Sales enablement. It’s the secret to sustained growth. It increases the impact of campaigns by providing valuable insight into your buyer personas and the right content they need to become your customers. Without it, you will miss out on valuable sales opportunities.
That’s why we’ve made this guide. In it, we will take you through what sales enablement is and how you can use it to empower your sales team to deliver more effective and impactful campaigns as well as close more deals.
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is the practice of providing growth and sales-focused teams with the content, tools, and insights they need to win new business. It brings together marketing, sales, and accounts to increase the impact of campaigns, win new customers, and keep old ones.
Think of sales enablement like a multiplier or an amplifier. It’s a machine that takes raw market research and converts it into valuable content or collateral for your team.
Sales Enablement vs. Marketing
It’s easy to be confused where the line between sales enablement vs. marketing is. And if it seems like there’s a lot of overlap, that’s because there is.
Sales enablement is a key part of marketing. But don’t think of it like a dedicated function or a team. Think of sales enablement like a service that your marketing team provides to other departments within your company.
“Think of sales enablement like a service that your marketing team provides to other departments within your company.”
Your marketing team is an agency – albeit an internal one. Sales enablement is just one of the many services and value-adds that it provides to the wider organisation.
Sales Enablement Examples
There are many different examples of sales enablement within an organisation. But at a high-level, they can be broken down into three distinct categories:
If you can support your sales department in these areas, you will drastically increase the impact your marketing team can have.
Content, Collateral, and Customer Stories
Content is king. And it’s the king of sales enablement. Never does a day go by where a salesmen doesn’t curse over the content that they need to close that deal.
Whitepapers, eBooks, articles, webinars, testimonials, case studies… You name it, sales representatives want it. And the more specific and relevant to the prospect they’re currently chasing, the better!
The problem is that, despite all this demand, 60% of marketing content goes unused – despite the vast majority of that content being created to drive leads and support the pipeline. So, it’s your job to drive that number down.
But how do you avoid your content going to waste?
By building the right marketing segmentation. Your structure should support your:
- Buyer Personas
- Customer Journey Stages
- Target Industries and Regions
Creating this structure – and categorizing your content with it – will help sales teams to find the collateral they need. No more nagging Slack messages asking you “Do we have a case study for this entrepreneurs in the APAC healthcare industry?”
“Build a library of content, collateral, and customer stories that covers every product, persona, customer journey stage, region, and industry.”
If you can build a library of content, collateral, and customer stories that covers every product, persona, customer journey stage, region, and industry then you will have created a huge amount of value for your organisation.
But to help them find it, you will need a tool that makes it easy for sales teams to find the right content…
Software and tools are an instrumental part of sales enablement. They’re often how you present the content you’ve created and insights you’ve uncovered to your wider organisation. Tools make it easy for sales teams to close more deals. You can check our list of recommended sales enablement tools.
Insights are an essential part of the sales process. The better you understand your customer, where they are in their journey, and the the industry or region they’re in, the easier it will be to sell to them.
Common insights include:
- Customer pain points, questions and objections
- Industry updates
- Regional customs and traditions
When combined, these insights give your sales teams much more power in their negotiations. They’ll know the buttons to press and how to overcome any obstacle in the way of closing that sale.
Setting Your Strategy
Sales enablement does not demand a separate strategy of its own. But it does require careful thought and thorough planning. It should sit as a subsection within your Marketing or Go To Market (GTM) Strategy.
This section should answer important product marketing questions:
- How do we help increase the effectiveness of our sales and marketing efforts?
- How are you going to create better quality leads?
- How will you going to close more sales?
- How do you make sure you’re attracting the right kind of customer?
These questions pose even more questions:
- What insights must we collect on our customers?
- What kind of content do we need to increase close-win rate?
- What tools do our teams need to reach their targets?
These are the questions that your strategy must answer. How you answer them depends on the priorities of your organisation. Are you a start-up, SMB, or large-scale enterprise?
Understanding Your Organization’s Needs
We’ve collected examples of content, insights, and tools that typical teams need at different sizes.
|Start-Up||SMB or Scale-Up||Enterprise|
|Buyer Persona Profiles|
Competitor Battle Cards
Customer Journey Maps
Branded Research & Studies
Assembling Your Team
It’s rare for a company to have a dedicated Sales Enablement Team. Unless it’s a huge organisation, the need for sales enablement doesn’t require a team or even dedicated manager. The role typically falls to the Marketing or Product Marketing team and the people within it.
Think about it less as a dedicated department or role and more as a service that your product marketing team provides collectively.
Sales Enablement Software
There are a lot of different options when it comes to Sales Enablement Software. Here are several questions to ask as you embark on finding the right software for your team:
- Who’s going to use is? And who will use it the most?
- What content will we put into the platform? And what will we focus on importing first?
- Will this bridge the gap between sales, marketing, and growth?
- How much does it cost?
- How long will it take to implement?
Top Sales Enablement Tools
We’ve collected a list of the top tools out there. Different platforms have their own benefits. But a key consideration when choosing your own sales enablement platform is the target audience.
Most platforms are presentation tools. They’re built to display your existing content in a way that’s easy to filter by key elements like buyer persona, customer journey stage, region, and sector among others.
None of this data is dynamic, however. It’s all text fields which is fine for when your team understands your strategy. But for new marketers and sales representatives it can be an overwhelming wall of content without any insight into strategy.
That’s what we want to change with Mkt. And that’s what separates us from the sales enablement tools you see below.
The marketer's operating system. Create great content, faster. Build an exceptional content library. Find the right content for every campaign.
We help companies build remarkable customer experiences with a CRM platform that’s designed for scale.
The most complete & flexible sales enablement platform that marketing and sales rely on to drive revenue growth faster.
With Mkt, your buyer personas, customer journey stages, regions, and target sectors all live as dynamic data points in the same platform as your content. This way, it’s easy for new team members to understand everything about your sales and marketing strategy as well as the content they need to execute it.
Sales Enablement FAQs
It’s rarely a dedicated team. The wider Product Marketing team provides other areas within the organisation tools, content, and insights they need to win and retain customers.
Content, tools, and insights that helps sales teams to close more deals – presented in an intuitive and accessible way.
The primary goal of sales enablement is to help increase a company’s close-win rate. This involves onboarding new sales representatives faster with all the content, tools, and insights that they need to succeed.
Marketing. Marketing should always own sales enablement. Think of your marketing team like an internal agency. Sales enablement is just one of the services your agency provides to other departments.
First, understand your top-level strategic objectives. Identify areas of weakness within your sales funnel. Where are deals dropping? What common objections are customers raising? From this, you can pinpoint the content, tools, and insights that will have the biggest positive impact on your bottom line.
This document or internal wiki lays out the structure of your sales enablement team, the activities they’re responsible for, the services or support that they provide, and how they measure their success.