Why Sales Enablement Matters

Brock Benefiel

If sales enablement helps maximize your company’s efficiency and effectiveness, ignoring the importance of this training is essentially disregarding the need for real growth. But sales enablement isn’t as sexy as product improvements. There aren’t demo days to showcase a new hire training course. There are real metrics to track, but the relatively new discipline can still be a little vague.

And in age where some argue that your software should be so good it sells itself, why not invest in new features rather than sales enablement? Why not bypass optimizing outbound efforts and implement irresistible new features instead?

Because your organization will always be in the business of convincing customers why they need your solution, not just what it offers if you wish to scale effectively. “Even though the enterprise sales process has many steps and stages, it ultimately has to answer three questions for the customer: why buy, why you, why now,” Mark Cranney writes.

To answer these key sales questions, you need to go beyond just hiring talented reps and effective managers. You need enablement pros to analyze, educate and build plans to avoid some of the sales’ biggest hurdles. But unlike a new account executive, a sales enablement hire won’t bring in 4x their salary in new contracts. Instead, over time they will empower the entire organization to hit goals and achieve larger multiples, but only with executive buy-in and a focus on the long-term. Here are some of the best ways your sales team and your enablement crew will work together to make this happen.

You need to customize a unique value proposition

Especially in the early days, the way you sell your software will often change quicker than the product itself. Understanding the needs and initiatives of each individual client and determining how your own capabilities and unique features solve their pain is crucial.

You’re not going to recognize these factors simply with a freemium software offering that requires the client to go through the journey alone. And your sales team won’t be able to knock this part of the process out of the park without proper support and training. Sales enablement teams can help develop questionnaires and strategies for shaping a client’s unique value proposition. Your enablement team will also train your reps on the best way to demonstrate this value. As a result, you’re likely to experience a jump in close rate and greater success against competitors.

Navigating an internal sales process

Your sales team faces one of its biggest obstacles when it comes to actually getting the client to sign on the dotted line. A rep may come to terms quickly with a prospect, but getting your contact to return a signed document can be another ordeal entirely. Even if the person on the other end of the line is the decision maker, receiving proper authorization, filling out the right paperwork or allocating the necessary budget can really slow your sales cycle down.

One of the main reasons you have an outbound sales team is to quickly learn the barriers these clients face internally and adapt to help assist them in the effort. One of the main reasons you have a sales enablement team is to identify the common problems that your prospects face and design better strategies to navigate a faster course to closing deals.

No one else will focus on improving the entire organization

Reps close deals. They have quotas to meet and little time to reflect on process improvements when they’ve turned their focus to individual opportunities. Even if your most senior sales members possess a wealth of knowledge, you won’t be able to disseminate their expertise without the right people in place to turn these insights into valuable courses.

And it’ll be your job to champion these efforts and avoid the temptation to leave sales to learn without support or invest an unnecessary amount into product early on.