The sales profession has changed, and B2B SaaS sales are becoming more difficult to close in large part because today's buyer is fundamentally different from buyers of 10 years ago. Sales enablement helps to meet their changing demands.
B2B buyers are spending more time in the research phase than ever before. An overwhelming 82 percent of B2B buyers report using several resources to evaluate a service or product before contacting a brand. As a result, more bottom-of-the-funnel SQLs are prepared and informed before engaging with your company.
Your inbound marketing efforts are created with this in mind, but they're only the first piece of the puzzle.
Sales enablement helps to complete that puzzle.
What is Sales Enablement?
First, you should know what it isn't. Sales enablement is not a renaming of classic sales training.
Sales enablement — a combination of calculated steps — aligns your marketing and sales efforts. It removes marketing as a cost center and puts it squarely into the sales profit center, with shared responsibilities.
Your inbound strategy is mostly content driven. It brings leads from the top of the funnel through the middle, getting them ready for the bottom. This is where sales enablement goes to work.
Sales enablement provides your sales team with:
- Deal support
- Best practices
- Tools & Technology
When implemented properly, sales enablement supplies the analytical data needed to identify strengths and opportunities for growth.
How Does it Work?
There is no one formula that summarizes sales enablement. Every business differs in internal structure, goals and pain points. Instead, there are a host of strategies and data that can be tailored to suit the obstacles facing your business.
With marketing and sales aligned and a strong CRM, sales enablement can:
- Increase your quota attainment (QA) and win rates
- Reduce sales rep ramp time
- Increase productivity per rep (PPR)
- Grow annual recurring revenue (ARR)
- Improve your demo to close ratio
- Reduce employee turnover
4 Reasons to Provide Your Business with a Sales Enablement Program
1. Bridge the Gap
Whether you use an external team or have in-house marketers, sales enablement bridges the gap between marketing and sales.
Marketing teams use specific measures to target ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) leads and get them into their funnel. These ICP leads are nurtured and engaged with strategic content to identify their individual pain points.
Approaching these leads with traditional sales tactics is detrimental to your efforts. Sales enablement teaches your team to turn this information into an effective close.
2. Content, Content and More Content
Sometimes, you get so caught up with providing your sales team with leads that you can forget about your best resource: content. Any salesperson who enjoys what they do looks for ways to improve. They read blogs and watch videos trying to find ways to apply what they've learned to their jobs.
Having product-specific content in multiple formats is a critical part of sales enablement, and it provides your sales team what they need to improve.
Sales enablement places a heavy focus on internal content comprised of blogs, videos, podcasts, pitch decks and playbooks. Internal content increases information retention, improves win rates and drives product engagement.
Ultimately, this translates to a better customer experience and higher quality support.
3. Deal Support
Deal support is where your sales reps can find help. It’s one-on-one assistance from the marketing team. Typical functions of a deal support program include:
- Competitive intelligence: Helps to identify the advantages a rep has when competing with another product.
- Customer reference calls: Connects a bottom-of-the-funnel lead with a current, happy customer in a similar situation.
- Deal strategy: Helps to identify useful sales techniques specific to the known lead profile.
4. Measure, Analyze and Adjust
A strong sales enablement team is data-driven. They use analytical tools to track not only sales rep performance but also their own.
By identifying weaknesses, a sales enablement team makes adjustments to improve results. Some commonly tracked data includes:
- Quota attainment
- New customers
- New multi-product customers
- Sales rep ramp time
- Average days to close
- Demo to close rate
- Deal support revenue
- Sales enablement NPS (survey)
Bottom Line - Sales Enablement Works
Sales enablement is a growing trend among successful B2B SaaS businesses.
A 2017 state of sales enablement study showed that 75 percent of businesses with enablement strategies increased sales over 12 months. Almost half reported more than a 25 percent increase. Furthermore, Google searches for sales enablement have increased 51.2 percent over the past year.
Sales enablement is a process that is quickly becoming the standard. If you're interested in the sales enablement process but aren't sure where to begin, contact flux+flow today. We can help you get started.