Sam works as a marketing manager in a SaaS product company and his team is working on a new product launch campaign.
To launch the campaign that comprises various marketing and sales enablement collateral, the team has created assets that can drive sales and generate excitement among potential customers.
However, they encountered a problem when they realized some assets were either outdated or had inconsistent sales content.
Frustrated, the sales reps began deviating from the marketing-created scripts. They improvised their pitches to replace outdated or irrelevant content.
Result? Misaligned content assets far off from the original goal.
In this guide, we will take you through the process of creating a sales enablement process from scratch, where teams work in collaboration and not in silos to achieve common revenue goal.
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is a strategic function that aims to equip sales teams with the tools, resources, and knowledge they need to effectively engage with customers, close deals, and drive revenue growth.
It involves providing sales professionals with the right content, training, technology, and support throughout the sales process to enhance their productivity, efficiency, and overall performance.
Benefits of Sales Enablement
Companies that have created sales enablement process have seen the following results:
So, if you’re not yet spending time creating a sales enablement process, this is your cue to get started!
What Does the Sales Enablement Process Look Like?
According to Alex Kracov, CEO and Founder of Dock, a sales enablement process is based on five pillars. These include:
Pillar 1: Research
Creating any process from the start begins with thorough research. For sales enablement managers, it means knowing:
- Your ideal customer profile (ICP)
- Where your top customers spend time
- Their interests
- The current market trend
- Shifts in the customer behavior
- Activities of the competition
Knowing the answer to such questions helps you set a strong foundation for your process.
Pillar 2: Process
Systems are processes that are critical to streamlining your operations to achieve success. For sales enablement, it means setting up processes for content delivery or sales training.
For example, the sales reps should be aware of training at key points like a product update, while anyone involved in the sales team should know where to find the latest content assets.
Pillar 3: Training
Sales coaching is a key aspect that determines the success of the sales enablement team. So the sales enablement team should regularly plan and conduct training program for the sales team.
For example, a sales coaching program must be mandatory after every new product update.
Pillar 4: Sales Enablement Content
Content is a significant facet of sales enablement. Content can be further categorized as:
- Client-facing: Think pitch deck, ROI case studies, white papers, interactive product demo, etc
- Internal-facing: Think pricing sheets, competitor battle cards, consistent messaging brief, etc.
Pillar 5: Sales Enablement Software
Finally, using sales enablement tools like content management tools, revenue intelligence tools, customer engagement tools like interactive product tour platform, and more.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Sales Enablement Process
Creating a sales enablement process needs a clear direction and strategy. If you’re unsure where to start, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
Step 1: Get Internal Buy-ins
For the success of any process, it’s important to have all the internal teams on the same page, more so when you’re working towards forming a process that has its foundation on internal team collaboration. So, to make your sales enablement process a success, ensure everyone understands why the process is important and how everyone can be benefited from it.
Step 2: Define Goals and Objectives
Andy Paul, host of Sales Enablement Podcast, mentions starting by clearly defining your goals and objectives for the sales enablement process. This will help you align your efforts and measure success. Identify what you want to achieve, such as:
- Increasing sales revenue
- improving customer satisfaction or
- Reducing sales cycle time
Define specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
Step 3: Identify Target Audience and Buyer Personas
Understand your target audience and buyer personas to tailor your sales enablement efforts. Analyze your ideal customer's pain points, motivations, and buying behaviors. This information will guide your content creation and training materials.
Step 4: Foster Collaboration Between Sales and Marketing
Aligning sales and marketing teams is crucial for effective sales enablement. When these teams collaborate, they can share insights, knowledge, and resources, resulting in a more streamlined and successful sales process. Here are some key points to consider:
- Dedicated sales enablement resources often include marketing content that salespeople can use to inspire and educate customers, highlighting the synergy between the two departments.
- Collaboration between sales and marketing is essential to ensure that basic sales enablement strategies align with the overall marketing strategy and company messaging.
- Sales and marketing alignment can be further facilitated by leveraging sales enablement platforms that provide content management and enable seamless sales communication and collaboration.
Regular communication, joint planning sessions, and sharing feedback and insights between sales and marketing departments are vital to fostering collaboration and are key to a high-impact sales enablement strategy. This collaboration ensures that marketing efforts effectively support the sales team and that sales feedback influences marketing strategies and content creation.
Step 5: Assess the Current Sales Process and Content
Evaluate your current sales process and content to identify areas for improvement. Analyze your sales pipeline data and metrics to gain insights into conversion rates, bottlenecks, and areas of inefficiency. This assessment will help you identify gaps and determine the needed content and training materials.
Step 6: Develop Sales Content and Training Materials
Based on the assessment from the previous step, develop sales content and training materials that align with your goals, target audience, and buyer personas.
Create engaging and relevant content that educates and empowers sales professionals. This includes:
- Product/service information
- Competitive analysis
- Objection-handling guides and
- Value propositions
“Documentation of every sales enablement program is critical. That’s why I prepare and document the marketing plan that aligns with our sales goals to generate more qualified leads and improve the closing rate. So I make sure everyone is on the same page and sales readiness is 100% to pitch the same USP whenever any prospect shows interest. We have created a lot of social proofs, like case studies and client testimonials, on multiple platforms. It helps us build trust and credibility with our prospects and showcase our results and benefits.
Also, I create sales call scripts and solution decks for each of our customers. It enables our sales reps to structure their conversations and demonstrate value to each customer. It has improved the efficiency of our sales professionals by 70%.” —- Jyoti Sahoo, Head of Marketing, Revnew, Inc.
Step 7: Implement Sales Technology and Sales Enablement Software
Leverage sales technology and tools to streamline and enhance the sales enablement process. Sales enablement software comes in various forms. It includes:
- Sales process CRM (Customer Relationship Management) that helps manage customer data, track interactions, and automate sales tasks.
- Content Management platforms that help store your sales enablement collateral and provide analytics on how they perform
- Sales training platforms that help create training modules and track sales performance
- Demo automation software to build customized product demos that not just highlight product features but actually show how the product can solve the ICP’s pain points
Source: G2 Reviews
Step 8: Establish Metrics and Performance Tracking
Set up metrics and performance tracking mechanisms to monitor the effectiveness of your sales enablement process. Define key performance indicators (KPIs) aligned with your goals, such as:
- Conversion rates
- Revenue growth and
- Customer satisfaction
Regularly analyze and assess the data to make informed decisions and optimize your process.
Step 9: Provide Ongoing Sales Training and Feedback
Continuous training and sales coaching are crucial for the success of the sales enablement process. Conduct regular training sessions to equip your sales professionals with the necessary skills, product knowledge, and sales techniques. Offer sales coaching and mentorship programs to help individual sales representatives improve their performance.
A sales enablement process works best when there is a dedicated sales enablement team that constantly facilitates communication between the marketing and the sales team, collate ideas, and provide feedback.
Step 10: Continuously Iterate and Improve
Continuous iteration and improvement are vital to keeping the sales enablement process effective and aligned with changing market dynamics. You can optimize your sales enablement efforts by constantly evaluating and adjusting your strategies and tactics.
- Sales enablement leaders play a crucial role in developing and optimizing the sales enablement strategy, ensuring its execution is continually improved.
- Applying techniques such as onsite training and online classes helps keep sales representatives up-to-date and knowledgeable about the latest developments in sales strategies.
- By leveraging sales enablement technology, teams can align on common ground, facilitate personal connections with prospects, and establish a single source of truth for buyers and sellers.
- Continuously monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion rates, revenue growth, and customer satisfaction allows you to measure the impact of your sales enablement efforts and make data-driven decisions for improvement.
Implementation Challenges While Setting Up a Sales Enablement Process
Setting up any process from scratch is no easy feat and creating a sales enablement process is no exception. To understand the common challenges and how to mitigate them we reached out to some sales enablement experts who have first-hand customer experience. This is what they have to say.
Not Having Enough Resources
Even a dedicated sales enablement team can only do so much. But if you want them to do more, you need to invest in their upskilling and investing in right set of sales enablement software.
“We have worked hard to set up our sales org for success - be it investing in tools, upskilling, or resources, we've done it all. For example, we realized that having multiple engagement points is the key to leads - so we quickly got in sales enablement software like Reply, Upscale to help them with leads.
For better and crisepr communication, we decided to have subscriptions for tools like Grammarly which helped draft the perfect emails and upskilled the writing ability of our team. We have also started using AI tools like Chat GPT to research about competition, prospects, organisations. Upskilling sessions with experts helped our AEs to learn negotiation techniques, consultative selling etc. Finally, we brought in tools like Hubspot to keep a track of all leads, and deals - following up hasn't been easier.” —--- Saahil Sachdeva, Strategy Lead at Limechat
Seeing Sales Enablement as a Support Function
One of the biggest challenge is often sales enablement is not seen as a strategic function, rather it’s considered as a support function The biggest problem to this mindset is there’s no synchornized efforts of enablement rather teams take up random acts of enablement that hardly moves the needle.
“The biggest challenge is seeing sales enablement as a support appendage. This is where having alignment on common goals and KPIs with all stakeholders can help. Whether it is content, training or tools, it is important to show how sales enablement adds value to the sales team and the entire organization in reaching those common business goals.” —-- Nehal Firdous, PMM at GTM Buddy
Teams Working in Silos
In most companies, sales and marketing teams have different objectives, strategies, processes, and metrics and can create no alignment between sales and marketing. This can result in wasted resources, inconsistent company messaging, poor lead quality, and lost opportunities. This is a big problem as sales enablement is not the responsibility of any one team, but a collaboration between teams.
“We foster a culture of collaboration and communication between our sales and marketing teams. We also have established clear roles and responsibilities, shared objectives and sales enablement metrics, and integrated systems and platforms to facilitate alignment and feedback.” —-- Jyoti Sahoo, Head of Marketing at Revnew, Inc.
Measuring the Success of Your Sales Enablement Process
Now that you know what a sales enablement process looks like and how to set it up, it’s time to dive deep into the metrics to measure the success of your process. While you can measure multiple metrics, sales enablement experts recommend measuring the following metrics:
Time to Ramp
This metric measures the time new hires take to attain complete sales productivity. For salespeople, time to ramp means the time it takes to hit quota. There are ways to measure leading indicators like off-ramp quota, time to first deal, and time to second deal.
“We analyze if the ramp is shorter now with the tools we have implemented, this is typically tied to the quota attainment projected for a ramping rep over their first 90 days / actual quota attainment in that period for that rep. The faster a ramping rep can hit the full cycle quota, the better for the rep and the business. Post Sales Enablement implementation, we expect a decrease in time to full quota attainment. Once we have these metrics being consistently reported, sales enablement leaders are expected to actively review the metrics with the reps and coach on gaps weekly.
Overall standardized sales reports typically occur weekly for the first 8 - 12 weeks; if consistent, this becomes a monthly reporting cadence with leadership, but again metrics and results are reviewed by the sales enablement leaders daily/weekly in dashboard views and reporting.” —---
Michael Orndoff, Senior Manager, Sales Operations, EverCommerce
Average Deal Size
By measuring the deal size, you can measure how many higher-value closed deals you have been able to close. To drive higher-value deals, the sales and marketing team needs to work together to create strategies to upsell and cross-sell products and services.
“Setting up the right key metrics was one of the biggest challenges when we first set up the function because it was hard to identify key metrics uniquely owned by Sales Enablement. So, one of the metrics we measured was the average deal size, which our enablement team mostly focused on supporting.” —-- Anneliese Niebauer, Independent B2B Sales Strategy Consultant.
Sales velocity is a sales metric that measures the average speed at which sales are finalized and revenue is collected. It shows how quickly they can be added and moved down a pipeline to become paying customers. It’s a good metric to measure the efficiency and inefficiency of the process.
“I leverage Sales Velocity to measure the successful business impact of changes made in the Sales Process. I take a baseline Velocity pre-implementation and audit the impact of implementation over time while also considering usage. This is a key element because if velocity is not moving and usage is not there, the business impact is meaningless.
Once we have consistent usage(I tell leaders 15 - 30 days of consistent use is a good benchmark) and we have allowed a full sales cycle to complete, the sales velocity can be compared to the benchmark from pre-implementation to see the impact among the full cycle reps.” —--Michael Orndoff, Senior Manager, Sales Operations, EverCommerce
The sales enablement process helps to empower your sales department with the right resources, communication tools, and materials that will enable them to sell more. This can translate to more revenue, brand advocates, and loyal customers. While traditionally, sales enablement has been the marketing team's responsibility, to see its full potential, sales and marketing teams need to collaborate for shorter sales cycles, closing deals, and converting more leads into customers.
Looking for an effective way to shorten sales cycles and close more deals? Create your first interactive product demo on Storylane and wait as the results kick in!