8 Sales Enablement Best Practices To Equip Your Sales Team
Organizations who have a dedicated sales enablement strategy are, very simply, more likely to meet their sales targets.
And yet a whopping 38% of organizations still don’t have committed sales enablement services that help their sales teams perform better.
Without a sales enablement program, you’ll struggle to determine how you can improve the performance of your sales professionals. You won’t know what’s working and what’s not hitting the mark.
But what exactly should your sales enablement team do? How can they better equip your sales department for success?
In this guide, we'll go over the top eight sales enablement best practices that will help your sales department convert more customers and reach higher sales targets.
What is sales enablement, and why is it important?
The sales enablement process provides each sales rep with the sales tools, resources, coaching, and sales content needed to accelerate the sales cycle and close more deals.
Your sales enablement strategy should aim to provide comprehensive sales training to help your sales professionals at every stage of the sales process, from lead capture to customer success.
In fact, 65% of sales professionals that outperformed against revenue targets have a dedicated sales enablement manager or team.
Sales enablement teams don’t just build resource libraries. They’re also responsible for creating repeatable sales processes and providing the training and sales enablement tools so that sales reps can follow these successfully. Not only does this help sales representatives close more deals, it also helps them to provide a consistent level of service throughout the customer journey.
In this respect, it’s wise to align your sales professionals and marketing team so everyone is on the same page about what you’re delivering and how. According to 90% of sales and marketing professionals, when initiatives and messages are aligned, it has positive impacts on the buyer journey.
Your marketing team is one of your greatest sales enablement resources. In fact, 87% of sales and marketing leaders say collaboration between the two departments enables critical business growth.
This is because your marketing campaigns funnel high-quality leads into your sales operation. According to 94% of top sales performers, marketing leads are either “excellent” or “good.”
Considering 42% of sales reps say they spend too much time trying to discover a prospect’s needs, creating streamlined procedures to pass over marketing leads seems like an obvious sales enablement practice to introduce to your sales organization.
While 53% of sales professionals say that buyers need more justification for a purchase than ever before, one in five sales professionals say that ineffective sales content is their biggest challenge to closing deals.
Surely, since half of sales professionals say that buyers conduct more research before purchasing than they used to, it seems smart to equip your sales organization with enough sales enablement resources to help close the deal.
Your sales enablement content should provide each salesperson with the support they need to build business cases for potential customers. Sales content should show how your products or services solve different types of problems for each target audience.
For example, 36% of organizations use customer testimonials as sales content to help sales personnel close deals, while 36% are creating product demos, and 32% leverage case studies.
As Jake Matulewicz, director of marketing at Symmons, explains, “Authentic video is something that really resonates with our customers, and as a result, we end up getting more conversions, whether that be a phone call, an email, or a form completion.”
Templates are also excellent sales enablement resources. 53% of enablement teams create email templates for their sales teams, while 39% devise call scripts, 37% make pre-call checklists, and 34% build messaging templates.
Make sure you have an effective sales enablement platform that makes it easy for a sales rep to access sales content. 40% of sales teams don’t have a sales content management tool that they use effectively, meaning sales professionals have to root around to find relevant case studies and other evidence while in the middle of a sale.
3. Create a culture of sales enablement training
Your sales enablement team should be offering regular coaching to keep your sales organization updated on any new product or sales enablement practice that’s come into play.
Not only does this guarantee that sales reps will be selling customers on the latest solutions, it also helps keep them up-to-date with the selling techniques that work best.
Use data from your sales enablement metrics to see which practices and techniques close the most deals and use these strategies to inform your sales coaching.
There are several formats to offer successful sales enablement coaching. 68% of organizations use weekly check-ins, 34% listen into sales calls, 31% leverage call shadowing, and 31% review sales emails.
Training doesn’t have to be in person. You can also offer remote self-paced training through an online sales enablement platform.
Either way, make sure that all sales coaching resources are available through a centralized tool. While 43% of sales enablement teams say that improving sales competencies is one of the top three priorities, 39% of organizations don’t have a sales training tool that they use effectively. This makes it tough for sales personnel to keep on top of changes and remember everything they’ve been taught.
4. Standardize practices based on top performers
Got a sales leader on your team who’s head and shoulders above the rest? Use these top performers to inform your sales enablement strategy.
Your top sales representative is your key to closing more deals, because they’re obviously using practices that work.
For example, high-performing sales reps are 150% more likely than low-performers to monitor customer communication history and 240% more likely to look at a customer’s purchase history.
To find top performers, 51% of organizations use sales data to assess performance. Dive into your sales data and pinpoint the top sales professionals on your teams and question them about the practices they use that lead to such high levels of customer success.
Do they speak to customers in a particular way? Are they tweaking the customer journey? Do they select and qualify leads differently?
Create your sales enablement training materials based on these behaviors.
5. Use chatbots for lead qualification
Business leaders say that chatbots have increased their profits by 67%, which is why 41% of organizations who use chatbots use them for sales.
Chatbots are a popular sales enablement software as they help at all stages of the sales operation.
The top three reasons that sales teams use chatbots are to collect information and qualify leads, to book product demos, and to engage website visitors.
This doesn’t just aid the sales process. It also cuts back on the time each sales person needs to engage and qualify leads.
Not only that, but 35% of business leaders say that chatbots have also helped them close sales, as they can offer personalized deals to website visitors as well as collecting relevant information.
6. Organize leads and prospects
Don’t make it hard for your sales team to find the customer information they need.
A successful sales enablement strategy should include provisions for the right sales enablement technology to help sales teams organize prospects and stay updated on customer history.
This is why 65% of sales teams use a customer relationship management (CRM) system. On the one hand, a CRM helps sales reps manage customer relationships by organizing and prioritizing prospects. That way, sales professionals always know where they are in the sales cycle.
On the other hand, CRM technology helps sales teams to automate lead management and communication. In fact, 61% of overperforming leaders use their CRM to automate parts of their sales process versus 46% of underperforming leaders.
7. Automate menial administrative tasks
41% of sales reps say they spend too much time creating follow-up tasks. Administrative tasks like this eat into the time that your sales team has to close deals.
With the right sales enablement technology, your sales representatives can automate lots of menial tasks to free up their time for more skilled sales activities so they can meet their sales targets. In fact, 66% of top-performing sales teams automate menial administrative tasks, compared to only 41% of low-performing teams.
There are lots of ways sales automation tools can cut back on manual tasks. Sales automation technology can reduce data entry, manual approval routing, and customer communication. Plus, 69% of top-performing sales teams use tools to automatically log sales data and customer notes, compared to only 46% of low-performers.
In short, if you want to enable your sales team to perform better, give them the right sales tool, starting with automation technology. 61% of sales teams that outperformed their revenue targets last year used automation.
8. Analyze your sales data with a sales engagement tool
72% of sales reps complain that they find it challenging to extract meaning for sales data. Using a sales engagement tool can help with this, which is why 43% of sales teams use one.
Tools like this can help your sales enablement team to analyze your sales data to see which tactics are successful and which fail to bring results. Currently, 48% of organizations use sales data in this way to work out the patterns in closed/lost business.