Why will your business benefit from Sales Enablement?

Kevin F. D'Souza
5 min readOct 28, 2020

Are your marketing and sales teams struggling to drive leads and close sales? Do you feel there’s room for improvement? Sales enablement tools might be exactly what you need. Businesses are always looking for new ways to solve today’s sales challenges. Increasingly, they see sales enablement as a long-term solution.

What is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is a strategic, cross-functional discipline designed to increase sales results and productivity by providing integrated content, training, and coaching services for salespeople and front-line sales managers along the entire customer’s buying journey, powered by technology. Simply put, Sales Enablement is the act of equipping front-line sales reps and managers with the tools they need to win. It enables the following among others;

  1. Understanding the Prospect: For each buyer persona, master what do they do, what is their pain, and how does your sales team win? What are their specific Jobs-to-be-Done and how does your solution help solve one of their top-5 priorities? For each prospect organization, what is their Buyer’s Journey?
  2. Mastering the Competitive Landscape: Your prospects know your competition very well, and if your salespeople don’t have a solid understanding of the other side, they’ll lose. Fluffing marketing speak will turn off buyers immediately.
  3. Streamlining the Sales Process: Make sure people understand and operate within a well-defined sales process. Mistakes, especially during handoffs from openers to closers (SDRs to AEs) can kill deals.
  4. Crush Objections: Know what’s coming and how to handle each objection. Know when to use curious follow-up questions vs. bold statements.
  5. Alignment: When sales and marketing teams are trained in the same areas of your products or services, you’ll see more alignment between the messaging used to bring leads in and the messaging used to continue that conversation through the Buyer’s Journey into a closed sale. An example of misalignment is when the prospect may have received mixed messages throughout their journey leading to increasingly frustrating conversations for your sales reps. Sales enablement tools can help keep the messaging consistent.
  6. Engagement and Retention: Forrester reports that high-performing sales organizations provide more continuous learning, peer learning, and advanced skills training than low-performing teams. This extends not only to sales reps but also to sales managers. Equipping front-line managers to support reps with good coaching and communication skills improves seller engagement and leads to better results.

How will your business benefit from Sales Enablement?

The landscape of sales has changed. Empowered customers who do most of their research online have made the hard sale nearly obsolete. The stage for today’s sales are set by sales enablement. But what happens when management, marketing, and sales are not aligned? The answer is simple: Companies miss out on opportunities.

  • Over 75% of companies using sales enablement tools indicated that sales increased over the past 12 months, with nearly 40% reporting growth of more than 25%. (Source — Highspot)
  • Searches for “Sales Enablement” on Google increase by 51.2% year over year. (Source — Google Trends)
  • Companies with a sales enablement team are 52% more likely to have a sales process that’s tightly aligned with the buyer’s journey. Check out the B2B Buying journey illustrative created by the folks from Gartner.
  • Aberdeen found that 74% of high-performing organizations have strong sales and marketing alignment.
  • 58% of pipeline stalls because reps are unable to add value. (Source — Salesforce)
  • 59% of companies that surpassed revenue targets and 72% that exceeded them by 25% or more — have defined sales enablement functions, compared to only 30% of underperforming organizations. (Source — Forbes)

Enablement strategies companies are deploying in 2020

  1. Gamification: Fortune 500 companies are investing heavily in sales coaching and gamification software to put them ahead of competitors in 2020. Formal sales coaching programs are shown to increase win rates by 28%, according to CSO Insights. More enterprise and mid-market companies are seeking out sales coaching and gamification software providers, to bring automation, consistency, and engagement to their sales coaching initiatives.
  2. Sales Training: Sales training, including both new hire onboarding and continuous learning, is how you help reps build new skills, behaviors, or knowledge. Sales training is typically either led by an in-house expert — such as the sales enablement team or a designated sales manager — or outsourced to an external consultant. There are many battle-tested models out there such as Sandler Training or the Challenger Sales model.
  3. Sales Enablement Tools: Hubspot, Zendesk, Highspot, Outreach, Seismic, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Gong to name a few.

Final Thoughts

Sales Enablement can be a game-changer in terms of growth and revenue. It is important to remember that just because you see the value of sales enablement doesn’t mean your sales leaders or executives do. And without their support, you’ll have a hard time achieving results — especially if you’re just getting started. You will need to build a compelling sales enablement business case before pitching senior leaders on any new program.

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Kevin D’Souza is the Managing Director, Technology at Grow Exponentially.

Established in 2020, Grow Exponentially is a management consulting and strategic financial advisory firm based in Toronto, Canada. Active contact with over 7,500 investment funds, corporate M&A departments, Family Offices, and Fund of Funds. 25% of our institutional-only network are VC investors. Our capabilities range from Big 4, IB, & PE/VC Fundraising. We work closely with a merchant banking advisory firm (sell-side) out of Western Europe.

We also provide independent management consulting services to select VC-backed startups, mid-market, and large companies on non-exclusive short-term engagements. We are always interested in collaborating with global organizations, research institutions, universities, & non-profits.

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Kevin F. D'Souza

Global Revenue Leader, Ex-Airbus Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, BD & Sales Leadership, Mech. Eng & Global Strategist, Entrepreneurship