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Recently, I was chatting with a colleague in sales, who said, “when I first started in sales, we didn’t have sales enablement.” It’s true, sales enablement – a technique for increasing sales and driving more revenue – is something that more and more technology companies have adopted (and started calling by name) in the last five to 10 years. Not coincidentally, the term “sales enablement” rose to greater prominence as an increasing number of vendors started classifying themselves as sales enablement providers. The popularity growth in recent years is fairly obvious with a quick glance at Google trends for the phrase “sales enablement.”
For most B2B technology companies today, sales enablement is a key component of their success. Research shows that companies with sales enablement see 15% higher win rates than those without.
Here’s why you shouldn’t ignore sales enablement, and the impact of today’s newest AI sales enablement tools.
Sales enablement literally means all those things that sales employees need so that they can make sales, and involves supplying your sales team with the resources they need to be effective.
That means sales coaching sessions, sales decks with details about your solution, customer-facing content for sellers to share with leads at every stage, tools to keep track of interactions with prospects, etc.
Sales enablement is typically a joint effort of both the marketing and sales departments. Sometimes it rests under marketing, sometimes under sales, and sometimes enterprises have a dedicated sales enablement department.
There’s only a finite number of natural sellers in this world. If you rely on them only to drive your sales, at some point you’ll end up without enough sales employees to start and then close deals. Sales enablement training and resources help all your sales teams to succeed in nurturing leads and making sales, so that you can scale up your enterprise without a worry.
Sales enablement teams help to produce customer-facing content that moves leads through the funnel, instead of isolated pieces. They make sure your content and sales representatives all communicate the same, consistent company story, brand image and value proposition. With sales enablement, you can feel confident that every sales employee shares the same messaging, even new hires, and even when your messaging changes.
Not everyone who shows some interest in your solution is going to end up converting. You want sales employees to invest their time and energy into the ones with the highest chances of success, and not to waste time on prospects with little chance of a sale. Sales enablement can use lead scoring to distinguish the most promising leads, so your sales teams can close more deals in the same timeframe.
Sooner or later, every company needs to change their sales pitch. You might have added new features or a new product or service line, revamped your brand messaging and value proposition, or expanded into new markets. Sales enablement helps roll out the new story and approach to all your sales employees, and gives you a way to verify that they’ve mastered it.
Sales enablement teams gather sales data and use sales analytics to spot blockages in the sales funnel and identify what exactly isn’t working in the customer purchase journey. For example, analytics might reveal that leads are mostly falling away after reaching the demo stage. Sales enablement teams can then investigate more deeply to find out why this is happening and remove the obstacle.
AI is enhancing sales enablement in a number of ways. The simplest and best-known is automation, with new AI tools automating routine tasks like discovery email sequences, sending follow-up emails, and scheduling for sales calls and demos. This helps sales employees to use their time more effectively, and removes friction from the customer experience.
AI and machine learning (ML) also boost analytics, delivering better and deeper insights into the target market and improving segmentation. ML can help with the content creation process, too, suggesting topics that leads would find interesting and predicting upcoming market trends.
The newest application of AI for sales improves sales enablement training and coaching for sales employees. An AI-powered sales training software like Second Nature provides salespeople with a realistic simulation for them to practice their sales conversations, delivers consistent feedback, and it never loses patience or runs out of time.
Sales enablement plays a key role in driving sales, revenue, and profitability for enterprises in every vertical. It can help you to scale your sales team, keep your messaging consistent and relevant, raise the percentage of successful deals, and remove pipeline blockages.
And by adopting AI-driven sales enablement tools, you will see even more dramatic results. It’s time to recognize that AI-powered sales enablement is a must-have, not a luxury.
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