Skip to main content

How Sales Enablement Works and Why Your Business Needs It

Learn what sales enablement is, how it can benefit your business and the key strategies for implementing it. Boost your sales team's effectiveness today!

If you are a writer, you may be very good at creating copy for flyers, but designing it is a completely different story. While the writing process may take less than an hour, designing the flyer can take several days. Needless to say, your time would be best spent writing.

This scenario underscores the "why" behind sales enablement.

Instead of asking your salespeople to be marketing gurus, you can drive revenue and improve the customer experience by letting them focus on what they do best.

To do so, you must implement a sales enablement strategy that supports their needs. When done correctly, sales enablement is a foolproof way to revolutionize your sales operations by ensuring everyone has the right tools, content, and resources to drive more revenue.

Let's take a closer look at sales enablement.

Sales enablement increases forecasted deal win rate to 49% vs. 42.5% without. 84% of sales reps meet quotas with a best-in-class strategy.

What is sales enablement?

Most succinctly, sales enablement is a big-picture strategy that works to align your sales team, sales operations, and marketing.

Sales enablement is the strategic, ongoing process of equipping your sales team with the content, guidance, and training they need to turn prospects into customers.

Sales enablement helps your sales team be more effective. By providing them with the right sales enablement platform, your sales team can close more deals and close them faster.

Key components of sales enablement

Successful sales enablement can have a massive impact on your business. It's all about equipping your sales team with the right insights and information, helping them understand and take the next best step to close the deal. In general, there are five must-have elements of a sales enablement strategy:

  • Sales strategy: Any successful sales enablement process starts with a strategy that brings all components together and aligns them with your core message and company vision. It is the cornerstone of an effective sales enablement process.
  • Sales content: Even in the world of sales, content is king! And sales content is essential for sales enablement. Sales enablement content can include pitch decks, blog posts, email templates, case studies, product sheets, white papers, and more.
  • Sales training: For your sales enablement to be effective, your sales team must have training. The right training can help your team develop the necessary soft skills, understand customer pain points, and learn product information to close deals.
  • Sales enablement tools and technology: Sales enablement tools and technology can help sales teams be more efficient and effective. However, without proper training, these sales enablement tools — like CRM systems, sales enablement platforms, automation tools, and sales analytics tools — would be useless.
  • Sales metrics: Unfortunately, a sound, effective sales enablement strategy isn't based solely on gut feeling. Instead, it's imperative to have metrics that inform the strategy and offer guidance into the effectiveness of your efforts.

As an ongoing process, it's imperative to continually monitor the success of sales enablement programs and make adjustments as needed.

Sales enablement tools and technologies

Here are some examples of sales enablement tools and technologies:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems: Sales CRM systems help your team manage leads, prospect contact information, and deals. The CRM can also provide sales teams with insights into their sales performance.
  • Sales enablement platforms: A sales enablement platform provides sales teams with a centralized hub for all sales enablement resources. These platforms can include things like sales content, sales training, and sales analytics tools.
  • Sales analytics tools: Sales analytics tools help sales reps track their sales performance and identify areas for improvement. These tools can also help teams identify their top-performing sales representatives and their strategies.
  • Sales enablement content: Sales enablement content is vital to sales operations. Whether pitch decks, case studies, or white papers, sales enablement content can help move leads down the funnel toward sales.
  • Sales training systems and platforms: Sales training helps sales reps improve their skills and knowledge. This training can include product knowledge training, sales skills training, and customer service training.

How does sales enablement work?

The sales enablement process starts with identifying the needs of your sales team. Whether you conduct interviews with sales representatives, sales managers, and other stakeholders, it's imperative to understand the unique needs of your sales team and sales operations.

After your sales team's needs are identified, it's all about developing programs to meet those needs, such as:

  • Sales training
  • Implementation of sales enablement technology,
  • Content creation

Once the assets have been developed, the next step is to deploy those sales enablement tools.

With the goal of continuous improvement, it's imperative to measure the success of the implemented programs. Measurement can determine whether the program is meeting the sales team's needs and how you can enhance the program to be more effective.

Encourage collaboration between sales and marketing teams! Sales teams that work closely with marketing see 41% greater growth in reaching their quotas.

What role do sales and marketing teams play in sales enablement?

Sales and marketing teams are vital — if not the most important — cogs in the wheel of sales enablement. Each team has distinct roles that must converge together at the right time:

  • Marketing is responsible for creating content that sales representatives use to educate their leads and prospects.
  • Sales teams must use the content and tools created to close deals.

Sales and marketing must work together to become more of a "Smarketing Team." When the synergy and teamwork are on point, your sales enablement strategy will be more effective by:

Collaborating on content creation

The sales team has an in-depth understanding of the customer and pain points, while marketing specializes in creating engaging content.

When you put them together, you'll have content that is highly relevant to the customer's pain points.

Sharing data and insights

Sales and marketing teams can share data and insights to help them better understand their target markets and develop more effective sales enablement programs.

For example, marketing can share user data on the content that resonates the best with leads and prospects.

On the other hand, sales can share anecdotal data about which content resonates. Sales can also share the objections raised.

Measuring the success of sales enablement programs

Sales and marketing can work together to measure the success of your sales enablement strategy. Sales can also offer valuable input on ways the program can be more effective.

Best practices for implementing a successful sales enablement strategy

Implementing a successful sales enablement strategy is essential for businesses to boost their sales and revenue.

A well-designed sales enablement strategy equips teams with the necessary knowledge, skills, tools, and resources to effectively engage with prospects and customers and close more deals.

However, creating and executing a sales enablement plan can be challenging, and many organizations struggle to achieve their desired outcomes.

Here are some tips for implementing a successful sales enablement strategy:

  • Define your sales enablement goals. Do you want to increase sales, improve sales efficiency, or reduce sales costs? Make sure you know your goals and create a strategy to achieve them.
  • Build content around the buyer's journey. Organize your sales enablement process to track, predict, and help sales handle issues that tend to occur at specific stages in the journey.
  • Identify your target audience. Once you know your target audience, you can develop content and programs that are relevant to them.
  • Always measure the success of your sales enablement strategy. Once you have implemented your strategy, you need to measure its success. Key metrics to consider include:

    1. Customer retention rates
    2. Win rates and number of closed deals
    3. The average length of your sales cycle
    4. Customer engagement or re-engagement by channel
    5. The average size of a deal.
  • Continually optimize your sales enablement process. Your sales enablement process isn't a set-it-and-forget-it model. Instead, you must continually leverage data and optimize it for greater effectiveness.

What are the benefits of sales enablement?

Sales enablement is a vital ingredient in your recipe for success. According to Learn Hub, 76% of businesses see anywhere from a 6% up to a 20% bump in sales because of sales enablement tools.

Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. While some organizations do not adequately define the roles of the sales team in the sales process, others wait too long to pull a sales enablement team together.

Even worse, some businesses make both errors. However, when you get it right, you open the door to myriad sales enablement benefits.

Improved sales productivity

With a dynamic sales enablement process in place, you can drive sales productivity by giving the right people the right resources they need to be successful. Specifically, your sale enablement process can help your sales team:

  • Close more deals
  • Increase sales efficiency
  • Reduce sales costs
  • Improve sales morale

By providing sales reps with the resources they need to be successful, your team will be more efficient and effective at closing deals.

Increased revenue and profitability

If you're looking to increase revenue and profitability, you can cut costs or increase revenue. Fortunately, sales enablement tools are designed to do both. Sales enablement can increase revenue and profitability by providing your sales team with the resources, tools, and training they need.

  1. Empower sales teams to focus on selling. Sales enablement tools and programs can reduce the amount of time your sales team spends on non-selling activities. Your team can generate more leads and close more deals to drive revenue and profitability.
  2. More knowledgeable sales professionals. With the right training and coaching, your team will bolster their selling skills, product knowledge, and customer engagement. More knowledgeable sales professionals can generate more and larger deals, leading to higher revenue and profitability.
  3. Access to the right content at the right time: Sales enablement tools help ensure sales teams have access to the right content at the right time to engage customers at each stage. This can improve the quality of sales conversations, increase the likelihood of closing deals, and boost revenue and profitability.
  4. Use data and analytics to optimize sales performance: By analyzing sales data and metrics, you can redirect your sales team's focus on the best revenue-generating activities.

Enhanced customer experiences

While sales enablement tools are primarily focused on new customers and sales, existing clients can benefit. With a sales enablement program, your sales team will have the knowledge and skills to answer customer questions and resolve issues, which can deepen relationships.

At the same time, it can empower your team to be more confident and deliver the best-in-class customer service new and existing clients deserve. Sales enablement tools can equip your team with the tools and support they need to bolster the new and existing customer experience.

What metrics should you track to get sales enablement insights?

Key metrics to measure your success

According to British mathematician and physicist, William Kelvin, "What is not defined can't be measured. What is not measured can't be improved."

Simply put, it's vital to leverage the right combination of both quantitative and qualitative metrics to gauge success and improve.

Here are a few key sales productivity metrics you should pay special attention to.

Sales productivity

Sales productivity refers to the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales team in generating revenue.

More so, sales productivity metrics measure how much revenue your team generates within a specific time frame compared to the resources invested in the process, such as money, time, and marketing materials.

You can measure your sales productivity with the following KPIs:

  • Sales cycle length
  • Average deal size
  • Sales conversion rate
  • Sales velocity

Win rates

In the world of sales, winning is everything! That's why it should come as a no-brainer to measure win rates, which represent the percentage of deals closed.

A high win rate indicates that the sales enablement program is helping sales representatives close more deals. One way win rate is connected to sales enablement is the quality of leads.

If your sales enablement content attracts unqualified leads, the sales representatives will have a lower chance of closing them. By tracking the win rate, you can identify areas where your sales enablement strategy is working and where it can be improved.

Sales cycle length

Sales cycle length is the average time it takes to close a deal. A shorter sales cycle length indicates your sales enablement strategy is working and helping representatives close deals quicker. When you track your sales cycle length, you can determine the effectiveness of your sales enablement strategy.

Sales revenue growth

Sales revenue growth is designed to measure sales revenue increase over some time. As you would assume, increasing higher sales revenue growth is much better than decreasing sales revenue.

For instance, if your sales revenue growth isn't as high as expected, your sales enablement strategy could be revamped with a focus on training sales reps on how to close deals or on the quality of leads.

Customer lifetime value

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is an extremely important measurement that scores the total revenue a customer is expected to generate throughout their relationship.

CLV can help sales enablement teams identify and target the highest-value customers, which can improve the sales process and drive revenue. The CLV can also be used by sales enablement teams to create loyalty programs, which can help drive CLVs.

Content engagement

Content engagement is all about how often and how well sales reps and prospects engage with content that is provided to them.

Simply put, content engagement lets you know how well a piece of content is performing, such as training videos, e-books, white papers, blog posts, and social media updates.

There are myriad ways to effectively gauge your content engagement via sales enablement tools:

  • The number of impressions or views
  • Time spent on a page
  • Bounce rate
  • Number of shares
  • Number of comments
  • Number of leads generated

When you track content engagement, you'll be able to identify which pieces of content are the most effective and which pieces of content need to be improved.

Content engagement can also provide valuable insight into the pain points, interests, and preferences of your target audience. For example, if you find video content has a higher engagement rate than white papers, you can optimize your sales enablement strategy to index heavily on video.

Sales quota attainment

One often overlooked sales engagement metric is sales quota attainment.

This metric measures the percentage of sales reps who meet or exceed their sales quota. You can also measure sales quota attainment based on the entire sales team.

In either case, a high attainment rate can indicate your sales enablement program is helping improve the sales process.

Implement a sales enablement to reap the rewards

Sales enablement can be a powerful tool you use to efficiently bridge the gap between sales and marketing.

By bringing these two traditionally-siloed teams together, you can facilitate the free flow of valuable information, which enhances your sales tools, content, and sales process. The real winners are your prospects and customers.

However, choosing the right sales enablement tools and implementing a strategy can be confusing and overwhelming.

Fortunately, Mailchimp makes it easy to empower your sales team with the right tools and the right time. Mailchimp offers several innovative, easy-to-use tools to help amplify the effectiveness and efficiency of your sales team.

Mailchimp can simplify and streamline sales enablement processes by offering state-of-the-art solutions for content marketing, email marketing, CRM, social media and sales analytics.

Share This Article