5 Enablement Training Best Practices
August 19, 2022
Is enablement another word for a training department, or is it something different?
There has been a significant increase in enablement training and the number of sales enablement departments, and it’s clear why. A surprising 42 percent of sales reps don’t feel they have enough information before reaching out to a prospect, and effective sales coaching can increase wins by 30 percent.
Understanding the role of training within the enablement team will allow you to maximize the benefits you get from enablement. That means your sales team will have the resources they need, get more wins, and hit quotas, and your company’s bottom line will improve.
What is enablement training?
Sales enablement training is all about increasing your employees’ efficiency and productivity. It involves coaching your sales team to empower them to sell your product or service effectively. Enablement professionals provide the training and content to ensure the teams they support have the materials, resources, skills, and processes to achieve the organization’s goals.
What’s the difference between enablement and training?
The simple answer is that training is a component of enablement, but it also involves several other activities.
The enablement team creates the tools and resources that sales managers and reps need to succeed. This includes buyer personas, information about the buyer’s journey, sales call templates, product guides, key conversion points, and more.
Enablement professionals help managers learn more about coaching, help reps understand buyer needs, continually improve the sales process, track metrics, and keep a pulse on new technology that could benefit the sales team.
For example, 2020 was a difficult year for many organizations, and some companies were simply focused on survival. But, HubSpot found that 64 percent of sales leaders who pivoted to remote selling met or exceeded their revenue goals for the year.
Finding those solutions is one of the core roles of the sales enablement team.
Of course, the way knowledge and tools are transferred to sales teams is often through training. That’s why enablement and training are so closely linked—you need your sales teams to implement the resources the enablement team creates.
Enablement training is focused on specific information and skills that help sales reps close deals. Everything the sales team learns is highly focused and designed to help reps hit sales targets, earn bonuses, and increase the bottom line.
How to launch an enablement training program
There are many approaches to launching an enablement training program, but these steps have been effective for several companies across various industries.
Make sure you have a dedicated sales enablement team
Today’s sales enablement process is too complex to be an add-on to another full-time job. For example, if you simply choose a sales manager and tell them to oversee sales management while also doing the rest of their job, your organization won’t see the benefits of the sales enablement process.
In HubSpot’s 2020 survey, 65 percent of sales leaders outperforming revenue targets have a dedicated sales enablement person or team. It’s important to invest in this essential department.
Know your goals
A sales enablement team can do many different things, and to succeed with your enablement training program, you need to know what problems your team is solving.
How do you choose a specific focus? Consider your sales team’s goals and how the enablement team can help to influence these KPIs. What frustrates your sales team the most? An enablement team could address that need. Or, look at where your sales team spends the most time for the least benefit. Enablement can look at how to eliminate or streamline that process.
If you haven’t had an enablement training program in the past, it can be tempting to start with a lofty target, which can set the team up for failure. Instead, use this department to address specific problems and let them grow as needed.
Coordinate sales and marketing
How well do your sales and marketing teams work together? If you don’t have a sales enablement department, there may still be silos separating the two teams.
The first step is to talk to both departments about what they need from each other. You might decide, for example, to strengthen the lead-scoring framework so that marketing knows exactly when to send a lead to sales. Or perhaps sales agrees to follow through on leads within a specific timeframe, so marketing is confident there will be a good chance of a sale.
The team can also work on refining specific processes so that each team member can move smoothly through the marketing and sales process with each lead.
Once you reach an understanding, consider putting it in writing. That way, everyone is on the same page and can be accountable for holding up their end of the agreement.
Create strategic content to support sales and marketing
Content creation and organization are two significant areas of responsibility for a sales enablement team. It’s important that the content has a purpose and aligns with company goals.
The team can start by compiling existing marketing and sales content. Pulling all of that into a central location makes it easier to access and understand where the gaps are.
From there, the sales enablement team can create additional effective and engaging materials, from onboarding training to customer journey maps. By keeping these organized and centrally accessible, you’ll maximize the benefit these materials provide for the different teams in your organization.
Vanta used WorkRamp to ensure the sales, customer success, and support teams were well versed on the product as new features were launched. They wanted to create training to ensure the sales team was equipped to sell new features and support reps could help customers with product needs. WorkRamp enabled their team to create training content at scale.
“I can’t even imagine how long it would take me to create these guides without WorkRamp. It’s so easy to use and the tools like the drag-and-drop content editor are very robust. I’m able to spin up new training guides in a matter of a day or two.”
-Megan Hunting, Sales and CX Enablement Lead, Vanta
Roll out improved processes and new content
As enablement improves processes and creates new sales materials, they will need to distribute these assets to the team. This is where the training portion of enablement comes in.
Part of the training might involve ensuring everyone knows where the sales and marketing materials are and how to access them. You might also decide to improve the onboarding process for new hires or change the training process.
As your enablement team creates new materials for sales reps, that information will also need to be shared. It’s useful to strategize how to roll out this training in a less disruptive way while ensuring it’s easy to understand and digest.
Taking advantage of training techniques and making the content immediately actionable are two ways to improve buy-in and adoption of new ideas.
Handshake, the leading college career network, uses WorkRamp to onboard new hires and train their tenured AEs. Using WorkRamp to promote continuous learning helped Handshake double its revenue YOY and increase the average deal size by 15 percent.
“When I create content in WorkRamp, it is simple to navigate, and it saves my work automatically, which allows me to scale learning content across training. It’s also intuitive from the grading perspective, which empowers me—and other members of my team—to review work as learners complete trainings.”
-Mark Riley, Senior Sales Enablement Director, Handshake
Enablement training best practices
Once your sales enablement training program is up and running, how do you scale the program to keep hitting goals?
There are a variety of best practices you can take advantage of to ensure that you get a positive ROI from your program.
Keep big goals in mind
Many great ideas lose their shine in the details of daily implementation. Don’t let that happen to your sales enablement process. Instead, ensure the team spends time every quarter to align on goals and think about what initiatives can help them get there.
When measuring ROI for the enablement team, the specific KPIs will vary based on a specific organization’s goals. Regardless, aligning the enablement team’s goals with larger company objectives is essential. This will help the team stay on track and also help to get buy-in for future initiatives from executives and stakeholders. Ensure that every initiative aligns with the company’s business goals.
Stay on top of sales-ready signals
Consumer behavior may not change dramatically daily, but trends shift over time. Your results may drop if you aren’t in tune with sales-ready customers.
Don’t let a slow drift make you complacent. Instead, continually measure your best-performing leads and track which signals correlate with a ready-to-buy customer.
Incorporate the best technology
Sales enablement can break through silos and drive results by creating the best tech stack for training, sales operations, and marketing.
When brainstorming, testing, and choosing sales and training technology, it’s important to have IT, sales operations, and sales enablement working together. That way, you end up with technology that integrates well with your other hardware and software.
If you leave out one of these stakeholders, you can invest thousands of dollars in technology that ultimately fails. No one wants that. Break through the silos and ensure enablement has a seat at the table when making decisions and choosing the right technology.
Consider creating certifications
How do you measure the effectiveness of your training process? There are several ways to do it, but all of them require you to assume that the new hire or current rep has completed and implemented the training.
One great way to encourage compliance is to create a certification. This can be linked to a monetary or non-financial reward, or it can simply be a badge that shows completion. Everyone loves feeling recognized, and having a badge or certification can encourage reps to finish every segment of the training process.
Not only does the badge or reward boost morale and play into people’s innate competitiveness, but it also gives you a clear subset of employees to measure to test the effectiveness of your training.
Scale your enablement program
As your organization grows, your sales enablement program will as well. Or, perhaps you already have a larger organization, and you started with a smaller sales enablement team, and now it’s time to scale throughout the organization.
When Lish Barber was the Senior Manager of Global Revenue Enablement at Algolia, she scaled enablement over an enormous organization with 157 offices and over 1,600 account executives.
“First and foremost, every change requires an army of champions,” she shared. “I created a team of them; they were my change agents. I’d meet with them and give them a training kit: Here’s the plan, here are all the tools you’ll need, now go forth and succeed! For every change, we measured adoption with a matrix. When indicators illustrated a lack of adoption, we would prioritize based on revenue impact across regions.”
She also highlighted the importance of relationships, excellent communication, and feedback loops. Her team used WorkRamp as a central enablement platform that allowed asynchronous communication, which was important since the organization spanned numerous time zones across the globe.
How WorkRamp can help with enablement training
As you build your sales enablement training, you need the right tools to help you succeed. WorkRamp is an All-in-One Learning Platform that can help you create on-demand training, decrease ramp time, and improve close rates. You can also create certifications that help motivate your team and measure results.
Want to learn more about how WorkRamp can help you equip your sales team with on-demand training to close more deals and drive revenue performance? Contact us to schedule a free 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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