What is sales enablement? (With definition and how-to)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

For sales teams to prosper, they need the right resources and training. Successful sales figures result from sales and marketing teams collaborating to find and sell to the correct customers. Integrating sales enablement techniques into a company can help you to increase profits. In this article, we answer 'What is sales enablement?' and outline how it can help sales teams find success and how you can integrate it into an organisation or business.

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What is sales enablement?

To answer 'What is sales enablement?', it's useful to look at the role of a sales associate and find out what they do. Sales executives and associates sell a company's products or services to customers and help drive profits forward. To sell the most products or services to clients and customers, sales teams require the right training, materials and equipment.

Therefore, sales enablement is about developing an evolving strategy that you can easily change and update. It equips the team with the assets, knowledge and skills to help them become more competent and successful. It helps marketing and sales teams work together more cohesively. The range of information, tools and resources that can fall under sales enablement is broad. It can include topics such as the product being sold, the type of target audience and analytics relating to effective techniques.

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Why is sales enablement important?

Sales enablement is an essential part of the sales process. It helps to prepare sales reps for their contact with leads or potential clients. Effective sales enablement programmes provide staff with access to all the key information they require to confidently pitch products or services to customers. Feeling fully informed and aware of how a product works, why it's useful and how it can benefit customers, allows sales staff to answer any questions the prospective client may have.

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How to use sales enablement

If you're planning to start a sales enablement drive in a company, here are eight steps to get you started:

1. Set an objective

The first step is to establish what you hope a sales team can achieve and set an objective for them. The goal may be to increase the number of clients each sales associate sells to, increase the size of their orders or boost the sales of a particular range of products. Clear objectives help everyone in the team understand what you expect of them and create a benchmark to measure the success of your sales enablement strategy.

2. Focus on your leads

Understanding who your buyers are is a key element of successful sales. It's essential that sales staff know who their target audience or leads are before they can begin any type of sales pitch. A lead is someone who has expressed an interest in buying a company's products or services and selling to leads can be far more effective than cold-calling.

Related: A list of best sales tools to achieve your targets

3. Collect data

Market research using available online metrics can help you find out who the customer base is and reveal the type of person who buys from the business. You may look at feedback forms, questionnaires or any other information you have about the customers and clients. Reading through preferences and customer experiences can give you a more detailed understanding of who the average customer is, which can help sales associates communicate with them more successfully.

4. Provide quality content

Putting together a quality sales presentation kit can help sales associates deliver a more authoritative pitch. You may consider using videos, slides, graphics, case studies, expert research, blogs and original articles, either creating it in-house or commissioning a freelance content creator, writer or designer. The more detail you can provide, the more compelling your sales pitch becomes and the greater your chances of selling more products or services.

5. Update resources regularly

When new information, sales techniques or relevant content become available, ensure you provide these updates to staff as promptly as you can. Arrange a training session or staff meeting to inform sales teams about any new sales drives. Explain new techniques and how to use them in their work.

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6. Create templates and scripts

Create templates, scripts and pitch presentations for staff to use. Ask them to make the best use of the sales enablement tools you're providing for them. Standardised templates and pitch documents ensure that sales staff are all working with the same tools and benefiting from the resources you've created for them. It also helps you to generate data and discover what works and what you may want to adjust in future.

7. Analyse the results of sales enablement

Ask the sales team for feedback about the enablement tools you're providing for them. Try to get them to give you specific examples of what works and what hasn't worked, plus any customer feedback they may have. Look at the sales numbers before the team started using sales enablement tools and compare them with sales figures since these resources became available.

8. Adjust sales enablement tools

Continue analysing the data you've gathered about the tools the team uses and consider any more updates you may want to introduce and any new suggested sales pathways. Compare the earlier resources you provided for sales teams and think about replacing these resources with newer tools. Introduce new techniques and content when it's available and ensure the team has the necessary training to keep operating as effectively and selling as much as they possibly can.

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How to use analysis to improve sales enablement

Information is essential for sales departments, but too much data can be overwhelming. Here are some ways you can analyse data to increase sales enablement:

1. Set up a standardised way to collect data. By developing a standard system of sales reports, you can help sales teams better understand the figures before them. Examples include activity logs, figures for deals that were won or lost and the number of leads each sales rep generates.

2. Organise a sales audit. A sales audit looks at an organisation's sales process to find out if any improvements are possible. People working in sales enablement often start off with an audit to find out how a company is performing.

3. Use a system to qualify leads. Being able to distinguish between positive and negative leads is essential for closing deals. Using customer relationship management software (CRM) to sort qualified leads can help.

Related: Sales targets: What they are and how to create and use them

Tips for optimising sales enablement strategy

Here are some tips to help you introduce this strategy successfully:

Develop team communications

Successful strategies call for sales associates who are not only competent but willing to work as part of a team. Having a flexible and open approach helps them to listen and learn from others. Work out ways the team can better communicate with each other and ask them to listen to their customer's feedback.

Organise case studies

Case studies demonstrate how well a product works and how satisfied previous customers are, therefore they're an essential tool in the sales enablement programme. Marketing teams may be able to find potential case studies through CRM software. Consider using videos of satisfied customers since many buyers now prefer to watch videos.

Increase calls to action

Work on effective calls to action to increase the number of sales. Whether you have a physical shop or an online store, it's important to set up compelling calls to action either at the checkout or through email marketing. You may consider using promotional offers, discounts, money-off vouchers or sign-ups for information about new product releases.

Design tools to work with the highly informed client

The wealth of resources and information available on the Internet means buyers are a lot more knowledgeable than they once were. Customers can read reviews and compare prices. It's essential, therefore, to use all the marketing tools you have available to help the sales team speak and sell to the informed customer.

Include input from other departments

Sales enablement brings together sales teams, the marketing department and business leaders, but it can include input from other people working in the wider business. Since sales enablement is about providing consistency, it's a good idea to listen to valuable feedback from all parts of the company. Customers are more likely to feel that they're getting a good experience if they receive consistent service across the whole sales funnel.

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