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Sales Enablement: How to Create Meaningful Sales Training & Content

Just like a favorite recipe, sales teams require the right ingredients and the right techniques to shine. When all the elements of leadership, technique, technology, and consistency come together, top-tier results are possible. 

This arrangement of supportive elements is called sales enablement. It empowers individual sales reps to hone their skills and improve their stats, which boosts the performance of the team as a whole. Building a strong and stable sales enablement program should be a priority for every sales organization. 

This article introduces the elements and practices that are most important for sales enablement: 

  • What is sales enablement?

  • Why is a great sales enablement strategy important?

  • What are the components of sales enablement?

  • How do you create and evolve a sales enablement strategy to match buyer needs?

  • What types of sales enablement tools should a team use?

What is sales enablement?

Sales enablement provides sales teams with content, training, technology, coaching, and other resources to help them achieve better close rates. Enabling your sales team with knowledge and tools enhances efficiency, improves product understanding, and aligns their process and tactics with customer expectations. 

Content for sales enablement may be educational content to help them improve or content to share with clients to position them better to close. Sales enablement aims to drive revenue growth by empowering sales teams to close deals more efficiently.

Sales enablement also extends beyond the sales department itself. Marketing, engineering, IT, customer success, and product teams may conduct activities to support sales in its efforts. Effective collaboration between sales and its cross-functional partners strengthens enablement content and improves revenue for the entire organization.

Signs your sales team could benefit from sales enablement: 

  • Too many meetings: Time that should be spent selling is instead spent in meetings

  • Low sales performance: Sales teams struggle to close deals or promote upsells

  • Inconsistent messaging: Teams have poor alignment on offers, deals, or strategies

  • Difficulty adapting to new products: Salespeople are unsure of features or functionality

  • High staff turnover: Attrition rates are higher than industry or internal benchmarks

  • Long sales cycle: Closing deals takes longer than expected or misses organizational targets

campaign creators unsplash
Source: Campaign Creators via Unsplash

Why is a great sales enablement strategy important?

The sales team is the bridge between your product and potential customers; they are critical to driving revenue and achieving organizational goals. While individual talent is important, high-achieving sales teams rely on comprehensive support and resources as a competitive advantage. This is where robust sales enablement strategies come into play. 

Sales enablement gives teams the knowledge, tools, and content to convert prospects into clients efficiently. By fostering collaboration, education, and teamwork, sales reps and teams produce better results in a shorter time frame.

Customer Expectations: The right tools, knowledge, and resources help a sales team address customer needs, manage their expectations and effectively align their approach.

Increasing Sales Efficiency: When sales teams have strategic content that enhances their skills and positions them better in front of clients, they close deals more efficiently.

Boosting Revenue Growth: Closing sales proficiently with a solid enablement strategy directly contributes to revenue growth. The better equipped a sales team is, the more likely they are to increase sales figures.

Enhancing Cross-Functional Collaboration: Sales enablement isn't confined to the sales department. It fosters collaboration across marketing, IT, customer success, and engineering departments, strengthening the organization's effectiveness.

Source: Airfocus via Unsplash

Continuous Learning and Improvement: Constant upskilling via continuous learning keeps sales reps up to date on industry trends and more competent in their roles.

What are the components of sales enablement?

Sales enablement is a structure of interrelated activities and behaviors that, when combined and leveraged effectively, build the support needed to inform and improve team performance. The following practices should form the basis of sales enablement initiatives. 

Cross-functional support

When marketing, customer service, product development, and other departments work harmoniously with the sales team, it improves information flow and mutual understanding. Inter-departmental collaboration helps sales refine strategies, personalize pitches, and improve win rates. 

Structured onboarding

Proactive onboarding for new sales reps helps them conceptualize the organization's methods clearly. It highlights products or services, sales processes, and customer management strategies that improve outcomes. This accelerates their integration into the team, building confidence, reducing the time to productivity, and boosting revenue. 

Targeted customer research

Using comprehensive market research allows teams to identify customer needs, preferences, and pain points to target likely customers more accurately. The sales team then uses it to tailor their approach and messaging accordingly.

Ongoing communication and feedback

Effective interdepartmental communication allows the organization to track trends, make product updates, and address challenges. It supports quick strategy adjustments and allows the sales team to report back on what they hear from customers and prospects. This continuous feedback loop drives more informed decisions about pricing, messaging, and effective sales techniques.

Education and coaching

Continuing education gives sales teams knowledge and skills to improve their selling strategies and communication skills. Classes and sales curricula can help teams better address challenging sales scenarios, negotiate more effectively, and improve their close rates. This training also applies to sales leadership. Developing better management skills helps leaders build stronger, more effective teams.

Amy Hirschi via Unsplash
Amy Hirschi via Unsplash

Content management

Structured content and file management streamlines access to relevant resources through a central repository for product details, testimonials, case studies, and sales scripts. When reps easily find what they need, they find increased productivity and ensured messaging consistency. Effective content management equips sales teams with the right tools to acquire and retain customers. 

Reporting and metrics

Metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) give teams perspective on their efforts. By tracking the sales teams’ vital signs—such as conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, and revenue growth—businesses can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to increase sales effectiveness. 

Metrics-driven leadership helps sales leaders identify top-performing salespeople and incentivize them accordingly. It improves forecasting and goal-setting, helps reps prioritize their efforts, and helps teams strive for successful outcomes. 

Communications tools

Modern sales processes rely on strong omnichannel communication to ensure customers get the necessary service and information. Communication tools like email, chatbots, and video make connecting with prospects, answering questions, and sealing the deal easier. Video technology like Loom also enables post-sale information and new customer support to boost retention.

How to create and evolve sales enablement to match buyer needs

The sales cycle is a dynamic process that requires a deep understanding of your target audience, their needs, and how your product or service can meet these needs. 

Start with a customer-centric approach: Buyer-aligned practices start with developing well-constructed personas that fully outline the characteristics of your most likely buyers. These representations of your ideal customers should be based on market research and real data about your existing customers. Buyer personae and avatars help sales teams understand who they’re selling to, what their challenges are, and how your product or service can solve their problems.

Build the sales content library around customer needs: Buyer persona data also guides content creation at every stage of the customer journey. Building assets based on the insights gained from market data means that sales teams can benefit from tailor-made content developed to address each stage of the buyer's journey. A content library filled with personalized and well-crafted blog posts, white papers, case studies, and video content ensures sales reps can share targeted info with prospects throughout the buying process.

Use technology to keep the customer front and center: In today's digital age, technology has become an essential tool for businesses to reach and engage with potential buyers effectively. Technology empowers sales reps to automate time-consuming tasks such as lead generation, email follow-ups, and scheduling appointments. Automation also allows them to focus on building relationships and closing deals with potential buyers rather than getting bogged down by administrative tasks.

Personalize experiences wherever possible: Personalized experiences are now a standard expectation. With the help of technology, sales leaders gather detailed information about a salesperson’s needs to tailor their approach. They can send personalized video messages.

Technology also opens up multiple communication channels for leaders and sales professionals to build better skills. Sales teams can leverage these opportunities to reach out and improve performance.

Richardson Sales Performance
Source: Richardson Sales Performance

Sales enablement best practices

High-performing sales teams rely on repeatable, streamlined processes to understand and execute sales strategies. Integrating the following best practices into the sales strategy allows leaders to systematize communication and learning for more consistent output and results. 

Set clear goals: Clearly define what success looks like for your sales team. Whether hitting a certain revenue target or achieving a specific conversion rate, ensure everyone knows what they're working towards. Document expectations for each sales period and empower teams with the knowledge and tools to achieve at or above expectations.

Smart sales goals
Source: Kylas

Align your sales and marketing teams: Build a structure of strategic coordination and cooperation between your sales and marketing business units. When these departments work towards shared goals and objectives and communicate effectively, they are better equipped to collaborate on strategies that attract potential customers and close deals. Team alignment ensures that messaging from marketing matches sales narratives for a seamless customer experience. 

Data alignment is another success factor for sales enablement. Ensure these teams share data insights and feedback to refine strategies that maximize revenue growth. 

Invest in training and development: Often, sales team performance reflects the investment into cultivating talent. Therefore, it’s important to build a budget for regular workshops, seminars, and professional development exercises to help the team embrace the latest sales techniques and industry trends. Committing to a continual training program also boosts reps' confidence and competence. 

Increase content access: Access to content is a common challenge in sales support. While sales teams should always expect fresh, updated content to share with customers and enrich their sales strategies, that content can only deliver returns if it’s accessible. Structure content storage for easy access and searchability. Consider using a content management system to organize assets in a logical way for quick and reliable retrieval. 

Leverage technology: While building relationships will always be the foundation of sales activities, technology makes managing and deepening those relationships easier. CRM platforms and next-generation communications tools streamline relationship and data management. Consider investing in AI-powered tools that further enhance communications and personalization, driving improved results.

What types of sales enablement tools should a team use?

Many sales enablement tools play a role in the modern sales tech stack, helping sales reps manage their pipeline, deliver personalized interaction with prospects, deliver pre- and post-close support, and increase revenue. Sales teams use an average of 10 separate tech tools to support sales processes, according to the Salesforce State of Sales Report 2023. Below are some of the tools organizations should consider when building or improving the stack for their sales team. 

Content Management Systems (CMS)

A Content Management System facilitates creating, editing, organizing, and publishing content digitally. This could include text, images, videos, or any other form of digital content. A CMS provides a user-friendly interface that allows even non-technical users to manage the content effectively without needing extensive coding knowledge.

Source: Neel Networks

Platforms like Seismic or Highspot ensure easy access to up-to-date sales collateral to maximize resource usage and effectiveness. They enable personalization and customization of content, making it more relevant to individual prospects. This helps sales reps deliver a tailored message and increase the chances of sales success. CMS tools can play an integral role in sales enablement, allowing easy organization and distribution of sales content and resources. 

Competitive Intelligence Tools 

Competitive Intelligence (CI) tools businesses gather, analyze, and utilize information about their market environment. These tools offer an in-depth analysis of industry trends, competitor strategies, and market developments, thereby enabling companies to stay ahead of the competition. These tools collect data from an array of sources, including websites, social media platforms, and news articles, among others. The software combines external data with internal information gathered from sales teams to create a comprehensive picture of the competitive landscape. This helps organizations identify competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and strategize accordingly.

Email Tracking Software

Tracking tools allow senders to track email opens and clicks, providing valuable feedback on engagement. They also create records of email delivery and subsequent interaction by recipients. This enables senders to discern when an email has been opened, which links have been clicked, and sometimes even the geographical location or device type of the recipient. Reps can gauge recipient engagement levels, refine communication strategies, and improve response rates. It offers invaluable insights into customer behavior that can significantly impact decision-making processes. 

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Ongoing education is critical to sales rep and team success. These digital education platforms facilitate the delivery and analysis of educational courses or sales training programs. Using a LMS makes continuing education more systematic—leaders can track progress, analyze sales performance against lesson programs, and offer systematic ongoing education for their teams. 

Sales Analytics Platforms

A sales analytics platform aids in the evaluation of sales data, trends, and patterns. It allows businesses to monitor their sales activities and performance on a granular level by analyzing key metrics such as conversion rates, revenue, customer behavior, and sales rep effectiveness. These platforms often leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to examine recorded calls, meetings, and other customer interactions. They identify successful strategies, highlight areas for improvement, and offer actionable insights for optimizing sales processes. 

Video Communication Tools

Sales video software platforms such as Loom help sales reps gain insight and build their skills through educational content. These platforms use enhanced video messaging features like screen recording, webcam capture, video annotations, and editing tools to help leaders deliver education to groups and individual attention to salespeople.

Learn to loom

Unlike traditional communication channels, screen capture tools enable real-time or asynchronous sharing of information through video. Recipients can watch video content at their convenience, respond and provide feedback. Loom significantly cuts down on time spent in enablement meetings, getting the sales team back to prospecting and closing deals.  

Loom enables sales teams with leading-edge video communication

Technology-led sales enablement is the best way to build strong, well-supported sales teams. As the leading video communication tool for asynchronous screen recording, webcam recording, and collaboration, Loom empowers sales reps to reach their prospects more often and serve their needs more effectively. 

Ready to add the power of video to your sales enablement strategy? Download Loom for free today.


Jan 31, 2024

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