Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about the role of sales managers and how they provide value in the sales organization. With a little hindsight, this might have turned into a series titled “What the Heck Do You Do?!”
The bottom line is that as a sales manager you should always be asking yourself if you’re providing enough value and support and, just as important if your sales organization can see that value.
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That leads to the question of what exactly sales professionals see as determinants of winning sales enablement. A recent study by Demand Metric reveals how sales professionals define sales enablement.
Here are the top three sales enablement functions derived from the survey, as well as the steps you can take to ensure that you’re getting the most out of them:
1. Develop Strategy
To get massive results, a sales organization needs a strategy. According to 61% of respondents, that job falls on sales enablement. To form a strategy, you need data. With past and current data at your fingertips, you can find out what’s working and what’s not, and how the top salespeople are closing deals – thus helping laggers to quickly catch up.
The information you glean can then be used to formulate a winning sales enablement strategy that will help the organization continually grow. Without such a strategy in place, sales teams would be aimless and their results unpredictable.
2. Create Sales Materials and Assets
Sales teams rely on an ever-increasing amount of sales collateral to entice prospects to become customers. Without a winning sales enablement strategy, sales teams tend to spend much more of their time searching for relevant collateral than is necessary to close the deal. That’s why 50% of sales professionals say creating materials and assets is a top sales enablement function. Winning sales enablement puts the right collateral at the team’s fingertips, allowing for faster and more substantial wins.
These sales materials – such as proposal templates, pricing sheets, and contracts – will remain consistent for every team member who uses them. This makes them more relevant to customers’ needs and gives your organization a more professional polish.
All of these materials can be uploaded into a system such as a CPQ solution for easier access and instant personalization, thus increasing sales and revenue for the entire team.
3. Manage Systems and Provide Support
Earlier we discussed how sales managers are increasingly being confused with IT. This is due to the fact that operations managers are typically in charge of managing the platform’s sales teams use in the field, such as the aforementioned CPQ. In fact, 43% feel that systems and support are one of their biggest functions. With sales enablement managing these systems, processes become streamlined and everything churns along like clockwork, just like a World Class organization should.
In short, winning sales enablement removes the guesswork from the sales process and adds a level of consistency and quality that customers will respond to. Managers can also keep tabs on their team and even assist salespeople while deals are ongoing, approving quotes faster and enabling the sales force to close more deals in record time.
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