You probably know the struggle: You want to add new business, so you run a marketing campaign, you get new customers to sign up, and you make more sales … only to find some of your older customers have abandoned ship in the meantime. At the end of the day, your “new” business simply replaced the business you already had. You didn’t add net new business.
It’s a frustrating situation for any firm trying to increase sales. If this situation sounds familiar, don’t fret—there’s something you can do to correct ship.
What Is Sales Enablement?
It’s a fairly broad term, and its definition might shift a bit, depending on who you’re talking to. Generally speaking, though, it’s the process of “enabling” your sales team. This can include everything from providing additional training and learning opportunities to ensuring members of the team are using the right tools for their jobs.
In a lot of cases, it also means aligning sales and marketing. One of the biggest issues facing any firm is miscommunication between these two departments. Marketing runs a campaign and generates leads, but salespeople are focused on their own projects and fail to follow up. Opportunities are lost all around. Pushing sales and marketing to work together more closely usually helps firms generate new business.
Why Do You Need It?
It should be clear why a firm would need sales enablement: to increase sales. There are any number of reasons your sales team isn’t adding net new business, even though its goal is to generate new business. And sometimes, your reps aren’t adding net new business even though the sales numbers are growing.
The formula is simple: If you want to add net new business, start enabling sales.
How Does It Grow Business?
This is the million-dollar question: How does enabling sales grow your business? You might be growing sales already, but what you’re really after is net new business.
Sales enablement works on a number of fronts and allows your salespeople to do what they do best: sell. By providing them with the right tools, you can be sure they’re working as efficiently as possible. When you provide learning opportunities, sales reps can hone their selling skills and develop new ones. They’ll practise new techniques and stay on top of trends, giving them an edge in a competitive market.
Where Does Marketing Fit?
The alignment of sales and marketing is a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to sales enablement, even though it’s not called “marketing enablement.” Really, though, sales and marketing should always be working together. Both departments have the same end goal—grow business—and both of them interact directly with your existing customers and potential new clients.
The real question is why firms have allowed marketing and sales to operate separately for so long. Marketing’s efforts should always be tied directly to sales; sales should be following up on the marketing campaign. Marketing—particularly inbound marketing—can generate new leads, and your sales reps should be following up on those leads.
How Can You Get Sales Enablement?
The good news is it’s fairly easy to enable your sales team. There’s plenty of resources, and many of the methods are easily implemented in just about any firm.
If you’re not entirely sure, however, you can always bring in a sales enablement consultant to help you. A consultant will work with you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and to build a plan for implementing sales enablement in your firm. The consultant may even be able to help you roll out the plan, ensuring everyone in your organization is on board with the new program.
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.