Are you struggling to hit your sales goals in your consulting firm? Whether you're looking to shorten the time it takes to close a deal or increase your sign-on rates overall, it's worth developing a sales enablement program to help your sales team be as effective as possible.
Sales enablement helps organizations efficiently close deals by providing the sales team with the tools and materials they need to persuade clients. In this guide, we'll cover the basics and how to build a sales enablement strategy that works for you.
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement equips sales teams with the resources they need to close more deals. This can include a resource library, training materials, or sales enablement tools like customer relationship managers (CRMs).
A sales enablement strategy structures these processes and tools in the most useful way for the business.
Why is a Sales Enablement Strategy Important?
This strategy provides a clear structure to get your consulting firm from Point A to Point B. Sales enablement tools can get you part of the way, but without timelines, feedback, and instructions on how to use those tools, your sales team won't reap the benefits.
When you build an enablement strategy for your consulting firm, you'll look at your organization's strengths and weaknesses to build a strategy perfectly suited for your needs. Since you need to cater to your specific niche, your strategy needs to consider your buyers' unique pain points and provide the resources to address them in the sales process. This is only possible through building a customized strategy that aligns your sales and marketing teams.
7 Steps to Build a Sales Enablement Strategy
Building your strategy requires a long, hard look at your recent sales goals and whether or not you've met them. Then, pinpoint and analyze your weaknesses, so you can find ways to solve the related problems.
Follow these steps and tips for building a sales enablement strategy for your consulting firm!
1. Create Sales Enablement Mission and Goals
What is the purpose of sales enablement for your consulting firm? Consider what prompted you to look into this strategy in the first place.
Are you regularly failing to meet sales quotas? Is it taking longer and longer to close deals? Do you retain customers at a lower rate than previously? Choose the most impactful sales issues and set a goal for fixing one of them.
Here are some examples of defined goals for this part of the process:
- Reduce sales cycle time by 25%
- Increase customer retention to previous levels
- Get 10% of customers to upgrade to a higher consulting package
Remember to set realistic and achievable goals. You can also set a broader mission for your program, highlighting the larger purpose of the initiative rather than a short-term sales goal.
2. Get Buy-In From Your Sales Reps
Your sales team must understand "what is sales enablement" and why it's so important. Without their buy-in, even the best sales enablement program will fail.
As you explain how you'll provide additional resources to help sales close more deals, be sure to listen to what the sales team needs, too. Are they asking for a specific tool or resource? Do they have a harder time selling to one audience over another?
Your sales team is the front line of interacting with new customers, so they have unique insights into what works and what doesn't. Ask for their input and act on it — it's the best way to get them on board.
3. Collect Sales Information in One Place
To make your processes as streamlined as possible in your organization, create a single source of truth for all things sales. A tool like HubSpot can help you gather:
- Contact information for prospective and current customers
- The status of every deal in the sales pipeline
- A record of when you last communicated with each prospect or client
- When deals are set to renew or expire
When every salesperson has access to this information, your prospects get a streamlined sales experience that addresses their unique pain points.
In addition to information about current deals, your central repository should include sales collateral like marketing materials, service offerings, customer testimonials, or anything else your sales team can use to give prospects what they need.
4. Implement Sales Enablement Tools
Setting up sales enablement tools properly is a crucial part of the strategy. It's not enough to just subscribe to a platform like HubSpot—you need to customize the resources to fit your organization's process. Collaborate with a HubSpot onboarding partner like Geekly Media to get the most out of your CRM.
Be sure to ask your sales team what other tools could empower them to close more deals. For example, do they need easier means of communicating with each other or with prospects? Would a resource library with every bit of sales collateral you've produced help? Listen to your sales team's needs and find the tools to do the job.
5. Educate and Train Your Sales Team
Make sure your sales team fully understands any new tools or processes you've put in place for sales enablement. They need to know how to access and utilize the resources you've made available to them to reap the benefits.
How you train your sales team depends on the needs and structure of your firm. Brief in-person training is always an option. However, you can also create training videos or documentation for salespeople to refer back to as needed.
6. Collect Feedback
Set up feedback mechanisms so you can hear what's working and what isn't. Remember that this strategy is all about empowering sellers to give clients what they need. So if your sales team finds a new tool isn't working well, listen carefully to what needs to change.
Sales enablement is an ongoing and evolving process. As your business and customer needs change, so will the needs of your sales and marketing teams. By incorporating feedback mechanisms into your strategy, you'll always have the information you need to be as effective as possible.
7. Measure and Analyze Results
Collect sales data and other metrics in addition to qualitative feedback from your sales team. With this information in hand, you can determine if your program was a success or if you need further optimizations to meet your goals.
By constantly looking for ways to make it easier for the sales team to close deals, you'll be able to address problems before they tank your sales goals for the year.