Of all the hot sales buzzwords, sales enablement is one of the trickiest to pin down. Does it mean giving your sales force more mobiles tools? Does it mean creating snazzier product sheets for buyers? Is it just a phrase vendors sling around to get your attention?
The core truth? As Brendan Cournoyer, director of content marketing at Brainshark writes, “Sales enablement is a process to get the right information into the hands of the right sellers at the right time and place, and in the right format, to move a sales opportunity forward.”
Sales enablement is like archery
(without the lethal pointy bits)
Think of an Olympic-level archer. He doesn’t just shoot an arrow with his arms. He aligns his entire body and mind to hit the center of the target. Sales enablement runs on the same principle. In this case, you’re aligning every client-facing sector of your company. Your team performs at the highest level when the system supports them.
But if you want this to work, you have to treat it with the respect it deserves. All too often, sales leaders treat sales enablement like a short-term quick fix. In a white paper, Act-on.com wrote that “many…programs fail because they are too tightly controlled by a small branch of the sales department, or focus exclusively on a single tactic such as e-learning or content automation.”
Pull together for sales enablement
Sales enablement isn’t a magic promise. Can you run like Usain Bolt just because you bought $500 sneakers? No. An effective process will look at every client-facing aspect of your company. It will help make sure all the wheels are spinning in the same direction and at complementary speeds. (Here is an example of system-wide sales enablement methodology.)
Yes, you want your team to meet its quota. But:
- Would it be better for marketing to create content and materials that sales can adapt for the buyer at hand? Yes.
- Would it be better for HR to hire and train new salespeople prepared to work collaboratively? Yes.
- Would it be better for Customer Support to use messaging that supports sales efforts? Yes.
You boost revenue when your sales enablement includes your whole system.