The crux of every business is to sell products and earn revenue. And there is a whole world surrounding it, full of strategies and methodologies on how to go about achieving this goal. It is like a nervous system of processes that enable businesses to function, change, adapt and succeed. The whole thing can appear complex from the outside, but with proper structures and workflows in place, desirable business targets are achieved. This is truer for big businesses.
While products, services and ways to get them off the shelf are more specialized in the case of B2B, concepts of running a business are largely the same no matter who you are catering to. This is why methods and processes that help streamline various business functions, help employees work better, and achieve customer success and sales targets, can be used universally regardless of what you’re selling.
Empowering Your Sales Force
A lot depends on your sales team when you run a customer-facing business. It is critically important that you equip them with the means to faultlessly do their job, which goes beyond merely selling. Modern-day businesses require more from business owners and marketers, particularly since the rise of the internet. Competition is ever rising, options are aplenty and it is easy to get overlooked.
Sales Enablement is one of those concepts that empower your sales department to be at the top of their game, making them capable of keeping your business relevant in the face of stiff competition.
So what is ‘Sales Enablement’? It isn’t typically a process, but more like a business model towards marketing success. Applying this concept ensures that your sales team is always appropriately equipped with the right information and knowledge. In turn, allowing them to not only excel in their core job but also making them capable of adapting when necessary to improve customer experience.
Content for Sales Enablement
Information is the key to get results. There are multiple forms of content that make sales enablement possible. Most of all, it is the information related to your company, your products & services, as well as other instruction manuals that educate and prepare the sales team to serve customers with confidence. Furthermore, it allows your sales department to engage with potential customers and customers more effectively.
Let’s take a look at some of the key elements of sales enablement:
- Knowledge Base is a vital component of sales enablement
- Statistics that provide competition research and analysis
- Content on customer personas
- Content in sales scripts
- Social media as an effective sales enablement channel
Knowledge Base Is a Vital Component of Sales Enablement
Having a knowledge base is the starting point to create sales enablement content. From blog posts and FAQs to product manuals, user guides, and brochures, creating a strong knowledge base would surely be useful for both employees and customers alike.
A knowledge base brings two-way benefits – your sales team uses this repository for engaging with your customers with all the relevant information they need, while customers can also access it anytime at their leisure.In terms of internal benefits, a knowledge base should be considered a great sales enablement training module. Key benefits are:
- Smooth onboarding
- Centralized access and sharing of information
- Better collaboration between employees across different departments
- Access to information anytime, anywhere
- Training at one’s own pace
Each of these benefits systematically plays a part in bringing new employees up to the level required to be fine salesmen. A knowledge base helps in getting accustomed with their organizational culture and understanding its work ethics, that are essentially the stepping stones of communication with customers. The clarity that your salesmen acquire about the company’s vision is reflected in the way they approach and serve customers.
Furthermore, keeping various information centralized makes it easier for employees to access it, as well as share it with colleagues. The transfer of information to employees and between themselves is as quick as it can get. It helps various departments collaborate better, thereby keeping internal and external communication smooth and prompt. The same benefit is reflected when communicating with customers. The velocity of passing the information is as important as the quality of the information itself. Quick responses that are useful for customers to provide satisfying experiences and create more sales possibilities.
On that note, blog posts and articles that highlight the features and application of your products and services for a variety of businesses are a major source of information for your customers.
The most advantageous aspect of online documentation is that it can be accessed anytime, anywhere. When employees are new, or when any information regarding a product, service, company policy, etc., is updated, employees can access that information at their convenience regardless of where they are. Having access to knowledge base unbounded by time and location highlights the ease of using it. Overall, a knowledge base can be considered as an effective sales enablement software.
Here’s a video highlighting the important steps and features of a good knowledge base:
Statistics That Provide Competition Research and Analysis
To beat the best in the industry, you should know where you stand against your competitors. Knowing your competition in terms of their product quality, strategy and the way of functioning can bring unique insights about, for example, how they deal with their customers. This can create opportunities to incorporate certain useful changes that may be invisible to you with your internal way of functioning. Studying the competition allows you to know the strong and weak points, creating more opportunities to improve processes, improvise ongoing communication and highlight the features & benefits of your products accordingly. It should be used as a solid sales enablement strategy.
Content on Customer Personas
Knowing your customers goes beyond merely understanding their purchasing requirements is crucial today. To attain customer loyalty and to retain them for as long as it is possible, business owners need to know their customers as persons. If this is possible, business success becomes a guarantee.
It should be realized that knowing each customer takes time. Having a customer journey map would be useful in this sense. Additionally, the information in the form of infographics, spreadsheets, articles, and videos can be created and used to understand different customers. This is essential especially when you’re dealing with individual buyers in B2B sales.
This provides you with the relevant information about how the customer experience has progressed over time, the quality of overall communication, what has made them happy and what hasn’t, etc. Just like studying your competitors, knowing your customers in-depth as a person motivates you to improve your future communication with them. Evidently, it is a highly effective approach towards sales enablement marketing.
Content in Sales Scripts
Sales scripts make your sales team more capable in communicating the company’s vision to potential customers. They are especially helpful in initiating a sales process, and in its initial stages when the situation is most ideal to pitch your products and services to customers. And especially when you’re someone starting a new business, sales scripts also provide the answer to your question, “how to create a sales process”.Having this content also maintains the consistency of language during communication at different stages of customer journeys. However, the scripts are to be considered as supportive documents because relying on them completely can make the entire interaction appear scripted. This should be avoided as customers can feel that they are simply being led to make a purchase.
Using Social Media as an Effective Sales Enablement Channel
It may not be a regular form of sales content, but social media is undoubtedly a powerful channel that can enhance sales enablement and therefore, must not be ignored. For example:
- LinkedIn is largely considered an appropriate platform for B2B marketing
- Facebook is used majorly for B2C product marketing
- Twitter is more direct and personalized in nature as it encourages individual tagging so that you can cater to a particular person, especially the influential ones
- Instagram is an ideal platform for using product images for marketing purposes
- Quora is a platform which provides a forum-type environment to people where a lot of business related queries are answered, among others
Of course, you need to pay attention to comments, respond to them with useful answers as early as possible and follow up on them. However, bombarding your prospective customers with sales pitches on any social media platform can be seen as an act of desperation and indicates that you care nothing more than selling your product!
In a way, sales enablement is a concept which should be present universally in businesses. The activities and various forms of content that make sales enablement possible are what many companies do. However, understanding the concept makes business owners, especially startups, realize its value not only in terms of improving sales but how it enhances customer service and experiences.
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