A few weeks ago, we came across the Sales Enablement Society and discovered there was a chapter in Atlanta. If you haven’t heard about this fantastic community of Sales Enablement practitioners we highly recommend you check it out.
Last Thursday a few of us from Yip Yip went to the Atlanta chapter’s first session.
We love what SES is doing, and want to jump in on the conversation that is happening globally. Sales Enablement as a “movement” is still relatively taking shape. The definition can look very different from group to group.
Because of this, we thought it would be worth writing on to share our thoughts in general and some insights on how we think it can impact businesses.
So what is Sales Enablement? We believe it truly tries to address this simple-yet-complex goal: the effective use of sales strategy to drive company growth.
To break it down further, we see Sales Enablement having two functions:
One is to simply give client-facing sales members the training, resources and techniques that will yield greater results at every stage of a sales encounter.
The other side is creating organizational structures. It could look like c-level suite title and team reaching across departments, or a dedicated initiative run by several staff members across departments. Essentially, it’s a focus on driving the efficiency of the sales structure as a whole with a goal of aligning departments for maximum growth.
As you can imagine, the impact of both of these functions are tremendous. Companies committed to activating Sales Enablement initiatives show both meaningful and sustained growth, as seen in a Heinz Marketing study examining more than 500 B2B professionals.
The report showed that out of the respondents who use Sales Enablement resources, 75 percent had sales increase within the past year and 35 percent of those cases had a greater than 25 percent growth!
Conversion rates also climbed in relation to Sales Enablement, with nearly a third of respondents with Sales Enablement programs reporting a conversion rate increase of 30 percent or greater.
So what does it look like to have a Sales Enablement initiative that truly moves the needle on sustainable growth?
Three things stood out to us as the main focus in what truly frees up a sales force to do its most dynamic work:
- Creating excellent, customized content – No matter what the product is, the key to robust sales is the quality of the relationship between the sales professional and the customer, and companies engaged with Sales Enablement enhance those relationships by researching and developing content geared toward unique sales situations. A company committed to sales enablement will give its sales staff the time and resources to develop top-notch content designed to reach each individual customer.
- Optimizing your technology – Sales representatives who have to spend hours on clerical or computer work have less time each day to connect with customers and drive sales. The answer, for a Sales Enablement company, is to design a technology plan geared toward efficiency and evaluate your systems regularly to ensure that they are keeping pace with your goals. Ideally, technology will yield data that allows managers to monitor sales success while liberating the frontline sales force for interaction with the people who drive the business.
- Ironing out your processes – The best sales teams are nimble and responsive to a range of client needs, but within that flexibility is a place for streamlined processes that can be scaled and replicated with minimal effort. Sales Enablement institutes patterns of behavior that yield consistent results even in tumultuous markets or changing sales environments. When developed intentionally, a company’s processes can be the framework that supports its operations as team members personalize their sales and marketing outreach.
Sales Enablement is a culture that affects every part of an organization, and its implementation requires time and a thorough commitment to transforming the motivation, practice and results of sales.
When a company commits to the Sales Enablement path, it will start with creating a plan, securing buy-in from employees at every level and taking an inventory of the internal resources that could aid enablement efforts. After those initial steps, a lasting sales enablement initiative requires plenty of evaluation and recalibration as internal and external dynamics shift.
As the Heinz research shows, Sales Enablement is more than a corporate buzzword or a consulting trend. It is a wholesale commitment to people and processes that will yield actual profits and more engaged employees.
To learn more about the Sales Enablement Society and connect with this amazing group and find your chapter, click here.
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