Sales enablement has become a hot topic in the B2B industry. Research shows that B2B companies that implement sales enablement successfully close 49% of their deals, compared to just 42% for those that don't implement sales enablement. Regardless of the industry in which your B2B company operates, sales enablement can help it succeed. It's a universally beneficial process that fuels productivity, growth and, ultimately, sales. For a better understanding of sales enablement and why it's important, keep reading.
An Introduction to Sales Enablement
What is sales enablement exactly? It's the process of providing sales reps with everything they need to engage prospects and close deals. It's called "sales enablement" because it centers around enabling sales reps.
It's not uncommon for B2B companies to have large teams of sales reps. Some of them have dozens of sales reps, whereas others have hundreds of sales reps. The overall success of a B2B company will depend heavily on its sales reps' ability to engage prospects with a compelling offer. Sales enablement is all about providing sales reps with everything they need to achieve this shared goal. When sales reps have the right tools, resources and knowledge, they can close more deals; it's just that simple.
Why Sales Enablement Is Important
As previously mentioned, sales enablement directly influences the close rate of B2B companies. B2B companies that implement sales enablement typically close more deals than their counterparts. They provide their sales reps with everything they need to communicate with prospects and convey their value proposition. The end result is a higher close rate.
In addition to a higher close rate, sales enablement can have a positive impact on buyer loyalty. It fosters loyalty by creating a positive experience for buyers. They'll have a smoother and more enjoyable purchasing journey. As a result, buyers are more likely to stay with your B2B company. If your B2B company is struggling to prevent buyers from leaving, sales enablement may be the answer. It doesn't just promote a higher close rate; sales enablement fosters buyer loyalty so that fewer buyers leave for a competitor.
Sales enablement promotes a lower turnover rate among sales reps. Turnover rate is the percentage of sales reps -- or any employees for that matter -- who quit or otherwise part ways with your B2B company during a given period. According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), the average turnover rate for sales reps is about 27%, which is nearly twice the turnover rate of workers in other industries. You can minimize the turnover rate of your B2B company's sales reps by implementing sales enablement. When sales reps are given everything they need to succeed, they'll be less likely to quit.
Onboard New Sales Reps
You should begin the sales enablement process when your B2B company hires new sales reps. Onboarding, for instance, is typically the first step in sales enablement. Also known as organizational socialization, onboarding involves introducing new sales reps to your B2B company's culture. It's designed to help acclimate them so that they feel more comfortable and have all of the necessary resources to succeed. For an effective sales enablement process, you must onboard your B2B company's sales reps.
Bridge the Gap Between Marketing and Sales
Another sales enablement tip is to bridge the gap between marketing and sales. Most B2B companies have separate marketing and sales departments. The marketing department is largely responsible for generating leads and building brand awareness, whereas the sales department is responsible for nurturing leads and closing deals. While there's nothing wrong with having two separate departments, they must work together. Otherwise, sales reps will encounter hardship as they try to nurture leads and close deals.
Bridging the gap between marketing and sales means that these two departments will share their knowledge and resources. Marketing professionals, for instance, may qualify leads for sales reps. Sales reps can then prioritize these Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQLs) rather than blindly reaching out to unqualified leads. By bridging the gap between marketing and sales, you can implement a more effective sales enablement process within your B2B company.
Outsource Prospecting-Related Tasks
Sales reps are busy professionals. With that said, statistics show that the average sales rep only spends 33% of his or her time actively selling. Instead, they spend most of their time on other activities, such as prospecting. Sales enablement should include outsourcing some of these tasks. You can outsource prospecting-related tasks, for example. There are lead generation and appointment setting services that can be outsourced. By outsourcing them, your B2B company's sales reps can focus on what really matters: nurturing leads and closing deals.
Streamline Email Communications
Calling is the only way in which sales reps communicate with prospects. Most sales reps use email as a communication channel as well. They'll create emails to touch base with new prospects, and they'll often continue sending emails to nurture prospects into buyers. Creating and sending emails, though, can be time-consuming. It can consume a large part of sales reps' workdays while driving down their productivity. Fortunately, there are ways to streamline email communications so that sales reps are more productive.
For an effective sales enablement process, you can use email marketing software. Email marketing software is designed specifically to streamline email communications between companies and their buyers or customers. While different types of email marketing software have different features, most of them support automation. Sales reps can use email marketing software to quickly build custom emails from a template, and they can schedule those emails to be automatically delivered to buyers at a later date.
Sales coaching and sales enablement go hand in hand. Not to be confused with onboarding, sales coaching is a one-on-one training process between a coach and a sales rep. In the B2B industry, selling products and services requires strong soft skills. Sales reps must know what questions to ask prospects, and they must know how to convince prospects that their products or services are worth purchasing. Sales coaching can help sales reps succeed at these tasks through enablement.