What is sales enablement?

By Doug Bolton

What is sales enablement?

If you want your sales reps to bring in more business, it's important that you give them the right equipment. If you actively work on your sales enablement strategy, you can make it easier for them to convert more existing and potential customers and boost your bottom line.

Sales enablement can be defined like this:

The process of providing a company's sales organisation and sales reps with the resources they need to become more relevant to buyers and close more deals."

In order to make this happen, there obviously needs to be cooperation between the sales reps, who have contact with buyers and eventually close the deal, and marketers, who develop content that is relevant to prospects and customers.

It's this cooperation that often poses challenges, especially in larger, more traditional B2B companies. It's not uncommon in companies like this for sales reps to complain that the company's content isn't relevant or interesting to customers - regardless of whether it's brochures, articles, or product videos. Similarly, marketers often get frustrated when reps don't use the available content or fail to give feedback on how it can be improved.

You can start resolving these kinds of conflicts in your company by taking a focused approach to sales enablement - rather than just letting each department do its own thing.

What does sales enablement look like in practice?

In practice, sales enablement means providing sales reps with the content they need to convince their leads to make a deal. Lots of different types of content can be used here - articles, brochures, videos, pictures, graphics, content offers, case studies, demos, pricing information, templates, whitepapers, etc.

The important thing is that the content must be relevant to the prospective customer - and what's relevant can vary depending on their industry, role, stage in the customer journey, and even their personal preferences. So as long as you're focused on relevance for every possibility, the more content, the better!

In return, effective sales enablement requires feedback from sales reps. They need to feel that they can alert marketing when noticing they lack a certain kind of content. And naturally, they should feel confident that marketing will act on this feedback and produce the content they need.

What tools do you need for sales enablement?

Sales enablement is more about changing your way of working than making investments in expensive tools. In reality, a lot of B2B companies could make significant improvements with a basic document library. If you gather all of your sales enablement content in one place and organise and tag it correctly, it will be much easier for sales reps to find the content that is relevant and convincing for each individual contact.

Taking this approach also makes it easier to make sure content is up-to-date. For example, if your company produces updated brochures each year, you can replace the old version with the new one in your document library. This reduces the risk that reps will use old and potentially inaccurate content during the sales process.

However, a dedicated sales enablement platform will let you take your sales enablement to the next level. HubSpot, for example, can be used for sales enablement. It both works as a place to store content but adds a lot of other useful features - such as a CRM that allows reps to monitor and record interactions with customers and a range of automation tools.

Automation can really make the lives of your sales reps easier. With a range of tried-and-tested outreach email templates stored in a system like HubSpot, reps can quickly adjust them and send them off to prospects and customers with a couple of clicks, without having to think too much about copy or relevant topics to mention. Subsequent follow-up emails can then be sent automatically, freeing up reps to focus on other things.

If you're looking for a sales enablement platform, we've listed a few in our in-depth sales enablement guide. There's also a lot of other information about other aspects of sales enablement, like what content performs best and how to improve your approach with data. 

Doug Bolton
Doug has been a Content Producer at Zooma since 2021. Originally English, he now lives in Sweden.
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