Sales Enablement has long been a luxury reserved for successful businesses. Today, it has become a crucial prerequisite for the competitiveness and even the continuity of a company. The overwhelming majority of Sales Enablement units have been established on an ad hoc basis, or as a reaction to the loss of major sales contracts. Often it takes another trigger to implement a proper Sales Enablement Strategy to build a replicable and viable process that delivers long-term business results.
In this special edition, the Touch & Sell team invites you to explore Sales Enablement Training. What is it? How does it benefit the company? How can it be implemented? Let’s get started!
Salespeople spend half their day on non-sales activities
According to the “Make time for sales” study conducted by SiriusDecisions, 65% of sales managers believe that their salespeople spend too much time on non-sales related activities. This finding was supported by a metadata analysis carried out by McKinsey Strategy. The study found that salespeople spend an average of more than half their day on non-sales tasks. Several studies have come to the same conclusion.
This management instability clearly affects the company’s performance with opportunity costs and loss of income due to missed leads. This leads to a vicious cycle of frustration, mixed performance and dissonance between sales and marketing teams. Sales Enablement may provide a solution to this challenge. It helps streamline the sales process, minimize costs and increase revenues.
The basic principle of Sales Enablement and why you should implement it in your company
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales Enablement refers to a continuous and strategic process that focuses on driving sales by equipping the sales team with the right content, data and training to engage customers (buyers) and boost conversions. In a broader sense, Sales Enablement refers to all means, methods, tools, applications, solutions and technologies designed to boost the performance of sales and marketing teams. At Touch & Shell, we liked Marketo’s analogy comparing the Sales Enablement specialist to an air traffic controller. Of course, he is not the one who flies the plane. But without him, airports would quickly collapse into chaos.
When done properly, Sales Enablement serves three purposes:
- To prioritize and remove obstacles to allow sales teams to focus on their core business;
- Align the sales team’s objectives with the marketing team and training managers;
- Ensuring that sales people are equipped with the content, tools, solutions, support and training they need to achieve the company’s business objectives.
Why invest in Sales Enablement Training?
#1 Sales Enablement Training to improve sales productivity
The productivity of the sales team is a major stake as it directly impacts the company’s performance. Sales Enablement Training helps you to get the most out of your salespeople’s working time. In short, you will be able to channel your salespeople’s efforts into what they do best, without having to search for content that can be stored, in an average of 5 to 6 different repositories (unless you use a platform like Touch & Sell). Of course, Sales Enablement will not remove all non-sales related tasks. Your salespeople will still be doing research, prepare meetings and take notes. However, your company will get rid of a significant part of its hidden costs:
- Your salespeople will spend far less time searching for the content they need;
- The relevance of the content improves over time thanks to feedback and performance data from sales to marketers;
- Better alignment of sales and marketing;
- Automation of repetitive processes (quotes, commercial propositions).
The Sales Enablement Optimization For Your Business study shows that increasing sales time is the second highest priority for companies that use sales enablement, second only to new salesperson onboarding time. Below is a summary table of the yearly losses incurred when Sales Enablement is not used.
|Items||Losses (Without Sales Enablement)|
|Number of salespeople in the study||100|
|Number of working hours spent on content research per sales representative and per week||7|
|Number of working hours per sales representative and year (excluding paid holidays)||2 000|
|Hours wasted on content research per salesperson and per year||350|
|Deadweight loss in dollars due to content search for a team of 100 salespeople||1.75 million dollars|
Source: Sales Enablement Optimization Study For Your Business (tools and strategy)
#2 Sales Enablement to improve the efficiency of sales teams
Beyond productivity, Sales Enablement Training will allow you to boost the effectiveness of your salespeople by improving the conversion rate to drive revenue. With the right Sales Enablement solution and training, you can build a replicable process to push all the salespeople in your sales team. Here’s what we’re looking for:
- Better control of the buying journey;
- A perfected Sales Playbook to position, qualify and sell throughout the customer buying journey;
- A standardized sales methodology to align the sales action;
- Through the right Sales Enablement Training program, your company can strengthen the sales skills of its teams through a continuous improvement approach.
Here are some metrics that show the dramatic improvement in the effectiveness of sales teams through Sales Enablement:
- Companies that implement the best Sales Enablement processes improve their sales figures by 13.7% annually (Aberdeen);
- 84% of salespeople achieve their business goals in companies that demonstrate best-in-class sales enablement processes;
- 53% of companies with a dedicated Sales Enablement team experience a steady increase in conversion rates (Heinz Marketing).
#3 Sales Enablement Training to improve the quality of sales onboarding
Sales onboarding is a tricky subject for most companies because of its significant financial impact. As explained above, the Sales Enablement Optimization Study For Your Business (tools and strategy) identifies onboarding and ramping up new salespeople as a top priority. There are several measures that can help you accelerate the operationalization of new salespeople and thus promote their engagement during the onboarding phase:
- Incorporating Sales Enablement Training into the salesperson’s onboarding;
- An introduction to the company culture;
- Training in sales processes, tools and technologies;
- In-depth training to master all the features of the product or service being sold;
- Simulated client meetings with the company’s different buyer personas.
#4 Sales Enablement to better align Sales and Marketing
Sales Enablement bridges the gap between sales and marketing teams. It is about aligning objectives and encouraging communication between both teams to ensure that content creation is fueled by salespeople’s feedback. Worth noting:
- Sales and marketing alignment generates 19% more growth (SiriusDecisions study);
- Lack of sales and marketing alignment reportedly costs companies a total of $1 trillion annually (HubSpot).
What if I skip Sales Enablement Training?
A strategic marketing researcher would say that Sales Enablement has gone from a competitive advantage (necessary to become and remain a market leader) to a key success factor (to remain competitive and survive in the marketplace).
Let’s forget about theory for a moment. How does the absence of Sales Enablement and Sales Enablement Training affect the day-to-day work of the company’s representatives? Check out this comparative analysis.
|Items||With Sales Enablement Training||Without Sales Enablement Training||Main result|
|Working time optimization||Salespeople have everything they need to keep leads and sales flowing.||The company’s salespeople spend, on average, more than half a day on non-sales related tasks.||Hidden costs and frustration|
|Working tools||Une solution unique, en mode One Stop Shop, depuis le Sales Enablement Training jusqu’au contenu en passant par l’analyse des données.||Numerous and redundant tools to access, customize and share content with customers.||Compatibility problems, poorly managed customer meetings, negative impact on the company’s image with prospects|
|Content value (availability of content performance data)||The marketing team can use the KPIs of the content delivered to the sales team to refine the production (engagement, conversion…).||Without metrics, the marketing team is in the dark. Content creation can’ t be driven by performance indicators reported by the sales team (engagement, conversion…)||Poorly equipped marketers. Misalignment of sales and marketing with a siloed organization.|
|Company’s attractiveness (employer brand)||Training and recruiting managers can hire the very best sales representatives in the industry.||Struggling to attract and retain the top salespeople||Loss of competitiveness, gloomy outlook|
Comparative Analysis: Sales Enablement Training vs. No Sales Enablement Training
Sales Enablement Training: Moving from ad hoc reaction to seamless integration
The right Sales Enablement Training program will take you through three stages:
- Initial situation. On Demand Sales Enablement. Sales Enablement tasks are performed on an ad hoc basis depending on the need, often in a hurry. There is no training program in Sales Enablement. Skills development is only fostered by experience. The onboarding of both salespeople and marketers does not include a Sales Enablement module. As a result, the content created by marketers is scattered and salespeople waste hours searching for and using it, to the detriment of the actual sales activity. Of course, Sales Enablement lacks a standardized documentation in this stage.
- Intermediate situation. Sales Enablement management is formalized in writing. Cooperation between Sales and Marketing is well established. The Sales Enablement activity is supported by frequent training sessions. A special module is included in the onboarding of new sales and marketing staff. Sales Enablement solutions and tools are made available to the teams. Finally, sales representatives benefit from a regularly updated playbooks to help them during customer meetings.
- Desired end state. Sales Enablement activity is optimal. Sales and Marketing objectives are perfectly aligned. KPIs are clearly defined, measured and analyzed. Decisions are streamlined with relevant data. Teams are convinced of the need for continuous improvement to improve business performance. Finally, the Sales Enablement process in the broadest sense is mature, tested, transposable and repeatable. Sales Enablement therefore fully plays its role as a sales booster. Even better: Sales Enablement is now a key component of the company’s culture.
Touch & Sell provides the best Sales Enablement Training Program for your business
Training is only one of the three cornerstones of Sales Enablement, along with content and digital tools. Touch & Sell has extensive expertise in this triad, serving French and international companies for over 8 years. More than a Sales Enablement specialist, Touch & Sell is a pioneer in driving global performance. Our platform was developed in 2012, with no competition on its market.
Beyond technology, our value proposition lies in the development of skills through ultra-personalized coaching. “We initiate a dynamic of skill enhancement and continuous improvement for employees who adopt our solution to achieve the company’s growth objectives,” explains Guillaume Legendre, CEO of Touch & Sell. And since Sales Enablement cannot be addressed separately, Touch & Sell goes even further with Growth Enablement support. We want to optimize processes, activate synergies and realize your company’s full potential by connecting people, processes and technology. Let’s discuss your project!