This is guest post by Charlotte Powell
If you’re yet to come across the term ‘Sales Enablement’, 2019 is likely to be the year you do. Put simply, sales enablement is the tools, resources and training to help salespeople sell more. It encompasses everything from having the right sales enablement tools in your arsenal, to getting the right content in front of the right person at the right time.
Key to all this is ensuring your salespeople are trained to ask great questions – and deliver the best responses – to ensure a positive customer experience that leads to a deal.
The concept is definitely trending, but it’s not new. Sales enablement has been around in pieces for decades. It’s only more recently that the whole thing - tools, training and resources - has been joined together in a more cohesive way. And it’s still an evolving function - we’re building this plane as we’re flying it.
How do the Principles of Sales Enablement Extend to the Workplace?
One of the things that I’m interested in is how sales enablement feeds career development and employee satisfaction. The principles of sales enablement stem from a more humanistic way of looking at transactions - it’s not about getting more people to spend their money; it’s about solving people’s problems.
You’re not just closing deals, you’re building relationships. Working in that kind of environment has got to be better than working somewhere where the manager shouts ‘Always Be Closing’ in your ear.
Another focus area of sales enablement is aligning sales and marketing operations. Salespeople are no longer handed a lead and left to land a deal on their own. Instead, they are properly supported throughout the customer journey with content, competitive insight and market information.
"You're not just closing deals, you're building relationships."
This level of support not only ensures a more positive customer experience, it also shares the burden of closing a deal, taking some of the pressure off the salesperson for a happier work life.
And then, of course, the focus on training shows a willingness to invest in employees that are bound to garner greater engagement and job satisfaction. As we know, the effectiveness of sales training has been shown to improve employees’ satisfaction.
More satisfied employees tend to stay in their jobs for longer, saving you the cost and hassle of recruiting, employing, and on-boarding new hires, who can take months, if not years, to get up to speed.
Train, Learn, Develop, Share
Employees with more training and more skills close more deals and win bigger accounts. They become sales leaders and coaches - returning some of that knowledge to the less experienced members of the team and creating a cycle of learning that benefits the business as a whole.
And of course, when they decide to move on to pastures new, they are equipped with a broader, more valuable skill set, making them a hot commodity in an industry complaining of skills shortages.
A Trend with Wider Potential
Whether you believe that sales enablement is here to stay, in its earliest metamorphosis or a flash in the pan, you’d have to agree that the more companies that adopt this trend, in terms of training, the better it is for the industry as a whole.
With training a key pillar of sales enablement, an entire ‘generation’ of salespeople are upskilling, creating a wealth of current and future talent fit for leadership, C-suite, you name it. And so long as those salespeople see the benefit of the training they’ve undertaken, they will fight for training allocation when they are leading their own sales teams.
A Note of Caution - Not all Training is Created Equal
Of course, all this depends on picking the right training for your business. With the growth of sales enablement, there are more companies than ever to choose from, offering everything from in-person classroom training to automated microlearning.
Salespeople are also offered a choice of methodologies to subscribe to, further complicating that decision. While we can’t tell you what is the right choice for you, we can recommend that you make it an informed decision. Undertake a skills assessment before buying into any training program to ensure you choose a solution that fits your specific need.
Sales Enablement - Good for Customers, Good for You
At its core, sales enablement is about delivering a better customer experience. But thanks to its humanist philosophy, it also delivers a better experience for the salesperson.
With the added support from the rest of the business and a focus on skills, salespeople are better able to move forward in their careers and achieve greater job satisfaction.