Regardless of your business, your goals for sales enablement—equipping your sales team with the information they need to engage and inform buyers through their journey—is simple: Make your sales team more effective and more efficient, and keep your customers happy.
How you improve your sales enablement will depend on a lot of factors, but there are some general cross-industry takeaways that can help you figure out how and where to make changes.
1. Content management is just one piece of the sales enablement pie.
Providing content to the buyer, such as manuals, white papers and FAQs, is a big part of sales enablement, but not a standalone hero.
Internal processes and support are also important pillars in your sales enablement foundation. Just consider other ways your various departments are involved in sales: researching information about or for buyers, sales training, social listening, creating best practices, and researching, implementing and training on various tools, among others.
Make your content great, but don’t rely on it to do all the heavy lifting.
2. The buyer’s experience is the foundation of sales enablement.
To best fulfill sales enablement, determine what problems your prospects need solved, what questions they ask and what support they seek from your sales team.
Just as important as WHAT your prospects ask for is WHEN they ask for it. According to DemandGen Report, 95% of buyers choose a solution provider that provided them with ample content to help them navigate through each stage of the buying process. Your sales enablement pieces should mirror the buyer’s journey, providing timely content and tools that reflects these phases:
- Awareness: The buyer’s challenges let them know they have a need. Does your website reflect common problems for which your product or service provides solutions? Do your marketing campaigns and landing pages offer interactive quizzes and calculators to help them determine next steps?
- Consideration: The buyer is seeking solutions. Does your content address pain points? Do you present “if/then” situations for the buyer?
- Decision: The buyer is weighing the pros and cons of their options. Do you have a 24/7 online chat? Have you answered questions on implementation and support? Have you presented a guarantee or shareable warranty information?
Ensure that your sales enablement content and tools address these three basic stages to help your sales team and the customer feel supported throughout the sales journey.
3. Sales enablement materials should speak to multiple decision-makers or titles.
As a general rule, your sales enablement components should be helpful, relevant, easy to access, and easy to use. According to Sirius Decisions, 60% to 70% of companies’ marketing content is never used by their sales reps.
It’s a waste of resources to create material that’s immaterial or so confusing that the customer can’t understand it. But remember, your sales team may encounter questions from a multitude of people at a prospect’s company: the CFO, the CEO, a tech expert or even the prospect’s sales team members. Have content that addresses each department’s concerns in language they understand.
4. Tracking and measurement of sales enablement are as important as the tools you use.
Tools with tracking and measurement should be at the top of your sales enablement must-haves. Here are a few worth considering:
- MindTickle: Hire your sales reps faster, coach them well and prepare them to deliver a consistent message that engages prospects, then measure and track how prepared each rep is throughout the sale cycle.
- Marketo: Learn about your prospects, engage with them and drive conversions with tools like progressive profiling, A/B testing, real-time tracking and keyword recommendations.
- OptifiNow: Connect with prospects via multiple channels in a single platform and track client activity to push actionable data to your CRM.
- Crazy Egg: Reveal your site visitors’ behavior with heatmap technology, then use that information to redesign your site and optimize content.
5. Predictive intelligence technology is changing sales enablement.
Predictive intelligence tools are as close to a crystal ball as we’ll ever get and you can expect the technology to become even more impressive over time.
Tools like 6sense, for example, use time-sensitive interactions to determine intent toward product purchases, when the prospect will buy and how much they’ll buy. Likewise, Lattice provides predictive data throughout the entire customer lifecycle to identify the most lucrative leads and customer buying patterns.
From analytics and lead scoring to sales forecasting, there are plenty of benefits to gathering data that might help you better prepare, engage and close.
As a general rule, focus on a customer-centric, holistic approach to sales enablement. Update your content so it’s relevant and useful, but don’t make it your sole focus. Implementing tracking, measurement tools and predictive intelligence to give your sales team the full support it needs to make your business successful and aligned with the future.