Although top sales companies and professionals can’t seem to agree on a single authoritative definition, sales enablement is simply the term and concept for empowering sales reps and agents. In short, sales enablement means strategically uniting the relevant information with the right salespeople at the most opportune time to help address pain points, handle objections, and close deals more effectively.
Sales enablement can take many forms: providing SDRs with relevant blog posts and whitepapers, creating scripts and product sheets to help reps hit the important notes during calls, drafting email templates to guide prospects through the sales funnel, and more. The important part is that your sales team has exactly the materials they need in order to create more sales opportunities where leads are efficiently qualified into prospects that eventually turn into customers.
Part of the confusion around sales enablement is that the term is used for so many different activities: from supplying representatives with the tools they need to assessing their performance. Sales enablement has been mentioned in conjunction with everything from training and mentoring to customer relationship management (CRM) software and other technological solutions. In truth, sales enablement means all of these things and more, which is why it’s such an essential activity for organizations to perform.
Why is Sales Enablement Important for a Sales Organization?
Sales is a fast-paced, difficult field and sales representatives often struggle to maintain a consistent level of performance. According to a study by sales research firm Aberdeen Group, a full two-thirds of sales reps failed to reach their yearly goals.
In the face of these challenges, your sales representatives will need all the help that they can get. Some examples of how sales enablement can benefit your organization include the following:
- Automating data collection about interactions with prospects in order to save time and reduce human error.
- Using analytics to identify leads with the most promise or potential for a particular SDR or company.
- Building a centralized hub for the most up-to-date, high-quality sales content, including white papers, case studies, demo videos and more.
- Creating reminders and message templates to follow up with prospects.
How Does Sales Coaching Fit Into Sales Enablement?
No sales rep is an island. Behind every great sales representative is a series of coaches, mentors and colleagues who helped that person learn and improve. Coaches can provide advice and guidance on any number of areas, including how to move deals through the sales funnel, how to assess the state of your sales pipeline, and how to find the right prospects with the right messaging.
Sales coaching is a vitally important part of sales enablement. The goal of sales enablement is to give your SDRs better access to the information they need to convert leads into prospects and prospects into sales. When coaches, mentors, and managers have insight into each rep’s individual situation, they can move from general advice into the specifics of how to handle leads and opportunities and how to use the available tools and technologies.
Surveys have confirmed that sales coaching benefits not only the immediate recipients of coaching, but the organization as a whole. Research by the Sales Executive Council, for example, has found that providing coaching to the middle 60 percent of your sales reps can improve your entire team’s performance by up to 19 percent.
It’s important to remember that sales enablement is not a destination that you reach, but a journey that you undertake and commit to. Therefore, it requires you to make a long-term commitment to cultivating your sales reps as valuable, trusted, high-performing members of your team. Robust, multi-faceted solutions like RingDNA allow you to make enablement and coaching a central part of your sales process to ensure the success of your sales organization.