Most businesses know the importance of having a strong sales organization. Despite this, many companies struggle to make the connection between enabling their sales team to perform at a high level.
Creating a sales enablement organization can feel like a daunting task because businesses struggle to define it, making implementing equally challenging.
Here is what many organizations fail to consider about Sales Enablement.
- The name may be fancy, but the definition is simple; to empower a sales team to sell more effectively
- Sales Enablement is an ecosystem that aligns resources across sales, marketing, human resources, customer service, and operations
- It uses a repeatable and measurable process to optimize its people, processes, and culture
There are seven core elements supporting the sales enablement ecosystem; Recruiting, Hiring, Onboarding, Training, Reinforcement, Coaching, and Measurement.
Each element is critical and builds off the previous one. Get it right, and you won’t have to spend as as much time on other areas within the ecosystem. Why?
If you have a sales team, read on to find out more!
Recruiting involves attracting the interest of the best sales talent.
While the entire sales enablement ecosystem is essential, recruiting is the foundation. Recruiting future employees is about attracting the right talent for your culture. I am not talking ping-pong and beer keg culture; I am talking about the mission, vision, and value of your purpose.
The second element of sales enablement focuses on helping sales teams hire better talent, which requires a comprehensive strategy.
Hiring managers often give preference to attributes like a candidate being “polished,” “having a presence,” and “being extraverted” and overlook critical competencies such as sales approach, storytelling, or the ability to deliver a compelling narrative and emotional intelligence.
When included in the hiring process, sales enablement can help organizations focus on identifying coachable, repeatable, and measurable behaviors based on the role.
Let’s dispel a conventional theory. Onboarding is not about teaching employees every minute detail about your product, solution, or service in the first 14 days. Yes, we understand the importance of product knowledge, however, it is equally as important to communicate how your product, solution, or service creates differentiating value for your clients.
When done right, onboarding sets the tone for your employees’ experience.
Neglect it at your own risk!
Many organizations mistakenly define sales enablement as training. Sales training is a component of sales enablement’s ecosystem.
No sales enablement strategy would be complete without training; however, they are NOT the same. This requires forward-thinking leadership, an investment in technology, and a commitment to a multi-generational workforce (even in the midst of a pandemic).
Training is like a baton in a relay race; it can be exchanged with precision and intent, to accelerate performance.
Art Kohn from Learning Solutions wrote that “Within one hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information you presented. Within 24 hours, they will have forgotten an average of 70 percent of new information, and within a week, 90 percent of it will be completely forgotten.”
If we expect sales behaviors to change, reinforcement is the next natural sales enablement element. Reinforcement requires consistency, commitment, and communication.
Training can only be as effective as your reinforcement strategy.
No sales training and reinforcing would be complete without sales coaching. Coaching turns information into execution; advice into action. Coaching identifies and corrects behaviors that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. Coaching personalizes tactics so each sales rep can maximize their potential. High-performing coaches are strategic, even in the application of coaching itself.
Metrics are one of the most under-utilized tools in sales enablement (outside of sales quotas). Organizations often use lagging metrics that embody a ‘rearview mirror’ approach to performance management. Instead, sales enablement has a critical role in using data to identify, articulate, and support the adoption of effective selling behaviors.
By now, it should be clear that sales enablement is a powerful strategy to groom high performing sales teams. It provides a holistic process with long-term gain in mind to:
- recruit the best talent
- create memorable onboarding experiences
- align selling skills to your customer’s buying evolution
- communicate differentiating value
We can’t change what has happened, but we can influence what will happen. That’s the beauty of sales enablement. It’s how we help you bring your win within reach!
Follow us on Twitter @winwithinreach for more insights on sales enablement!