Typically when we talk about sales enablement, the topic at hand is regarding the tools we give our sales team in order to have access to the right resources to better assist potential or repeat customers in making their purchases. But if we can look at sales enablement in a more holistic way, particularly in the age of digital transformation, we can see that in order to make the most of it we shouldn't only be considering how it applies to customer-facing tasks.
Sales enablement and performance analysis
Equipping our teams with the right tools to enable them to make sales shouldn't just be about the delivery of materials and execution of processes. It should also be about personal autonomy, responsibility over performance, and ownership of their roles - things that don't always include direct contact with customers or leads.
Enhancing sales enablement tools with methods for setting and tracking goals, KPI benchmarks that indicate improvement or identify weaknesses, and optimizing related communication channels can then allow salespeople to more effectively own the sales processes from start to finish. Even though these elements aren't about the direct selling capacity, or even things that customers may see or notice, they can make a big difference in the activities that are then, in turn, utilized directly to potential buyers.
For example, by ensuring that your sales staff are aware of the activities that personally make them more efficient in identifying potential customers, they can then ideally contact more prospects. Without ensuring performance analysis alongside sales enablement, this might be an area where individuals don't feel responsible.
Sales enablement and employee engagement
Sales enablement in and of itself is not really a tool for engaging sales employees. While it can help them to be better at their jobs, and be more effective for individual achievement, sales enablement at its core isn't a way for teams to collaborate, or for managers to personally support their staff.
But when combined with tools and methods for employee engagement, sales enablement can actually be more effective. That's because sharing, collaboration, communication, and learning are elements that contribute to more effective sales. These aspects don't always translate to what potential customers see and experience directly, but can be the foundation for how sales staff are able answer questions, accommodate needs, and provide a great experience to buyers.
We know in actuality that when employees feel engaged and valued, and supported by leadership, they are more effective - especially in customer facing roles. When management can place priority on ensuring employee engagement is achieved, the sales enablement can act as a cherry on the top.
Sales enablement and learning management
Often sales enablement can be a delivery system for materials and resources that allow salespeople to have the information they need about products, services, and the business. But using a system that includes materials for reference isn't the same as having true learning, training, and coaching delivery.
When combined as a one-two punch, sales enablement and a learning management system together not only gives your sales staff access to information, but access to ways they can be more knowledgeable. This can improve their sales skills, their confidence, and their ability to effectively translate important information to customers based on their needs.
The difference between access to information, and access to methods to become more knowledgeable can be found in true understanding. We would argue that most sales leaders would prefer that their employees deeply understand customer needs, sales trends, and the business, rather than just having the right information about these things.
Sales enablement is often thought of as providing resources to sales people in order to complete sales. But we shouldn't just think about customer-facing tasks when looking to 'enable' our salespeople. When combined with methods for performance analysis, employee engagement, and learning management, sales enablement can truly become most effective.
Want to learn more about how to increase the efficacy of your sales enablement? Download our e-book, Sales enablement and digitalization: What could you be doing better?