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What is Sales Enablement (and how does it help onboard new sales reps)

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What do all growing companies have in common? They all need to add new members to their sales teams in order to achieve their revenue goals and objectives. Onboarding new sales staff, is usually time-consuming, expensive, and not especially easy, and it could take a while before they are achieving quota. Once proficient your experienced sales team know your corporate culture, brand identity, and product lines inside and out, and are capable of using tools like CRM to their full potential.

Onboarding, however usually means an experienced sales person or sales management has to sacrifice time and productivity to help bring the new hire up to speed. But with robust sales enablement program in place, you can reduce time and productivity losses, getting the new personnel up to speed faster and more effectively. 

So what is Sales Enablement? 

First, let's be sure we have an understanding of exactly what "sales enablement" is. Like so many buzzwords circulating the sales and marketing universe, everyone seems to use this term a bit differently. Forrester, for example, conducted a lengthy study of industry professionals, inevitably defining sales enablement as: 

"a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer's problem-solving life cycle to optimise the return of investment of the selling system." 

When we use the term "sales enablement," we mean: establishing a well-structured and effective system, that: 

  • Maximises the efficiency of sales processes 
  • Helps employees utilise CRM to its fullest capabilities 
  • Delivers effective content to support every stage of the buyer's journey 
  • Trains and coaches sales team members 
  • Determines the most important KPIs (key performance indicators) to track sales and marketing performance 
  • Assures that training, processes, and content is kept current 

Sales Enablement Delivers Clear & Precise Processes & Procedures 

Before automation tools like CRM gained mainstream use, the sales process consisted of processes and procedures largely developed by individual team members. Each sales person had their own methods, techniques, and systems for qualifying leads, nurturing prospects, and closing sales. Automation changed this, establishing clear and efficient methods and techniques for each step of the process, from qualifying leads through to closing deals.

However, having an automated system or CRM doesn't mean that all your team members are using it effectively. It's important to establish protocol for each step, as well as any exceptions that come along, so that team members use systems consistently and efficiently. Then, when new members join the team, it's clear what they're supposed to do, when, and how. They aren't getting conflicting information from the manager, trainer, and coworkers. 

Sales Enablement Creates an Easily-to-Understand Map of the Buyer Journey 

One of the hardest things to help new staff understand is the process by which new customers decide to buy. This requires a thorough understanding of your brand's position within the overall marketplace, what questions they have before buying, what your competitors have to offer, and much more. With an established map of the buyer journey through sales enablement, you can quickly and easily help new sales people understand this process and become productive within your team. 

Sales Enablement Gives Sales Reps Accurate & Immediate Feedback on Their Efforts 

By identifying the most critical KPIs and determining the ideal range for each metric, new sales reps can immediately and accurately determine the effectiveness of their efforts, making changes when and where necessary. This brings them up to speed far quicker than waiting for a 90-day review or not hearing anything until a problem comes up. Plus, it's easier on the sales person's ego to see a hard, cold metric instead of getting pulled aside by a frustrated manager or trainer. 

Are you ready to speed up your sales department onboarding process and build a more effective, efficient team? 

Want to define a sales process to improve your sales team's close rate? Looking for ways to update your sales process and reduce inefficencies, join us for our Sales Enablement workshop

We have explored the importance of sales and marketing alignment as an integral component of sales enablement and account based marketing during our webinar on improving the relationship between sales and marketing.

Improving the relationship between sales and marketing

Topics: Sales & Marketing Alignment Sales Enablement