This week we’re talking sales enablement. Whether you have a dedicated sales enablement team, one sales enablement professional, or a sales team member assigned to tackling sales enablement initiatives, it should be an important part of your competitive strategy. Stay tuned for an upcoming post outlining exactly how to handle sales enablement when you don’t have a dedicated professional.
Over $66 billion is spent annually on sales training and sales enablement technology, and the number is only growing. Sales enablement is becoming an increasingly important component of the sales success equation, and smart organizations are jumping in head first to keep their competitive edge.
Sales enablement managers can help:
- Get your team up to speed faster
- Improve productivity
- Generate more revenue per sales rep
- Improve retention
If these outcomes sound like something that could greatly benefit your sales team, take a closer look at how you could implement your own sales enablement initiative in 90 days below.
30 Days: Audit Your Organization
The first step for any new sales enablement professional is to analyze what’s currently happening within their new organization. In their first 30 days, your new manager should get an accurate lay of the land, including individual skill sets and general technologies and resources.
They should use this analysis and data to establish baselines and performance standards. Once sales enablement initiatives are launched, they can compare new results to measure effectiveness.
The following metrics are examples of data points your sales enablement leader may want to get familiar with:
- Onboarding duration time
- Time to first sale
- Recruiting spend
- Sales rep retention
- Marketing content usage
- Sales rep efficiency
- Sales coaching effectiveness
Each of the examples above will start to build the current sales enablement landscape within your business. These answers will highlight current deficiencies, and show where improvements are needed.
Your sales enablement professional should also spend time getting to know individual sales reps and sales content, and take note of what’s working for top performers. Examining the current practices of your all stars and low performers will provide insight into strategies that could be extended to the rest of the team, and tactics that should be avoided.
60 Days: Get Quick Wins
The second 30 days of your sales enablement plan should be taking the information gathered from the audit during the first month, and identifying quick wins. Your sales enablement professional won’t be able to tackle every single item on the list right away, so push them to work on bringing in immediate results.
Your new sales enablement manager should work with senior leadership to get buy in for these new initiatives. They need to understand that sales leaders are their allies, and can help get sales reps onboard a lot faster.
A few examples of quick wins include:
- Marketing content usage. If your initial audit shows low sales rep usage rates, consider why. If content is stored in hard-to-access locations, or spread across various platforms, centralizing information in a mobile friendly spot may be a simple quick win.
- Sales coaching effectiveness. If sales coaching seems like it’s lacking, determine why. If sales managers are struggling to find the time to connect with sales reps, help them define a schedule and find ways to streamline the process. For example, mobile coaching technology would allow them to provide feedback from anywhere.
- Onboarding process. If the current onboarding process seems way too long, examine the process. Are reps having to wait for in-person training opportunities, or falling behind due to geographical hurdles? Consider transitioning onboarding to a fully online process so reps can access training from anywhere, and start selling faster.
Your initial information audit will probably reveal numerous opportunities for improvement. Eventually, your sales enablement manager can tackle them all, but they should start where they will see the biggest immediate ROI.
90 Days: Build Long Term Framework
During the last 30 days of their 90 day plan, sales enablement reps should be planning for the future. With quick win initiatives in place, they will have bought themselves time to lay out the larger, longer term framework.
This plan should examine and incorporate every stage, and each stakeholder in the selling process. It should tackle questions like:
- What tasks must sales reps complete at every stage of the sales process?
- What types of sales collateral is needed for each type of interaction?
- What technology could help sales reps and sales managers complete their jobs more efficiently?
This detailed framework will be the foundation for long term sales enablement initiatives and success. Paired with the information gathered during the audit stage, this plan will address critical gaps in collateral needs, access to information, competitor analysis, training, and technology literacy.
Once the plan has been laid out, your sales enablement professional should work with stakeholders to get important campaigns off the ground.
One of the biggest misconceptions about sales enablement is that it somehow replaces sales managers, which couldn’t be further from the truth. While it’s the responsibility of sales enablement to increase efficiencies, it’s not their job to work with individual reps. In a sense, they will be helping sales managers be better at their jobs, and produce greater results from their teams.
Sales enablement can completely transform the efficiency and impact of your sales organization if it’s implemented successfully. Follow this sales enablement 90 day plan above to audit current practices, capture the quick wins, and plan for long term results.