I’ll bet that you’ve heard the term “sales enablement” come up from time to time. It’s a very positive-sounding turn of phrase — what MSP doesn’t want their sales to be enabled? — but few people know exactly what it means.
Is it just another buzzword? A passing notion? Let’s explore this methodology that modern sales organizations are using to gain a huge competitive advantage.
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement involves providing the sales organization with the information, processes, content, and tools that help them sell more effectively.
It’s a holistic approach to better sales because it addresses so many aspects of the complete sales (and marketing) organization. Here are some examples of what a “sales enablement overhaul” would likely bring to your MSP :
- Process-driven sales approaches that are easily tracked, repeated, and tweaked
- Improved onboarding and training for salespeople; ongoing training for everyone in the organization
- A better understanding of the buyer and their journey
- More useful content, both for lead generation and for sales
- Strategic integration of tools (RMMs, CRMs, dashboards, etc.)
At its core, sales enablement provides sales people with what they need to successfully engage the buyer throughout the buying process. Think of it as the embodiment of “work smarter, not harder”.
What Are Some Defining Characteristics of Sales Enablement?
- The objective of sales enablement is to empower the sales team and increase revenues. There are varying methods of achieving this goal.
- Sales enablement takes focus away from “pitching” and “closing” and concerns itself more with the buyer’s journey. In order to take advantage of sales enablement methodologies, you MUST deeply understand your buyer and their needs.
- Sales enablement encompasses both internal and external aspects of your sales organization. There are processes and tools to use internally, and there is messaging and content to be used with customers.
- Training and development are a big part of most sales enablement programs. Salespeople must know how to use the tools, methodologies, and content that are provided. Ongoing training is also key to retaining top salespeople and staying competitive.
- Sales enablement programs are designed to help regardless of the size of the organization. If it’s one salesperson or 100, the processes and methods still work.
- Reporting, tracking, and optimization typically play a large role in sales enablement.
What is the Benefit of Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement allows an MSP sales team to achieve quota in a scalable, predictable, and repeatable fashion. It takes the work and management of the sales organization off the shoulders of the MSP owner and delegates it to processes.
Your Sales Energy adds numerous bonus features to its MSP sales enablement, including the recruiting and training of new sales team members, lead generation, and technology integration.
How is sales enablement practiced?
- Start by shifting focus to the buyer. Remember that sales enablement is about empowering sales people to engage the buyer. Make sure your sales team understands who the buyer is and the journey they’re on, then map your sales process and training to that buying experience.
- Create and deploy high-quality content. Blog posts, white papers, videos, case studies, and webinars deliver value during the sales cycle and are very useful for prospecting and lead gen. Make sure you build your content around the aforementioned buyer’s journey.
- Take sales training seriously. Training is a big part of sales enablement. And we’re not talking once-a-year workshops. Sales training should be a continual part of your strategy. (YSE provides this through workshops, webinars, and our online courses.)
- Track, monitor, and F2F with salespeople. Salespeople sometimes drag their feet on adopting new processes or methods. It falls on you to make sure your sales enablement methodology is being given a “fair shake”. You can’t gauge its efficacy if your sales team isn’t really following it, right?
Who owns sales enablement within the organization?
Sales enablement is co-owned by sales and marketing. Even outside the scope of sales enablement methodology, your sales and marketing team SHOULD be collaborating on everything they do. If they’re not working together, you’re losing out on a great deal of potential.
Within a sales enablement framework, sales (and even operations) should be informing marketing when it comes to content creation and promotion. Likewise, marketing should inform sales on branding, messaging, and the buyer’s journey. This is an ongoing symbiosis that requires good communication between both sides.
In a perfect scenario, there would be no separation between sales and marketing teams. Unfortunately, company structure makes this impossible in many cases. (This is why we address things that would normally be in the realm of marketing in the course of sales enablement consulting. Branding, lead gen, and messaging all have to work hand-in-hand with sales.)
One final point to remember: every part of your MSP stands to benefit from sales enablement. With that in mind, it’s important to make sales enablement part of your culture, not just a “thing we’re doing”. When every employee realizes that they play a role in increasing sales and growing the company, it’s a very empowering team builder.