Sales enablement is a term now utilized and implemented by many companies. Sales enablement is meant to equip one’s salesforce with the proper equipment, training, and education to improve sales productivity and effectiveness. Sales enablement is meant to encompass the activities and programs utilized across a company to align best practices for the success of the sales team. While many companies have built their own sales enablement process, there remains overarching sales enablement best practices that most companies with dedicated sales reps should adhere to.
Think Beyond Lead Generation
Sales enablement is not simply about generating leads and following up with prospects. Sales departments need to consider those strategies that work above and beyond lead generation. Being able to gather key intelligence insights on the buyer and the company can provide a competitive edge to sales teams as they perform outreach. It’s that additional leg work that the marketing research and marketing departments can assist with that will equip sales teams with more knowledge to better sell solutions that meet the challenges of those organizations.
Collect Buyer Insights
Who are the key decision makers in the organization? What challenges do they face as a company? What current news about the company is driving their behavior? These are key questions that can be answered with key tools including LinkedIn, Google News, and even Facebook. Also being able to team up with the marketing team to extract even more information on your prospective buyers based on market research they’ve performed at the level of industry intelligence can also better equip a sales team to speak to the needs and wants of an organization.
Company versus Individual Insights
Who are their major competitors? Are they in the market for the product or service you’re selling? What are the challenges the company is currently facing that does even include the solution you’re providing with your company? These questions speak more to the critical areas of the company but that can be slightly different from the “perceived” challenges that individual faces within the company. Asking the right questions to uncover answers at the individual and corporate level can provide you with a bevy of information that will only make your more effective in your sales pursuits.
Top Of Mind Awareness
No longer is it simply prudent to make contact with prospects and solely followup to check their status. We need a multi-touch program in place in order to build awareness and interest in our companies. For that reason, content marketing has become a very powerful and useful way to build awareness not just to the company website, but also to keep those prospect thinking about your company. We call this lead nurturing and lead scoring. This can be done with social media updates, whitepapers, blog posts, videos, and even case studies.
Continual Relationship Building
Before we discussed simply following up with prospects to get a feel of when we can meet with the company. But it’s the relationship building that can set you apart from other companies looking to get in touch with the same prospect(s). After establishing contact with with your prospects, there are specific activities you can do to build a stronger relationship:
- Continue with your content and lead nurturing program
- Make strategic introductions to the individual
- Provide them with market research they discussed but is unrelated to your product or service
- Network with them at affinity networking events
This is a shortlist of activities but the increased number of times one can connect with a prospect will only strengthen that relationship.
Continued Training For Sales Reps
Training programs must be put in place to ensure your teams stay up to date with sales best practices (not just sales enablement best practices). Whether you have an internal sales training program led by your manager(s) or you choose to bring an outside sales trainer in, maintain a quarterly or semi annual training program will keep those best practices top of mind and fresh in the minds of your sales team. It is always evident the best assets a company has are their workforce and that remains ever true with a sales team. Continue making sensible investments in your team and your company will be rewarded.
Equipped With The Right Sales Enablement Tools
Simply utilizing an EXCEL spreadsheet in keep track of prospects and leads is not enough. We created a list of sales enablement software here, but whether you are using Hubspot, Salesforce, or even LinkedIn, invest in the right grouping of software tools that will improve efficiency and productivity of your sales team.
For us at CustomShow, we develop our sales team and ensure they adhere to these best practices. This allows them to be agile, knowledgeable, and effective in their communications. I’m sure there are other best practices that could be added to this list. We welcome your comments and feedback.