Effective Sales Enablement
What is sales enablement?
Sales enablement provides salespeople with tools, content, and information that help them sell efficiently and effectively. To be an effective provider of these resources, sales enablement must be careful in its direction and procurement of information to assist sales. After all, with the wrong sources and approach, enablement could end up being the blind leading the blind.
Where to go for sales enablement source material
It all starts at the source. If you don’t know what works in selling to your buyers, you can end up passing along a lot of collateral that does nothing but confuse the buyer, obfuscate the true benefits of your product, or downright mislead on how you can solve the buyer’s problem.
If you don’t talk with your previous buyers about what works in the sales process, you really have no solid guide on what makes an impact. Programs like Win Loss Analysis clarify the sales efforts that make a difference when presenting your products. In whatever way you do it, find out directly what sales efforts and collateral made a positive or negative impact with the buyer.
Link buyer personas to the right information
Once you analyze what works in your sales engagements, segment the feedback by buyer persona and determine if different sales enablement collateral works for different personas. Identify best practices that may be globally relevant to any buyer. After that, identify specific product features that mean the most to each buyer type.
There may be specific sales activities as well that are unique for each buyer persona. One type of buyer may require an on-site demonstration while another relies more heavily on references. Identify these activities if they are specific to the buyer type and document them in your sales enablement resources.
No one has time to pour over pages of information each time a new deal is in play. Those in charge of sales enablement should work on creating an easily digestible “battlecard” for each competitor/product combination. This gives the salesperson a snapshot of strengths and weaknesses of the competitor along with best practices to compete against them.
These best practices should be part of weekly training with the sales team so that the battlecard is merely a reminder to put that training into play. Work with sales leaders on proactively passing along best practices so that the sales team is constantly updated on what works best.
Make sure you incorporate buyer personas into the battlecards as well. Since different buyer types may have a different focus on your products, the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor may change with each different buyer persona.
However, it is possible to overload battlecards with too much data.
Sales enablement resources need to be readily available
Too often, sales enablement resources are gathered, collated, cross-indexed…and then stashed in a “safe place”. These resources must be located in an easily accessible location. If your company has a file repository, such as SharePoint or an Intranet, make use of it.
More importantly, you must broadcast that location to the sales team. Keep them informed on updates to the information and remind them of the location of the resources. Otherwise, this valuable information “dies on the vine”.