Four Tips On How To Set Up a Successful SaaS Sales Enablement Program
- By Monica Evans
- Aug 06, 2020, 3:00 PM GMT
If you’re an enterprise SaaS company, you’re probably familiar with the term “sales enablement”. The job function has become increasingly crucial for many SaaS companies selling to large customers. Why? It helps salespeople during the sales process by providing them with the right resources and technology to effectively sell and, in return, increase revenue. If you don’t have sales enablement, you’re missing out on shortening the sales cycle. Canceled meetings and postponed events mean that sales teams everywhere are relying on marketing and enablement more than ever to help them hit quota targets. In a study, 80% of companies felt their cross-functional teams lack collaboration, 78% of executive buyers claim the quantity of content provided does not meet expectations, and 90% of marketers do not know how to measure ROI of content or the influence on deals from sales. Bridging the gap between marketing and sales is sales enablement. Let’s break down how you can set up an effective sales enablement program that works.
Content For Sales Enablement
Before we get started, let’s break down the different types of content for sales enablement. We understand that creating content can be time consuming and overwhelming if you do not have a designated team in place to create said content. Enter the sales enablement team. They understand the selling process on the sales side and they understand how marketing works to help with sales.
Here are the 3 most common content types for sales enablement:
These are blogs, podcasts, and videos that don’t require any kind of form submission to access.
This includes eBooks whitepapers, checklists, online courses, etc, that a prospect has to fill out a form to gain access to.
This is content that is only accessible internally that is shared with a prospect during the sales process.
It’s important to have all three content types when working a deal, especially those deals with long sales cycles. Sellers need this content to initiate conversations, help inform buyers in their buying decision, and to engage with the increased number of buying influencers involved in a deal. Salespeople do not have time to create this type of content, but according to CSO Insights, 21% of sales reps nevertheless are spending the time developing the content. That takes up their time to focus on closing the deal and should be in the hands of a sales enablement team.
You might be thinking that this should be the job for your marketing team, and while that’s true, marketing is oftentimes focused on brand awareness and top-of-funnel content for the most part. Sales reps need one-to-one messaging that addresses the specific challenges their prospects face, and there can be many depending on how many decision-makers there are in the sales funnel. Therefore, an effective sales enablement strategy shares the needs of the sales team with the marketing department to create the right content.
An effective sales enablement team is in tune with the specific needs of the sales team at each stage of the customer’s buying process. This may also include content for specific verticals or company sizes. In order to create the right content, the sales enablement team must connect with the marketing team on these specific needs so that sellers always have the right materials.
I hope we have convinced you this far into the blog that you need a sales enablement program; now let’s dive into how to create an effective one.
1. Get Everyone On Board
Before you go setting up a sales enablement program at your company, it’s best to figure out why it’s important to your team. Your sellers must truly understand the value of sales enablement and how it can help them quicken the sales process. Help them understand why unique content is necessary for EACH buyer persona at EACH stage of the funnel. As they become more active social sellers, their need for content will increase exponentially because they’ll need to continuously share new content to the prospects who are engaged.
Not only is content for selling important for your team, sales enablement offers so much more to the sales team, including onboarding materials, training videos, and ongoing coaching to help them improve in specific areas.
Not only do you need to have buy-in from your sales team, but you also need the executives to back this program as well. There will be times when you’ll need to purchase sales enablement tools to implement your strategy more efficiently or add technology to your stack that can help you scale your sales enablement training or onboarding process.
To earn a commitment from the executive team, you’ll need to present current gaps and challenges your team currently has, and explain how a sales enablement team plans to solve those problems, and increase revenue and productivity.
2. Document Your Plan
A sales enablement standard operating procedure (SOP) document is going to be the foundation of your plan and is needed to have a successful outcome and will help you close the gaps between the sales team and their selling efforts.
To get started, you’ll first need to evaluate your entire sales process, as well as the experience of both individual salespeople and the team as a whole, to identify those gaps. You’ll need to look at their entire experience as a sales rep, including the onboarding process, training materials, and professional development, as well as their experience finding, connecting, and engaging with prospects. Once you have an in-depth analysis, you can plan out your sales enablement strategy on how you can specifically address these gaps to improve.
This documented plan also provides transparency within your organization, and teams across all departments will understand how the sales enablement team will be assisting the sales team and how collaboration will be more seamless.
3. Cross-Functional Approach
Sales enablement streamlines different functions of a company’s divisions that help the sales team become more effective. It will be your responsibility to address the specific departments from which a sales rep needs assistance.
For example, you may need to speak with HR on revamping the onboarding process for the sales team because it’s not as effective as it once was. Or if you get feedback from the salespeople that your product needs improvement, you’ll need to work with the product development team to address that. Or, you may need to speak with the legal team about certain language in sales contracts.
It is the sales enablement team’s responsibility to provide everything the sales rep needs to effectively close the deal, regardless of which department needs to be involved to provide it.
4. Technology To Scale
To scale sales enablement, you will need technology to support it. There are many technologies out there to help you structure your program. For instance, you could use HighSpot, which helps you organize content easily for your team to find. A sales enablement platform can simplify the activities of your sales team by making it easier to find content, training materials, and even gamification leaderboards if they are a part of your strategy. These technologies can also integrate with your existing tech stack to have a truly powerful program in place.
Create Your Team Today
When some people hear the term sales enablement, they think of the job as just sales training, but it truly goes beyond that. While sales training is key to a successful team, you will need to incorporate all the other aspects discussed above to truly have an effective sales enablement program. And as with anything, sales enablement is an ongoing process for continuous improvement and is not something that is set up once and then finished. Once you get started setting up a sales enablement plan, you will truly see the benefits when setting up a sales enablement plan. Trust us, it’s needed.