What Are Sales Enablement Strategies? (Plus 16 Tips)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published March 25, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Sales managers and team leads may use a variety of methods to ensure that they're providing their teams with the guidance and materials they require to execute their responsibilities successfully and continuously improve their performance. Some administrative professionals may use sales enablement strategies to offer team members resources to help boost their sales numbers and refine their approach. Understanding these methods can help business leaders use the techniques that are right for their team. In this article, we review what a sales enablement strategy is, why sales enablement is important and 16 tips for creating these techniques.
Related: What Is a Sales Enablement Manager?
What is a sales enablement strategy?
A sales enablement strategy is a technique team leaders and managers can use to provide their team with the resources and materials they require to help them improve their sales performance. The overall purpose of these strategies is to help increase a company's revenue and support sales and enablement teams as they reach their goals. Sales enablement strategies may focus on various topics and stages throughout the sales process to highlight potential areas of improvement and provide sales teams with tools to boost their performance.
Why is sales enablement important?
Sales enablement is important because it helps an organization improve communication, enhance sales and marketing alignment and increase sales efficiency. This process can help sales team members understand how to optimize their performance at every stage of the sales funnel, and learn more about when and how to approach clients to close deals and yield higher sales numbers.
It's also important to have the right sales enablement strategies for a specific team and business, because the wrong strategies may become ineffective or fail to provide sales professionals with the resources and support they require. Therefore, it's valuable for companies to identify the sales enablement strategies that fit their unique customer base and their teams.
16 tips for creating sales enablement strategies
Here's a list of tips that can help you create effective sales enablement strategies for your team:
1. Identify characteristics that top performing sales professionals share
It's likely that your team's top performing sales professionals share some of the same qualities and characteristic, and identifying these can help you create strategies to improve the performance of all of your team members. Consider what these individuals do that allows them to stand out from other professionals and what techniques others can implement to emulate their success. You can also identify how even the most successful team members can improve, to ensure that you're driving the growth and progress of your entire team.
2. Ensure that you're providing team members with the right technology
To have a successful and perpetually improving team, it's important for professionals to have technology that allows them to access the content and information they require. As sales enablement strategies continue to become more widespread and standard practice across organizations and the number of technological tools available may also increase. For example, a team lead may adopt a new emailing software that provides sales professionals with templates to help them streamline the emailing process and increase the open rate because of the content they include.
3. Use data to set goals for your team
Setting data-driven objectives can help all team members stay informed and focused. You can use key performance metrics (KPIs) from previous sales methods and marketing campaigns to collaborate with your team and find out which approaches were most successful and which may benefit from improvement or revision. This allows you and your colleagues to set useful targets and track them according to standard sales enablement metrics, including productivity, quota attainment and customer acquisition. It's important to understand what data to track consistently and how to use this data to meet your team's performance goals.
4. Identify the purpose of the sales enablement strategy
A successful enablement strategy typically has a clear and definitive purpose, which considers the organization's scalability goals and ROI. Since sales enablement strategies typically differ depending on industry, there are several factors for administrative leaders to consider when deciding which approach is right for their team. Some fundamental ideas to consider when identifying the strategy's purpose are:
Improving sales team training so team members can engage with inbound and outbound leads
Streamlining modes of communication between the sales and marketing team to share ideas easily and improve both departments
Implementing new modes of demand and lead generation such as title tags and internal links
Creating content specifically designed for the sales team to use with prospective leads
5. Clearly identify team members' responsibilities
Since sales enablement strategies typically include overlap between the sales and marketing departments, it may benefit everyone to have clearly defined responsibilities and duties. Sales enablement may require professionals to take on workloads in addition to their current tasks, so it can help them to understand what they're expected to accomplish and handle. There are several functions to consider when assigning tasks to your team, including sales tools and technology, onboarding strategies and software, customer relationship management (CRM) and deal support.
6. Develop an in-depth understanding of your customer base
Understanding your ideal customer and the typical buyer's journey can help you pinpoint the ideal intervention points throughout the sales funnel and help your sales team approach leads using effective strategies. It can be especially beneficial to understand when the customer makes the critical decision whether to complete the purchase, and the type of actions from your sales team that help them close the deal. This process is not only limited to identifying the prioritizes and challenges of your ideal customer, but digs deeper to learn more about buyer's behaviors and the events that trigger or motivate their actions.
7. Prioritize sales team training and ongoing guidance
You can provide your team with the most up-to-date software, but it's also important to offer them training and guidance to ensure they get the most out of the tools they have. This means that having your team go through rigorous onboarding and training programs can help them utilize the resources at their disposal and use them to improve their performance effectively. This can also help members of your sales team feel more confident in their role. Once professionals notice that they're able to meet their goals, they may be even more inclined to use the sales enablement strategies.
8. Monitor and evaluate performance continuously
While it's important to set goals, it's essential to track your team's progress and monitor their success as they attain and navigate their objectives. This allows you to understand whether the sales enablement strategy is effective, and identify potential areas of improvement. Continuous evaluation can also help you recognize if a strategy is ineffective, and replace it with another approach so you can get your team back on track.
9. Gather all the current sales content and evaluate its effectiveness
Gathering the sales content your team currently uses can help keep all team members informed and aware of the resources they have, and eliminate any materials that aren't helping them increase efficiency or performance. You can audit and sort various kinds of content, including EBooks and white papers, discount and pricing information and client case studies. You may decide to use sales enablement software to organize these materials and ensure that all members of the sales and marketing teams have access to them.
10. Create a case study to learn more about your customers
A case study is an example of projects you've completed or content you've created for a previous client, so you can use it to highlight previous sales strategies or marketing campaigns and evaluate their success. Businesses may benefit from creating case studies within the first six months or releasing a new service or product to gain a better understanding of your target audience's reactions towards and use of the goods you offer. You can then use what you learn when developing a sales enablement strategy by having a better understanding of what was successful about previous initiatives.
11. Set up lines of communication between your sales and marketing teams
It's important for members of your sales and marketing team to communicate regularly about lead generation, the challenges that occur throughout the stages of the sales funnel and any trends that both teams notice amongst buyers. Communication may also include a discussion of KPIs or the success of the sales pipeline. Improving communication may also involve improving and increasing the tech stack professionals can access, and the prioritization of communication from management and team leads. The more frequent and efficient cross-departmental communication is, the more successful the business may be and the more revenue it may generate.
12. Meet with your talent acquisition team to find the right sales enablement team
Involving the sales acquisition team and recruiters in the process of sales enablement can help you ensure that your sales team includes a team of focus and knowledgeable professionals committed to continuous growth and development. If they understand the type of candidate you're looking for, the human resources department can help you find individuals who possess the experience, skill sets and qualities that can strengthen your sales enablement team and the company overall.
13. Consider an enablement program specifically for managers
Since sales enablement focuses on producing positive business outcomes and boosting performance, your organization's managers may also benefit from sales enablement strategies that support them along with ones to support their team. This can help managers receive feedback regarding which of their strategies are effective and which they can revise. It allows them to develop as professionals and create more useful guidance and leadership strategies for their teams.
14. Understand your team members' learning styles
If you want to make sure that the information and training you provide your team has a lasting impression, consider appealing to their unique learning styles. This means that if you take the time to develop a deeper understanding of their individual awareness, approach and learning style, your team may improve overall. You can offer a mix of informal and formal learning opportunities to appeal to various professionals, and provide them with opportunities for hands-on experience for kinesthetic and visual learners.
15. Coach members of your sales team to address specific skills and strengths
There are several skills that sales representatives may benefit from possessing, so consider coaching team members with the intent of honing a specific competency. These skills may include time management, communication skills, object handling and the ability to understand the buyer through active listening. Try to keep things positive and provide coaching feedback that's specific, efficient and acknowledges the individual's strengths and effort.
16. Review successful strategies used by other companies
One way to find the right sales enablement strategy for your team is to review successful strategies that other companies use, and identify how and why they help increase sales and boost performance. Consider how other businesses define success, and whether this aligns with the way you measure your teams' improvements and development. You can also connect with analyst firms or experts in your field to have them evaluate what you're doing right, and assess the strategies that they've found helpful for similar organizations.
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