Sales enablement is a combination of coaching, tools and content to help your sales team be more efficient and effective. It's also a critical element of a successful inbound strategy. As your marketing team adopts an inbound marketing approach, your sales team needs to be properly enabled to carry out an inbound sales approach. By providing key elements of sales enablement, you allow your team to work better within an inbound sales process, such that they'll provide contextually relevant information, carry out helpful conversations and see — in real-time — which of their efforts are working.
In addition, sales enablement can also help to further align your marketing and sales teams. It will be the marketing department's duty to provide the right content to sales and it's the sales department's job to effectively use that content or speak up when something isn't totally resounding with their prospects. When you have both of these teams on the same page about sales enablement, their united efforts will keep leads expertly moving down your funnel. So let's dive into training, tools and content to see how each plays a part in sales enablement and help keep these teams aligned.
Once your sales team has a solid understanding of your organization's sales process, you can start providing additional training and coaching to improve prospects' experience.
Here at New Breed, we coach our sales representatives on how to have better conversations with their prospects. It's also common to provide training on new trends within your industry, or on upcoming product features. This training could come from your marketing team, as their content started the conversation with your leads and they may already be researching these trends and updates for their own campaign strategies. However, it's also beneficial to have some coaching come from your sales managers, as they should already be aware of any areas where your sales team needs more support or education.
As we mentioned, all of your existing and upcoming content are resources your sales team can use to better engage with their prospects and provide additional value. An inbound marketing and sales process is centered on providing value before extracting it, so educational and relevant content is essential.
Again, it's up to your marketing team to produce these pieces content of content, but it's equally important for your sales team to be vocal about what pieces of content are (or would be) helpful, and to actually use it in their conversations with leads. Your sales team should also be regularly reading this content, and content from other thought leaders in your industry. This will help them train themselves to speak to these important topics effectively and answer questions that may come up during sales calls.
Just as the world of inbound marketing is buyer-centric, so is the practice of sales enablement. It's not just about giving your sales team what they need, it's about giving them what a buyer needs to convert into a customer. Your sales team needs to understand the challenges and pain points of your buyer personas just as much as your marketing team understands them.
Consider all of the ways a marketer's life has been improved with the right tools (email templates, automation, etc.) Just as their efforts have been vastly improved by technology, your sales team can be enabled in the same way. By leveraging email templates, automation, task reminders and smart email sends, your sales team can be even more efficient.
However, it's important to retain an inbound mindset when evaluating any of these tools. Yes, a software that allows you to buy new leads may be helpful, but purchased leads don't mix well with an inbound marketing and sales strategy. It would be better to look at a software that could not only enable your sales team, but also integrate with your marketing team's efforts. This will continue to unify those two teams and help ensure your hard-earned inbound leads are followed up with appropriately — and put all of the interactions with marketing right at the sales team's fingertips.
For example, the HubSpot platform offers Marketing Hub, which gives marketers everything they need to launch compelling inbound marketing campaigns. The same software also offers Sales Hub, which gives salespeople the tools they need to automate outreach, follow up flawlessly, land more meetings and track their pipeline. On top of all that, having everything in the same platform unifies all of the data collected about each lead, which helps them have more helpful conversations and offer more relevant content.
Sales enablement is all about continuous coaching, the right tools to act on leads and the right content to share with leads — all of which help your sales team be more efficient and effective.
The best part about sales enablement is that it can assist your sales team no matter how large or small that team is. It's meant to be an easily scalable process because if you're truly listening to what your buyers need, you should be able to reuse these pieces of information time and time again.
However, this means you also need to enable your sales team to actually use this information and content. Keep all of your pieces of sales enablement well organized and up to date. If a piece of content isn't being used in sales conversations, figure out why. If another piece is being overused, look into producing more ToFu and MoFu content on that topic so your sales team isn't spending so much time answering the same question.
To get started building out your sales enablement strategy, schedule a conversation with your sales team to see where they're struggling and how you can better support them through new content, case studies, reporting, tools, or other capabilities.
Beth is a Senior Manager of Revenue Operations at New Breed and specializes in optimizing how processes and platforms support revenue growth.