Approaching sales force enablement with a carefully crafted plan can have a significant impact on the success of your sales organization. According to research from Demand Metric, 75% of companies surveyed report that having a sales enablement strategy makes a moderate or significant contribution to their achievement of revenue goals.
The key here is to be intentional during the planning process in order to create results that are worth your time and resources.
Follow these 4 D’s to plan the sales enablement strategy that has the biggest impact on the performance of your sales force.
1. DEFINE Sales Enablement for Your Organization
The term “sales enablement” frequently makes its way into conversations around sales productivity and sales performance improvement.
There can be many components to a sales enablement strategy depending on who you ask and the situation at hand. Some experts focus on sales process training and coaching, others on sales enablement software and sales tools, others still on marketing alignment and content strategy.
At its core, sales enablement is a business function that’s designed to help anyone involved in the selling process profitably sell more to prospects and customers.
It’s important to define what sales enablement means to your business based on factors such as:
- Your industry
- Your unique selling environment
- Your business strategy and established sales operations
- The strength and challenge areas you have as an organization
It can often feel overwhelming during the planning process, but it’s key to get it right and to create a plan that aligns with your organization’s goals.
An experienced solution provider can offer not only expertise, but an outside point of view to help you determine where you are today, and the steps that need to be taken to move you towards where you want to be in the future.
The Maximum IMPACT Sales Enablement approach will give you an action plan for achieving both your short and long-term goals. Click below to discover how.
2. DETERMINE What Your Salespeople Need to Succeed
In order to create a sales enablement strategy that works for you, it’s important to identify what will move the mark for your sales team.
Something that’s often skipped when organizations develop a sales enablement strategy is actually asking their sales reps what they need to succeed. Consider asking your sales team members–or even deploying an anonymous survey—to see what types of tools or training they feel would help them perform better.
In addition, it’s a good idea to understand the characteristics of your top performers. Doing so will allow you to train the rest of your team in those best practices, and also know what to look for in future candidates.
Interview and/or shadow your A-players to discover:
- What are they saying on calls that’s effectively resonating with prospects?
- How are they positioning your product against competitors?
- Is there a customer segment they’re seeing the greatest success with?
- What strategies are they using that help move prospects forward in the sales cycle?
3. DECIDE Who Needs to Be Involved
Your sales team doesn’t operate in a silo. They need the support from the other departments in your organization in order to be as successful as possible.
For this reason, it’s important during the planning stage to consider which departments need to be involved in your sales enablement initiative.
Consider the following departments as create your strategy:
Marketing - Imagine how much more productive your organization would be if your marketing department understood the sales process and could provide marketing materials for every step of the customer journey.
Having your marketing and sales departments aligned and in agreement on your target audience will improve your overall efficiency and sales effectiveness exponentially.
Customer Service – In today’s crowded marketplace, positive customer experience can go a long way in differentiating your company from the competition.
In addition, your customer service reps are in a position to uncover revenue opportunities and turn one-time customers into repeat buyers. Without the proper training and alignment with the sales force, however, they are likely leaving money on the table.
Account Management - Whether you have a dedicated team of account managers or your salespeople oversee their own accounts, it’s important to provide the training and tools necessary to prioritize key accounts and maintain profitable, long-term customer relationships.
When you’re building out your sales enablement strategy, keep in mind that it will benefit you to have departments outside of sales trained in your sales process, and empowered with a sales focus mindset. Doing so will ensure that everyone is working together towards the common goal of increased sales.
4. DEPLOY the Strategy and Reinforce New Habits
Once you’ve created your action plan and identified where opportunities for cross-functional collaboration exist, it’s time to deploy your sales enablement strategy.
In over 40 years in the industry, we’ve learned that the ROI for a sales enablement initiative is greatest when it’s followed up by a strategic reinforcement program.
Remember to reinforce any training that you deliver with refreshers and coaching, and continually check in to see where you can be optimizing—using metrics, surveys, and other ROI tools.
Give Your Plan the Best Chance to Succeed
Sales enablement often involves changing or improving the processes and established culture that exist in your organization. As with any other change management process, sales enablement should be properly planned out to ensure the desired outcomes are met.
We’re all too familiar with the quote from Benjamin Franklin: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
So, give your sales enablement strategy the best chance for success by carefully and intentionally mapping out the execution plan before beginning any work.
You can do this on your own, but we suggest working with an experienced provider who’s familiar with the most common mistakes, pitfalls, and keys to getting your plan off the ground and running.
Discover how MISE can help take your team from walking, to running, to high-speed execution.
A successful sales enablement strategy requires intentional planning and direction from the top levels of an organization. Map out your strategy using this comprehensive guide and set your sales effectiveness initiative up for success.
Published on April 16, 2019