The B2B sales process is growing more and more complicated, with potential customers engaging with vendors through a diverse range of touchpoints, platforms, and assets. In order to help sales teams effectively engage leads in this increasingly challenging environment, it’s essential that businesses provide them with the necessary tools and assets for the job.
Because of this, the process of sales enablement is an increasingly integral part of B2B sales strategies. But what is it, exactly?
To help your business enact an effective sales enablement strategy, I’ve compiled five of the web’s best enablement assets.
1. Sales Enablement… What Is That, Anyway?
Sales enablement is a pretty fluid concept, and there are dozens of varying definitions around the web. This blog post, from Vantage Point, cuts through the confusion, providing both a concise explanation of sales enablement (“the process of investing in improved sales execution”), and four key ways to categorize and monitor enablement activities.
Best of all, Vantage Point has also put together an infographic covering the crucial metrics businesses use to enact and measure sales enablement strategies. If you’re relatively new to the concept, it’s a clear and engaging first stop on the road toward effective sales enablement.
2. State of the Sales Rep Report
In the State of the Sales Rep report, Brainshark set out to discover the problems that businesses are solving by adopting sales enablement. Their findings paint a very clear picture of the need for an enablement strategy:
- One in three sales reps report severe problems with locating and using key sales materials
- A lack of follow-up materials and lead-nurturing content is one of the biggest challenges facing sales reps
- Sales reps believe sales enablement training could significantly improve their performance:
85% of sales reps thought their sales preparation could be improved
78% said that their presentation skills could be developed
79% believed that post-meeting follow-up could be improved
This resource looks at the current practices of sales reps, and the strategies and techniques they use to prepare for sales meetings. It reveals valuable insights into the technology and assets sales people use, as well as the barriers preventing them from selling effectively (including, surprise surprise, sales and marketing alignment).
3. Starting Out with Sales Enablement
Demand Metric offers one of the most comprehensive selections of sales enablement resources around, with dozens of free and gated assets to help your business through every stage of its sales enablement process.
One of my favorite resources is their Starting Out with Sales Enablement guide. It offers a concise, six-page look at the basics of enacting a sales enablement strategy, including its benefits to both individual reps and the wider company, as well as the most common problems faced by businesses new to the concept. It also includes an actionable strategy for measuring and analyzing essential metrics that’s designed to mitigate the distance between an undefined enablement strategy and a world-class one.
4. Sales Enablement Best Practices
This blog post, from the Association for Talent Development, includes a ton of valuable insight and expert advice packed into an easily digested 20-minute video. It’s a must-watch for anyone looking to improve the execution of their sales enablement strategy, covering a ton of topics, including:
- Choosing the right tools for sharing and accessing sales content
- How to incorporate sales enablement into training programs
- Choosing the right metrics to analyze and manage sales teams
It also includes a short interview with Microsoft’s head of sales enablement—offering a fantastic look at sales enablement in the enterprise.
5. A Marketer’s Guide to Sales Enablement
Kapost’s eBook and workbook covers what they call the six tenets of sales enablement: technology, people, definition agreements, process agreements, revenue, and data. It’s well-researched and packed with tips for aligning sales and marketing teams, which is critical for shortening deal cycles, creating a consistent and enjoyable buyer experience, and optimizing the sales and marketing process moving forward.
It also includes a helpful worksheet ensuring both teams have access to the information they need and stay on the same page. It’s an important read for marketers who feel like they’re fighting an uphill battle with sales.