Embracing Sales Enablement
Sales Enablement (SE) focuses on the processes, tools, and techniques companies use to increase the effectiveness of their Salesforce and includes marketing automation, digital asset management, CRM systems, and social media monitoring tools.
Of course, the idea of creating sales content to improve sales is not new. Companies have struggled with getting their products into the hands of their customers for centuries. In the early 1900s, the Jell-O Company had its salespeople distribute free Jell-O recipe cookbooks to customers to show how to use Jell-O with their favorite dishes. It’s recorded that more than 15 million cookbooks were distributed in some years and the sales of Jell-O doubled over time.
Discovering Sales Enablement
When you look at the world of SE, you quickly discover that it means different things to different companies. And some companies take an informal approach whereas others set up rigorous systems that impact every part of their organization. It depends on the size and needs of each company
The definition of SE that fits the largest possible audience is Doug Winter’s definition in the Business Journals. He writes, “. . . sales enablement is the ability, by any sales rep, to systematically deliver a personalized, one-on-one customer experience.” Just as in the Jell-O selling days, salespeople need to deliver targeted sales information right into the hands of the buyers.
Today, companies reach those buyers via their mobile phones, tablets, or laptops. But the problem remains the same: “One size fits all” never does. The key to effective selling is the ability to present a personalized experience directly to each buyer.
Gaining a competitive advantage
Managers who are presented with the concept of SE need to be convinced that making the effort to implement a new strategy is worth the time and money that’s required. Will it actually improve the win rate? Can it provide a competitive advantage? Answering these questions is key
Understanding the new role of sales reps
The role of the sales rep continues to evolve. All the positive value that the web provides also brings with it some obvious negatives — with the main one being that the salesperson is no longer in control of the sales process. In contrast to previous years, salespeople don’t control the narrative these days.
This means that being proactive and catching the buyer earlier in the cycle would be an excellent way to decrease the time it takes to complete the sales cycle. That’s what a real SE system can help you do. It helps you empower the salesperson to find those buyers who are searching your solutions and related topics.
Training Your Salesforce
Every manager knows that a well-trained Salesforce is the key to success. Yet many organizations fail to take the simplest actions to empower their salespeople, such as neglecting to make sales information easy to find and forgetting to update everyone when changes are made to sales software.
Coaching Your Reps to Become Winners
One of the key functions of an SE system is the use of sales coaches. But are all sales coaches created equal? Your experience tells you they’re not. Some sales people are born coaches who can spot and solve problems; others just can’t cut it