Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales organization with the information, content, and tools that help sellers sell more effectively. The foundation of sales enablement is to provide sellers with what they need to successfully engage the buyer throughout the buying process.
The concept of sales enablement is relatively new (originating in 2013), and enablement definition is still evolving as technologies and processes advance. At its inception, sales enablement was defined primarily as sales asset management or content management – i.e., equipping reps with the right content at the right time.
Content management is still a vital component of sales enablement. But modern sales enablement goes much further. It’s about ensuring your entire organization is equipped to support new deals: customer-facing employees have up-to-date knowledge of your products and services, sales reps can clearly articulate what sets you apart from the competition, and sales teams are continuously improving their own skills. Sales enablement tools use powerful advancements like AI, machine learning, micro-learning, automation, and other technologies to meet these needs and boost sales performance.
Even though sales enablement has outgrown its initial definition, the goal remains the same: to help sales reps deliver increased value to buyers and boost profitability for sales organizations.
Today, one of sales enablement’s greatest impacts is the efficiency and synergy it creates between marketing teams and frontline revenue-generating teams. Such efficiencies result in unprecedented new benefits for marketing, salespeople, buyers, and the organization as a whole.
The Benefits of Sales Enablement
Sales and marketing have traditionally been siloed, with little interaction or collaboration between the two departments. Considering that companies are better at closing deals when their sales and marketing departments are aligned, any chasm between them poses a significant problem.
Although organizations have known about this siloing for many years, bridging the gap has always been easier said than done. Until now.
Sales enablement is the solution for marketing-sales alignment. It paves the way to wider communication channels and frequent collaboration. By adopting an advanced sales enablement platform and following some best practices, alignment is possible at your organization.
Here are some of the most prominent benefits of sales enablement.
Improved communication and teamwork
Communication between sales and marketing teams is a challenge for many organizations. Sales enablement helps address this challenge with a better system for managing sales content. This content management system (CMS) is a centralized database that houses sales resources for all departments and promotes marketing and sales collaboration during the creation of sales content.
Further, when both departments share the same sales enablement tools, CRM data, and business processes, marketing and sales teams can operate with combined insights of the target market and the sales funnel. The two teams collaborate to better define buyer personas and improve lead-scoring processes.
With open collaboration, content can be fine-tuned using the sales team’s knowledge of buyers and marketing’s knowledge of leads. This highly-optimized content moves prospects through the buyer journey faster.
Marketing and sales can also work together to create customizable content that reps can tailor to match the needs of any prospect. The result is highly-relevant content created for any circumstance “on the fly.”
Also, with both departments sharing the same content management system, marketing can purge outdated versions of a piece of content to make sure a sales rep doesn’t accidentally present it to a buyer. Or, reps and marketers can make small adjustments to bring the content back up to date for continued use.
Marketing and sales transparency
Sales enablement provides visibility into the effectiveness of sales and marketing processes. Transparency ensures that both marketing and sales can see which tactics and content are working and which ones aren’t. Both departments can therefore pinpoint inefficiencies and correct them quickly.
For example, with the right sales enablement technology, marketing and sales have access to a dashboard that reveals how buyers are engaging with sales materials. Both departments can see which materials are being ignored and which content is bringing prospects closer to a buying decision.
Bottom-line performance is obviously the most important benefit of sales enablement. With optimized and customizable content, better customer insight, and full visibility into sales processes, reps close more deals and generate more revenue.
How Sales Enablement Technology Transforms the Selling Process
Sales enablement technology does more than create marketing-sales alignment and boost content effectiveness. It enhances the entire sales process by improving efficiency, providing detailed analytics on sales activities, and improving training and development processes.
Enhanced onboarding: Efficient, simplified onboarding leads to faster quota attainment. The most advanced sales enablement technology helps sales trainers identify their reps’ knowledge gaps and adjust training accordingly. Trainers can automatically assign learning paths based on their sales reps’ roles and monitor their progress with milestones and certifications.
Continuous growth and skill development: Training is only effective when it’s ongoing—in fact, 80% of what is learned in sales training is forgotten within 3 months. With the right sales enablement tool, you can develop a more structured and interactive approach to ongoing training. Sales enablement tools provide virtual role-playing exercises, simulated selling scenarios, and personalized feedback for growth and improvement to help sales reps continually sharpen their skills.
Micro-learning capabilities: Micro-learning presents sales training information in short and engaging training modules to promote knowledge retention. Highly-specific learning objectives, interactive gamification elements and spaced reinforcements help reps fill their knowledge gaps right from their computers or smartphones.
Coaching: With sales enablement technology, coaching can be designed around the unique needs of each sales rep. Sales coaches can create personalized learning paths based on competency maps. Coaches can also assign the exact micro-learning modules a rep needs to reinforce specific concepts.
Analytics: Sales enablement gives you visibility into your reps’ understanding of their training. Analytics dashboards help sales coaches track, measure and improve their teams’ capabilities.
Getting Started with Sales Enablement
Wondering where to begin your sales enablement journey?
For marketing-sales alignment and a more competitive salesforce, many companies around the world turn to MindTickle. With innovative training capabilities, as well as advanced micro-learning, analytics, and the ability to integrate a wide range of sales tools, MindTickle offers a 360-degree solution for sales organizations.
Schedule a demo today to see how MindTickle can give your sales team a competitive edge.