Sales enablement can be hard to define. Broadly, it’s the process of giving your sales team the tools and content to do their jobs well and close more deals. Zero in on the details, however, and you’ll find that “enablement” can cover a lot of territory.
Some organizations define enablement as education and onboarding. Others consider enablement a role that needs to be filled. Some believe enablement is a tool, and others believe sales content is enablement.
The truth is that sales enablement can encompass all of these things because each can help your sales team sell more effectively.
Why invest in sales enablement?
Sales has never been an easy job. It’s notoriously high-burnout; sales professionals face looming sales quotas, potential rejections, and the need to make commissions on sales. They must be pleasant and provide an excellent customer experience in the face of rude customers. They need to be able to get the answer to any question quickly, even if products keep changing.
All of this can be tough for brand new representatives, or for reps who might not be their sales team star. Even for sales professionals who love their jobs, staying in one sales job can be tough; high performers are often poached by competitors, especially in B2B sales and technology, where the average tenure of a sales rep is 18 months.
Figures differ from study to study, but generally the turnover for sales representatives hovers around 33%, three times the turnover of all other jobs in the U.S., and after the Great Resignation in 2021, turnover rates appear to be 58% higher than in 2020.
All of this is tough for companies; it’s expensive to replace a sales representative, especially a top performer, and it can take a long time to fill a sales role. Even after a new sales rep is hired and onboarded, it can take that rep a while to ramp up. For most organizations, the ramp-up time is three months, but it can be as long as six months.
Sales enablement is a key part of keeping reps at work. Some of the reasons for quitting include burnout, low job satisfaction, unhappiness with management, and limited work-life balance. By making sales professionals’ jobs easier and empowering, organizations can keep sales teams happier, and also keep them from leaving for another job.
How can sales enablement help?
There are several ways enablement can work to support representatives so that they do not become overwhelmed:
- Training and support: When sales reps aren’t feeling engaged at work, they’re more likely to leave. According to a report from Sales Enablement Pro, strong sales enablement leads to higher engagement; sales organizations where enablement leads sales training are 10% more likely to have highly engaged sales reps. This makes sense; because enablement includes onboarding, coaching, and recruiting, reps feel better supported as they work towards their quotas.
- Personalized sales content: Buyers are getting more selective; sales professionals are expected to provide a personal buying experience for every potential client. When sales enablement provides sales with the tools and content to customize the buyer’s journey for a prospect, teams’ win rates increase by an average of 12 points.
- Sales team performance: Everyone, from reps to leadership, is happier when the bottom line improves. According to Sales Enablement Pro’s report, 92% of organizations believe that sales enablement has improved their sales team’s performance.
- Sales content: Sales content is critical to ensuring sellers are informed, and content marketing teams don’t always meet those needs. When sales enablement provides sales content, reps are more likely to make sales goals. In fact, 55% of organizations said sales content tools had a significant impact on the bottom line.
- Automating repetitive tasks: Certain tasks are draining — on both morale and time — for sales teams. Take writing a proposal, for example. When sales reps have to write proposals from scratch, it takes them away from potential clients. They also likely struggle to find the correct content, or spend time chasing SMEs for information. Using a proposal automation tool, like Ombud’s platform, helps sales reps use automation to find the best content for their bid, and to easily assign parts of the proposal to the SMEs who can best answer questions in a Request for Proposals.
The goal of sales enablement is simple
No matter how you use sales enablement in your company, the goal of enablement is always the same: to help your team become better sellers. Because every organization is different, however, enablement may look different at different organizations. Some may use education, some might invest in tools that help by automating repetitive tasks.
So long as you are investing in the performance of your sales team, and helping them achieve their goals, that’s sales enablement. For more information about Ombud’s RFP automation software visit our website or request a demo here.