How to move from sales enablement to sales empowerment
August 31, 2017
Sales enablement isn’t a new term by any stretch, but it’s not one that most organizations have been able to master. The truth is that enablement, while widely covered in articles online, is a challenge for businesses.
While enablement was cited as a top priority by 32% of businesses in 2016, most organizations struggle to build efficient programs. Some only focus on product training, while others do product and sales training. But content is nowhere to be found.
The outcome: a sales force that understands their product and the selling process but has no idea how to leverage existing content to accelerate the sale.
In fact, content going unused by sales is an expensive problem. It doesn’t only mean a slower sales cycle and less sales over time, it means that marketing’s budget could potentially shrink because less content is attributed to actual sales.
Superior customer experiences through effective sales enablement
Despite all everything that’s not working, sales and marketing must find smarter ways of working together. “Smarketing”, another old but highly relevant term, has to have a place in every organizations. Without it, your competitive advantage becomes whittled down to a vague, general statement, like “we offer the best customer service in the industry”. Anybody can claim that.
Building truly delightful customer experiences is goal that forward thinking organizations have given themselves and it’s a worthy one, too. Customer experience isn’t something that only your business offers, your prospects come into contact with other companies selling products and services to your buyers, either in their personal capacity or as business buyers.
The standard for customer experience is therefore based on the perception that your prospect has of your brand in relation to their last experience. Your sales process and marketing has to mesh together to create a frictionless customer experience.
How do you create a frictionless customer experience? Sales enablement is too broad a field to explore in just one blog post, so we’re going to zero-in on how you can take your enablement to the next phase: empowering sales through efficiency.
Where content and sales meet
Sales processes must need to include fulfil two criteria at minimum today:
Efficient. Regardless of how old your organization is, finding the quickest route to the sales should be a priority.
Repeatable. The steps you take to make the sale must be replicable by the rest of your sales team. This is how you’re able to scale your business and match and create delightful customer experiences as your business grows.
When it comes to content, the sales process needs to be supported by it. This is where learning and development champions, along with sales and marketing leadership must come together to build frictionless, yet highly valuable brand touchpoints.
Ever hear a sales rep call a prospect to say he just wanted to “check in” and find out if you got an email?
Ever see a sales rep send an email with a similar message?
Both are cringeworthy experiences for the prospect and your business.
Building content into your sales cycle is one half of the solution, making sure that sales has access to the right content at the right time in the sales cycle is the other.
Content and the sales need to move in-step to massage sales opportunities. To build this level of efficiency, you’ll need to change a few of the habits that your business has formed over time.
Here’s a guide you can use to create a more empower sales organization:
Create a sales cycle map with content recommendations. Your sales training most likely covers the sales process and some of the objections reps are likely to receive, but does it show salespeople what the buyer’s journey looks like? Does it show what content is best suited for each stage in the sales cycle?
Expand your sales training to include content mapping. Having a sales cycle map with content recommendations is helpful, but if you never train sales on how to use it, it, like all other content not used by sales, is wasted.
Equip sales with the right tools. It’s no secret that part of the problem of unused content is that it can’t be found or take hours to locate. The solution: give your team the tools to find the best content in seconds. We’ve built Qorus for Office365, a suite of plugins that help you locate the best content in your organization and insert it into emails, Word documents and PowerPoint slides. This way, your team can save time on the important admin but get it done accurately with pre-approved marketing content.
Sales enablement is an important discipline that every company should dedicate the enough resources to. While a broad field, focusing on empowering your sales team with the right education on content and how you use in the sales cycle, and equipping them with tools like Qorus for Office 365 can help your business create efficient and repeatable positive customer experiences that lead to more sales.
How does your business create efficiency for sales?
We helped Sharepoint Revolution accelerate their commercial processes by up to 150%.