Debunking the myths of sales enablement

Sales enablement is more than ‘just’ training for your workforce or an operational function of a business, explains Laura Valerio, principal consultant EMEA at Highspot.

Sales enablement is often mistaken as something just for sales professionals. It can also be confused with more known functions: from training and coaching to an operational function of a business, or an organisation tool for content, the only difference being a major focus on salespeople.

Sales enablement is much more than the above and it’s not just a function that focuses on salespeople.

It’s not just for salespeople!

A common misconception about sales enablement is that it’s only there to benefit and support the sales function of the business. You can’t blame people for assuming this, the clue is in the name, right? Wrong.

If that was true in the early stages of the function, its scope has now expanded. To reflect the change, its name is evolving from ‘Sales Enablement’ to ‘Revenue Enablement’.

A modern Enablement function is in fact a centralised intelligent orchestration of all initiatives, processes and tools that empower customer-facing people to be consistently successful and win the market. Business functions tend to work separately, and each has its own language. Despite their good intentions, this doesn’t always translate perfectly across teams and leads to misinformed, overwhelmed, frustrated customer-facing colleagues.

It’s the sales enablement role that curates and translates this department-specific vocabulary and makes it easy to digest for the customer-facing teams, resulting in consistent well-informed messaging and ultimately happier prospects.

In times of economic uncertainty and geo-political unrest, businesses and especially go-to-market teams need to quickly find new ways to manage, adapt and embrace change, be ahead of the curve, anticipating new customers’ needs and behaviours. By bridging teams and streamlining processes, Enablement also impacts how quickly key business milestones are met.

It’s not just about the right content at the right time!

In uncertain times, it comes down to thinking about how businesses can do more with less, for leaders, this is measured in profitable growth and scalability.

Having one strategic function, such as sales enablement, that streamlines multiple functions to work more efficiently is critical. Business leaders can boost productivity, by developing highly cross-collaborative teams resulting in effectively achieving shared company goals.

Enablement doesn’t just impact the way salespeople work, but when you have good alignment between sales, marketing and operations you can obtain the data to really understand what is working well in your business, and on the flip side, what isn’t working well. This added value allows you to quickly replicate the successes of your teams, whilst highlighting areas for improvement.

Insights lead to meaningful action, and added value isn’t something businesses can afford to ignore.

It’s not just about efficiency!

The added value of implementing a sales enablement technology accelerates productivity and efficiency across the workforce. Having sales enablement as a core function will help businesses not just survive the current economic headwinds but thrive.

With 67% of UK sales and marketing professionals identifying the cost of living crisis as one of the issues likely to have the greatest impact on their KPIs over the next year. Businesses should be looking to do whatever they can to support both of these key business functions.

This can be done by making each sales rep more efficient by giving them time back via content management and simplified curated comms from the rest of the business. Consequently, this allows them to spend more time talking to potential prospects, upskill themselves and ultimately achieving targets quicker.

Enablement technology helps you operationalise your strategy, make decisions faster and quickly understand through real-time data and insights what you need to do next in order to improve velocity in execution. Sales enablement professionals work with other functions across the business to assist go-to-market teams on how they can get from point A to point B, using the insights the technology provides.

The secret to productivity is enablement. It helps improve efficiencies across the organisation, helping the business to make decisions faster and leaders to forecast better.

Now is the time for enablement

72% of sales and marketers equally agree that implementing sales enablement to support sales and marketing is something they believe their company should consider in the near future. However, there’s a lot of education needed on how sales enablement can help business leaders and their companies, but we as enablement enthusiasts need to be showing the value sales enablement brings with hard numbers.

There are lots of companies that have been able to implement enablement successfully and these businesses are a testament to how this AI-powered software is able to help companies not just survive but thrive in difficult times.

It seems like companies only think about enablement during times they need to grow. When actually, during a recession they need to be smarter and more efficient when making decisions. Sales enablement isn’t just for a short-term growth plan, it’s for the now and for the future of business.

  • Laura Valerio, Principal Consultant EMEA at Highspot, which helps companies worldwide improve the performance of their sales teams by turning strategic initiatives into business outcomes.

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