Sales enablement has become increasingly vital for businesses to align their sales and marketing teams and drive revenue growth. In 2023, if you are wondering why sales enablement should be a mission-critical focus, you’re at the right place.
We spoke with Ben Purton, International Sales Enablement Director at RingCentral, and Laura Valerio, Principal Consultant at Highspot, to discuss sales enablement best practices and how they have proven the value of sales enablement efforts to ensure they have a seat at the revenue table.
Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:
1. Why is Sales Enablement Crucial for Businesses to Stay Ahead of the Competition and Thrive?
Sales enablement provides sales teams with the content, data, tools, and technology they need to succeed with prospects and customers, making it crucial for businesses to thrive.
As a sales enablement professional, it’s vital to support your teams by removing any blockers that might get in their way to ensure they have everything they need to succeed. Ultimately, this benefits the whole organisation. Your marketing teams can ensure that their content is being leveraged and your salespeople are empowered to close more deals and drive bottom-line results.
Here are just some of the numbers from the SE Pro Sales Enablement Analytics Report, that demonstrate why sales enablement is key:
- Those that leverage a sales enablement platform are 25% more likely to be very confident in proving their team’s impact.
- Those that leverage content management tools report a 3-percentage-point increase in the average win rate
- Using sales training tools reports a 7-percentage-point increase in average customer retention
- Businesses with a dedicated sales enablement function significantly impact their organisations, with 92% of respondents agreeing that having a dedicated sales enablement team has increased the overall success of their company’s sales efforts and performance.
2. Starting a Sales Enablement Function Has Its Challenges
When planning out enablement projects, it’s important to prioritise the most important first, to ensure you’re having the biggest impact and not being overloaded with projects that won’t move the needle. Prioritising doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are some questions that will help you to weigh up the key factors:
- How high is the priority from your stakeholder’s perspective?
- How long is the delivery time?
- Who are the teams and what is the revenue impact?
Using a simple calculus such as this will allow you to map out your plans which brings clarity to your own workload, and provides stakeholders with clear visibility and expectations regarding projects in their function which require support.
3. Demonstrating the Impact of Sales Enablement to Senior Stakeholders
When discussing the impact of sales enablement in 2023 and especially during economically turbulent times, senior stakeholders want to talk about value in numbers. Quantifying the impact of sales enablement on ROI is the best way to demonstrate the value and reinforce buy-in. Proving the value of sales enablement doesn’t have to be complex.
The simplest way to demonstrate the impact of sales enablement in figures would be running a workshop with leads. I like referring to this as ‘Give-Get’ enablement. The goal is to run a tailored half day session for the channel/partner as they need to be invested too, and bringing leads to this session to go through. Doing so allows me to say “okay, we got 19 leads from this workshop, X downgraded, X converted to opportunities and this is the dollar value of said opportunities”. This is an easy way to quantify your impact in numbers (leads) and implement it into an ROI model.
Another idea is to host a “dial day”. The whole day is designed to generate pipeline. Sales reps will still need to pick up the phone but it’s fair to say that sales enablement can influence these days by 5-15% which can often be a strong 6 figure number. This helps you to demonstrate the metric value with leads and closure rates. By giving a legitimate value to senior stakeholders, they will see the potential revenue and it will influence their buy-in.
Even small projects such as showing the sales team how to optimise their use of LinkedIn is a quick win when it comes to drawing a quantifiable figure to present the value of enablement. It’s important to remember that small changes can make a big difference.
It’s also essential to be confident and speak the language of the sales, marketing and sales operations teams by having a strategic mindset. The simplest way to do this is to understand the pain points the teams feel and prove your value by enabling them with efficient solutions that will help them to be more effective in their role, without taking the credit away from them. Empower them by showing your support and the value of sales enablement will show by proxy.
By framing the benefits of sales enablement in a way that speaks to the concerns and goals of stakeholders, it will reinforce the impact sales enablement can have on revenue.
4. What is the Importance of Sales and Marketing Alignment?
Effective alignment between sales and marketing teams is crucial for a business’s success. When the teams are not aligned, unnecessary friction arises, and they are forced to work in silos, resulting in missed opportunities and decreased revenue.
The recent European State of Sales & Marketing Alignment report by Highspot revealed that 71% of sales and marketing respondents across Europe believe that misalignment between sales and marketing negatively impacts revenue.
At RingCentral, we understand the importance of sales enablement in promoting alignment between sales and marketing teams.
Some ways we drive alignment at RingCentral:
- We have a very fast-paced product that’s updating almost weekly so it’s key to make information digestible for our teams. Understanding what’s relevant to customers and the marketing areas they can identify with and then pulling that content from marketing materials and providing smaller updates with that key messaging to sales teams provides everyone with visibility at the same time.
- We provide training and updates in short bite-sized videos that can be downloaded onto sales teams’ phones. This helps to improve adoption and ensures teams can understand, explain and adopt new information more effectively.
- Making sure any updates and training for both teams are trackable and retained, helps both teams to understand each other’s value, be aligned and onboard.
Regardless of the economic landscape, alignment between sales and marketing should be a top priority for businesses. When teams are aligned, they work more effectively and perform better, ultimately driving revenue growth and overall success.
5. What Are Your Top 3 Tips for Anyone Who is Starting to Build a Sales Enablement Function?
There’s no silver bullet when it comes to building a sales enablement function, however, when starting, don’t overcomplicate it:
- Diversify the enablement team. Ensuring your team comes from different backgrounds both culturally and professionally allows new ideas to stem and enhances the value of your enablement team.
- Quantify your team’s value. Quantifying the high value of your team will avoid sales enablement as a function getting overlooked when your company or a consultancy group is looking at making cost savings.
- Get in the trenches with teams. Demonstrate your commitment and how much you care and believe in a project so much that you’re going to do it yourself. An example of this is by spending a day in the life of your team members. Listen in to calls, understand the struggles each team is facing and show a willingness to lead by example.
Research has shown that companies with strong sales enablement strategies achieve significantly higher revenue growth than those without.
When businesses fully understand and embrace the potential of a sales enablement function, they can unlock a powerful tool to drive revenue growth. By developing a strategy that incorporates sales enablement practices, teams can work together efficiently, resulting in smoother revenue generation.