Sales enablement main

B2B sales enablement is not just about sales tools, people and process, or data and intelligence – it’s about combining all these pieces together in a cohesive strategy. When done right, sales enablement offers a repeatable and scalable way for sales to boost revenue. How do B2B companies get there? Let’s dive into five key areas for attaining best practice B2B sales enablement.

1) Set Strategy with People and Process

You cannot automate an ill-equipped process. Before rolling out a sales enablement process, companies must first set strategy and align stakeholders.

For example, if sales need account-based enablement while marketing is arming sales with lead-based resources, that is a sign of misalignment. That misalignment will likely result in inefficiencies in the sales process and unrealized revenue.

Sales teams supported by sales enablement have a 15% higher win rate on forecasted deals than those without. (CSO Insights)

A best practice is to align stakeholders on what is needed to enable sales and make sure sales is properly trained to drive adoption. Here are some questions to ask when developing a sales enablement strategy:

  • What is our go to market strategy? 
  • Which companies are we targeting? 
  • What is our sales process for lead and account management?
  • Are the goals of marketing, sales, and management aligned?
  • Which technologies are needed to support and streamline sales initiatives?
  • How can we drive efficiencies to maximize sales?

2) Build the Foundation with the Right Data and Intelligence

How can sales communicate more effectively with the target audience? Whether it is a prospecting tool for discovering net-new business or a tool for understanding the behavior of the install base, intelligence is a must for any sales enablement strategy. 

Knowing that a lead visited product-specific web pages and interacted with video demos will help sales prioritize efforts and communicate more effectively.

Just 56% of sales reps surveyed said they use a data-based prospecting approach to find new customers. (LinkedIn)

Additionally, incomplete data brings inefficiencies to the sales team. Any sales enablement strategy should include a data audit to make sure the team is starting with the right foundation.

3) Adopt the Right Technologies

A carpenter going to a house to fix a door is not going to get the job done with a plumbing kit. For sales, a rep must have the right tools to do the job. These tools come in the form of technology. The list of technologies is vast, so here’s a few top technologies that help build efficiencies in the sales enablement process:

  • CRM: A CRM is the obvious technology that provides an assortment of lead and opportunity management capabilities. 
  • Sales Outreach and Email Templates: Fifty sales reps should not have to write fifty different emails for a follow up to a webinar. With marketing feeding content into outreach solutions, that email creation and sending is streamlined.
  • Automated Proposal Builder: Proposals should not be special snowflakes. Otherwise, sales will spend more time on paperwork than selling. Proposal builders can help streamline the RFP and proposal creation process.
  • Digital Training: From technology to process, supporting the field with e-learning modules will help support any in-person training.

4) Arm Sales with the Right Content

Providing a sales team with the proper content is an essential part of the enablement process. Sales needs to have the right content at the right time to communicate more effectively. These content assets include case studies, website updates, blog articles, demo videos, presentations, and other resources.

These assets do not get created on their own. Successful sales enablement requires a well aligned sales and marketing relationship to ensure the teams are collectively focusing on the right content.

The three most common types of sales enablement materials created for sales teams are email templates (53% of teams), call scripts (39%), and pre-call checklists (37%). (HubSpot Research Global Sales Enablement Survey)

5) Measure Success

No program is complete without measuring its success. Sales enablement is no different. Measuring the right metrics helps companies understand the progress they are making. Here are a few common metrics to evaluate:

  • Revenue: Are sales teams hitting their quotas?
  • Sales Velocity: Are deals moving through the pipeline faster?
  • Content Usage: Is sales leveraging the content that marketing created? Is that content helping to influence deals? If not, consider aligning with marketing to prioritize content assets the sales will leverage.
  • Technology Adoption: Is the sales team leveraging the technologies deployed. Many technologies offer usage reports to leverage those to understand the technology adoption.

Companies with excellent successful sales enablement programs have 32% higher team sales quota attainment. (Aberdeen)

Sales enablement is not an overnight win. It is a constant process to ensure that the sales team have what it needs to succeed. Sales and marketing must align and agree on processes and terminology. And of course, management must buy into the whole process for holistic sales enablement to be successful.