Strategic sales enablement isn’t necessarily a quick process or one-time fix. It involves the upfront work of auditing resources and interviewing your sales team, followed by the process of creating the sales materials that will speak to your buyers during the final stages of their buyer’s journey.
So, while a strategic sales enablement initiative can sound like a big undertaking that will bring you nothing less than a laundry list of improvements—don’t stress!
Easy for us to say, right?
Look...you can’t tackle every task on your list immediately, so prioritize quick wins that will help you show immediate results (not to mention gain buy-in for more elaborate or costly sales enablement initiatives—like technology—in the future!). Check out three quick improvements that can kick-off sales enablement at your tech company today whether you’re a lone marketer or equipped with a small but mighty team.
1. Promote smarketing
To have successful sales enablement, it’s important for the two departments to work together vs. getting caught up in a “sales vs. marketing” rivalry.
How to get started with smarketing:
Hold a kick-off working session: Dig right in and let your sales team know you genuinely care about their success with two very important questions:
- What will help you better engage with prospects?
- What tools or resources would help get our buyers closer to a purchase decision?
Develop a smarketing service level agreement (SLA): An SLA holds both teams accountable by stating that marketing “promises” to deliver a certain number of quality leads for sales each month, and that sales “promises” to work a certain number of marketing-generated leads each month (Hubspot, 2017).
Schedule regular weekly meetings: Regular touch points (with a structured format and clear agenda) will create a “safe space” where sales can share prospect and buyer feedback and marketing can gain insight on what’s working with prospects and what’s not. This will help marketing create better branded resources that help sales reps to work more efficiently, answer more prospect questions and, inevitably, close more deals.
2. Centralize your information hub
Online, on-demand access to organized tools and resources is hugely important. Consider adopting a centralized online “hub” as a place for marketing to maintain resources that sales can access anytime, anywhere. (Free ideas include Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or even an inexpensive SharePoint intranet). This way, no matter where a prospect is in their buyer’s journey, sales can produce the right content to urge them closer to a purchase decision.
3. Provide on-demand resources
It’s not just B2C customers who expect personalization anymore. With informed and branded templates, B2B sales teams can quickly customize sales presentations, proposals and even product demos to impress prospects with a personalized experience at every stage of the sales process. (Check out some examples we created for ProSource, PartsSource and Kiriworks.)
By the time your prospects get to sales, they’re in the later stages of their buying journey. This is the time when branded resources like checklists, vendor or price comparisons, ROI calculators and case studies are valuable to prospects to help them make an educated decision on who to purchase from and why.
Interview your sales team. What have they said or provided to prospects to close deals? What has worked, and what hasn’t? Leverage the insight of your top performers to create short and sweet presentations or even videos to share best practices that can be used as training for new or underperforming sales reps.
Make it easy on your sales team. After you’ve learned what’s worked for top performers, aggregate your insights into a call script that will help build rapport and establish credibility to keep your prospects on the phone. Check out HubSpot’s 6 Key Elements of a Perfect Sales Script for some ideas on how to develop one for your business.
Your sales team has been asked a million questions. Start a list and work with subject matter experts throughout your company to collect answers. On your resource hub, a list of frequently asked questions can be easily searchable so your sales reps can answer questions on-demand.
Handling common objections
Just like FAQs, find out from your sales team what common objections they hear from prospects as to why they don’t want or need your product or service. Between sales and marketing, work to come up with statements that counter these objections and house this information in your resource hub for easy searchability as needed.
Sales enablement has to start somewhere
It’s challenging to enable your sales reps when no one within marketing is specifically dedicated to that responsibility. But, it’s not impossible. Prioritize the needs of your prospects and sales team to create high-quality resources that focus on your buyer persona.
Or, you can avoid overwhelming yourself or your team with a greater workload by bringing in a partner with a background in creating a multitude of sales enablement resources. We might just know of one such experienced agency partner that can help (wink, wink)!