Sales enablement helps more and more companies achieve their business goals every year.
However, there’s always room to improve programs — even successful ones.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to take your sales enablement efforts to the next level.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest sales enablement trends and advancements you should be taking advantage of as we enter 2019.
1. Taking a more disciplined and formalized approach to sales enablement.
According to a recent report released by CSO Insights, the number of companies that have a sales enablement process increased by 79 percent between 2016 and 2017. Growth continued, but at a slower pace, in 2018.
According to the study, just over half the companies that practice sales enablement say they do so in a “formal” way. That’s an increase of about ten percent from 2017. There’s a clear correlation between taking a disciplined approach to sales enablement and achieving success. Almost three out of four organizations in the study that met or exceeded their sales enablement goals practiced it in a structured way.
Takeaway: If you don’t have a charter to govern your sales enablement program, develop one. It should:
- Document clear sales and business goals
- Formalize processes and procedures
- Set governance rules
- Include a list of content deliverables.
Get the charter approved by the owners of your business and/or its leadership team. Encourage them to publicly support it. Once that’s done, implement the plan in a systematic way. Meeting regularly with key stakeholders to review results and progress toward goals will help prevent things from going off track.
Tip: A sales enablement program is far more likely to succeed if it’s supported by the owners of a business and it’s leadership team members. Without it, it’s almost impossible to get everyone in sales and marketing on board.
2. Carefully managing sales enablement programs makes them more likely to succeed.
According to the CSO Insights study, companies that practice sales enablement are 22 percent more likely to achieve sales quotas than those that do not. In addition, they’re 14 percent more likely to close deals in the sales pipeline.
However, the study also found that businesses that implement mediocre sales enablement programs generate worse sales results than those that do not have programs. The negative results include:
- A lower percentage of salespeople meeting quota
- Closing fewer deals
- Less likelihood to reach revenue goals.
Takeaway: “Good” sales enablement programs are proven to have a positive business impact. “Bad” ones do not and can actually negatively impact sales results. If you have a sales enablement program, it’s important to do it right.
3. Having a content strategy.
The CSO study also found that organizations that have a sound strategy governing the development of sales, marketing and training content report significantly higher deal close rates than those that do not.
Some of the other content-related factors that contribute to improved sales performance include:
- Taking a balanced approach to training, not just focusing on a single area or initiative
- Offering a mix of sales process and selling skills training
- Providing solid onboarding programs
- Including key stakeholders from all parts of the business — marketing, sales, product development, operations and legal — in the development of sales messages, collateral and training.
Takeaway: Every organization must have a strategy for creating content in 2019 and beyond. Development of the strategy should be owned by marketing in consultation with — and getting complete buy-in from — key stakeholders and leadership. Creating a content strategy should happen in parallel with setting sales goals for the year, since the content will play a critical part in achieving the goals.
4. Leveraging innovations in sales enablement systems.
In 2018, significant advancements were made in systems that support the sales enablement process. They’ve become more responsive, interactive, flexible and intuitive. Even more innovations are on the way for 2019 and beyond.
Takeaway: If you haven’t researched sales enablement systems, you owe it to yourself to read up on them. It will help ensure yours is up-to-date and meeting the needs of your sales enablement program. The right system will make managing it easier and the program more effective.
Tip: Mobile Locker offers one the best sales enablement systems for small- to mid-sized businesses. It’s easy to customize and able to be scaled as businesses grow over time.