What is Sales Enablement?
Sales Enablement aligns sales and marketing teams in real time, improves sales performance and creates a new appointment-based sales experience. Let's dig deeper into the topic by addressing the three essential components of Sales Enablement:
I) SALES ENABLEMENT, THE 3 KEY POINTS
1. Align Sales & Marketing teams in real time
Aligning sales & marketing through a Sales Enablement application will ensure that the content used by the sales force on a daily basis is updated in real time.
This content, available on all devices in online and offline mode (off-line) from a PC, tablet or smartphone, is directly accessible in the sales process of the salesperson during his or her appointments or for the preparation of the latter.
Synergies between management, marketing teams and sales forces are strengthened, the time required to report and analyze information from the field is reduced, and decision making based on clear KPIs is accelerated.
2. Improved business performance
Sales efficiency is the key to sales, but salespeople spend too much time on administrative tasks. By providing him with a tool that is better adapted to help him prepare his appointments, by transforming marketing content for sales and by automating his visit reports, you improve his daily efficiency. Being freed from time-consuming or administrative tasks, he can spend more time on his core business: selling.
The Sales Enablement application supports the salesperson in improving this performance. With efficient appointment preparation and an application that facilitates the contextualization of appointments, the salesperson is able to adapt to the context and challenges of each buyer. He is more effective in his argumentation and the answers he gives, he facilitates the projection of his buyer and accelerates his decision making. Thanks to themodern image he gives off, his better mastery of the offer and the sales pitch during meetings, the sales person sees his conversion rate increase.
3. Create the appointment sales experience
Thesales experience is a strong expectation expressed by buyers and a key point in improving sales performance. Being built around the appointment, the Sales Enablement application follows its course and allows the salesperson to hit the bull's eye by delivering the right content at the right time in the right context.
It provides the buyer with precise information and contextualizes his approach around personalized sales paths (by persona, sector, type of company, etc.). The content presented is thus much more effective by creating a more immersive meeting context for buyers.
The Sales Enablement application creates the long-awaited customer experience, not only allowing you to differentiate yourself from your competitors, but also stimulating interactions with your contact. The latter is then more receptive and collaborative, you stand out and score valuable points.
II) WHY IS SALES ENABLEMENT IMPORTANT?
1. Sales & Marketing Alignment
Within organizations, two essential and supposedly close poles work on the development of the company's activity: the sales pole and the marketing pole. Although their missions tend towards the same objective, i.e. the development of the company, in practice the marketing and sales departments interact little on a daily basis. This is the observation regularly made: 60% of companies consider that their marketing and sales departments are not aligned. (Barometer 2021 - Action Co & DCF)
An alarming point when we know the impact that this alignment represents on the use of marketing content by sales people. According to Forrester, 65% of marketing content created for sales is never usedbecause it is irrelevant, outdated or not customizable. Consequence, 40% of salespeople create their own contentfor lack of anything better (Hubspot).
It's time to align Sales & Marketing with a simple tool that saves salespeople time and ensures that everyone is using the best content for selling.
2. The complexity of B2B selling
The salesperson is faced with a more demanding and more autonomous buyer. The latter carries out 57% of their purchasing process before initiating contact with the envisaged supplier (Accenture). In some sectors of activity, the buyer even reserves his call to the sales representative until the very end of the purchasing process. This is what the Forrester study underlines: 68% of B2B buyers make their buying decisions before they even meet with a salesperson (Forrester).
Sales are also more complex due to the lengthening of the sales cycle. It now takes an average of 7 people in a purchasing process for a company with 100 to 500 employees (Gartner). The number of buying interactions has also evolved from 17 in 2019 to 27 in 2021 (Gartner). The trend will continue and even increase in 2023!
In this context, the sales person must be able to answer the buyer's questions easily and be able to provide the right information at the right time to accelerate the stakeholders' decision making. A Sales Enablement tool allows to professionalize this approach and to adapt it to the length of the sales cycle.
3. Time spent on administrative tasks
65% of sales managers believe that salespeople spend too much time on non-sales related activities (McKinsey). Between researching content, preparing presentations, feeding the CRM... salespeople spend nearly 36% of their time on administrative tasks (Value Selling Associates). The Sales Enablement tool frees the sales person from these time-consuming tasks and allows him to devote more time to his core business: selling!
4. Increasing the competence of sales staff
Approximately 87% of the knowledge acquired during a classic training course is forgotten by the participants one month later (Hermann Ebbinghaus). This is an important topic that deserves to be studied when we know that sales people can only answer 40% of the questions B2B buyers have about the product being sold (Allego) .
Managing an effective ramp-up is a major challenge. Whether it is to train and project newcomers, coordinate and succeed in product launches, develop the expertise of sales teams, cross-selling... all these situations have a direct impact on your sales performance. Having a tool that facilitates access to training content, ensures confidence, accelerates skill development and allows salespeople to evaluate their knowledge independently, must be a priority.
5. A shortage of qualified sales people
Attracting and retaining salespeople is a growing challenge for companies. With the shortage of qualified sales talent, it is increasingly difficult to find and retain high performing sales people. More than 200,000 sales positions are available in France, a figure that illustrates the magnitude of the challenge (Michael Page). By modernizing your sales approach, the Sales Enablement tool reinforces the attractiveness of your company, facilitates the projection of the candidate in the framework of his future activity and reduces the turnover of the sales force.
6. Sales Enablement: the path to performance in 2023
Sales Enablement is the way to go for marketing and sales managers who want to meet these challenges: 84% of salespeople equipped with a Sales Enablement cell achieve their goals (G2 Learn Hub). Sales Enablement helps you sell more, sell better, accelerate the development of your new recruits and reduce the turnover of your sales teams. Sales is back at the heart of your sales force's activity. At Salesapps, our clients observe an average increase in sales of 5 to 15%.
III) WHAT IS A SALES ENABLEMENT APPLICATION?
The Sales Enablement application is in a way the salesperson's armed arm. It improves his performance at each stage of the sale, making him better equipped to create a new sales experience with the buyer, to enhance his offer and to sell more!
1. Before the appointment:
The application allows the salesperson to accelerate andimprove the preparation of the meeting by quickly identifying the marketing content he/she needs to personalize his/her sales approach and be effective during the meeting.
2. During the appointment:
Whether in the classroom or remotely, the application allows sales representatives to modernize their approach, to contextualize it and to be more relevant in their arguments and in the answers they give to the buyer's questions.
3. After the appointment:
The application automates the creation of the salesperson's visit report directly in the CRM by detailing the information related to the appointment. The time spent by the salesperson on administrative tasks is thus greatly reduced, so he/she can devote more time to sales-related actions.
To boost your sales performance, Salesapps provides sales and marketing forces with over 200 functionalities. Note that Sales Enablement's application goes well beyond the operational support of the salesperson by allowing marketing and sales management to collect and analyze these data through KPIs for decision support. The Sales Enablement application is therefore part of a continuous improvement process of the company's sales performance.
IV) WHO IS THE SALES ENABLEMENT FOR?
Every department has an interest in using a Sales Enablement application. Whether you are a marketing department, a sales department or a human resources department, you can support your teams in a more collaborative approach and drive your sales force upwards.
1. Marketing Department
The Sales Enablement application application improves the effectiveness of marketing content by making it easily accessible in contextualized sales paths for the sales for the salesperson. The tool promotes feedback from the field, increases the use of marketing content and makes your salespeople more effective in meetings. With a Sales Enablement application, your presentations are always presentations are always up to date, attractive and customizable according to the buyer.
The statistics produced, such as content usage statistics or usage behaviors, provide a base of information that will be used to better understand the environment in which the company is evolving, the business needs and improve the practice and the tools.
Discover Romain Lacoche's complete testimony
Sales Enablement: why should marketing management use it?
- Aligning content strategy with the needs of the field
- Transforming marketing content into sales content
- Having marketing content that is used, up-to-date and easily accessible
- Benefiting from KPIs to continually adapt strategy
- Discover the other benefits of Sales Enablement for marketing
2. Sales Department
The Sales Enablement application application improves the efficiency of the salesperson in appointments by allowing him to sell more and better ! In reducing the preparation time for appointments and automating the visit reportthe sales representative gains in quality time. He now spends more time on the buyer's issues, becomes more forceful and makes proposals during the meeting.
Read Patrick Vissac's full testimony
Sales Enablement: why should Sales Department use it?
- To improve sales efficiency and create a customer experience in appointments
- To reduce the preparation time of sales appointments
- To automate the salesperson's visit report directly in the CRM
- To understand and manage sales activity during appointments
- Discover the other benefits of Sales Enablement for sales
3. Human Resources Department
Training is at the heart of improving sales performance. Strengthen the attractiveness of your brand, accelerate the rise in competence and and continuously train your sales force are key elements in the success of your sales organization. With the Sales Enablement application, the salesperson is exposed to training content more often. They are autonomous in their learning and confident in their presentation of the company's offers/services. of the company. To encourage knowledge development and and increase the commitment of your sales peopleThe Sales Enablement application includes gamification and quiz mechanisms.
Read Eric Jayet's full testimony
Sales Enablement: why should HR management use it?
- Provide daily exposure to training content
- Customize training courses according to the needs of the salesperson
- Facilitate the projection of the salesperson in his or her activity and improve the attractiveness of the company
- Reduce the time needed to upgrade the skills of your salespeople
- Continuously train the sales force in a fun and efficient way
- Discover the other benefits of Sales Enablement for HR
V) WHO DRIVES YOUR SALES ENABLEMENT STRATEGY?
The decision to integrate a Sales Enablement project involves the sales and marketing departments, and even the general management, depending on the size of the company. The number of people involved in the day-to-day management of the Sales Enablement application varies according to the size of the company, the markets it addresses, its sales channels and the volume of content it has. From a management point of view, there are 3 key phases in a Sales Enablement strategy: the application design phase, which relies on a project team, the sales team onboarding phase and finally the daily application management and animation phase.
Depending on its size and at cruising speed (go live), a company will mobilize an average of 1 to 3 people (content manager, animator, administrator), each spending 1 to 4 hours per week to manage the updating of content and the animation of the platform. Whether they are part of the marketing or sales department today, the pilot must have this dual perspective and have the support of a Business Sponsor from the management to support their approach and implement the right ROI strategy.
As the stakes of Sales Enablement have become strategic, a new function has naturally emerged: that of the Sales Enablement Manager. This function, which is still almost non-existent in France, is mainly developed in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Sales Enablement Manager is naturally positioned at the crossroads of the sales and marketing teams and benefits from all the advantages of this new job. His main missions are to manage the improvement of the performance of the sales teams, to ensure the relevance of the tools and content used, to align them with the company's objectives, to monitor the activity KPIs and to measure the ROI of his actions. It is therefore his responsibility to deploy and animate the programs, tools and initiatives that will meet the challenges of management while facilitating the work of salespeople in their daily lives. We have written a complete article on the function of the Sales Enablement Manager. Here you can learn more about the role of the Sales Enablement Manager in the sales organization, his or her day-to-day missions and his or her representation on a global scale.
VI) HOW TO IMPLEMENT AN EFFECTIVE SALES ENABLEMENT STRATEGY?
The implementation of a Sales Enablement strategy cannot be improvised. It requires meeting specific challenges and involving various players.
1 - Project stakeholders: The first person to be involved in the project is the pilot, who will guide and coordinate the project from its design to deployment. As far as the promotion of the tool is concerned, you must involve a Business Sponsor. It gives value to your project to support its launch. It is also essential to involve ambassadors, mainly sales or sales managers, to have a complementary vision to that of marketing in the first phase of the project. Other profiles will be involved when the application is completed. The Content Manager will be responsible for updating and promoting the marketing content. Theadministrator will be responsible for animating the application and making it more dynamic.
To succeed in your Sales Enablement strategy, you need to sequence it by steps:
2- Design of the application: To succeed in designing a sales enablement tool, you need to dissociate the creation of your tree structure from the graphic design. This is also the time when you need to involve the sales and marketing teams to create sales paths that are in line with the reality of the field. Another important point is to identify the key content that you want to make available to sales representatives. The objective is to equip them with useful content so that their speech hits the bull's eye in meetings.
3 - Onboarding of sales teams: Having a 100% usage rate as soon as the application is launched is not an easy task! Nevertheless, by involving the Sales & Marketing teams in the design of the tool, you start with a positive point. Taking into account the expectations of the field is a guarantee of the relevance of the deployed tool! It is also essential to create a dynamic around the use of the application from the first week. For this, a video teaser of the application is strongly recommended to create emulation within the sales force.
4 - Animation and KPI monitoring: A successful application must be alive! In order for it to be alive, you must update your marketing content and highlight it according to its importance. Several solutions are at your disposal: silent notifications, notifications linked to spaces, mandatory notifications.... The application also allows you to highlight your news and stimulate feedback from the field. Finally, you can monitor sales activity through the many KPIs integrated into the application (onboarding rate, usage rate, sales path followed, content consulted and shared, etc.).
5- Evaluate your application's ROI: This step is crucial for measuring the effectiveness of your actions! It is therefore the subject of our next part of the article.
VII) WHO ARE THE KINGS OF DIRTY ENABLEMENT?
The ROIs of Sales Enablement are no longer to be proven as the following figures can testify:
- Save time: The Sales Enablement application saves salespeople time. Before the meeting, it allows them to identify more quickly the marketing content needed to prepare their presentation. After the meeting, the application facilitates and improves the quality of the data fed back into the CRM thanks to the automatic creation of the visit report. The result? A 50% reduction in visit preparation time at Moët Hennessy Diageo and 90% of automated CRs in the CRM at our clients!
- Sell more and better: For maximum efficiency during meetings, your application adapts to all your sales paths. It allows the salesperson to contextualize his approach, become more effective in his argumentation and create an immersive experience with the buyer. The Sales Enablement application allows salespeople to increase their conversion rate by 5 to 15%, sometimes more! Overall, they sell more and better, and increase their cross-selling rate! The Adéquat Group has seen a 12.5% increase in sales.
- Accelerate the rise in competence: Exposure to training content is one of the main key factors of success in the rise in competence of your sales force. The higher the exposure, the more effective the training of your sales force! Our application integrates training paths to accelerate learning and quizzes to continuously test the sales force's knowledge. This is what allowed us to divide by 4 the time needed to integrate new sales representatives at Thibault Bergeron.
- Sales Enablement is good for the planet! By grouping all your marketing content in the application, you make it easily accessible to all your teams. The result? Less emails, paper, catalogs and brochures in your company (-90% on the printing budget at Zolux). The application proves to be a very good sales support tool when it comes to accompanying the sales representative in his remote meetings, which allows him to limit his travel.
VIII) SALES ENABLEMENT: TO CLOSE THE GAP IN YOUR EXISTING TOOLS
1. Why couple CRM with a Sales Enablement application?
The value of a CRM depends mainly on the richness and quality of the data that feeds it. However, 77% of companies consider that CRM data is of poor or very poor quality (Gartner). This is an alarming figure that can be explained by the lack of interest of sales people in administrative tasks. And yet Sales people spend an average of 11 hours per week entering data into the CRM (Gartner). This directly affects the performance of the sales person since they spend less time on tasks directly related to sales.
Sales Enablement allows you to go further in the automation and collection of data. It allows the salesperson to save time at the end of the meeting. The application allows to automatically create a visit report in the CRM, without the intervention of a salesperson, and simply based on the course of his meeting and the content he presented. The marketing and sales department is thus supplied with quality data. You can collect information about the appointment, something you can't do without the Sales Enablement application (sales path followed in appointments, documents sent, read and shared with the buyer...). Connecting your CRM to the Sales Enablement application has many advantages that we detail in the article: Why couple a Sales Enablement application to the CRM?
2. Why switch from Drive to Sales Enablement?
Today, 90% of marketing content is not used by salespeople (Jeff Ernst). Instead of relying on a document base specifically designed for them, the sales person spends more than 7 hours a week searching or producing content. The result? Incomplete, less effective content and a considerable waste of time. Although it is a precious help in document management, drives have 3 limitations that limit your sales performance.
-Limitation in access to information: the search for content is at the initiative of the salesperson, who must take the initiative to go to the drive. He therefore loses time and cannot access it at any time.
-Physical limitation: the drive must be connected! The sales person cannot access the content where he wants, when he wants.
-Limitation in the presentation of marketing content: the content display is organized as a documentary database, it is not designed to be used with customers and to be managed through sales paths. Its use is therefore limited to the search for content for preparatory work.
The main consequences of these limitations are as follows: the content is rarely cleaned up, it is added to the drive without optimizing the amount of content present, it is rarely used because it is more practical for the salesperson to recreate presentations from those he or she has already created and stored on his or her PC, the content finally used by salespeople is rarely up to date in terms of data and often does not comply with the guidelines of the graphic charts!
The purpose of a Sales Enablement application is to improve sales performance. This is in no way the purpose of the Drive, which is to facilitate the classification, editing and management of your documents. Switching from Drive to Sales Enablement has many advantages that we detail in the article: Sales Enablement VS Drive: improve your sales performance.
3. Why strengthen your E-Learning approach with Sales Enablement?
According to McKinsey, 50% of the sales force does not have the capacity to succeed in the years to come. A figure that highlights the extent of the work to be done around sales training. Although E-learning is the most popular training module for companies, it also has several limitations and its support for the salesperson could be significantly increased.
-Exposure limit: the training content is hosted on the e-learning platform, which is the company's business. But what is the usage rate of the platform outside of the required training sessions? Is it a reflex to go there for the sales people all year long? What is the usage rate and frequency of use? Is the format fun enough for me to go there spontaneously?
-Limitations of the training content: do the training courses match the sales paths followed in meetings when the salesperson is facing a buyer? Do they match the reality of the needs in the field in order to be more effective?
Exposure to training content is one of the main key factors of success in increasing the competence of your sales force. The higher the exposure, the more effective the sales training. By using a Sales Enablement application that is used on a daily basis, you expose your sales force to your training content on a continuous basis, even offline, so that training and testing becomes a reflex! The results? Successful integration phases for new recruits, lower turnover, product launches mastered by all salespeople, training courses that are closer to the needs of the field and sales paths. If you want to learn more about this topic, we give you 5 reasons to train your sales people with a Sales Enablement solution.
IX) +50% OF BUDGETS ALLOCATED TO SALES ENABLEMENT BY 2027
This year, the sales function will face many challenges: insufficient sales & marketing alignment, complexity of B2B sales, high expectations around the buying experience, time wasted on administrative tasks... To succeed in 2023, it needs a budgetary boost! Sales managers have understood this and will invest more in sales enablement tools, according to Gartner. Budgets dedicated to Sales Enablement are expected to increase by +50% over the next five years. This figure shows the growing importance that companies attach to improving their sales performance.
According to Shayne Jackson, Senior Analyst Director - Gartner Practice for Sales Leaders, "Sales Enablement has become the most critical function for guiding sales teams. With increased budgets come new demands for ROI, she explains, "However, with increased budgets will come increased expectations for results on Sales Enablement. It is incumbent upon CSOs to make it a priority to demonstrate the ROI of sales enablement programs. The good news? The ROIs of Sales Enablement are no longer in question (better sales & marketing alignment, increased sales and margins, accelerated ramp-up, sales force attractiveness and retention, reduced carbon footprint...) as you have seen earlier in the article.
So now is the perfect time to adopt Sales Enablement and get a head start on your competition. If you're looking to align your sales & marketing teams, improve sales performance and deliver a quality customer experience in appointments, look no further than Salesapps.