Empower your sellers with sales enablement

The driving revenue force of just about every kind of business is sales. But all too often, once a sales team is up and running, it’s left to its own devices to maintain its strengths, develop new skills and upgrade its technology. This can produce mixed results — some sales departments are remarkably self-sufficient while others could really use more organizational support.


To remove the guesswork, many of today’s businesses are investing in sales enablement. This is an enterprise-wide, collaborative and continuous approach to empowering the sales department to do its best work.


Pillars of the concept

Wait a minute, you might say, isn’t sales enablement just another name for sales training? No, not entirely.

Training is certainly a part of the equation. A sales enablement program will involve ongoing training on the latest sales techniques, changes in the marketplace, the company’s latest products or services, and so forth. But this training doesn’t occur haphazardly — it’s regularly scheduled and typically segmented into easily digestible learning modules, generally a more effective approach than overloading sales reps with info on a sales retreat or in sporadic seminars.


There are several other pillars of sales enablement as well. One is content. Under their programs, many companies build a library of materials that features items such as:


      • Books and articles on best practices,

      • Customer testimonials,

      • Product “spec sheets,” slide decks and demos, and

      • Reports and spreadsheets with the latest competitive intelligence.


    Another key feature of a sales enablement program is coaching. This may involve engaging outside consultants to provide coaching services to sales reps or developing internal mentoring or partnering.

    Technology is also central to sales enablement. Most programs involve regular discussions with the leadership team and IT department about what tools could best serve the sales team. Notably, there are multiple software platforms on the market focused on sales enablement that can help businesses set up and manage their programs. Some customer relationship management software offers help in this area, too.


    Benefits in the offing

    There’s a reason sales enablement has caught on with many different types of companies. There are significant benefits in the offing.


    First, a well-designed program can get new hires up to speed much more quickly than a more casual, ad hoc approach to “rookie” training. And for fully onboarded and seasoned employees, sales enablement can save time and effort by providing easy access to the relevant and up-to-date data, content and tools that support their activities. Ultimately, it can boost productivity for the whole team and, thereby, revenue for the business.

    Also, the ongoing training and coaching features of sales enablement help sales reps keep their skills sharp and their knowledge growing. The aforementioned learning modules, webinars, podcasts, quizzes and other learning formats may give them an edge over competitors with less educational support.


    There’s the engagement factor, too. A sales enablement program communicates to new hires, as well as established reps, that the organization fully supports them. As word gets around, you may attract stronger job candidates and enjoy better employee retention rates.


    A major initiative

    As the saying goes, nothing worth doing is easy. To implement and run a successful sales enablement program, you’ll need to invest considerable time and resources. And before any of that, you’ll need to set clear, measurable objectives — as well as a reasonable budget. For help with the financial side of planning a major initiative like this, contact AHP.


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