How Sales Enablement Benefits Training and Marketing Departments
Sales enablement is a hot topic around the sales department water cooler, but is sales the only department that reaps its benefits? When done right, a comprehensive sales enablement strategy can also strengthen marketing and training efforts.
One reason sales enablement is pigeonholed as “sales-only” is the perception that it’s primarily technology-driven. But sales enablement encompasses more than a fancy new app. By expanding the definition of sales enablement to a smart mix of technology and training that supports sales and reinforces company messaging, benefits multiply for the total organization.
Here’s how smart sales enablement can benefit your training and marketing departments in addition to sales.
Benefits for Training Departments
Sales enablement drives training execution at a faster pace, reinforces knowledge and skills, and helps training stick.
How is that possible? Traditionally, training teaches the critical knowledge, skills and behaviors sales reps need to function at their highest level, including product knowledge, industry basics, how to conduct a needs analysis and how to qualify customers.
The best sales enablement tools reinforce this training and also offer customer-facing performance support by incorporating tools like guided selling and interactive product demos. Tools like these help reps conduct a thorough needs assessment, qualify customers and make recommendations about the best-fit product for their specific needs, all while educating customers—and themselves—on specs, features and value.
Some sales enablement tools also recommend the right training content at the right time to help reps move a deal toward completion. By simultaneously providing training reinforcement and advancing sales, sales enablement tools boost rep efficiency.
Benefits for Marketing Departments
Marketing leaders advocate that message consistency is key, and it’s their job to ensure that each rep has the latest, greatest materials at their fingertips. Instilling the right product positioning, talking points and value proposition in reps across the organization fosters brand consistency.
How can you ensure that individual reps deliver a consistent experience across the board? Sales enablement.
When sales reps have access to the same high-caliber marketing content, all in the right place and on-demand, they use the right messaging from the same viewpoint, and voila: Marketing consistency becomes reality!
Each customer will then receive the same (stellar!) customer experience, regardless of which rep they’re buying from or which city they’re in.
And don’t forget about all the customer-focused content that marketing teams create. When this content is easily accessible and kept up to date inside a sales enablement tool, it doubles as high-powered training aids.
Benefits for Sales Teams
Perhaps the biggest benefit of sales enablement is increasing sales reps’ speed to competence, making new reps more productive sooner. Here’s a best-in-class performance example.
Without sales enablement, it might take a new sales rep six months to reach his or her monthly quota of $50,000. But, with the right sales enablement strategy in place (and remember, that’s a mix of training and technology), reps could achieve quota as soon as months two or three.
What’s the difference in sales value to your organization when reps reach quota twice as quickly? Put another way: What’s your added cost for not employing sales enablement tools that make reps more productive three to four months more quickly? In this example, it’s about $100,000 per new sales rep in just their first six months.
Guided selling enables you to clone your best salesperson and give each new rep in your sales force the experience of your highest-producing rep. The tool helps reps ask the right questions and position products like a skilled veteran. New salespeople essentially have that veteran rep’s mindset at their fingertips, so they sell like a seasoned pro. (And talk about a confidence boost!)
Bonus: Benefits for Customers
Of course, sales leaders look to sales enablement tools to boost sales and make reps more productive. That’s a given. But let’s not forget about the benefits to your customers.
Sales enablement tools increase transparency, eliminating customers’ suspicion that reps are only out to meet sales quotas. Customer inputs can drive a recommendation engine that provides the most tailored solution for the customer, detailing the reasons that particular solution is ideal for their exact situation.
Customers now make more confident purchasing decisions, seeing that reps have their best interests at heart, which amps up trust. And trust sells.
Yes, There’s Homework
If you think sales enablement tools only benefit sales teams, it’s time to expand your horizons.
Here’s your homework: If you’re a training leader, share this article with your organization’s sales and marketing counterparts to start the conversation. Become the unifying voice bringing all three departments together to benefit your reps; your customers; and, ultimately, your organization’s bottom line.
Brian Leach is CEO and co-founder of Unboxed Technology. He’s collected over 28 years of sales leadership expertise while serving in multiple roles that focused on improving the customer experience. He oversees new business development and helps shape the strategic direction for Unboxed’s sales enablement solutions.