Do You Need a Sales Enablement Program?
September 16, 2022
Hiring excellent salespeople is no longer enough to drive business growth. The team must have the right tools, resources, and strategies which is why sales enablement is extremely important to an organization’s success. A recent study showed that 74 percent of companies invested in a dedicated sales enablement function vs. only 55 percent in 2019.
More business leaders understand that a sales enablement team makes a significant impact. The same study found that organizations that take advantage of sales enablement have better win rates, quota attainment, and customer retention.
Is it time to implement a sales enablement program at your organization? You might wonder if the results will justify the investment, or you may have questions about how to develop an enablement function for your specific needs.
Discover how an enablement program can impact your organization and learn essential questions to ask to assess your need for sales enablement.
What is sales enablement?
Sales enablement helps to elevate sellers through training and programs that provide the knowledge, assets, processes, and skills needed to succeed in a sales role.
The enablement team also helps align cross-functional efforts, including marketing, sales operations, and product marketing. Being able to bring multiple departments together and create a cohesive go-to-market strategy can have a significant impact on your company’s success.
For example, Optimizely needed to create consistent messaging across their marketing, sales, and customer success teams. Their enablement team used WorkRamp to implement a training and certification process. This helped them to build their enterprise pipeline and increase average contract values by 60 percent.
Optimizely isn’t the only company to see excellent results from aligning sales and marketing. Research shows that businesses see a 67 percent increase in closed deals when sales and marketing teams are in sync, and a sales enablement strategy can help to bridge this gap.
What are the benefits of sales enablement?
Sales enablement efforts can drive win rates, quota attainment, and customer retention, which directly impact revenue.
However, there are other benefits as well.
Organize and manage sales assets
Sales reps have an average of 1,400 assets to choose from. When sales content is disorganized, hard to find, non-customizable, redundant, or irrelevant, sales reps may not be able to close deals or find the materials they need. As many as 90 percent of sales reps say they don’t use sales materials because they are outdated or irrelevant to the customer.
When your sales enablement team coordinates the creation and organization of sales assets, they can ensure content is easy to find and curated so reps can access relevant content for the customer’s specific needs in the sales cycle.
Decrease ramp time for new hires and improve overall training
Keep in mind that people quickly forget what they’re taught. An incredible 84 percent of sales training is forgotten within the first three months of employment. Ongoing training can help sales reps be productive and engaged after their initial training.
Reddit used WorkRamp to improve new hire ramp time by 33 percent, from nine months to six. They also decreased time-to-quota and created a very positive sentiment around training.
“The bonus outcome of using WorkRamp has been the overwhelmingly positive sentiment around sales training. Before my team, we didn’t have a training or L&D function at Reddit, so there were low expectations around training and development. After establishing our enablement team, ramping up our training strategy, and deploying an LMS, internal NPS increased by 13 points.”
-Ashley Crisostomo, Principal Sales Enablement Program Manager, Reddit
Improve engagement and retention
Finally, having a strong sales enablement function allows businesses to improve sales rep engagement and reduce turnover.
A study from 2019 found that organizations that invested in sales enablement for two years or more reported 13 percent higher win rates and 11 percent higher quota attainment. These organizations also had 25 percent lower sales rep turnover than those who didn’t use sales enablement.
Another study found that 65 percent of employees feel that the quality of training is strongly linked to their engagement at work. And engaged employees make a difference—another 2019 survey found that an engaged sales team has significantly higher revenue attainment than even moderately engaged sales reps. Engaged teams also have lower turnover rates and better sales process adoption.
9 questions to assess your needs for sales enablement
For many organizations, starting a sales enablement program is the right choice. However, if you’re unsure if it’s the right time, ask yourself these questions.
1. Are sales materials relevant to customers’ needs, and are they easy to customize?
The sales process has become more complex, and there are always multiple decision-makers. According to a Gartner survey, the typical buying group for a B2B product involves 6 to 10 decision-makers.
Your sales team must be able to provide relevant, customized materials to the prospects at the right time.
2. Is training consistently reinforced with high-quality coaching?
One of the key roles of the enablement team is to empower sales managers to perform consistent, strategic coaching for their sales reps. The CSO Insights study showed that more than 60 percent of organizations have a coaching approach that’s entirely up to each manager or uses informal guidelines without formal implementation. However, coaching aligned with enablement resources increased win rates from 45 percent to 55.2 percent.
If you want to get the most out of your sales team, it’s vital to have high-quality coaching.
3. Is there coordinated collaboration between teams?
There are a variety of departments within each organization that help the sales team succeed. For example, ad-hoc training from the product marketing team on a specific feature or a sales guide that the team can use to increase closed deals.
Unfortunately, when these initiatives aren’t coordinated, they can be ineffective. A sales enablement team helps streamline these efforts to drive the most impact.
4. Are sales and marketing aligned?
Sales and marketing have similar functions but may not always be in lockstep on messaging or other initiatives. When a sales enablement team helps everyone stay on the same page, everyone wins.
5. Is the internal sales process mapped to the customer journey?
Because the customer journey can evolve, it’s not uncommon for the internal sales process to become out-of-sync. This makes the sales process less effective and frustrating for your sales reps.
A sales enablement team can regularly review the internal sales process and make changes as needed to match the customer journey.
6. Are you struggling to attract and retain sales team members?
If you’re struggling with turnover or acquiring talented sales reps, having a sales enablement team can help.
Enablement initiatives can drive employee engagement, improve training, and increase win rates, which will help you reduce turnover.
7. Are you happy with your new hire ramp time and results?
A sales enablement team can help you optimize your onboarding process, which improves results and decreases new hire ramp time so that your reps can become more productive faster.
8. Could the internal sales process improve? Does our team adopt process improvements?
There are many times that sales reps or managers realize the sales process can be improved, but no one has time to own that project.
A sales enablement team can help you improve the process and drive the adoption of process changes.
9. How resilient is your organization in uncertain economic times?
In 2020 during the onset of COVID-19, Hubspot found that 65 percent of leaders who outperformed their sales targets had a dedicated sales enablement team or individual. The focus on improving sales made the entire organization more resilient.
Get your sales enablement program started today
The benefits of sales enablement make it clear that it’s likely time to take that step if you don’t have a team. However, if you truly want your enablement team to be effective, they must have the right tools.
WorkRamp is an All-in-One Learning Platform that can help you equip your sales team with the right resources and training to drive results. If want to learn more, contact us for a free, personalized demo.
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Anna SpoonerFreelance Writer
Anna Spooner is a digital strategist and marketer with over 11 years of experience. She writes content for various industries, including SaaS, medical and personal insurance, healthcare, education, marketing, and business. She enjoys the process of putting words around a company’s vision and is an expert at making complex ideas approachable and encouraging an audience to take action.
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