What is Sales Enablement Training and Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore it
September 15, 2023
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Sales enablement training is crucial for your sales team’s success.
Sales enablement training equips your sales team with the training, resources, skills, coaching, tools, and content to help reps sell effectively. This means giving reps what they need when they need it at various stages of the buying process.
Everybody wins when your reps understand your customers and provide solutions to their pain points. Reps close more deals, and your organization generates more revenue.
And while some reps are natural-born sellers, others may require additional training and coaching. Regardless, you can uplevel your entire team with the right training, tools, and resources.
Organizations with a sales enablement function see up to a 12-point improvement in win rates and are 10 percent more likely to have high rep engagement, according to the 2022 State of Sales Enablement Report.
Learn the process and vital steps to create sales enablement training to develop a high-powered team to, close more deals and drive more revenue.
Why is sales enablement training important?
Sales enablement training empowers reps to be as effective as possible, helping them close more deals and hit their sales targets, which helps your organization meet business goals and stay ahead of competitors.
Businesses face constant challenges, including market shifts, new buyer expectations, changes in buyer behavior, competition, and more.
Effective sales enablement training helps reps navigate these obstacles and arms team members with the tools and assets they need throughout the customer journey.
How to launch a sales enablement training program
Whether you’re starting a brand new sales enablement training program or looking for ways to improve an existing one, the following sales enablement best practices will help you streamline your efforts and produce results.
Define your enablement vision
Defining the vision for your sales enablement training program keeps your team focused on their goals, responsibilities, and purpose and gives them a deeper understanding of how these factors ladder up to overall business objectives.
Your enablement vision serves as a guide to help team members prioritize and approach their work strategically. Your vision also helps team members respond accordingly when faced with various challenges.
For example, here’s the vision statement for the enablement program at WorkRamp:
The enablement team at WorkRamp is focused on creating a cutting-edge and innovative enablement function to support our internal revenue-generating employees and drive scalable revenue growth. By providing the skills, knowledge, assets, and process expertise to all customer-facing roles, our reps can ultimately maximize every buyer or customer interaction.
Create your enablement vision statement to guide your team’s objectives and strategies. Post your vision statement in the office (for in-person teams) or make it readily available for remote teams to ensure it’s top of mind for all team members.
Create a lead qualification framework
Once you’ve established your vision, it’s time to define your lead qualification framework.
Sales teams classify leads into different categories, including:
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). Leads who qualify for marketing outreach, including assets like content and emails
- Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). Leads who are ready to be connected to a sales rep
- Product Qualified Leads (PQLs). Leads who have taken an action like starting a free product trial
- Conversion Qualified Leads (CQLs). Leads who have taken a conversion action like submitting a website form
Your lead qualification framework includes qualifying questions and procedures to give your team a consistent way to determine which leads are a good fit for your product or service. This process helps your team understand which actions to take with each lead type.
Some examples of effective sales qualifying questions include:
- What business problem are you trying to solve with this product? What’s the business need?
- Why (what’s the trigger) motivating you to do something to solve this problem/pain point now? Why do they feel they need to take action now? What’s the sense of urgency?
- What has prevented you from trying to solve this problem before now? Are there blockers or competing priorities?
- Do you have the budget to address this problem? If the answer is no, determine if they may have the budget in the future.
While your lead qualification framework will be unique to your organization, many businesses use a series of questions and a point system to differentiate qualified vs. unqualified leads.
Qualified leads are then moved into your sales process, while unqualified leads can go into the nurturing process, where they may be ready to purchase at a later time.
Align marketing and sales teams
Your sales enablement team should be a liaison between your sales and marketing teams.
The marketing team is responsible for producing materials to build brand awareness, which in turn, creates leads. These leads are then passed to the sales team.
In some organizations, the marketing team creates materials for reps to use in sales. In other cases, the enablement team creates specific sales content, but regardless, it’s critical for sales and marketing to be aligned, using the same messaging and brand positioning.
This means sales and marketing teams must use consistent messaging when communicating with customers and prospects. Inconsistent messaging can be detrimental to the customer experience.
Hold regular sales and marketing meetings
Schedule meetings at a regular cadence to help sales and marketing teams work together effectively.
The number of meetings and duration will vary by organization, but sales and marketing teams should meet at least monthly.
During these meetings, team members should align on the following:
- Sales and marketing strategy
- Department goals and overall business objectives
- Performance: what’s working well, and what needs to be changed or improved?
Create a content strategy
Sales enablement content equips reps with the resources they need throughout the buyer journey.
This content may be created by your enablement team or marketing, or content creation may be a collaborative effort between multiple teams.
Here’s an example of a framework you can use to develop a content strategy and make critical decisions about training initiatives.
- Determine the format for learning materials and activities
- What will your content include? Will you have role-based training? How will you ensure your content is accessible and valuable?
- How can you make the materials fun and exciting?
- How often will training occur?
- Remember to check in with your team to get their feedback on training. Is it working? Is it engaging? What could be improved?
- What materials can you include to help reps apply the training to real-life situations?
There are several types of sales enablement content that team members can use, including:
- Buyer personas
- Talk tracks
- Sales scripts
- Sales playbooks
In addition, you can create sales enablement content to share with potential customers, including:
- Articles and blog posts
- Email templates
- One pagers
- Customer stories
- Case studies
While there are several different types of enablement content, focus on creating the assets that will be the most useful for your team.
Build your tech stack
Sales professionals use several digital tools for prospecting, managing leads, forecasting, project management, content management, training, and more.
Using too many tools, however, can disrupt the workflow and decrease productivity. As such, teams need to audit their tech stack to eliminate unnecessary or inefficient tools and help reps find what they need when they need it.
To streamline your digital workflow, build your tech stack around these essential sales enablement tools:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. A CRM helps your team track interactions with your customers and prospects
- Sales Management Software. Sales management software helps you forecast future sales and address problems
- Sales Intelligence and prospecting. These tools, like social media and social listening applications, help reps find and connect with leads.
- Content Management Solutions. Use content management tools to organize your sales enablement content to make it easier for reps to find and use
- Training and learning tools. Using a learning platform allows you to provide ongoing training and development to help reps excel in their roles.
In addition, an all-in-one sales platform, like the Learning Cloud from WorkRamp, can help you further streamline your tech stack. A sales enablement platform provides a central location for sales content and training materials to keep resources organized and can be used across teams to keep your organization aligned on strategy, goals, and messaging.
An all-in-one sales enablement solution can help your team with:
- Employee onboarding
- Sales training
- Compliance training
- Partner training
- Customer education
- Leadership development
Now that you’ve got the crucial components for sales enablement training, it’s time to test, track performance, and continuously iterate and improve your program.
First, you must understand how your sales team is performing and where there’s room for improvement. A data-driven approach to sales enablement training takes the guesswork out and helps you make informed decisions based on metrics.
Then, you can take a strategic approach to level up your team members and improve your program. For example, maybe your reps need more sales coaching or different sales enablement content to help them address prospects’ pain points.
What should you be tracking to identify gaps?
Start with the following performance-based metrics.
- Sales content use. This helps you understand which content is most effective and where you may need additional resources
- Sales team productivity. How much time are reps spending on administrative tasks like email and data entry? Are there tasks you can automate to increase productivity? Where are there opportunities to help team members be more efficient?
- Sales onboarding time. Look for ways to decrease ramp times and help reps be productive faster
Enable used WorkRamp to scale sales onboarding and certifications to boost field effectiveness. Since implementing WorkRamp two years ago, Enable has achieved:
- 9 days to field readiness
- 8x AE team growth
- 6x ARR growth
“We’ve been using WorkRamp since we had 21 reps on the revenue team, and now we’re at about 220. The platform enables organizational agility and collaboration that has been essential in helping us through the growth and scaling.”
–Lissa Songpitak, Head of Revenue Enablement, Enable
Support sales enablement training with the Learning Cloud
When implemented correctly, sales enablement training can help your reps close more deals, hit their quotas, and improve your bottom line. But it all starts with equipping your team with the right resources.
Discover how the Learning Cloud can help you provide training and resources for customer-facing teams, increase competitive win rates, and help team members get ramped up faster. Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo.
Complete the form for a custom 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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