Sales Enablement Tools: Allowing Your Sellers to Sell...and Sell

Sales enablement means arming your salespeople with the right balance of skills and tools to allow them to do what they do best: sell!

What Are the Key Ingredients of Sales Enablement?

1. Coaching and Mentoring

A very important ingredient – ­­some would say the most important ingredient ­­of sales enablement is coaching and mentoring of sales reps. In actual fact that is the only way a company is going to truly improve the closing ratio of their team. The only other way is to add more salespeople – ­­not a cost­-effective proposition if that’s all a company does.

Coaching and mentoring is best done by monitoring what a rep is doing­­ – either by listening in on calls or sitting in on presentations – ­­and making corrections after the fact. Any corrections should be based on best practices of either the sales manager (if the sales manager was a successful sales rep) or other proven reps on the sales force.

It is best if coaching and mentoring is done with a positive spin. Let the rep know what they’re doing right, too. Then suggest they could be even better by adding in a new technique. Get them to demonstrate how that might be done.

Of course, coaching and mentoring must be done by the sales manager. Unfortunately, all too often a sales manager is too busy chasing up numbers to conduct real mentoring. This is the fault of an ineffective CRM application – ­­a CRM application should provide all needed information so a sales manager isn’t having to chase up anything.

Sales Documents

2. Utilizing Strengths

The all-­too-­common approach in management today is to pounce on an employee’s weaknesses and try and strengthen them. While this might be a noble approach, there is a far more cost­-effective approach: utilizing strengths.

A salesperson is generally strong in some area. It might be as a “hunter”­­someone who is great at finding new opportunities and getting them rolling. It might be as a “farmer”­­someone who excels in nurturing deals along and building them up. Or, it might be as a closer­­ someone who can bring that deal in for the win.

If you have a salesperson who is excellent as, for example, a hunter, why would you then pour in a ton of effort in trying to make that person a better closer? Why not spare all that expense (which might even, in the end, go to waste) and just place that person where they do best: finding deals? Find a way to compensate salespeople for these specialities, and put them where they will really shine ­­for themselves and for the company.

3. Sales Enablement Tools

In order to stay on top of opportunities, a salesperson needs the right tools.

Traditionally, a salesperson had to rely on their own tools – ­­usually spreadsheets, notes, their email and calendar apps, and even handwritten reminders. That was because the CRM application being used by the company­­ – while it was used to monitor reps, and while salespeople were required to enter considerable data into it­­ – did not adequately support salespeople.

Hence salespeople were forced into their own devices. Unfortunately, because these devices were very hit-­or­miss, opportunities could be mishandled or even left behind.

Conversely, a CRM solution that actually empowers salespeople is what it actually takes for sales enablement. In one central location (as opposed to being spread out amongst numerous applications) all deals can be instantly viewed, placed into the pipeline statuses where they belong. Best sales practices are built right into CRM so that they are automatically followed. And analysis can be performed rapidly and accurately.