Your sales team’s strategy defines the overall performance of your company. When that process is broken, every part of your team will feel its effects. Take a moment to evaluate your current approach and see where you can improve before facing unnecessary challenges.
Once you’ve reviewed the basics of sales enablement, you’ll know how to judge the overall health of your strategy. This evaluation shows your company’s current strengths and weaknesses. Identifying these areas allows you to take action and use your strengths to get ahead.
This article will cover the effects of a broken sales enablement process and give you five ways to improve your approach.
Effects of a broken sales enablement strategy
Planning out your sales enablement strategy helps you shorten your sales cycle and standardize your company’s approach. Identifying the most effective system and using it throughout your team makes for straightforward onboarding and a unified sales approach. Neglecting your strategy results in wasted resources, disjointed training, and knowledge gaps in your staff.
Creating and maintaining your sales enablement plan gives you data insights about your buyers, their motivations, and how you can position your product to showcase its benefit for them. When your team understands your buyers, it can tailor its efforts. Your team will be able to see what content needs to go out and when so leads stay interested.
Your strategy should have your sales and marketing team working hand-in-hand. With this collaboration, your marketing team will produce high-performing content that leads to higher lead conversion rates. This collaboration lets your marketing team make better use of their time and spend less energy on ineffective content.
When your content is organized and widely available on one platform, your team members will be using the same information while partaking in the sales process. This way, you can see what does and doesn’t work and test your techniques in real-life circumstances.
Once you know that your team is using the same materials, you can observe what parts of the sales process take the longest and which are the most and least effective. Then, you can target parts of the process for automation and improvement.
Five tips for sales enablement strategies
When you notice room to improve your sales enablement process, identify how you will take action. Consider the most impactful places to make adjustments and develop ideas to address problems. When you’re ready to act, implement the new solution and test your changes. Collecting data before and after the switch helps you decide on your final approach and see if the changes improved your metrics.
If you’re working with a limited team, consider bringing in a professional to help identify the best areas for improvement. They can help you avoid common mistakes and bring expert knowledge to your team. Take time to consider the potential gains and losses your company can incur by handling your review in-house or by bringing in a consultant for guidance.
While the changes you make will depend on the problem at hand, you can examine strategies that other companies have used to improve their sales enablement approach. Before taking action, remember to understand why you’re making a change and what you expect from the outcome. Here are five examples of how you can improve your company’s sales enablement.
1. Divide up responsibilities
When meeting with your team, you likely notice those that are always talking more than those who don’t. When you organize large meetings with a broad objective, more often than not, some team members will be disengaged more often than not. Disengagement means that team members are missing crucial information that could help both of them and the company.
Instead, try a strategic approach. Break down meeting topics by their end goals. Management should meet and discuss these goals and then break down what they need to convey to their teams. Then, each manager can meet with their team in a smaller group setting to share the information. This way, they encourage more back-and-forth and make sure that their team members are engaged. If there are specific questions after, they can meet individually.
Sometimes, the people who are struggling the most are those who speak up the least. By encouraging an open discussion and frequent back-and-forth between managers and their teams, you create a culture where learning is valued and questions get answered. This is how you can ensure that your team has all the materials they need. A tailored meeting structure gives team members plenty of opportunities to get involved, and engagement is one of the most significant predictors of team success.
2. Encourage learning
After you onboard a new member of your team, they rarely receive regular training. Busy schedules, higher priorities, and unexpected tasks give them reasons to push further training further into the future. However, the knowledge that isn’t used gets lost over time. Most likely, your team members won’t remember much from your training if they’re not regularly using it.
One of the holdups preventing regular training is how we look at it. Training doesn’t mean taking your sales team off the floor and putting them in a room together to watch presentations. There are much better ways to train them without disrupting your schedule. Teams with better training are more confident and optimistic in their overall performance.
You can provide better training to your team by assigning them virtual modules with knowledge tests at the end. This way, they can take them on their own time and give their managers proof that they understand the material. Be sure to bring up the information covered during future discussions, so it gets repeated. Repetition helps them keep the information fresh and apply it when relevant.
Even if your team is regularly training, don’t forget that every day holds a new learning opportunity. When team members make a mistake, encourage them to discuss it amongst themselves. The best way to correct an error is to promote the approach you want them to take instead. While you can explain the broader effects of their error, frequent criticism lowers morale and reduces people’s incentive to improve. Congratulate them for learning from the experience and reinforce them when they correct the behavior in future calls. A mindset focused on growth is one of the most valuable tools you can have as an organization.
3. Share the knowledge
More often than not, a good sales strategy may have its success chalked up to luck when it’s not understood. Instead of keeping promising approaches a secret, have your team get together every week and discuss some of the top performers’ success. Work together to figure out what small steps took place that led to the overall success and motivates other team members to implement them in their strategies.
Think about what materials they sent out to their prospects and the overall timing. You can look at the content from your emails, points discussed in their calls, and their general follow-up. Make sure to share these insights with your marketing team so they can use the feedback to create better materials for your sales process.
Every so often, walk your sales team through the process from your customer’s point of view. This will help them understand what the other party needs and what they might be lacking. They can also develop new ideas to keep their leads engaged and move them along the sales process even quicker.
4. Keep sales materials organized
Even the best content is meaningless if it’s not being used. Sales teams that house their resources on their own computers instead of a shared database will miss updates to their material and perform lower with training. Accessible, easy-to-find content is what keeps your sales team consistent.
First, have your marketing team perform a content audit to see your available resources. Next, decide on where to host the content. You can choose a cloud-based document management system like Google workspace or create an internal website for your company where your team can find these documents.
After you posted the documents on your shared platform, assign one person to handle the upkeep. They will check the documents regularly to ensure that the sales team knows where to find them, how to use them, and how to suggest changes based on customer feedback. Regular meetings between your sales and marketing team should review these documents and make sure they’re still functioning as designed. Sales can share metrics relating to the performance of the materials so marketing can make changes.
To help sales find documents quickly, implement a tagging system that lets sales filter the materials. You can sort by buyer persona, the lead’s stage in the sales cycle, and the document’s purpose. Allow team members to personalize the contents as appropriate and suggest new ideas. Pay special attention during the onboarding process to make sure the new hires understand how and why to use the available content. Their feedback will help you know how you can structure your system better to accommodate a growing team.
5. Create a new review process
Your sales team performs better when they’re feeling relaxed. Unfortunately, this is the opposite of how most call reviews make them feel. Randomly selected calls and intense critiques with management leave sales representatives feeling nervous and watched. Instead of going with the typical format, let your sales staff take control of their own quality reviews.
Try a system that lets sales representative select their calls to review and answer questions about what they did well, what they feel they can improve, how they felt during the call, and what materials could’ve made it better. Then, have them share the document with management either in a CRM or by uploading it to a shared platform.
Management can review the document and see how their team is thinking about their calls. Coupled with frequent training and reinforcement, your sales team can start independently increasing the quality of their calls. You can also let your sales team discuss their calls within a channel on your companies messaging app. Encourage them to talk about what happened and look for feedback from their peers. This fosters a team environment and lets them rely on each other for support. Applying their knowledge of good and bad sales practices helps them keep information fresh.
The success of your sales enablement process depends on how you view it. If you see your challenges as opportunities to grow, you will create an evolving strategy that stays in tune with your market. The most successful sales teams are resilient, adaptable, and confident. Strong leadership will guide them through challenges, and in turn, benefit the entire company.
Your business’s problems may be different or more complex than those that we’ve outlined. In these cases, you will want a second opinion from someone with experience within your industry. See some of the services that a business advisor can provide when helping with your business