New year, new sales goals. As you look at your sales results from last year, you will want to evaluate your successes, as well as your shortcomings. Any areas that need to be strengthened, you should build into your sales enablement strategy.
Now more than ever, the sales process requires sales reps to have a multitude of tools at their fingertips. It is about more than talking to a prospect and being able to demo a solution. It is also about the right tools to engage with the prospect during the buying journey and arming sales reps with the information they need to overcome a prospect’s objections.
But how can you better prepare your sales reps to give prospects what they need? And how can you align these needs with your overall sales goals? The right sales enablement strategy can answer both of these questions.
Identifying Your Ideal Sales Leads
Sales reps will invariably chase the wrong leads. They are on the hunt and think they have roped in a lead. They’ll keep after the lead, even when all signs point to “not a good fit.”
Part of reviewing your strategy involves identifying who your potential customers are…. and who they aren’t. You want to empower your sales reps to stop pursuing the leads that aren’t qualified. Unqualified leads are a waste of time, energy, and money.
Start by defining a profile of your best customers. Review the buying journey of those customers and what led them to choose your company. If you can interview these customers and ask them to reflect on their decision, even better.
Defining Your Sales Goals and Challenges
Now that you have identified your ideal leads take a look at your sales goals. How can you fit the profile of your leads into your targets for the year? What challenges do you face in this particular customer profile?
At this point, you can engage with your sales reps and ask them what they see in the field from prospects with a similar profile. You want to ask your sales reps where they hit roadblocks in getting these prospects to say “yes.”
Turn Goals and Challenges into Strategy
Your next step is to formulate a strategy around your ideal leads. Think about the following elements:
- What challenges and pain points do these prospects face?
- What do your top sales performers have in common?
- How can you better train and support your sales reps?
- What is the right focus for your product/solution in the marketplace?
- Are you following best practices within your sales team?
- Do your sales reps know when to walk away?
As you look at strategy, identify structural or organizational issues that might be barriers. Think about struggles that you might have getting the right resources to your sales reps at the right time. Consider the length of your sales cycle and the time it would take to adopt new strategies.
At the end of the day, you need buy-in from your sales reps. You cannot expect a strategy to be successful if your sales reps fight it.
Try to outline how you think your organization can better meet sales goals by employing new strategies. Spend time with each of your reps and ask them what pain points they face in the process. Allow your reps time to discuss and brainstorm with each other.
You’ll want to encourage your sales reps toward the common goal of boosting sales. They have to recognize shortcomings and be willing to accept help in order to get there. You can provide this help through sales enablement.
Put Your Sales Enablement Strategy into Practice
What is sales enablement? It is an internal process that allows your sales team to better connect with prospects through information. It is a company-wide goal that involves multiple departments supporting your sales efforts.
Sales reps face different needs from different prospects. Some need a lot of follow-ups and constant interaction. Others prefer to read and absorb information on their own.
You want your reps to have all of the right tools in place to meet the prospect where they are. They need to identify what the prospect needs. Your goal as an organization should be to facilitate meeting those needs as efficiently as possible.
Let’s take a look at some of the cornerstones of a good sales enablement strategy.
Sales Support Resources
Supporting your sales team needs to be a company-wide focus. Your sales reps should understand the internal resources for answering questions and the process for receiving a quick response. Your marketing department should be a complement to your sales reps and not be operating in a silo.
Helpful Content for Sales Reps
Prospects receive information in many different ways. While it is the sales rep’s job to determine what the prospect needs, your company needs to have the information ready. From videos to slip sheets to case studies, make sure your content stays current and accessible.
Ongoing Training for Sales Reps
Like any profession, sales reps can benefit from ongoing training. They need to understand the tools available and how to use them. You’ll have more consistency across your sales department with the right training.
Your sales enablement strategy should include measurable results. The technology you use should allow you to see metrics around the resources used and conversion rates. Backing up your strategy with data will help you to know if you need to make tweaks.
Your Approach to Sales Enablement
Your sales enablement strategy should be a good fit for your organization. Don’t aim for lofty goals or a process that your sales reps will not be able to follow. Instead, look at your team’s strengths and figure out how to best use those strengths to your advantage.
The right tools can turn your sales enablement strategy into the foundation for better sales outcomes.