Life Before Sales Enablement
The old ways of selling were manual and focused strictly on the sales team. Sales reps had to do everything manually, from building their own prospect lead database to sending every email to manually building sales decks. Over time, the common question became, “How do we enable salespeople to do more of what they do best — sell?”
That’s where sales enablement comes into play. Mature sales enablement strategies come together when your sales, marketing, and customer success departments collaborate without friction to develop sales-centric resources that enable the sales team to work more efficiently and close more deals.
Three Key Aspects of Sales Enablement
Sales enablement can come in many different forms, but when assessing your ability to scale, there are three to keep in mind: tools and technology, training and coaching, and content production. Let’s get into the role each plays in developing a scalable sales enablement strategy.
Tools & Technology
Sales organizations need to invest in the tools and technologies that allow salespeople to focus less on manual, time-consuming tasks and more on selling. While it’s important to know your limits when it comes to automation and technology, there are plenty of mundane tasks that can be automated to make a salesperson’s life easier.
Who owns this? RevOps.
Training & Coaching
A key secondary component to those tools and technologies in place is making sure your team understands how to use them. Far too often, an organization adopts a new tech stack thinking it will be the saving grace of their revenue woes just to find out that none of their team members use it appropriately.
In the same sense, sales coaching is often neglected after initial onboarding. An oft-forgotten resource when it comes to sales success is knowledge. Yes, sales teams need adequate technology and collateral to work more efficiently, but none of that matters without the right sales knowledge. You must have the right coaching in place to bolster this knowledge and hold your sales team accountable.
Who owns this? The sales manager.
When sales teams have resources to utilize throughout their sales presentations, they are far more likely to make a convincing argument. These pieces of content can include one-pagers, slide decks, presentation materials, pre-recorded demos, case studies, white papers — basically anything a salesperson needs to be incredible at their job and make a lasting impression on prospects.
Who owns this? Marketing.
Ultimately, salespeople should spend less time on repeatable tasks and more time selling. These three components in specific supercharge them to be successful.
Is Your Sales Enablement Strategy Set for Scale?
When you look at the concept of scaling, this is where you want to rapidly multiply what you have today to reach new levels of your revenue production. But here’s the catch — you can't scale chaos, you can't scale manual work. If you try to do that, it becomes very expensive and impacts your profitability.
To assess your readiness to scale your current strategy, ask yourself these questions:
How many people do you have today? What are they producing today? And where do you want to be in a year, three years, five years?
I recognize it’s not a simple answer, but breaking the questions down into each of the aforementioned categories is the easiest way to understand if your sales enablement strategy is set for scale. Remember, all three categories must be fully optimized if you want to scale your organization.
Tools & Technology
As you assess your current tech stack, the main thing to consider is whether or not everything that could be automated is. If you can confidently look at your full tech stack and say there’s no room for improvement and that your automation is optimized, it’s safe to assume that your tools and technology are in place to scale.
However, if you notice some areas of automation lacking — you still do manual proposals or strictly manual prospecting — you’re likely not ready for scale. This is when it becomes crucial to work with a RevOps expert who can confidently assess the strengths and weaknesses of your tech stack and their alignment to the operational workflow of your customer across all revenue functions -- marketing, sales, and customer success.
Coaching & Training
This is usually an area where most companies forget that they need to improve what they have before they go to scale. The best way to assess the current state of this section is to break it down into two parts: onboarding/initial training and ongoing sales coaching.
- Onboarding and Initial Training — If you were to onboard new salespeople today, what would their first 90 days look like? Do you have a new hire onboarding and training program built? A great new hire onboarding and training program lasts four to six weeks on the short end and up to 90 days on the long end. This must be a mapped out process to build out coaching and training so that you can ensure that every new rep that comes into the organization can tell the company story, can demo the product or service, understands the requirements, adopts the tech stack, and has a start-to-finish understanding of the process and the methodology in order to be successful in their role.
- Ongoing Coaching — All too often, organizations neglect the importance of ongoing coaching and hope that the initial onboarding and training will suffice. However, ongoing coaching is critical in helping your salespeople optimize performance. A great sales coach should have a repeatable curriculum, listen back to recorded calls and identify training opportunities, coach pre-call strategy and post-call debriefing, and identify different sales training elements that are becoming popular.
If both of these programs are set in place and functioning without hiccups, your training & coaching are ready to scale.
The last part to consider on your journey to scale a sales enablement strategy is content production. One way to audit this is compiling a catalog of everything that you have internally — sales decks, your one-pagers, case studies, white papers, proposal templates.
With that in place, ask yourself this — if we were five times the size we are today, do we have everything that we need to be efficient in this sales enablement content. Chances are you will recognize underrepresented categories.
For instance, you may have five ICPs but have only created case studies on two of them. How, then, can a sales rep sell to one of those missing ICPs? If you notice missing pieces, it’s on the sales team to create a gap analysis of your current state and your desired future state so you can go to the marketing team with a list of needs.
Get the Scaling Help You Need
If you have checked every box above, congrats! You’re ready to scale your operations, bring on new talent, and take your revenue to new heights.
If you notice missing pieces in the above strategy, our team is ready to jump in. To learn more about how we help companies scale, download our full methodology eBook or contact us today to schedule a consultation.