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Making the sales process easier and quicker while helping your sales team to achieve their goals will free up more time for closing deals, which in turn will drive revenue growth for your business. That’s the goal of sales enablement (or sales engagement). It encompasses all the efforts your sales team goes through to make a sale and effectively provides your team with the resources they need to win more deals.
According to HubSpot’s 2021 Sales Enablement Report, 40% of sales leaders expected to miss their revenue targets this year. This is a good indicator that sales enablement efforts are not only necessary for growth, they are crucial for survival.
These 5 tips will help you to do sales enablement right, and increase the ROI of your sales enablement efforts. Sales enablement is an investment as it helps to increase your overall revenue growth.
How to Increase the ROI of Your Sales Enablement Efforts
1. Position sales enablement as a strategic priority
It may be an obvious point, but it’s still an important one: high-level executive buy-in is a way to ensure your sales team is supported. Effective implementation of sales enablement starts at the top, so you need to make sure that it is a strategic priority for the business. Once a clear prioritization of sales enablement has been established, it will be easier to encourage the adoption of a sales enablement platform and its capabilities, and crucially, use of the insights captured to scale best practices across the organization.
The goals for sales enablement also need to align with the overarching business strategy and objectives. CSO Insights research shows that aligning your sales enablement plan with your business strategy gives teams a win rate that is 19.2% higher.
2. Use the right insights to improve
You need insights into the effectiveness of your current sales enablement efforts to make sure you’re improving where you need it the most. Knowing what challenges your reps encounter and what areas of the sales process they need the most support with, will help focus your efforts.
Knowing which field sales reps are performing poorly, which sales content is driving engagement and what isn’t, which content is being used or viewed the most (and by whom), what actions are being taken based on that, and what material is leading to the highest conversion rate, will help you understand how customer interactions with your content drive your conversion, performance and sales effectiveness.
As an example, Pitcher’s analytics gathers data in real-time, empowering management to make informed decisions on the fly, react and respond to customer behavior and changes in demand, and instruct field teams to switch their approach as needed to increase conversion rates.
3. Go remote
According to Gartner, by 2025, 80% of B2B selling will occur in digital channels. Naturally, the recent shifts in the way we conduct business due to the pandemic have contributed to this change.
The Gartner report shows that even now, personal connections are being deprioritized, with buyers spending less than a fifth of their time meeting with suppliers as part of the evaluation process.
Furthermore, sales leaders who adopt a hybrid or fully remote sales model hit or exceeded their revenue targets. A Hubspot survey showed that “64% of sales leaders who invested in remote selling, either met or exceeded their revenue targets. And, the sales leaders who did not invest in remote selling fell behind, as many as 50% of this subgroup did not hit their sales targets.” Leaders who over-performed against revenue targets were the ones who adapted processes and remote enablement quickly, allowing them to focus on growth.
4. Leverage automation
By the same token, as sales teams employ more virtual selling techniques, implementing sales enablement automation is not only becoming a priority, but a crucial success factor for both sales and marketing teams.
Most sales leaders rank CRMs and video conferencing software as the most important tools for remote selling. The difference between over-performing and underperforming sales leaders is how they use the tools. 61% of over-performing leaders use their CRM to automate parts of their sales process. By automating parts of their sales process, sales leaders free up reps’ time to focus more on selling.
The survey referenced above concludes: “While the adoption of sales technology is a strong first step, the automation of processes is how leaders are driving growth.”
5. Assign a dedicated sales enablement team
In addition, “65% of sales leaders that outperformed against revenue targets have a dedicated sales enablement person or team. A dedicated sales enablement team is critical to the success of the future sales organization.”
Having a dedicated sales enablement function is crucial for supporting reps with the tools, technology, insights, and content needed to improve sales productivity. Not only will the sales enablement team create supporting material, but it will also implement tools and technology to improve sales training, coaching, and team productivity. This saves time for the sales team and leverages data and insights which can help identify coaching opportunities.
Now more than ever, reps need to stay focused and spend less time on administrative tasks that take time away from revenue generating activities. Changing to a remote, automated sales model might require change management efforts in the short term, however, the long term gains will prove that investment into sales enablement was worthwhile.
Sales enablement automation is all about making the life of the sales team easier, streamlining the sales process so reps can spend more time with customers and prospects, driving revenue growth as a result.