Sales enablement is a concept that helps professionals in revenue generating roles to understand buyers’ needs through new prospecting techniques, sales training, leads analysis, as well as leveraging consumer-based technologies and multiple communication channels to target potential leads more effectively.
Defined by Gartner Group as “The activities, systems, processes, and information that support and promote knowledge-based sales interactions with clients and prospects.”
To successfully implement sales enablement best practices, you must strengthen collaboration between your sales and marketing teams. Now, this is a statement that is really meant for mid to large organizations. The ones that have actual departments and people separately handling sales and marketing, respectively. For a small business, this just isn’t the case.
In a small business, you wear multiple hats. Even if you have a few employees, they wear multiple hats as well. This is just fine, however, it can become too much when you are looking to generate leads, grow your business, network, run the business and close sales for revenue. The list goes on and on.
As a small business owner, myself, for me to complete all that I need to do to grow as well as generate revenue, I needed to automate my sales and marketing efforts. Enabling those efforts to assist me to work smarter, rather than harder. From my own personal experience and colleagues that I have spoken with, there just isn’t enough time to do it all.
And then there are those who just are not sure of how to go about creating the sales assets, marketing collateral, and content that is necessary to have the presence needed for your target markets and lead generation in order to reach your business.
Did you know that only 20 percent of revenue generating business owners use existing marketing content to engage potential buyers. This means that you may be working hard to produce relevant content, but most of it is not used and therefore, only leveraged to a fraction of its potential.
With the collapsing product life cycles, companies can no longer count on their products to be their sustainable competitive edge. So, in addition to focusing on what you sell, you now need to be placing more attention on how you sell. This trend has given the rise to the emergence of the new discipline within sales organizations: sales enablement. And this is not just meant for medium and large size businesses.
Revenue generating roles require a broad variety of content assets to engage with their prospects and clients along the entire buyer’s journey. Content services include enablement of content assets such
as playbooks, guided selling scripts, and email templates as well as customer-facing content that includes white papers, success stories, and references.
Another recommended action is to enhance sales enablement best practices using sales tools that help convert more leads into customers. Small businesses that want to give themselves an edge should consider implementing a sales enablement solution.
Next, take an honest look at your current state. Examine your sales process, available solutions, their complexity, and the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Any sales technology, such as a Customer Resource Management (CRM), is only as good as the people, communications, and processes you have in place.
Here are some steps you should take to increase the connection between sales and marketing efforts:
- Ensure that you have access to and use generated marketing content (whitepapers, webinars, videos, blog posts, etc.) to support every stage of the sales cycle and provide value to buyers.
- Have the right insight about your customer demographics based on market segments and psychographics based on buyers behavior to help you create a more targeted strategy.
- Proactively share feedback with either an accountability partner or your team about key customer pain points. Regular collaboration and sharing of feedback will help align the goals of your growth initiatives.
- Set Your Mission and Your Goals
Being an effective and engaged sales professional is one of the keys to guaranteeing your business’s success. I recently read an article that stated “Some people are natural salesmen or women—they have the gift of gab, the ability to easily connect with others and win their trust. They are adept at juggling leads and following up with prospects and existing customers alike.” The article went on to state that “For most of us, though, sales skills need to be developed. Things like cold calling, making an effective pitch, and understanding prospecting strategy are not always intuitive.” This is so true, and unfortunately, many small business owners think they are “Not in Sales.” As a business owner, YOU ARE IN SALES.
Therefore, it is critical that as small business owners, you become the confident, well-rounded, skilled salesperson that will perform best for your business. A long-term commitment to ongoing training – seminars, workshops, books – will give you and/or your team a competitive advantage.
Sales enablement will help streamline your sales to ensure the smoothest and shortest buying cycle to your business revenue.