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5 Things Every Sales Leader Should Know About Sales Enablement

6 min readJune 27, 2017

Sales EnablementSales enablement helps sales leaders achieve higher quota attainment, more revenue, higher sales velocity, and increased lead conversion rates.

Since your organization can no longer afford to avoid sales enablement, we’ve included five ways tips to help you quickly get your sales enablement program up and running.

1. Sales Enablement Isn’t Training nor Coaching

Training and coaching salespeople are one of the key processes of every successful sales team.

On the one hand, training gives reps current product knowledge and sales best practices. Coaching, on the other, provides reps with the guidance and accountability they need to stay on track of their goals and tasks.

One of the most common misconceptions about sales enablement is sales leaders believe it’s a new fancy way of naming sales training or coaching. This turns out to be false.

To start, in a sales enablement program, sales coaching is still carried out by managers. There are no changes in that process.
What a sales enablement program changes are the way sales reps are trained. By centralizing all the content used in a training program, including the training itself, all sales reps within an organization can access the information anytime and anywhere. If there’s a video or a cold call framework the team is encouraged to use, all reps can access that information from the sales enablement platform.

This training doesn’t have to be just about sales; it can be about anything reps need to know to improve their skills and knowledge. According to David Brock, President of Partners In EXCELLENCE and author of The Sales Manager’s Survival Guide, a common sales enablement program should include:

  • A monthly training with the latest changes carried out in the product
  • A monthly general sales training
  • A quarterly training with new tools and technology adopted by the company
  • A quarterly training with the latest news in the market and industry
  • A quarterly training on management and project management
  • A quarterly training on critical thinking and problem solving

2. Sales Enablement Improves Your Sales Training

As we have mentioned before, sales training is an important process among sales teams in every organization. The problem is, it can be an inefficient process.

First and foremost, sales training programs tend to be one-on-one. This process not only takes a lot of time from the trainer (which could be used making sales); it’s also not scalable. Every time a new rep needs training, the sales manager needs to repeat the same concepts over and over.

The second problem with most sales training programs is they tends to be reactive; they are never done before a problem comes up, but rather after a common problem keeps coming up.

Under a modern sales enablement program, training is done on scale: the training is recorded or written once, and then it can be consumed by any sales as many times as needed. This scalability also allows companies to develop many different types of training for different sales scenarios. By using an “if this then that” logic, once a problem shows up, the sales rep can receive the training right away. This is both efficient and proactive.

This also frees up the time from the sales managers so they can spend their time working on their sales and focus on other higher value activities.

3. Sales Enablement Empowers Your Sales Reps

Motivation is one of the most important aspects of any employee-management relationship, especially for sales reps. Given most sales rep often face rejection, it’s important to empower them to take action, foster an optimistic attitude, and develop a curious mindset.

One way to empower sales rep is to help them understand the core competencies of their territory and customers. Sharing this information with them and keeping it public and centralized can help them focus their sales pitches and improve its effectiveness.
Another way to help your sales reps is to give them access to key tools, such as CRMs, to access data sets to make business decisions and automate key processes. Sales enablement also helps reps analyze businesses and territories instead of blindly dialing into their markets every day without a clear idea of who they are calling.

Finally, a sales enablement program can help you measure your sales reps performance, keeping them accountable and motivated to hit their quotas. Since only 35% of a salesperson’s day is devoted to core selling activities, the measurement of your sales reps can help you find the bottlenecks that keep your sales reps from the core selling activities.

Sales calls are only one of the metrics you can measure. Many successful organizations with a strong sales enablement culture tend to measure metrics such as:

  • Calls-to-opportunity (how many meaningful calls happened with the right people in an account)
  • Emails per day and calls per day
  • Time spent prospecting
  • Conversations per day
  • Revenue dollars versus booking dollars
  • Length of sales cycle
  • ACV or ARR per rep

This kind of empowerment makes companies with best-in-class sales enablement strategies experience 13.7% annual increase in deal size or contract value.

4. Sales Enablement Helps Align Sales and Marketing

Large businesses face the problem of siloing and team misalignment. This is especially true for sales and marketing teams. It’s common for a marketing team to develop a successful lead generation campaign which ends up going nowhere because the sales team doesn’t follow up with the leads. Misalignment is such a big problem it’s estimated sales and marketing misalignment costs businesses $1 trillion each year in decreased sales productivity and wasted marketing efforts.

CRM tools can help sales teams find companies that fit their goals as well as bring new leads to the reps as soon as the former convert. But even if sales reps get new relevant leads, they can’t keep up with the information overload. According to the Aberdeen Group, sales reps spend up to 43 hours every month searching for information. That’s over a week every month in which sales reps spend doing something that’s not related to making sales.

Given the immense amount of information most sales reps have to deal with, a sales enablement program can allow the marketing teams to send sales reps all the relevant information they need when they are about to contact a lead. This not only can save them time, but also improve the effectiveness of their pitch.

According to SiriusDecisions, when sales and marketing teams are aligned they can deliver 19% more growth. Wheelhouse Advisors found that businesses whose sales and marketing teams are aligned achieve 208% higher marketing revenue when compared to misaligned teams.

5. Sales Enablement Fosters Transparency

Lack of transparency is a common problem among large businesses with complex sales processes. Business transparency isn’t just a moral issue: a study done by Harvard Business School found transparency in a restaurant led to a 17% increase in customer satisfaction and 13% faster service when customers and cooks can see each other.

By the same token, when everyone in the organization can see what the sales team is doing and how they impact the bottom line, you can expect better alignment with sales process best practices, more collaboration, and increased confidence among the different teams within your company in the sales team’s success. In other words, sales should be everyone’s business.

A sales enablement program can allow the whole company to participate in the sales team’s mission by sharing with them all the information they have on their prospects and customers. For example, the marketing team can share all the content consumed by the prospects as well as information on their needs and problems. The support team, on the other hand, can share unique information about their questions and doubts.

This kind of company-wide transparency can help sales reps find new product needs and competitive product tactics directly from their buyers.