Sales enablement and best practice

All articles | Sales
Published Jul 30, 2021 | Written by Jeremy Knight

Sales enablement is about giving sales teams relevant content, training and tools so that they can focus on the most appropriate leads and be in a better position to reliably close deals. It’s now common practice among more agile, progressive organisations.

According to HubSpot, those organisations implementing sales enablement, outperform their competitors by a considerable margin. Here are five important best practices for B2B organisations.

Reminder – what is sales enablement?

“Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle.” Forrester

Whilst technology, psychology and integrations are continuing to push boundaries, here are five simple best practices that will help you implement an effective sales enablement strategy.

1. Collaborate cross-functionally

Sales enablement involves a joined-up partnership between various departments focused entirely around the customer. Each department (research, marketing, sales and customer service) can bring unique insights and valuable intelligence to support the creation of assets and messages designed to delight the customer.

Departments need to think and act holistically and ask – what do I know / see that would help the sales team understand, engage and close a sale, up-grade or cross- sell reliably?

diagram 1 v2 (1)

Use a closed-loop communication ideology and not the traditional end-to-end model. Think about circles and not linear lines.

2. Invest in an integrated Content Management System (CMS) built on top of your CRM

As much as 25% of a sales professional’s time is spent looking for content or recreating their own content. A good sales enablement strategy ensures that all required content is centrally stored in a repository that users can easily access, download or create links from.

Messages and themes can be carried consistently through proposals, bid documents, fact sheets, white papers, case studies, videos and more.

Integrating all this with your CRM also creates efficiencies and saves time. In this way, a sales or customer service representative can instantly have access to all sales support, meetings, notes, content consumption analytics and focus on the right messages, at the right time.

HubSpot allows you to do this, seamlessly.

3. Keep deployment simple

It is best to break up deployment into three simple phases. 

diagram 2

4. Be honest about determining sales enablement goals

By linking sales enablement programmes to measurable sales results, you can ensure focus and budgets are proportionate.

Even a small improvement in sales funnel conversion rates can drive major top line and bottom line results.

Focus attention on;

  • Everyone seeing and reporting leads and pipeline opportunities consistently
  • Lead scoring
  • Moving contacts, companies and opportunities through a rigorous pipeline process
  • Opportunity creation
  • Deals closed
  • Upsell and retention

Signs that you are headed in the right direction include; (i) improvement in tender conversion rate wins, (ii) increase in average deal size, (iii) increase in average margin and (iv) net promoter score.

5. Incorporate a chat bot and ideally live chat

A sale isn’t made until a conversation happens. So, make it easier for customers and prospects to have a conversation with you, when, where and how they choose. Chat bots and ‘live chat’ are now commonplace. You’ve probably seen pop-ups on websites. They’re all about being helpful, non-invasive and contextually relevant.

Chat bots and live chat are relatively easy to set up, control and manage and essentially turn conversations into leads.

Chat bots encourage users to engage with your brand. Whilst they will never replace real people talking, they are great at fostering genuine conversations, engagement and they can also be personalised. Just when you thought you had mastered MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) and SQL (Sales Qualified Lead), along comes CQL (Conversation Qualified Lead).

Why introduce chat?

  • A way to immediately engage with a prospect or customer when they want to talk to you
  • They enable you to learn quickly about a pain point
  • They provide a mechanism for you to demonstrate empathy and immediacy
  • Introduction of a clear call to action
  • By incorporating links, buttons and more content, you can nurture and take leads further

Want to know more?

Equinet’s ebook – “Sales enablement – how sales, marketing and service teams can reliably win and close more business” will help you understand why it is now widely used, how to recognise where your organisation sits in levels of sales process maturity, seven top trigger events that create company demand for sales enablement, key questions and answers, benefits for marketing teams, benefits for sales team leaders, top twenty sales enablement tools…and more.

What are you waiting for?

Download the ebook or book a call-back to begin a conversation about how sales enablement can be made to work for your organisation.

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Published by Jeremy Knight July 30, 2021
Jeremy Knight