Every sales leader looks for an edge. They may have a dozen different levers they can pull in their attempt to improve results. Some may provide a quick result, while others take time to build momentum. The key is finding the right mix of short and long term actions that enable their team to sell more, in a shorter period of time. Introducing sales enablement can become the sales leaders secret weapon to achieve their goals today, tomorrow, and the next day.
The simple objective of sales enablement in any business is to maximize each interaction a sales person has with every prospect with the goal of winning the business. Said differently, it’s all about improving my team’s win ratios. The major components of sales enablement include:
- Recruiting and On-Boarding
- Sales Training
- Team Development
- Conduit between Sales and Marketing
As a sales leader who has championed the introduction of sales enablement in a number of different companies I have experienced the following results:
- Improvements in selecting the right candidates – up to a 90% success rate in the first year.
- Significant decrease in ramp time – from 9 – 12 month ramp, down to 90 – 120 days fully producing sales representatives.
- More effective sales presentations leading to better outcomes – introducing sales training that focuses on providing a balance between knowledge and the application of that knowledge has created a 15 – 30% increase in close rates.
- A strong brand ambassador for the company – a better trained sales representative is more likely to project a sense of strength and confidence that likewise fosters confidence with the buyer.
- Great collaboration within the Sales team. Sharing best practices that can be collected and put into a sales playbook creates energy, excitement, confidence and momentum for any sales team.
- Great collaboration between the Sales and Marketing teams. When Sales knows what Marketing is doing, and Marketing understands the outcomes of those efforts from a Sales viewpoint, alignment is created between the two. Collaboration tears down walls and fosters a culture of learning, or testing. When Marketing and Sales work together the business wins more than the revenue they created collectively.
I would love any stories you have on your sales enablement successes. I’d also be interested to hear from the skeptics as well. There is a growing body of work on sales enablement that I’d be happy to share with those who are interested.