At its heart, sales enablement is ensuring that your team has all the resources, tools and skills it needs to develop leads into customers.
A big part of this is giving salespeople the information they need to effectively guide consumers through the buyer cycle. This can be anything from best practice techniques to data for self-improvement and even customer-facing content but it's all focused on answering questions customers may have - even if they don't ask them.
But how does sales enablement achieve this?
Brings simplicity into the sales process
Although its implementation may be more complex in reality, sales enablement is a simple idea; you give salespeople the information they need to guide leads through the buyer cycle. However, it's important that everyone on the team is able to understand the resources they are given and, even more essential, why this is important to their target consumer. Rather than worrying about X number of elements in sales, teams can focus on one; what does the consumer need?
Puts customers at the heart
With the onus on sales teams to have the right information to engage their target audience, it puts customers at the heart of sales. Sales enablement should prepare your team to answer questions customers have way before they actually ask them. This makes understanding the consumer an integral part of the selling process and encourages salespeople to actively find answers to the questions customers have.
Demands training and development
A key part of sales enablement being effective is combining it with training and skills development across the team. Aside from working on how the resources they've been given can be most effective, this should also focus on how to understand signs the customer may be sending to guide the sales process. This will allow your sales team to pre-empt questions or concerns consumers have.
Data-driven best practice
Most of the information you give your sales team will be based on previous data, whether this is external research or team-based statistics. These should ensure that techniques that effectively answer the key questions customers have are carried on, while methods that misread consumers are removed from your team. Keeping data for your sales team is a key part of sales enablement as it ensures you have the best and most up-to-date information to guide your salespeople.
It's fully scalable
One of the main reasons why sales enablement is so effective is that it works whether you have two people or 2,000 people on your team. As organizations grow, it can be easy to forget the good practices that brought you success, and the main questions consumers have in the buyer cycle are forgotten. Because of its need for regular - if not constant - training and development, sales enablement allows teams to grow and continue to prioritize the consumer.
Encourages high levels of engagement
As giving teams the right resources is such an important part of sales enablement, it encourages high levels of engagement throughout the team. If you find that few people on your team are taking the information on board, it's a good sign that you need to change something about the accessibility of the resources. Having salespeople that engage with the information you've given them will ensure that the latest consumer data is understood throughout the team.
Empowers the team
Sales enablement allows entire teams to be top-performing representatives, rather than relying on one or two action heroes to carry the team and hit targets. Of course, there will always be those who have a natural talent for sales, but it puts all salespeople on the same footing by giving them the knowledge and tools they need to succeed. This doesn't mean overachievers are forgotten, as they can often be the best people to position as leaders in the team to embody best practice.