More and more organizations are focusing on sales enablement processes to better equip their sales force to secure life-long customers. But, even though sales enablement gets a lot of buzz in the marketplace, the concept is dynamic and the definition ambiguous. So, what exactly is sales enablement, how do we (at AllenComm) do it, and what are the results for sales employees?
Defining Sales Enablement
Sales enablement is a strategic alignment of resources and actions to produce effective, efficient sales operations. This definition breaks productive sales operations into three segments – resources, actions, and the strategy that aligns them. Let’s talk about each segment.
- Resources: Information, best practices, various departments, and other resources are provided and/or available to the sales force to facilitate customer engagement. Employee training and technologies are among the vital resources for educating sellers. But while these resources are important, they are only part of what makes sales enablement impactful.
- Actions: Without action, sales resources have limited power. Equipping sellers to effectively use the provided resources is fundamental. Tracking, reporting, enforcing, and assessing actions generate information to improve sales execution and guide sales enablement functions.
- Strategy: Sales enablement involves planning and strategy so that resources and actions function together on the execution of a sale. For example, strategy can start with HR at hiring and onboarding, to ensure you are recruiting and acclimating the right sellers. It can continue as marketing and sales departments collaborate on whitepapers that prove to generate leads, and so on.
In today’s information age, buyers can advance through the sales process on their own to a certain point. For this reason, the buyer’s journey now paces the sales process. Instead of considering a checklist of actions the seller needs to complete to move a sale along, the seller pays careful attention to the buyer’s cues to determine next steps. As a result, sellers need to be prepared to add value and insight to the conversation at any step in the buyer’s journey, and that requires the alignment of resources and actions.
A Closer Look at Sales Enablement Training
Implementing sales enablement can feel like a huge job. But the good news is this – you don’t have to start from scratch. Every sales organization has usable resources and actions, or they wouldn’t be in business. Sales enablement isn’t about replacing your sales process. It’s about optimizing those existing resources and actions, and aligning them for maximum effectiveness. That’s where AllenComm comes in.
To help organizations achieve their objectives, AllenComm makes a difference by providing innovation, scale, and impact.
Whether it be through gamification, mobile modules, or simulations, innovative training approaches make the learning experience more engaging. As learners re-engage with important content and practices, they will be more successful, resulting in positive change for sales teams.
Organizations are often bogged down with the prospect of implementing sales enablement training on a large scale and/or short timeline. In this case, they need an experienced team of instructional designers, performance consultants, and project managers to help them reach their business goals. Collaborating with experts who know how to develop learning experiences means expanding an organization’s capacity.
Expert sales enablement training does more than just improve value sellings skills or onboard new sales executives – it equips and empowers teams to deliver results that get noticed. As organizations see improvements to sales performance, they won’t be able to deny the positive impact of sales enablement training.
Whether an organization is looking to increase new product knowledge or advance sales leadership skills, they can expect to see big changes with effective sales enablement training. Not only should sales performance improve, but the sales approach should change altogether.
Sales enablement shifts the focus from the seller to the buyer. This shift in approach requires a sales person to gain an understanding of the buyer’s business and tune in to their precise needs. Without sales enablement, common sales approaches might include learning from the customer what steps the sales person should take to pursue a sale. The seller would likely share a generic sales “pitch,” and they might back down when a buyer challenges them. With sales enablement, the seller would teach the buyer – sharing insights on how the buyer can compete in their market with his offering. The seller would deliver tailored and engaging content, based on the buyer’s needs and objectives, and they would coach the customer through a change in mindset if challenges arise.
Putting the right content in the right hands at the right time impacts the bottom line. The results of sales enablement training are undeniable – it shortens the learning curve for sales reps, improves lead conversion rate, improves the buyer’s journey, shortens the sales cycle, and strengthens the brand through effective representation. In upcoming articles, we will look in more detail at AllenComm’s approach to sales enablement.