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What is sales enablement?

Sales enablement is the provision of resources to a sales team that allows them to perform better and win more business. Resources that sales teams can draw on include tech solutions, content, data and insights.

B2B sales is a competitive world. Sales enablement is seen as a way for sellers to gain an edge. As a result, the teams with the best enablement strategies often achieve better outcomes.

This knowledge hub contains a wealth of information about sales enablement. Use the links below to navigate around the page.

Who works on sales enablement? | Data in sales enablement | Technology in sales enablement | Content in sales enablement | Training in sales enablement | Why sales enablement is essential | How to do sales enablement right | Sales enablement vs sales operations | Sales enablement: key takeaways | Contact Cognism today

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Who works on sales enablement?

In most companies, sales enablement sits between the B2B marketing and sales teams. The reason for this is that both teams should have input into sales enablement, and both teams reap the benefits.

Much of the content that helps salespeople sell, such as videos, articles and product guides, will come from the marketing department. On the other hand, the sales team will have a better idea of what prospects and customers require to make them buy. Marketing and sales working together in synergy is the secret to successful sales enablement.

Sales enablement teams will often have a leader accountable to the VPs of Sales and Marketing. The team may also consist of content creators, analysts and technical experts. The size of a sales enablement team will depend on the size of the organisation and the sales team they support.

Data in sales enablement

B2B sales and marketing teams deal with a massive amount of data, both internal and external. Part of sales enablement’s role is helping them make sense of the data and how to use it to their advantage.

Sales enablement uses internal data gathered throughout the sales process. The goal is to identify areas of improvement in the process. For example, if a sales enablement team found, when analysing B2B data, that leads reaching the sales team are not being qualified well enough, they could implement a new lead scoring process.

Sales enablement is also the driving force behind bringing in external data solutions. See the following section “Technology in sales enablement” for more information.

Technology in sales enablement

Tech is one of the cornerstones of sales enablement. Software that takes care of repetitive admin tasks allows salespeople to spend more time serving prospects and customers. There is also software that makes salespeople achieve better results, including data solutions, email sequencing software, conversational chatbots and much more. 

Specialised sales enablement software puts all your resources in one place; the benefit to salespeople is that they can share relevant content with prospects quickly and easily. It also collects data on the back end that helps them improve the way they sell. As a result, sales enablement is always an ongoing process. 

Content in sales enablement

Providing buyers with the right content to help them make a decision - it’s an integral part of B2B sales. Sales enablement teams may own the process of creating this content, including demo decks, case studies, eBooks and more.

Sales enablement teams often create a knowledge base of resources that are easy for salespeople to access and share with prospects. 

Training in sales enablement

Continuous learning helps salespeople better refine their techniques and achieve more with their time. Therefore, training comes under the remit of sales enablement. 

The best sales enablement frameworks will incorporate regular training sessions tailored to how your salespeople sell to your buyers. For example, training could include cold calling techniques, using technology to boost results or anything else that helps make more sales.

Ongoing training is preferable to the traditional once-a-year classroom-style training programme. Sales reps can also be coached individually on the areas where they struggle. This helps to boost rep retention rates.

Why sales enablement is essential

In today’s SaaS sales landscape, effective sales enablement is vital to achieving good results.

Buyers are doing more and more research into solutions on their own before they engage with a salesperson. So when a salesperson finally gets to interact with a buyer, they need to make it count. They need to add value with content that resonates and positions their product as the answer to the prospect’s pain. Creating this content and making it accessible is part of sales enablement.

How to do sales enablement right

There’s no silver bullet sales enablement strategy. Instead, sales enablement should be tailored to your team and what they need to reach your target audience with impact and resonance.

Winning with sales enablement takes planning and input from multiple teams across your organisation. When formulating a sales enablement strategy, you need to commit to creating an effective framework, setting clear expectations on what needs to be delivered.

Your marketing and sales teams should work together to devise a strategy. Your salespeople speak to prospects and customers every day, so they know better than anyone what will resonate and what won’t.

Once you have a strategy, use automation software to take on as many manual tasks as possible. Ensure the content you create is simple for your salespeople to find and share. After all, you’re trying to help your salespeople drive engagement, not make more work for them.

Finally, take a data-driven approach to sales enablement. Collect as much data as you can on the back end and use it to iterate your processes. 

Sales enablement vs sales operations

Some organisations will run sales operations teams as well as sales enablement. At first glance, you may see some overlap of responsibilities between these two departments. They will also share the same goal of making sales teams more effective. However, there are differences.

Generally speaking, sales enablement focuses on tasks earlier on in the sales process, such as creating content and helping salespeople communicate with buyers more often and with more impact. On the other hand, sales operations teams work towards the end of the sales process, performing tasks such as optimising territories, compensation plans and sales analytics.

Sales enablement: key takeaways

Sales enablement empowers sales teams to be better, providing them with the content, tools and materials to engage with buyers at the right time and with the right message.

If you don’t have a sales enablement strategy yet, you could be leaving money on the table. These are some key takeaways to commence your sales enablement plan today:

  • Get your marketing and sales teams talking, with sales communicating what your ideal customer wants to know when they engage with your company.
  • Have marketing formulate and execute creative ideas that will resonate with your buyers.
  • Use technology to track results and streamline the process as much as possible.

The rewards will be seen in higher conversion rates and more revenue generated for the business.

Contact Cognism today

Cognism is the perfect addition to any sales enablement toolkit. Sign up with us and we will:

  • Arm your sales and marketing teams with the latest, greatest, and fully GDPR-compliant B2B data.
  • Help your revenue team meet performance targets with verified direct dials and email addresses.
  • Refresh and enrich your database using our patented AI-powered technology.

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