you identify successful strategies and implement them company-wide. Troubleshooting is the same endeavour as mining for gold – keep an eye out for opportunities as well as problems. 

Making the Company Profitable

The final goal of sales enablement is to boost your profits. It doesn’t require heavy investment – only careful management.

Improving reporting processes costs very little. Analysing data is an essential part of any modern company’s budget; with sales enablement, you’re simply selecting better data to analyse. Training your Sales team with the information it needs to build leads is what gets you a positive ROI.

Great companies don’t sit back on a solid product. They understand how to show their customers every advantage of the product and persuade them to make a buying decision. This is the crux of sales enablement.

Sales Enablement Strategy

So how to implement sales enablement in your company? Here’s a step-by-step guide.

1. Using Expert Assistance

There’s a sales expert in everyone – but we all need to learn somewhere. If improving your company’s sales performance is confusing, seeking outside help is an urgent need. If you don’t improve this metric, you’ll stagnate – simple as that.

Working with a sales enablement expert isn’t “buying a product.”. It’s building knowledge that you can recycle and spread within your company. Your expert partner will understand where you’re falling short and help you put the following steps into place to enable continuous growth.

At Growthly Group, our expertise in sales enablement is focused on accelerating revenue in your business. We implement RevOps and Revenue Leadership strategies into organisations to drive new growth.

2. Standardising Reporting & Data Acquisition

Standardising the way your employees report information is a great first step. It makes data easier to analyse – it also makes it easier to report. Employees often won’t raise issues unless prompted, so introduce a standardised prompt.

3. Organising Information

Knowing when and where to collate information is vital. It’s the difference between pulling a load of paperwork out of a “suggestion box” once per week and a daily reporting process that you deliver to the person who needs to see it. This takes you to the next step: data analytics.

4. Analysing Datasets

Data analytics isn’t all high-tech data modelling. It can be as simple as looking over paper sales reports and noticing that there’s one part of a phone call where potential leads always seem to give up.

You’ll immediately start identifying areas where your pitch stutters and you lose leads. This is a daily job – it helps build a sophisticated picture of your weaknesses and draw effective conclusions for your Sales team.

5. Improving Your Reporting Procedures

Reporting is never “perfect.” If staff find some parts of the report useless, eliminate these parts or explain them in more detail.

Even simple analysis and feedback will improve lead generation. This means more capital you can invest in better data analytics. Effective data analysis is a virtuous cycle and an integral part of sales enablement.

6. Building Communication

Standardised reporting empowers your staff to highlight issues. It also lets you speak more easily to their concerns because you know what they’re worried about. This makes you a more effective manager and will improve staff-management relationships.

Employees are more willing to engage with training materials when the materials are demonstrably based on their concerns. Sales enablement understands that listening to staff enables you to better educate and instruct them.

7. Educating Employees

The crux of sales enablement is providing your Sales team with the information they need to do their jobs more effectively. Besides the information that they report back to you, you should also present them with organised information from your Marketing team and product developers.

It’s not just the frontline staff you need to educate – website managers, product researchers, and developers should also know where lead generation has struggled. Everyone should have a standardised reporting method, and everyone should learn the results of report analysis as relevant to their role.

8. Generating Qualified Leads

Arming the right staff with the right information allows you to generate qualified leads across your business. All employees must know where marketing opportunities lie and how to take them. From telesales to web design to customer feedback, whoever the customer is engaging with needs to be selling your product.

Sales enablement identifies your shortfalls and lets your workforce address them. It improves staff productivity and relationships within your business. Most importantly, it helps you generate qualified leads where you couldn’t see openings before.

9. Repeat & Re-assess

Sales enablement starts with finding expert help but continues throughout your company’s journey. The processes are evergreen and allow constant improvement – and as a result, consistent growth for your business.

Sales Enablement Best Practices

These are the principles that underpin a successful sales enablement strategy.

Learn Where You’re Missing Sales

Every point of contact between your company and your clients is a sales opportunity. Conversely, each point is an opportunity for your customer to lose interest.

Gathering data on where customers lose interest will reveal areas that you hadn’t thought of as opportunities – be it your landing page, your on-hold music, or your closing script. Identify and capitalise on every advantage.

Organise Your Company Around Lead Generation

Every department at your company serves the same purpose – generating leads. Every employee needs to understand the role they play in achieving this purpose.

It also means showing employees how they’ll benefit from increased lead generation. More leads mean higher profits, which can mean advancement opportunities, higher salaries, and better equipment.

Enable Communication

2-way communication channels between staff and management are vital. Your staff need to have the tools to identify issues and the confidence to report them.

This enables effective management and better staff training processes. It helps staff to develop respect for management and work more confidently towards the company’s goals.

Build a Knowledge Bank for Training

The more data you can gather and analyse, the better-informed your training will be. Create case studies and in-depth reports – an ever-growing knowledge bank will help your company consistently improve its sales enablement processes.

Improve Sales Software & Infrastructure

Automating some sales processes and feedback functions can:

  1. Lighten your team’s workload
  2. Improve staff engagement
  3. Improve client engagement
  4. Increase the number of your sales channels
  5. Help create better marketing strategies

An expert sales enablement advisor will help you choose the best software for your company. It’s well worth automating some processes and can substantially improve lead generation.

Sales Enablement Tools

Below are some effective sales enablement tools to help your business grow.

Internal Follow-Up Prompts

Whether it’s through on-screen pop-ups or reminders in the script, your Sales team can benefit from regular prompting. Provide reminders of key product details and offers that are relevant to your customers. Remind them to encourage clients to follow up at every opportunity.

Don’t overwhelm your sales team by encouraging them to repeat information – just ensure they haven’t missed key details that could convert a lead.

Reporting Software

Intelligent software that helps your Sales team report issues can be a great investment. Tabbing between the computer and a written report sheet can be time-consuming – some software automates the process and lets your staff report issues directly after a call.

Email Templates

Email marketing is a tried and tested strategy. A great way to make it personal without having to hand-craft each message is to provide an intuitive email template. Your Sales team can use this to follow up on leads and encourage action from your clients.

Templates can be personalised easily with a few clicks. This creates a more engaging experience for your clients – just as long as your sales team knows how to use the template. Ensure that any tool you equip them with comes with full training.

Sales-Focused Website Navigation

From the moment a client lands on your website, its navigation should take them through a seamless buying journey. This makes your sales team’s life so much easier – they can guide a customer through a straightforward journey while communicating with them.

Poor web design gives your clients so many opportunities to navigate away. Every element of your infrastructure should be geared towards lead generation: your website is just another hard-working employee.

Automated Prospecting

Automated prospecting lets your clients book appointments online without needing return communication. It provides them with a diary for your Sales team, meaning that their first interaction will be a full-blown conversation with a sales professional rather than sending a message into the void.

Automated prospecting is a great way to generate high-quality leads and encourage interaction. It also lets your staff know who will be calling and for what purpose so they can better prepare for the conversation.

Call Monitoring

A technique as old as the call centre but still very effective. Monitoring staff calls lets you identify problem areas and offer bespoke training to staff.

Staff must understand the purpose of call monitoring. There’s a fine line between proactively helping your staff improve and saying, “we’re listening, so don’t you dare make a mistake!” – explain why you use it to new employees.

Effective CTAs

Experienced Sales staff often develop a personalised CTA that they find effective. However, newer staff can benefit from formatted closing until they gain confidence.

Take time to develop a natural-sounding CTA that your staff can use with confidence. This is also important on your website – you need to urge your customer to make a choice. Weak CTAs are just an invitation for a client to do something else.

Sales Enablement in Your Company: Final Thoughts

Working with a sales enablement expert will help your company build a lead-focused infrastructure. Don’t tread water while holding your amazing product over your head. Help your staff sell your product by putting sales enablement strategies into place – it’s for everyone’s benefit!