5 Strategies to Build a Sales Enablement Team
July 18, 2022
Sales enablement has increased significantly in the last few years. According to a recent report, 74 percent of organizations have a sales enablement function. There’s a good reason for this quick adoption—organizations with a dedicated sales enablement function see significantly better win rates, quota attainment, and customer retention. If you’re ready to build an enablement team to empower your sales team to drive results, here are five strategies to help you get started.
How to build a sales enablement team
Create a business case for enablement
While sales enablement teams have a variety of responsibilities, their most common objectives include empowering your sales team to boost win rates, optimize revenue, and increase new customer acquisition.
Most often, sales enablement teams pursue these goals by being in charge of training, sales process improvements, onboarding, coaching, and sales content creation and management.
Building a team that makes this type of impact requires commitment from upper management, a formal team with a charter, and alignment with key stakeholders–especially revenue leaders.
Creating a business case for a sales enablement team can help you get the executive team buy-in you need while also providing a clear set of responsibilities for the team you create. When making your case, align your KPIs with your company’s goals and show the executive team how an enablement function can help to influence these metrics.
Include key stakeholders
One of the things that makes a sales enablement team so powerful is that they can connect with multiple stakeholders as they focus on improving sales operations.
As a result, it’s important to include those stakeholders when building your team so that everyone has a voice.
You may want to include your Chief Revenue Officer and senior sales and executive leaders. Ideally, the team will report to the CRO. Research shows that this alignment produces much higher win rates than any other reporting structure.
You also want to include leaders within the sales and marketing teams. This will help the future enablement team align sales and marketing, which can increase closed deals by 67 percent.
Finally, don’t overlook the service and customer success teams, which can also be impacted by the work of the enablement team. After all, 80 percent of customers feel that the experience a company provides is just as important as the products and services, and 67 percent are willing to pay more for an excellent experience.
Sales enablement is about optimizing the entire sales journey, so make sure you include stakeholders from every stage of that process.
Hire qualified team members
When a business starts sales enablement efforts, hiring a single individual to run small enablement projects is common. But this won’t give you the results you’re looking for.
In studies, companies report better results with larger enablement teams, peaking at nine employees. A larger team can take on bigger projects and make a significant difference in less time.
What kind of people should you look for? Some of the most valuable characteristics include:
- Being subject matter experts with a deep understanding of the market, buyer behavior, and sales strategies
- Empathetic employees who can speak to a variety of stakeholders
- Team members who understand the struggles faced by sales reps and are passionate about improving processes
- Individuals who can cooperate with others and communicate effectively, as conflict resolution and bringing together different ideas and priorities is a key role
- Results-driven team members who can effectively manage projects and stakeholder expectations
- Employees who understand how to teach and coach adults and the different teaching styles that can be used to get the best results
Of course, finding all of these attributes in a single individual may not be possible. This is why a team of up to nine people makes sense. For example, you can have the subject matter experts create sales content while other team members run projects and focus on training.
Choose the right sales enablement tools
Most organizations–61 percent in a 2021 report–use purchased sales enablement software. The organizations with these tools have a win rate that’s nine points higher than those that don’t.
What do you look for in a sales enablement solution? Some of the most important characteristics are that they are easy to use, intuitive for sales reps, and allow you to prioritize learning and constant improvement for your organization.
WorkRamp is an All-in-One Learning Management Platform that can help you with your sales enablement strategy, from increasing win rates to making resources more accessible to your sales reps.
Vanta used WorkRamp to improve sales onboarding and deliver product training and certifications for their revenue teams. Megan Hunting, the Sales and CX Enablement Lead, was able to quickly create training guides and learning experiences for various teams. “I can’t even imagine how long it would take for me to create these guides without WorkRamp,” she says. “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.”
Track the results of your sales enablement program
Once you’ve established a sales enablement team, it’s important to measure the results. This will help executives understand the importance of maintaining the budget and resources for this team.
Unfortunately, in 2021 the Sales Enablement Collective reported that 10 percent of sales enablement teams have no metrics to share with their organizations.
Measure your team’s performance based on these key metrics:
- Win rate
- Quota attainment rates
- New hire ramp time
- Sales rep turnover rates
- Customer retention
You know you’re on the right track when you see these numbers improve. For example, Handshake was able to double its revenue, increase deal sizes by 15 percent, and decrease ramp time by 33 percent using WorkRamp and sales enablement strategies.
“We use WorkRamp not only to onboard our new hires, but to also train our tenured AEs. We’ve really leaned into the continuous learning capabilities of WorkRamp to double our revenue YOY and increase average deal size by 15 percent. We’ve seen an overwhelmingly positive response from our AEs on refresher trainings and re-certifications. On each certification that we’ve rolled out, we’ve had 90-100 percent participation.”
-Mark Riley, Senior Sales Enablement Manager, Handshake
When your executive team sees these types of results, they’ll agree that sales enablement is an essential part of your organization’s success.
Get started building your sales enablement team today
Having a sales enablement team drives significant results. Companies with enablement teams have 12 percent higher win rates, 35 percent more sales professionals hitting quota, and 15 percent lower turnover than those without.
Even better, the results improve with time. With every year that your sales enablement team is in place, win rates can increase an average of three percentage points.
Having a successful sales enablement team starts with setting clear responsibilities and getting your key stakeholders involved. Then, you need to equip your team with the right resources.
Learn more about how WorkRamp can help you empower your team to drive better sales outcomes for your organization. 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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