Nov
08

What is Sales Enablement?

Sales Enablement shows a change in the state of mind of B2B sales. As B2B sales are becoming more complex and competitive, it is necessary to implement methods, tools and processes to improve the efficiency of your sales and marketing teams.

 

Sales Enablement is precisely that: the implementation of methods and strategies aiming to continuously improve your sales efficiency.

 

In practical terms, this means:

  • Training sales teams
  • Equipping sales people with the right tools
  • Coaching
  • Assessing individual and collective performances
  • Optimising sales organisation
  • Recruiting the right talent — and keeping it.

 

According to Aberdeen, Sales Enablement can significantly improve sales performances.

A few years ago, Sales Enablement was still the prerogative of large companies, but more and more SMEs are now starting to put it in place:

Source blog hubspot

 

How do you put in place a Sales Enablement policy?

Sales Enablement follows a conventional approach: take an audit of the situation, put in place the corrective measures that will have the greatest impact in the short and medium term, analyse them, and then implement a process of continuous improvement.

Stage 1 – Take an audit of sales activity in the broadest sense

Before putting actions in place, we have to begin by analysing the situation and knowing in which areas we can make gains in efficiency, so as to then define the primary goals.

It is also important for the Sales Enablement efforts to be in tune with the company’s global strategy (for example, to prospect more, to sell new products, or to develop new markets).

Before even undertaking such an audit, we should clarify the company’s global strategy as well as its short- and medium-term priorities, so as to guide the sales audit.

This audit must analyse the sales strategy but also its operational implementation.

In fact, in many companies, there is a big difference between what management thinks and what actually happens in the field…

The audit must therefore answer all or part of these questions:

Sales Strategy Audit:

  • What is hindering business? And what forces are driving it?
  • Who are the best clients, in terms of sales figures and, if possible, in terms of margins?
  • How are leads managed, from generation through to signature?
  • What is the client journey? Is the discourse coherent and flowing?
  • What are the sticking points in the sales cycle?
  • What are the most common reasons for losing a deal?
  • What tools are the sales people using at the moment (CRM, demonstration material, etc.), and how satisfied are they with them?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the company’s range of products and services (functions, prices, sales policy, financing, etc.)?
  • What marketing and sales assistance tools are used? Are they current? What would be missing as a priority?
  • Who outperforms and who underperforms? Why?
  • Are new sales techniques being used (social selling, for example)?
  • How are “cold” and “lukewarm” leads followed up? How are leads handled when they don’t have a project coming up within the next 6 months?
  • How does the sales department work with the marketing department? What shared meetings are there? What level of interaction is there?
  • What strategies/automatic reflexes are in place for triggering the client’s second order, the sale of accessories, upgrades, the sale of complementary products, etc.?
  • Are your sales people convinced that they have the best product (at least for a specific target in the market)?
  • When you agree to something for a client (for example, a discount or a bonus), do your sales people obtain something in return?
  • How do you personalise messages and communication with leads? How much time is devoted to the preparation of a phone call to a lead? How do you make your lead feel like a star/important?
  • What is your policy in terms of retaining clients or reducing the churn rate? Do you know when a client leaves you and why?
  • Is there a ‘Win Back’ strategy for the clients who have left you?
  • What do the sales people do to ensure clients have confidence in your sales team? Because in B2B, we buy above all from a person, rather than from a company….
  • How do you make a lead with a requirement really want to order your product? How do make them feel they have to “urgently” place an order?
  • What are the closing tools/methods/offers that enable you to encourage a lead to sign immediately rather than wait?
  • Do the sales people know how to describe your ideal client?

 

Sales organisation:

  • How many clients are there in the sales people’s portfolios? Is this distribution harmonious?
  • How many of your sales people are “hunters” and how many are “farmers”? Is this in tune with company strategy?
  • Have you defined personalised individual goals (in terms of quality and quantity)?
  • Are your sales forecasts reliable?
  • How do your sales people manage their time?
  • Do the sales people lose time on tasks that are not related to sales (for example, managing emails, and writing up expenses)?
  • Which processes are currently manual/automatic in the sales process (for example, marketing automation, or upselling/cross selling).
  • What training (product, sales, etc.) is given to the sales people?
  • How does the sales team communicate (for example, by email, chat, CRM or intranet)?
  • What communication tools are available to the sales people (chat, smartphone, etc.)?
  • Who are the main competitors and what are the tools / arguments to fight them?
  • How are the sales people managed? (When was the last sales challenge? When were the latest public congratulations or celebration?)
  • How is the sales process managed (qualification form, etc.)?
  • Where are all the contacts (clients, leads, etc.) stored and how are exchanges archived?
  • What are the lead times between the detection of a lead and them being contacted by a sales person?
  • How much autonomy does the sales person have in terms of achieving goals, implementing sales actions, etc.?
  • How do you differentiate a hot lead from a cold one? How many presentations and appointments are completed with leads that ultimately do not have a short-term requirement?

 

Based on this audit, you will be able to choose 3 priority improvement areas to implement in the short term.

The goal is to achieve maximum results with minimum efforts so as to use small victories to show the sales team that the situation is changing.

You should avoid creating disappointment by promising a revolution and big changes, which are generally long and complex to achieve.

In our follow-up article, discover the priority improvement areas to be implemented.

Discover an excerpt from the white paper: “How sales intelligence is transforming B2B sales”

 

Frédéric Canevet
About the Author
Frédéric Canevet is an expert in digital marketing. He is the founder of the blog Conseilsmarketing.com