Understanding the importance of sales enablement: A deep dive

By Anders Björklund

Understanding the importance of sales enablement: A deep dive

With the advent of the pandemic, businesses across the globe have undergone significant upheaval, sparking an in-depth examination of the Return on Investment (ROI) from marketing and sales departments. Many companies feel the pinch of tighter budgets due to COVID-19's lingering impacts.

The Onlinification Hub previously tackled how the pandemic has drastically reshaped both B2B and B2C purchasing procedures. Given this transformed business landscape, how can your organisation navigate these choppy waters while assuring the optimum allocation of resources to foster success in your commercial sectors?

One potent solution is deploying sales enablement tools, which can enhance ROI and provide tangible evidence of this improvement.

Navigating an increasingly challenging B2B market is increasingly difficult, putting sales representatives and leaders under considerable strain. Most sales organisations want their representatives to be proactive, well-informed, skilful, and attuned to customers' needs - a truism valid in good and challenging times. To this end, many firms are investing in sales enablement tools.

Defining sales enablement

Sales enablement refers to a holistic approach to bolster sales results and productivity by offering salespeople and frontline sales managers an amalgamation of pertinent content, training, support, and coaching services throughout the customer's purchasing journey, all facilitated by technology.

The definition and organisational structure of your company's sales enablement depend on whom you ask. Different companies have unique perspectives on what it entails, how to approach it, and the appropriate staffing for the function.

Why sales enablement is imperative

Sales enablement is critical because it equips sales teams with the necessary tools to conduct a more streamlined and productive sales process, leading to enhanced results. This involves providing the sales department with the required training, coaching, and content.

This description, however, only scratches the surface. The complexities of B2B selling demand a more nuanced explanation. Considering this complexity, let's explore the reasons behind the growing significance of sales enablement supported by successful implementations.

Sales enablement enables sales representatives to refocus on fundamental selling practices often overlooked in the current business climate, such as meticulous pre-call planning, agenda setting, call execution, consultative skills, and improvisation.

By prioritising effective sales onboarding, coaching, and continuous learning, sales enablement helps your sales representatives refine these vital skills, fostering more productive conversations at every stage of the sales process.

Sales enablement departments recognise that despite the evolution of buying behaviours over the last quarter-century, the core sales and customer relationship management principles determining a sales initiative's success remain consistent.

Sales enablement: The key to clarity

Sales enablement plays a critical role as the chief orchestrator of sales. Various departments in your company, including finance, marketing, sales operations, product management, and legal, empower sales representatives. However, their support could be more consistent, sometimes leading to confusion.

Presumably, every department in your company aims to assist the sales team, pushing relevant resources from their specific viewpoint. These resources encompass data, marketing content, product management content, legal templates, operational lists and templates, and training services.

Sales enablement serves as a nexus for these disparate resources, moulding and distributing them to sales representatives in a digestible and engaging manner.

Supporting sales representatives through sales enablement

Sales representatives often require more knowledge to achieve sustained success; high-performing companies typically offer more continuous learning and advanced skills training than their less successful counterparts.

If your company aims to foster long-term success within your sales team, it's essential to cultivate a culture of continuous learning. A devoted sales enablement department can help facilitate an effective, ongoing education strategy for your sales force.

Enabling sales leaders to support sales representatives

The daily practices of sales leaders significantly influence sales effectiveness. A robust sales enablement approach pays close attention to developing sales manager skills, ensuring they align with and support the overarching sales strategy, primarily through the effective coaching of sales representatives.

Sales enablement: Beyond the sales team

While sales enablement primarily targets the sales force, it's essential to remember that your in-house sales representatives aren't the only ones who need support. Anyone interacting with potential and existing customers requires content and training that aligns with your overall sales strategy.

This wider scope of individuals needing frontline enablement encompasses sales engineers, customer service and support, and aftermarket teams. Moreover, companies relying on channel partners must ensure these indirect sellers are adequately supported.

If you want to learn more about sales enablement, we have a guide that can help - it covers the whats, whys, wheres and hows of this effective tactic.

View the sales enablement guide

Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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