Dial back a few years. You are a student again, preparing for an upcoming exam. A few weeks before D-day, you decide to start the process of collecting material and studying it. You set a study date with a friend, Anna.
She arrives, toting a sheaf of photocopies. A stark contrast to the ton of books you have piled up on your desk.
“Two possibilities,” you think to yourself. “Either she isn’t taking this study date seriously, or she’s already created and collated her notes.”
So you ask her, “Is that all you need?”
“Yes,” Anna says confidently, “Our teacher, Mr. Smith, has put everything we need to know into this booklet. And we’ve got a list of videos and mindmaps that we can look at on your computer.”
It turns out that Mr. Smith has curated a collection of the most relevant points and concepts for the upcoming exam. Additionally, over the course of the semester, he has been assigning practice sheets and taking quizzes. Anna and her classmates feel already pretty prepared without spending any independent study time.
Anna calls Mr. Smith the ultimate enabler, which she spells A-nabler because she feels like she’s definitely going to get an “A” thanks to his efforts.
Sales teams need similar enablement if they’re expected to bring their A-game to quota-attainment.
A sales enablement strategy achieves what Mr. Smith achieved for Anna and her classmates.
What is a sales enablement strategy, and why is it important?
A sales enablement strategy helps organizations to develop a sales support system that actually helps sales teams to up their game and maximize sales revenue.
It is a framework for supporting the sales team with resources, research, tools, training, your soul, unicorn dust, anything it takes to help them close deals.
A sales enablement strategy is intended to help sales managers acquire and streamline the necessary resources throughout the sales process. The strategy is typically updated annually or biannually to keep up with evolving markets and the sales team’s dynamic needs.
A sales enablement team, like Anna’s teacher Mr. Smith, provides the right content, data, and tools to elevate sales performance and increase the salesforce’s win rate. Some of the resources one might expect out of a sales enablement team include video content, whitepapers, case studies, sales enablement metrics, training programs, market research, and data-driven insights. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, however.
What should an effective sales enablement strategy look like?
A sales enablement strategy should:
- Provide sales reps with relevant content that draws in leads. This can be inbound marketing content or material that can be used in pitches and messaging.
- Support and enhance sales performance with guidance and sales training.
- Optimize sales by delivering data-driven insights like metrics generated from sales call recordings.
- Streamline sales goals by documenting expectations and promoting dialogue with product departments and marketing teams.
- Provide tools for customer relationship management.
- Identify enablement technology that can support sales teams in real-time.
- Importantly, measure the ROI of sales enablement measures against real bottom-line results.
A key indicator of a sales enablement plan that works is the sales team having all the resources they need at every step of the sales cycle.
How to build an effective sales enablement strategy?
1. Determine the value of sales enablement in your sales process
Before you break ground on the actual sales enablement strategy, you need to establish what value a sales enablement program can add to your sales team’s revenue-earning capabilities. Ask your salespeople what they need and what results than can achieve if their their needs are met . You need their hands-on input to deliver the right content and tools that will improve sales productivity.
2. Draft an enablement charter
Your sales organization should develop an enablement charter to align the sales enablement team’s processes with the company’s expectations and, at the end of the day – increased revenue from sales.
Sales enablement strategies and plans should be regularly updated to keep up with changing market dynamics – the enablement team needs to know what lines to color within.
A CSO Insights study found that organizations that had a formalized enablement charter witnessed 6.5% higher win rates than cases where the sales enablement strategy wasn’t formalized.
The results suggest that sales organizations can improve results by first documenting the expectations from the sales enablement process and strategy. Think of it as a blueprint with defined goals, pain points, KPIs, and benchmarks.
The charter might also outline the responsibilities of sales enablement strategy team members. An enablement charter gets all team members on the same page.
3. Construct your content plan around the buyer’s journey
Everything that happens in a sales cycle is aimed at turning the lead into a paying customer, and as a result, you should consider the buyer’s journey in the content component of your sales enablement plan.
Determine the prospect’s current position in the customer journey and create sales enablement content that caters to needs at the relevant stage of the buyer’s journey. Identify where your current messaging and content can be improved or streamlined to match their current status on their buyer’s journey.
Remember: You enable sales by putting the customer in the right mindset to be receptive to the salesforce's pitches.
And you achieve that mindset with strategic content.
With sales conversation tools (like Wingman), you can revisit your sales conversations to quickly identify your buyers’ pain points and goals - to further use them in your sales enablement content.
4. Create a sales playbook
Until now you’ve been making plans and laying a foundation. You can now get your sales enablement moves underway with a sales playbook. A playbook is a go-to document of sales best practices and information that can help your team to improve its sales performance.
It makes for an easy first step as far as sales enablement content goes. Start the playbook with an introduction to your product and list product features and attributes. Include a section about what makes your product better than the competition.
Then identify the star performers on the sales team and make a note of their sales best practices. Work their wild card moves and spiels into sales scripts. Throw in buyer personas. Include ongoing pricing and packages, brand personality, and brand guidelines.
You might be able to get the first edition of sales playbook out in as little as a few days to a week. You can put more time, and include sales team requests in subsequent versions.
5. Choose the right tech stack and sales enablement tools
In the current context, there is no sales enablement strategy that doesn’t leverage AI, automation, and data-driven analysis. The right enablement technology ensures that your salesforce keeps up with the changing market trends.
Effective sales enablement software helps salespeople get the most out of customer interaction. For example, conversation intelligence can tell you how often competitors are mentioned, or where your sales team struggles to battle competitor mentions.
You also get call volumes and call success metrics that can help with creating the KPIs and benchmarks that go into your enablement charter.
6. Always analyze your sales enablement results
We started from the enablement charter and built a sales enablement strategy on top of it. But having the implementation in place doesn’t mean that our work here is done.
Sales enablement leaders need to ensure that the sales enablement process is results-oriented. It is crucial for the organization to measure whether KPIs and benchmarks outlined in the charter are met. If not, course correction is necessary.
7. Set timelines for the next update
A sales enablement strategy needs to be dynamic. The sales enablement team needs to analyze the impacts of the strategy and work with the sales team on improvements and updates.
Wingman is the ultimate sales enabler
For a truly effective sales enablement strategy, you need data. That’s where Wingman can help. Wingman is an AI-driven sales intelligence platform that tells you where your sales reps struggle through call success dashboards and metrics.
It also gives you fodder for your enablement resources. Wingman’s call recordings feature allows you to share pointers from actual successful sales calls made by real members of your sales team.
Moreover, Wingman gives you at-risk deal alerts to loop in the sales managers right when they need it. Plus, it also gives you on-call live assistance and battle cards to cope with competitor mentions.
No more worrying about information loss and making sense of gibberish on sticky notes. Wingman’s AI-powered automated note-taking enables sales reps to focus on having real conversations with potential customers, instead of getting distracted on account of having to make tedious notes.
Additionally, Wingman is a hassle-free tool that integrates effortlessly with your existing tech stack from CRM to video conferencing tools, messaging apps like Slack, and more.
It also helps you zero in on the right sales enablement content by highlighting customer goals,pain points, and next steps in your call transcripts
Wingman is half your sales enablement strategy in the bag.
Book a free demo today!