Ask any building contractor what is the most crucial part of constructing a building and you’ll hear that it’s not the fixtures or the materials, but the project plan blueprint. A project plan blueprint that illustrates how a building is constructed is the most important part because without it, the building cannot be correctly constructed.
This is a perfect analogy for a sales enablement solution because the most important pieces must be joined together upstream to realize success downstream. As such you must ensure that the plan you follow not only works, but also contains the content you need in an organized, logical, and user-friendly way (https://www.entrepreneur.com/topic/sales-enablement).
Successful sales enablement looks at the bigger picture and makes it both a strategic and tactical focus. It paves the way for better content quality, better sales and marketing orientation and more closed deals. Here are ten best practices to ensure your content creation and distribution efforts achieve measurable, bottom-line results.
Hire the Right Team
Insights about how to hire the right team are as old as the business of selling itself. But current sales enablement strategies require professionals who are more flexible and teamwork oriented than in the past. They must possess the knowledge, skills and capabilities to fully understand buyer’s daily difficulties and be truly consultative. In addition, they should be prepared to deal with challenges of increasingly educated consumers who enter the sales funnel further down the decision-making route. By so doing, they are able to attract, engage and retain a team of loyal buyers (https://www.forbes.com/sites/salesforce/2016/05/02/best-practices-in-sales-enablement-content-mapping-made-easy/#3b6ae6d13463).
Evaluate and Understand Your Sales Reps
Successfully introducing new sales enablement solutions means looking beyond individual bottom-line results and assuming the role of a sales performance expert. Approaching the process with an open mind will help avoid common pitfalls such as focusing too much on automation or forcing the sales team to follow rigid rules. Devise your own internal measurement of sales reps effort. Every customer contact and sales activity potentially correlates to buyer action. Understanding this link will help you model sales enablement solutions which help salespeople increase their impact.
Scalability and Usability
Any sales enablement program is only as good as your sales team’s ability to use it whenever they need to. This means creating highly customizable content to suit your specific needs. It’s of great importance when content is shared; it’s able to be put to use when the need arises. Content that’s inaccessible or poorly designed does not solve problems promptly, and therefore has no place in your organization. Additionally, the content needs to be measurable, so that your sales reps can measure reactions to it (https://www.forbes.com/sites/salesforce/2016/05/02/best-practices-in-sales-enablement-content-mapping-made-easy/#3b6ae6d13463).
Reduce the Time Spent on Non-Selling Activities
This may seem a little straightforward, but most companies have multiple tools where sales people go to find what they need. There is a lot of time wasted looking for content when people spend too much time producing content, and not much in making it consumable and usable. For sales enablement to be a success, you must provide an excellent framework for analyzing and eliminating inefficiencies. The goal is to focus on sales activities and allow marketers to gain better insight into content usage and impact.
Allow Sales Reps to Have Easy Access to Content
The truth is, a large percentage of content goes unused by sales reps. This is because salespeople can’t simply find it. You need to make your sales enablement flexible as well as organize content in a meaningful way. Flexible content organization based on performance help keep operations on point and hastens conversions. You might want to adopt a sales enablement program that provides a single, easy-to-manage access point for all your content and tools. Making sure that it also integrates with your existing systems will help streamline the selling process (https://www.entrepreneur.com/topic/sales-enablement).
Provide Continuous Training
Improving sales training should be a top priority for any sales enablement program. The idea that you can take a single session to train an entire workforce on new products, new methodology and new resources; is as good as dead. It has been proven wrong time and again and yet many organizations still hang onto this idea. For sales enablement to be a success, you need to integrate ongoing training and communication of content and tools so that sales people can be enlightened on the most functional sales cycle.
Let the Sales Team be Champions
Sales enablement is really champion enablement. Your sales people should provide everything a buyer needs to help them make a decision. For existing sales reps, putting knowledge directly in their workflow is critical. As a marketer, you will need to provide the sales people with everything they need to accomplish that. Make content available wherever they work; and sales people are selling everywhere these days-von phone, over email and in person. Ensure the knowledge is readily available wherever they’re doing their job (https://www.forbes.com/sites/salesforce/2016/05/02/best-practices-in-sales-enablement-content-mapping-made-easy/#3b6ae6d13463).
Incorporate the Right Technology
Many organizations don’t have the time or resources to evaluate or implement new technology. And yet, the right technology can help them become more effective in realizing their goals and meeting their targets. As you are vetting and implementing new solutions, consider the features and technology that can help salespeople close deals and work more efficiently and commendably. Organizations that commit to structured technological solutions see significant improvements across the board (https://www.forbes.com/sites/salesforce/2016/05/02/best-practices-in-sales-enablement-content-mapping-made-easy/#3b6ae6d13463).
Integrate Sales Enablement throughout the Organization
Effective sales enablement not only unites the sales reps, but also includes voices and input from other members of the organization. Most sales enablement efforts fail because they are too tightly controlled by a small branch of the sales team, or focus exclusively on a single solution. For sales enablement to be a success, it should be approached in a way that everyone in the organization is given a support role in aligning tools and resources to make the right sales to the right customers.
Know How to Handle Objections
Many times, a salesperson hears an objection that is entirely manageable and easy to solve- if only they had the right tools. As an organization, it is imperative to anticipate objections, even tracking common ones, to come up with better content that will deal with challenges, so your sales reps always have a solution to an obstacle (https://www.forbes.com/sites/salesforce/2016/05/02/best-practices-in-sales-enablement-content-mapping-made-easy/#3b6ae6d13463).
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