What Is Sales Enablement and How Can It Benefit Your Sales Team?

What Is Sales Enablement and How Can It Benefit Your Sales Team?

Harry McKay
October 7, 2022
10 mins
min read

While selling a product in the B2B SaaS space, one of the most important things for a sales rep is to get the prospect to imagine using the product. If they can't imagine using it, they can't understand the value of your product, and in the end, they won't buy it.

If your sales reps can demonstrate the product in action, instead of asking prospects to think of how they might use it in their business, they'll be more successful—right?

That’s why it’s essential to equip your sales reps with the tools and resources they need to enhance their efficiency. But how can you select the right tools to help your sales reps to get better results? What is the best way to build a system that assists your sales reps? 

The answer is sales enablement! 

Let's dive in.

What is a Sales Enablement?

Sales Enablement is a set of tools and resources designed to aid your sales team in their day-to-day tasks. It’s also a way for companies to support their sales teams with the correct information about the product at the right time, helping them close deals faster.

It’s a single source that boosts the performance of your sales team to drive more conversions. Sales enablement has significantly increased sales for 76% of companies, with an increase in sales ranging from 6% to 20%, according to Saasworthy

As the SaaS marketing industry is booming, arming yourself with a sales enablement strategy helps you outperform your competitors. 

Difference between Sales Enablement and Sales Operations

You might be confused with the role of sales enablement, as it involves different sales process elements. So, it’s essential to understand the difference between sales enablement and sales operations.

To differentiate both terms, you have to know them individually. Sales enablement is about streamlining your sales and marketing team and providing the resources they need to bring fruitful conversion rates. 

On the other hand, sales operations include the entire range of activities that support, enable, and drive sales teams to sell more effectively. If you consider your whole sales process a machine, sales operations' role is to lubricate it to ensure smooth function in the long run. 

More often, these teams collaboratively bring the desired results. For example, a company that implements a new sales platform might set up the accounts for its sales force in this new tool and use relevant data to improve processes.

In contrast, sales enablement would train reps to use the new tool effectively.

Enablement may also work with sales operations to create a new dashboard within the platform and communicate how changes affect the process.

If there's no coordination between sales enablement and sales operations, it won't take long for things to get complicated—especially in a large, dispersed company. If reps don’t understand the new B2B sales platform, or if they use it for the wrong kinds of situations, adoption could be low.

To avoid these pitfalls, sales enablement must work with sales operations to ensure that the platform is easy to use and understand 

Let’s look at why you should implement a sales enablement strategy in the first place. 

Why is Sales Enablement Important?

Sales enablement has become an essential component of a sales team’s success. It helps your sales team close more deals faster and with lesser effort, allowing them to focus on what they do best: selling. As a result, companies can see increased revenues and higher customer satisfaction scores.

Is that the only thing a sales enablement system does for your team?

Well, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Let's take a deep dive in! 

1. Reduce the time of sales reps to one-tenth

For any product, it's essential to tailor the product demo according to the persona of the prospects. The sales enablement system helps the sales team create customized demos for their prospects and provides them with all the necessary information about the product.

It helps you to create a demo template for your new sales reps that helps them understand the specific use case of your product for different user personas.

With this information in their hand, sales reps can create a product demo that addresses prospects' specific needs by cutting down the time needed to bring them in and multiplying the revenue. 

2. Enables sales training and content clarity

One of the biggest challenges that sales reps face is understanding the product and its features. To do so, they need training and content clarity from the company.

But it’s not always possible for them to get this information when they need it most. That’s where sales enablement comes into play!

It helps you create multiple interactive demos about the product, allowing your sales rep to explore the product and its feature without logging into your live system.

This way, you don’t have to worry about managing multiple accounts or versions of the same thing but just focus on creating one version for your sales reps. 

3. Provides sales reps with a transparent pipeline

To streamline your marketing efforts, getting a fine view of your prospects' behavior with your product demo is essential. 

But how will your sales rep know whether your prospect viewed a demo or not? 

It’s through a sales enablement system. With sales enablement tools, your sales reps will receive real-time notifications when a prospect views and interacts with your product demo. 

This enables your sales reps to move those prospects down the pipeline and trigger further follow-ups and other marketing activities. 

4. It goes beyond your sales reps 

Your in-house sales reps are likely the primary audience for your sales enablement efforts, but they’re not the only ones who need training and support. 

Everyone who deals with your buyers—including other departments within your organization and third parties like partners or distributors—needs content that aligns with how you want to sell.

The broader category of “front-line enablement” includes sales engineering organizations, customer success teams, and support staff—and for companies that rely on channel partners to bring their solutions to market, indirect sellers certainly fall into this bucket.

For example, a company selling cloud-based software might create content for direct sales reps that explains how to use the product. But they’ll also need collateral and training materials that help their channel partners understand how to position and sell it effectively.

This is especially true when you consider that many companies today don’t sell directly anymore—they use indirect channels like distributors or resellers to reach their customers.

Benefits of Sales Enablement

When it boils down to benefits, sales enablement has many faces. From helping your team with customer insights to boosting sales efficiency, it equips them with the right tools to do their job efficiently.

Here are some of the significant benefits of sales enablement,

  • It gives your sales team actionable insights into their performance and business intelligence.
  • It helps you create high-quality content by providing them with the right tools.
  • It helps you track and measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, improving your ROI.
  • It helps you gain insights into your customers and improve your product offering. - It helps you identify your customers’ pain points, which in turn helps you create better content for them.
  • It helps your team tailor your product demo in the best possible way, increasing the chances of closing a deal.
  • It unifies the efforts of your sales and marketing team and helps them work towards a common goal.

Empower your sales team 

That’s the big picture of what sales enablement is all about, right?

Sales enablement is a must-have for any business, regardless of size or industry. It helps you stay ahead of your competition and gives you an edge that can make all the difference. Your sales team can double up their efficiency when they have the right kind of tools that let them create and share content, track their performance and make informed decisions.

One such tool is Storylane; you can arm your team with the power of interactive product demos that let your team tell a story with your product rather than sounding like a robotic salesperson.

5 Components of Successful Sales Enablement

Having a successful sales enablement system creates an impact on your organization. A sales enablement approach is not something you can pull out of thin air; it’s about defining the ideal stages to impact your sales organization positively. 

Here are the components that make up a successful sales enablement system:  

1. Strong strategy in place

Without a proper strategy, your sales enablement system won’t be complete. Even if you invest in the shiniest tool available in the market and fill your team with excellent people, you will end up shooting arrows in the dark if you don’t have a proper strategy. 

To build your strategy, begin with target-persona research to understand your buyers. Then have conversations with members of your sales team so you can identify their most significant challenges and areas for improvement.

Finding out their needs, the questions they're answering, the parts of the sales process slowing them down, and more. To back up your claims, pull accurate data on the length of time spent in various sales stages and conversion rates throughout the process.

Once you've done this, you can create a sales enablement system that addresses the needs of your sales team and makes them more efficient.

2. Stack of the right tools and technology 

You can find tons of tools available in the market to help you create a sales enablement system up and running, but the challenge exists in pinpointing the perfect tool that serves your need. We will see the features of sales enablement tools later in this article. 

The right tools can help you increase your intelligence about what prospects are doing (when they open, share and click on emails) and velocity (the speed at which people move through the sales cycle). If you're not already tracking this data, get started. 

The more you know about what's happening in your sales process and why it's happening the way it is, the better you'll be to make changes that will increase revenue.

3. Training sessions for new reps

For sales enablement to be effective, new hires must undergo training and coaching once they are on board. Training helps them learn the soft skills necessary for closing deals, while coaching allows both learners and coaches to develop personal relationships that enhance learning even further.

You can ease this process if you have perfect sales enablement tools in place. With the help of software, you can build an interactive demo tailored to train a new rep that allows them to self-explore the entire product without any obstacles. Here is what it looks like, 

To the team: Kindly include a product demo 

It also helps them better understand the product and its use case to tailor it to each prospect.

4. Create sales content 

The best sales content empowers your salespeople to overcome objections and build credibility and trust—all of which help close more deals.

Creating content to attract, engage and sell to your target audience will help you get more sales—and do so quicker than ever. It also sets up the sales team for success before they even step in.

Sales content can be in the form of anything from case studies to blog posts. What matters the most is relevancy, personalization, and the tendency to compel—it will help your salespeople connect with their prospects and close more deals faster.

5. Keep an eye on the metrics 

How do you ensure everything is on track or derailing from its goal? That's where the role of metrics or analytics comes in. 

To forge a solid sales enablement strategy, you have to monitor what's working and what doesn't, allowing you to provide the right kind of tools or tweak the strategy. On top of that, it helps you dust off things and keep up the efficiency of your sales cycle. 

With the right tools like Storylane, your sales team will get real-time notifications on how your prospects react to your demo so that you can use the metrics to refine your demo that sticks to their mind. 

Sales Enablement Strategies

A sales enablement strategy is vital for any business that wants to provide its sales team with the resources they need to be successful. By taking the time to create a tailored strategy, you can ensure that your sales team has everything they need to close more deals and convert more leads. Your strategy should include an analysis of the resources, tools, content, and information you provide sales with to ensure it’s helping them achieve their goals.

Here is the step-by-step process on how you have to build a sales enablement strategy, 

1. Start with small goals 

Small goals? 

Yes, no matter how big your team is, just start with small goals to develop it for the long run. Create a three-month plan to implement your sales enablement steps. Here is what it looks like, 

  • The first month: Dig out the objective to start. Learn about the company, culture, products, and industry through the current sales onboarding process. Get in touch with key people in sales and marketing teams to know what they want to achieve from the sales enablement.
  • The second month: Create a plan for Sales Enablement by mapping out the current process, identifying pain points, and making improvements based on them. You can build on what you learned after the first month by reading about competitors and their businesses, shadowing more calls with clients to hear their needs and problems (and extracting valuable information from those conversations), and trying to improve the company's processes.
  • The third month: Implement the improvements you've identified. Once you've mapped out the current process, identified pain points, and made improvements based on them, it's time to put those ideas into action! Create a detailed yet flexible plan of the sales enablement initiatives undertaken in the next 6-12 months. Get buy-in from key stakeholders on your initial projects by determining success measurements and KPIs upfront.

2. Develop a process and content workflow

You’ll need to make sure the process is clear to everyone on the sales enablement team so they know what they need to do when they need to do it, and who requires approval.

What successful sales enablement looks like varies depending on a company’s size, structure, and product. 

So it's important to define success in terms of your team and develop systems that measure them against those goals. Have analysts or experts in your field evaluate the maturity and effectiveness of your sales enablement team. Keep track of their feedback—and heed it!

3. Adopt sales enablement technology

Sales enablement technology allows you to share information with your team, regardless of the location, quickly. Integrating sales enablement tools into your processes can help streamline the way you conduct everyday tasks like sharing content and scheduling meetings.

Here are some examples of sales enablement technology:

  • An automated CRM system automatically populates information about leads and clients into a database for everyone on the team to see.
  • A cloud-based calendar allows everyone in the company to see their colleagues’ schedules at a glance (and book appointments with them).
  • Product demo software helps your sales reps showcase your product features and move the prospects through the sales funnel faster. Sales enablement tools simplify your efforts by automating tasks and streamlining processes.

With the right set of tools in place, you will be able to get rid of the manual tasks that are time-consuming and repetitive. This means your sales reps can focus on more important things like closing deals.

4. Focus on the metrics that matter

The first step in creating a successful sales enablement strategy is to focus on the metrics that matter. What are your company's most important metrics? How do you measure success?

Find the bottlenecks and inefficiencies in your sales process, and then use those insights to drive your enablement strategy. Pull in Salesforce data for a broader view of your team’s readiness activities—alongside the sales KPIs that drive productivity.

5. Evaluate the process without assumption 

It's essential to understand what needs to be changed and why to know where you're going with your program.

Assess your current state: 

  • What is the scope of your company's sales enablement efforts? 
  • Are there multiple tools in use across different departments? 
  • Which ones are being used, and how effective are they? 
  • How much time do people spend using these tools daily? 

It’s easy to fall through the cracks if unaware of the process. To keep everything flexible, evaluate the performance of your sales reps. Check whether they are ready for an efficient demonstration with a video conference. 

6. Harvest your know-how

It's time to use your organizational knowledge. You know your business inside and out, front to back. You can think of the company in terms of its people, products, or services—or all three at once. To help you identify gaps in your sales processes, consider these some examples:

  • Identifying gaps in the sales process: If you're a marketing manager tasked with increasing revenue, identify which parts of the process are causing bottlenecks or delays that could be improved upon. For example, if too many leads aren't being converted into customers due to an inefficient lead qualification process or unclear sales goals for reps (e.g., "close more deals"), then there's work that needs doing!
  • Identifying gaps in the pipeline: Find out why customers aren't buying from you as much as they could be if you manage a portfolio of products across multiple industries with different customer segments.

7. Take training sessions a level higher

If your salespeople fail to know your product's ins and outs and use cases, they can’t handle a sales call. And the situation even goes worse if your prospects ask any questions and your reps can’t answer them. 

So to avoid this problem, ensure your salespeople know everything about the product, including its unique selling proposition (USP), use cases, and customer pain points. 

Create an interactive product demo that helps your reps learn all the features and their benefits without any hassle. You can also give them cheat sheets to help them answer common questions from your prospects. 

8. Put yourself to the test

If you’re the only one responsible for measuring your sales enablement strategy and there are no benchmarks to compare it against, how will you know if your actions are working? Set measurable goals for each quarter—and meet with management to discuss results along the way. If a process isn't working well enough, change it or drop it altogether!

Evaluate the performance of your sales rep. Check what's working and what isn't and adjust accordingly. The goal is to make your sales enablement strategy as effective as possible so that sales reps can get the most out of it.

Supercharge your Funnel with Self Guided Demos.

Request Your Demo