What is Sales Enablement and How Does It Work?
CSO Insights’ latest (fifth) Annual Sales Enablement Study covering 2019 suggests that the usage of sales enablement in sales organisations showed a huge increase in 2017, and a steady trend in 2018 and 2019. Organizations having a sales enablement person, initiative, or function has risen in percentage from 32.7% to 59.2% in 2017. According to the latest study of CSO Insights, the percentage of organisations adopting sales enablement in 2019 was 61.3%, which is slightly higher from 2018’s 61.0%. This suggests that the fast increase in 2017 has now turned into a maturing phase for sales enablement in organisations.
CSO Insights claims that sales enablement has become a reliable discipline in numerous sales organizations and created a perceivable positive impact on business results. But what is sales enablement in the first place?
As Dailah Lester (Manager at Lenati) correctly underlined in 2016, buyers are no longer interested in one size fits all approaches in sales and there is a strong need in personalised selling approach and tailor-made content. This is a point where sales enablement enters the equation. Sales enablement is essentially providing the sales team with the necessary and up to date information, content and tools for engaging buyers in an effective way. It is an ongoing and data-driven process, which aims at optimising business and increasing sales. Sales enablement is principally equipping both sales and marketing departments with information that is easy to consume and reuse.
The Importance of Sales Enablement
How buyers decide to purchase has changed, and traditional sales and marketing methods no longer suffice to win prospects and retain customers. Sellers adding value to buyer throughout the sales cycle and helping buyer in making a purchase decision is more preferred by today’s buyers. Under these circumstances, it is highly important for the sales representatives to posses relevant content in correct time to win buyers.
With sales conversation being digitalised and offline content losing its place to online content starting from the last decade of the 20th century, content has become scattered across different places. This led sales representatives to use the content they have at hand-even if it is outdated-instead of searching for an updated or enhanced content. This is mostly because of the fact that such searches cost so much time. Additionally, marketing departments don’t have enough connection with sales reps, and thus in some cases the content they create don’t satisfy the needs of sales reps. These triggered the creation of sales enablement.
Benefits of Sales Enablement
Although we can provide a definition and a well-structured aim of sales enablement, its type and means changes from organisation to organisation that is adopting it. Some companies choose to use sales enablement platforms and adjust their structure in accordance with it, where some choose to outsource and work with sales enablement specialists. Having said that, it is also necessary to mention some benefits of sales enablement.
Firstly, it helps scaling success among the sales reps. With it, organizations becomes less dependent on limited numbers of highly successful sales reps and the support provided by sales enablement helps almost all salespersons to meet quota requirements and reach an average success. Secondly, timely and solid data on buyer preferences and pain points helps sales representatives to create a tailor-made approach for each customer, and make them feel special as well as highly valued.
Enablement also increases the speed of deal closures by increasing the quality of conversations. In addition, getting up-to-date data and content and having a strengthened collaboration with marketing department increases the performance and deal closures of the sales team. Some enablement platforms also provide real-time data on whether the content used by sales reps is found engaging by customers. This also helps marketing department to timely optimise/improve the content.
London Bridge Project
The London Bridge Project (LBP) is the leading consultancy and management company focused on sales consultancy, end to end sales management and business development.
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