Sales Enablement: How We Give Sales Their Mojo Back
Author: Simcha Kackley, MBA
Why You Should Care
Sales people are losing their mojo around the world.
There are two reasons:
REASON #1: They’re being asked to do much – hunt, close, and farm. These are very different roles that require different strengths, skills, and experience.
Here is another way to consider your key sales roles:
REASON #2: The buyer is changing around us. They have access to far more information than ever before, and they are doing majority of their B2B purchase online before even reaching a sales person.
And when a Sales person doesn’t drive the revenue they are expected to in the time required, what does leadership do?
“Let’s get rid of them and get someone else!” – Leadership
Because they don’t know any other way.
Oh my gosh!! This is a vicious cycle, and we have to stop it. These sales people are not being set up to succeed.
And it’s due to a lack of education, not bad intentions.
This is where Sales Enablement comes in.
What is Sales Enablement?
First, what is Sales Enablement? There are many interpretations of Sales Enablement.
Here are some definitions:
- SiriusDecisions: The goal of sales enablement is to ensure reps possess the skills, knowledge, assets and process expertise to maximize every buyer interaction.
- HubSpot: Sales enablement is the technology, processes, and content that empower sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity.
- Salesforce: Sales enablement is a collection of tasks and tools that are intended to improve the execution of key sales activities—activities like making sales calls, pursuing opportunities, managing major accounts, and targeting top prospects.
- TOPO Blog: Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales organization with the information, content, and tools that help sales people sell more effectively. The foundation of sales enablement is to provide salespeople with what they need to successfully engage the buyer throughout the buying process.
I really like the SiriusDecisions definition with one key edit, and respectfully submit the following definition:
“The goal of sales enablement is to ensure reps possess the skills, knowledge, assets and process expertise to prioritize and maximize every buyer interaction.”
Why did I adjust it? Sales enablement has been largely focused on organizing content for sales people (like what Highspot does), and it’s so much more than that. What if every buyer they are reaching is not sales-ready – well, we don’t need to maximize that buyer interaction – we need to change the buyers sales is reaching!
But First! Sales & Marketing Alignment is Critical
You can’t jump right into Sales Enablement techniques without alignment on the Go to Market strategy. And aligning your Sales and Marketing teams.
Here’s a framework to complete together with Marketing and Sales. Creating a cross-functional core team is critical.
Key Sales Enablement Strategies
Here are key strategies that I’ve deployed at multiple companies to help sales people prioritize and maximize every buyer interaction.
– Inbound Opportunities: Yes inbound is absolutely a sales enablement tactic. They close at 10-20X a cold call. They improve a sales person’s close rate and build up their mojo for the next conversation.
– Prioritized Outbound: Marketers can prioritize outbound efforts based on data and behavior, e.g. buyers who are demonstrating intent to purchase. And reach them with a relevant message based on their persona/behavior. Evan Carroll says “know something about them and use that to start the conversation.”
– Content Management: Sales people need to readily access personalized content for every stage in the buyer journey for each persona. So that their follow-ups/action steps continue to build trust and credibility – or assist in closing the deal when ready.
– Scale Personalized Buyer Interactions: Sales people are NOT being replaced. If anything, the world will begin to move back to personal relationships at some point. Either way, we need to scale personalized communications to reach more people with a relevant message.
– Workflow Efficiencies: It’s critical to shadow the sales people. In just 1-hour of watching them, I bet the findings on what marketing can provide in an automated way is astounding. Save them time to focus on the important work.
– Sales Training & Hire Effectiveness: Marketing should be in Sales’ onboarding processes, and should have a KPI around the amount of time to get to X revenue for a year 1 rep. The faster you can move a rep to “successful,” the higher the retention and more revenue for the business.
Now with some tactics highlighted:
Sales Enablement Technology Landscape
How do you deploy this?
Choosing the right strategies and then identifying tools that can help enable… There are hundreds of sales enablement tools, many shown here:
Let’s Give Sales Their Mojo Back!!
The results for the sales rep:
Links to resources:
Simcha Kackley, MBA, presented “Sales Enablement: How We Give Sales Their Mojo Back” at our October 16 CX and Sales Enablement Community. She is a past president of AMA Cincinnati and the Founder of GROWTH Marketing, which offers go to market strategy, lead gen and sales enablement and martech infrastructure assessment and launch.