The sales profession is becoming increasingly complicated. To help teams navigate a rapidly changing landscape and keep salespeople in the field selling, requires a new kind support. It’s time for sales enablement to become masters of the infrastructure of sales.
By Zen Newman, Marketing Analyst at PipelineDeals
In too many sales organizations, a CRM implementation undergoes rigorous vetting leading up to the purchase before being just handed to the salespeople who are told to use the new system without further support. It shouldn’t strike anyone as particularly surprising that this isn’t the best way to do things. The reality with any out-of-the-box CRM system is that there will be a certain amount of breaking-in that needs to occur before salespeople and managers are truly able to utilize it effectively. This process includes formatting reports, writing email templates and tagging customer lists so they can be segmented correctly. The problem with all of this is that it can be rather time-intensive. For these reasons, making sales enablement the “caretakers” of the CRM should be considered a best practice for any sales organization.
For all the buzz around it recently, sales enablement is something of a misunderstood facet of the sales environment. For many companies, it is either none existent or serves as a catch-all for the administrative duties of the sales department. Relegating sales enablement to either of these buckets is a grave mistake in today’s complex sales ecosystem.
There are many pressures on today’s sales teams. Salespeople must perform at or above quota; all while digesting new tools, dealing with an increasingly complex sales cycle, and managing the numerous changes to their industry. This proliferation of objectives and responsibilities is creating challenges for sales teams in protecting their selling time and maintaining their efficiency. At this crisis point, is sales enablement’s opportunity to shine. By becoming domain experts in sales technology, they can guide the adoption process and provide front line technological support.
In this elevated role, the sales-enablement professional needs to provide a broad range of skill sets, as well as an intimate familiarity with the company’s sales process. To be effective, sales enablement needs to mix elements of marketing, sales, IT, and training. Excelling in this role requires building and tailoring sales assets to the particular needs of salespeople and the always evolving sales process. Here are some of the integral functions that sales enablement can perform to keep reps in the field longer.
- Email campaign creation- write emails and setting up prepackaged campaigns that salespeople can execute on as needed.
- Map the sales process- by working closely with salespeople and their managers, sales enablement can map the sales process and continuously look for areas where improvements will yield business gains.
- Train salespeople- keep sales teams up-to-date on not only how to use the systems at their disposal, but on the best ways they can integrate technology into their sales process to increase their success and maximize their efficiency.
There’s no doubt that sales enablement’s shoes are big ones to fill. This shift from an administrative focus to one of strategic cornerstone explains the new-found fixation on sales enablement as a central component of a winning sales strategy.
In the past, one of the most telling institutions of a successful sales team was it’s training department. Today, we’re entering a world where a well-honed set of skills is no longer enough. Even the best salespeople are struggling to get in front of decision-makers. Instead of relying on skills alone, successful teams rely on a mix of expert skills and channel ownership to target and reach decision makers with both tenacity and precision. In this environment, sales enablement is no longer a luxury.