Clients and customers today expect even more from sales professionals. They want and deserve the best in industry knowledge and tailored brand experiences. However, another study by Miller Heiman Group found that only 32% of buyers thought sellers exceeded these expectations.
This disconnect comes as a result of an existing skills and information gap on the part of sales professionals. This means employers need to do more for their sales teams, and a sales enablement plan is the way to do that.
What Is a Sales Enablement Plan?
A sales enablement plan or sales enablement strategy is a deliberate process of supplying sales teams with the information, tools, guidance, training, and other forms of support they need to help them do their job more effectively.
Sales enablement allows sales professionals to:
- Engage more with prospects
- Obtain better information and content to help them close deals
- Obtain visibility into the target market and get usable insights and data
- Use advanced analytics to optimize their pitches, phone cadence, and other sales processes
- Automate recurring processes to free up more of their time
Sales enablement may mean a different thing to each organization, but the basic steps and objectives remain the same. Here is a 7-step plan to help you set up an effective sales enablement strategy for your team.
1. Sales Enablement Charter: A Roadmap to Your Sales Goals
A good sales enablement strategy starts with the right framework defining your expectations, goals, specific processes, and unique needs. This framework is outlined in a formal document called a sales enablement charter.
Without such a charter, sales teams are likely to have haphazard, disjointed approaches toward sales processes such as pitching, nurturing, and closing.
A sales enablement charter should be customized according to your unique strengths and challenges, industry, and business strategy. It also needs to define S.M.A.R.T goals based on your overarching mission. This charter will be fluid and constantly improving as it is implemented.
2. Define Sales Enablement for Your Team: What Do They Need?
Strategic sales enablement is all about the sales team, so you need to involve them from the get-go. It is also wise to involve the marketing and customer experience teams at this point because the three often work hand-in-hand. Talk to them about:
- Their pain points — these are the challenges they face that are actively keeping them from realizing their full potential
- What tools they feel are necessary to streamline the sales process
- What skills, information, and data they need to help them optimize their sales approach
- What they are currently doing that they feel is working well with prospects
- How your product is positioned in comparison with your biggest competitors, and what you can do to improve this position
As the people on the frontlines every day, sales reps have a wealth of actionable information and tips on how to fine-tune your strategy and realize more potential.
3. Get the Stakeholders on Board
Decide who the stakeholders are in the plan, and what their role will be. This step is specifically designed to break down silos between the various stakeholders in sales, including sales, marketing, and customer experience segments.
HubSpot and various other pioneers have been championing unification between sales, marketing, and customer service teams into a single entity called revenue operations or RevOps. Your approach doesn't have to be that extreme, but you get the idea.
Similarly, this is the stage where you bring the C-suite on board. Without the executive-level commitment, you will not pick up the support you need to carry the plan to success.
4. Define Customer Journey Maps and Touchpoints
The customers are the focus of every sales enablement plan. You will need to map out the customer journey and tailor your enablement strategy to this path. Sales reps need to be empowered on how they are to respond at every point where they interact with the client and how to take control of the sales pipeline.
According to Forrester Research, 67% of clients prefer not to interact with a sales professional until they have done their research. Reps need to read into the customer and know how to react to changing dynamics like these.
5. Get Clear on the Specific Enablement Services You Will Provide
With an actionable plan and full insights into both the sales team and customer journey, you can now set out the specific actions you need to take to prepare and enable the sales teams. Here are some examples:
Create the Necessary Content and Information Guides
Data, information, and knowledge are all invaluable to sales reps. However, 65% of sales reps say they can't find relevant content to send to prospects. From customer-facing information to industry-related data to help with engaging prospects, decide what content you need, and in what form.
It's a good idea to compile everything into a sales playbook to serve as an integral part of the sales process.
Train the Sales Team
In addition to information, determine what skills and methods sales reps need to be more effective in their work. Training can include:
- Coaching on effective sales processes
- Training on how to use sales enablement tools
- How to prepare, analyze, and use data to make use of special insights
- Responding to objections raised by clients
- Reacting to industry trends, e.g., selling to millennials
Training needs to cover everybody, from the rookies to experienced sales personnel.
Acquire the Tools and Technology Needed
Determine what tools are best to support and empower your sales team. Tools without the right sales team enablement will only get in their way, but the right tools can have a powerful and transformative effect. Some of the tools you should consider using are:
- Sales automation tools
- Market intelligence tools
- Content management systems
- Communication tools
- Reporting and analysis
Implement the Strategy and Keep Improving
Your new sales enablement plan is only as good as the extent to which you implement it. Once you have the right momentum and are getting measurable results, you need to keep reassessing and improving the various components so that you become better along the way.
Or, you can get the right partner to help you develop a proven sales enablement strategy and increase your revenue. OverGo studio works with you to help align your teams, establish goals, and design an actionable process that your sales teams can use to achieve those goals.
To learn more about how we can help you grow, schedule a consultation with us, and we will get back to you.
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