Sales have evolved, so has the buyer’s journey, and that too in the most dramatic way possible. Google, in its well-known Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) whitepaper, told the world how buyers, now more than ever, are conducting thorough research about the product or service. As a result, they are equipped with smart questions, buying criteria, and well-thought-out potential objections before reaching out to a salesperson. This is making the companies worldwide crave a more effective sales mechanism to stay at the top of their game.
In the quest for long-term ways to solve today’s sales challenges, businesses have again stumbled upon one of the trendiest topics of discussion, Sales Enablement. Sales Enablement is rapidly gaining popularity across a wide array of industries. CSO Insights’ 4th Annual Sales Enablement Study shows that approximately 61% of the global organizations implemented Sales Enablement in 2019. By the end of 2020, the rest of the companies are bound to catch up. So, the real question is, what exactly is Sales Enablement?
Uncovering the Definition
According to Gartner, Sales Enablement is meant by “the activities, systems, processes, and information that support and promote knowledge-based sales interactions with clients and prospects.” In simpler words, it is the process of offering sales organizations with the information, content, and tools that empower sales individuals to sell more efficiently.
Perhaps the best way to think about Sales Enablement is as a strategy, including not only sales and marketing, but also all the client-facing roles. This involves customer support, field services, and in an indirect way, all the human resources and IT experts that implement the program and technology required to drive forward the initiatives.
Fundamentally, Sales Enablement and Buyer Enablement are two sides of the same coin. Naturally, how you define Sales Enablement most of the time depends on who you ask. With different companies having different views on how to describe it, how to approach it, and how the function is staffed, Sales Enablement meaning will be varied from person to person, organization to organization. Despite the differences in the definitions, a definitive element is always shared, which is the pursuit of empowering the sales individuals with innovative schemes and processes.
In essence, the implementation of Sales Enablement solutions helps companies achieve better results! Sales Enablement has seven key attributes that can define the buzzword even more profoundly:
1. Sales Enablement holds a straightforward objective i.e., delivering sales individuals what they need to sell more efficiently. However, how an organization successfully makes that happen is a whole other complex discussion that the Sales Enablement department and the management team need to have.
2. At its core, Sales Enablement is primarily about the buyers. Like the old saying “Customer is the King,” the field of Sales Enablement strives to offer sales individuals what they require to engage potential buyers. In simpler words, a little less focus on sales and more focus on providing sales representatives the resources the buyer wants.
3. Most importantly, what Sales Enablement provides to sales individuals is a crucial part of defining an organization’s program. What an organization offers mostly takes the form of information, and the data gets categorized into two groups. With one being things like the content that sales are set to provide to the buyer and the second being, the information that sales will utilize internally like, research, best practices, and tools.
4. One of the most defining attributes of Sales Enablement is that it gives sales individuals the knowledge they need to use the resources they receive. In other words, training and development are prominent in part Sales Enablement programs.
5. Unfortunately, salespeople often don’t use resources simply because they are difficult to find. Sales Enablement makes it easy as one of its fundamental aspects is designing its usability so that resources are easy to find and apply.
6. The usefulness of sales resources is always kept under watch by the Sales Enablement department. The key is to track whether the resources are being exploited to their full potential. This is the best way to optimize new sales materials.
Lastly, the seventh defining trait of Sales Enablement is measurement. As a brand that wants to effectively measure and track sales record data, they need to establish metrics such as average sales cycle length, the number of reps achieving quota, and average deal size that provide a window to sales reality.
The Reason Why Sales Enablement is Important in 2020
With the pandemic grabbing the world-economy by its throat, 2020 is turning out to be one of the most challenging years in our lives. However, there still are new developments to look forward to in the sales industry to keep us on our toes. One of them is Sales Enablement. Organizations that will embrace Sales Enablement in 2020 are bound to outperform their competitors and ensure that their service is amongst the best-selling products. Coronavirus calls for companies to enable their team with appropriate tools and tactics to seize initiatives and take risks.
Although Sales Enablement has been around for more than two decades, it wasn’t until the 2010s that awareness in the concept started rising. What originally must have been referred to as functional processes such as CRM optimization, has taken a whole new definition lately. Today, Sales Enablement is not merely a strategy; it’s a movement. The chaos from the last few months has made big changes to the very meaning of Sales Enablement and what it can conquer.
Let’s discuss the top Sales Enablement Trends for B2B business in 2020:
1. Reinvent Communication With AI
Artificial Intelligence has already revolutionized many aspects of the sales industry, and with time it’s only going to allow marketers to take longer strides towards Sales Enablement. Organizations that embrace AI will see radical growth in productivity and profits. Communication is one of the most important aspects of an organization, is getting overwhelmed with the sheer volume of internal and external communications. Now is the perfect time for Sales Enablement teams to uncomplicate it with Artificial Intelligence.
The rise of artificial intelligence has given birth to a huge array of new products, but when it comes to the sales and marketing world, chatbots are turning out to be the ultimate game-changers. Chatbots can reply to easy questions, trigger follow-up emails, evaluate responses, make simple decisions, and save heaps of sales reps’ time simultaneously. Their streamlined approach to simple problem solving and customer engagement makes them popular among various businesses. This year, it is necessary to be upfront, answer questions, and offer guidance and evaluate customer engagement. Chatbots, when used in the right way, can accomplish all of that. Undoubtedly, for a B2B organization, building a business chatbot should be a key Sales Enablement goal this year.
2. Reinvestments in Sales Training
Probably the best way to ensure that the sales individuals of an organization are competent to face the current circumstances head-on is to train them. According to Harvard Business Review, salespeople that are provided with traditional curriculum-based training tend to forget 80 to 90% of what they learn after one month. To remedy that, sales teams that reinforce training and stay up to date are simply more confident, productive, and efficient.
After the recession in 2008, sales training was one of the first expenses that were removed from sales budgets. Although it must have been a feasible solution at that time, many companies, even after so many years, are reluctant about bringing back sales training and coaching in full swing. Companies must realize that long are those days of rash and ignorant sales individuals, the modern industry is intellectual.
Even though times are uncertain, this is the perfect time to form next-level programs. The pandemic will pass, and when it does, things will come back in a fury. Arming the sales team with proper education and training is going to keep the organization at the top. It is best to embrace the ongoing education and training for the entire team. It helps foster a corporate atmosphere that encourages team members to experiment and take risks. This year, enrolling the sales team on university courses and using educational tools such as books, online courses, and more as a part of each employee’s performance reviews will be a major hit.
3. Reimagine CRM
Finding out what a customer wants and giving it to them indeed sounds like the most promising solution to the sales struggles, but how to achieve it becomes a great mystery. The answer is simple, CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Unfortunately, some small to medium-sized businesses still depend on spreadsheets and outdated data collection instead of CRM. We have news for them, and it is not good. In 2020, if an organization still hasn’t updated its sales tools, they are already falling behind in business.
Contemporary sales teams utilize every bit of customer data to their advantage. Nowadays, prospects spend time interacting with an organization’s website and content long before they ever communicate with a salesperson. It is safe to say that new technology captures anything and everything these prospects do, giving salespeople an idea of their interests, profile, and challenges before the first connect. Today, if an organization is not gathering this data or wasting time manually scrutinizing and reporting it, their competitors are running away with the sales that could have been in their bag.
This year, CRM platforms are the best Sales Enablement software that a company can invest in. Organizations are going to notice an exponential increase in revolutionizing the way they connect with the customers by adopting CRM-software based system. In this digitalized era, such kind of SaaS-based solutions can grow and scale with the business. Why do platforms like Netflix and Amazon always stay two steps ahead of the game? It all boils down to customer interactions and improving it while following social distancing rules. It is something almost every organization has to look forward to with unswerving determination.
To Sum it up
In these testing times and beyond, Sales Enablement can and should be a mindset or part of the corporate culture. Companies that fully understand that each employee is involved in improving sales performance are most definitely the ones that truly grasp the definition of Sales Enablement. The real question is your organization one of them, and are you ready to deliver?
Disha Bhattacharya is a seasoned content writer prolific in engaging the customer with her content in any given realm of writing. With 6 years of Freelance Content Writing and 3 years of Marketing Management experience up her sleeve, she believes in transforming businesses with her well-researched, SEO-based, innovative content. A story-teller at heart and a perfectionist by nature, she rolls out informative content with a personal touch that provides an entertaining read to the audience.