Have you ever purchased a product or service from someone and thought, “He/she is a natural-born salesperson”? You may be right about the person’s inherent talent, but don’t kid yourself: a lot of preparation went into the sale. And in the B2B world, you can attribute a large part of that preparation to a process called sales enablement.
What is B2B Sales Enablement?
B2B sales enablement is the process of providing your sales team with the activities, tools, resources and information they need to have knowledge-based interactions with clients and prospects.
In CSO Insights’ report “The Growing Buyer-Seller Gap,” impressions gained from buyers leave little room for doubt: 65.2 percent of those studied said they found value in B2B discussions with sales people.
SiriusDecisions found that companies that lack a close alignment of their sales and marketing teams when it comes to technologies and processes lose an average of 10 percent of possible revenue each year.
The end result? A B2B Sales Enablement process will equip your salespeople to be more effective.
Defining Characteristics of Effective Sales Enablement
Along with remembering the “golden rule” of selling – make it about them, not you – here are key characteristics of an effective sales enablement process.
A focus on the buyer: The resources you develop and offer to potential buyers must contain information they consider helpful and valuable.
Ease of use: B2B sales enablement has to be easy to use, as well as designed to help your entire sales force – whether you have a team of two or 200 dedicated to developing new business.
Training and development: Your B2B sales enablement should include a plan for continuous sales training to ensure that your salespeople make the most of these resources — applying them when it makes sense vs. arbitrarily distributing materials.
3 Sales Enablement Best Practices
Here are the three crucial best practices to follow for your organization’s B2B sales enablement to be effective.
Strategize, Execute, Measure, and Revise
A B2B sales enablement strategy should be planned with specific goals that are actionable and measurable. Common KPIs and metrics used with sales enablement include:
- Time to revenue
- Sales cycle
- Content usage
- Product mix
- Number of closed deals
Close alignment with marketing can help, as the digital tools and technology used by marketing teams can be used for forecasting, setting goals, and training your sales team.
Work to Leverage Marketing Content
The main benefit of bringing sales and marketing together is to create content that’s valuable to your buyer. This includes your buyers’ pain points, their preferences, and insight on competitors that will help your organization position itself, its pricing, and its products. Make sure that your sales and marketing teams communicate regularly about the resources the salespeople need -- such as business blogs, videos, white papers and case studies.
Take Time to Train and Refine Skills
For sales enablement to be effective, it’s also essential to hone your sales team’s marketing skills and make certain they have a deep knowledge of your product and your industry. These skills should be continually refreshed and reinforced through training, coaching and education.
While B2B sales enablement is increasingly a topic of discussion in the B2B marketing world, the number of companies that develop a program show that it’s more than just a trend. With a sales enablement strategy in place, you’ll be positioning your sales organization for maximum impact, revenue growth, and success.
Need help developing a B2B sales enablement process? Contact us today!