What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is becoming more of a common term in organizations big and small. But just as no organization is the same, no definition of sales enablement is exactly the same. Some see sales enablement as a role or team, some see it as the technology that powers content distribution and management, and some categorize it as a hybrid of the two — with many degrees of difference along the spectrum.
At Highspot, we define sales enablement as a strategic, ongoing process that equips sales teams to have consistently effective engagements with prospects and customers throughout the buyer’s journey. In other words, it’s the teams, tools, and technology used in the ongoing quest to help sales close more deals faster. Sometimes, the teams that do sales enablement don’t even have the term in their titles — it could be the marketing team, a dedicated sales enablement team, or the sales team itself that are most involved in activities and deliverables that empower sales.
While technology is an important aspect of sales enablement success, it’s not everything. Technology should be considered a springboard. Without strong process, focus, and intention, the benefits of sales enablement technology are inherently limited. That said, we thought we’d share a couple of customer case studies where the work was put in upfront to build a solid organizational focus, set clear outcomes and objectives, and align stakeholders prior to deploying technology — and how technology has taken their efforts to the next level.
Sales Enablement in Action
With a large global sales organization, Red Hat improved team alignment by reducing the amount of solutions required to access sales content in an effort to provide more selling time and cut down on “searching time” for its reps. Red Hat now uses Highspot as the single source that provides access to all its relevant sales and marketing content — more than 3,000 pieces in total — as well as turnkey analytics for identifying the impact of specific content on sales conversions. The Highspot solution integrates with Salesforce, and all of the content is available within the CRM as well as in the standalone desktop and mobile environment to give sales more choice and flexibility to engage buyers according to their unique work styles. With a clear readiness plan that includes in-region and online training, Red Hat set itself up for success from launch day and beyond and continues to see top-line revenue impact as a result.
Sales enablement at SAP Concur isn’t just about demand generation and lead hand-offs mid-funnel — it goes all the way through to the sale, where marketers feel like it’s their job to “make sales reps smart and keep them smart.” SAP Concur chose the Highspot sales enablement solution for its machine learning, flexible content organization, and modern design that is easy-to-use and drives fast user adoption. For content publishers, having all the content in a single repository greatly simplifies management, tracking, version control and content mapping to the buyer lifecycle, helping its 1,000+ sales reps stay up-to-date and find the right content at the right time. By focusing the organization on the objective of moving to a new platform, and then continuing to promote and advocate for its use, SAP Concur consistently sees a 95% adoption rate by its reps — which means an estimated four hours per week per rep saved.
Sales enablement is a process without a defined start and stop. And while “process” can be an off-putting term to some sales reps, process is exactly what both sales and marketing need to create a successful, ongoing approach to consistently effective sales engagements.
After hundreds of platform deployments, we’ve identified and isolated the principles that are sure to lead to sales enablement success. You can read our Definitive Guide to Sales Enablement or drop us a line anytime. We’re always happy to chat.