Once upon a time, sales enablement was considered the domain of mature, scaling, mainly enterprise organisations.
SaaS start-ups take note: Those days are over.
In today’s world, most start-ups won’t make it past year three and the longevity of companies is shorter than ever. It’s critical that you give your business every advantage possible and that starts with including sales enablement in your go-to-market (GTM) strategy. Why?
Firstly, a recap on what sales enablement is. According to HubSpot, “Sales enablement is the iterative process of providing your business’s sales team with the resources they need to close more deals. These resources may include content, tools, knowledge and information to effectively sell your product or service to customers.”
So back to the why behind having a sales enablement framework in place from GTM:
1. Helps scale operations: Every single client we work with on B2B sales enablement comes to us with an over-reliance on superstar sales reps. You might be thinking, what’s wrong with that? Isn’t having people great at selling your offering a good thing? Yes and no. What happens when your stars get poached (they will)? Go on maternity leave (they will)? Who will pick up the (substantial) slack? And the big question: How do you scale on the backs of a few salespeople? (You can’t.)
We’ve also seen many instances where the stars were more mature members of the team and the up-and-comers felt they would never have the knowledge, insights and experience to catch up - which in turn acted as a demotivator.
By standardising your sales process and providing your reps with the leading sales tools, your organisation will become less reliant on superstar performers to bring home the deals. In short, everyone becomes a better seller. A solid foundation with an entire team equipped to sell well is the jump out of the gate your start-up is looking for to win the growth race - and the scaling marathon that comes next.
2. Highlights inefficiencies in sales rep behaviour: Building on the standardisation point, with your entire team singing from the same hymn sheet, there’s nowhere to hide. If your reps can’t sell with all the right tools and training that their colleagues have - they can’t sell. You can’t afford to carry dead weight on your team (never, but at the start-up stage particularly); if you standardise at GTM stage you’ll uncover skill shortages - and correct them - sooner rather than later.
3. Contributes to better sales data: This is a critical driver of success. Nearly half of salespeople say incomplete data is their biggest challenge. And according to Gartner, poor quality data is costing companies over $14m a year. Half of all businesses acknowledge their CRM data is between neutral and poor and that it costs 10% or more of their annual revenue.
Organisations need to collect, organise and activate data into valuable insights and resources for the sales team to use for strategic advantage. By converting this data into buyer personas, reps know which preferences and pain points to use to tailor their approach during prospecting and sales calls.
Let’s face it, you’re new to the market and no one knows you. If you aren’t laser focused on your target accounts and personalising your messaging to them, you’re losing out on revenue. Moreover, if you aren’t investing in one single source of truth in the form of a CRM, you’re contributing to poorer returns.
4. Delivers a scalable and measurable sales process: As a part of our GTM ARISE approach, we enable a 360-degree view of your customer on HubSpot across your revenue teams which include Marketing and Customer Success; they are instrumental to your revenue - and vital to the health of your sales data. This, combined with a single framework and shared data 1) increases the company's accuracy in forecasting revenue 2) uses account vitals, financial health and history, usage health and engagement to boost revenue, marketing and sales messaging as well as improved customer onboarding and success.
5. Builds comprehensive reporting and KPIs: Start-up budgets are far from limitless, and you need to ensure you can see exactly what’s working, what isn’t and how your employees are contributing to the business’ overarching objectives. With ARISE, we build these dashboards and KPIs on HubSpot, across the pipeline, with total transparency across revenue teams.
6. Enables a shorter sales cycle: Shorter sales cycles aren’t the ultimate aim of the sales enablement process, but they are certainly a welcome by-product. With all the hard work you’ve done to give your Sales reps the tools they need, e.g. better data, the right content assets, better customer intelligence, etc., they tend to have more purposeful and powerful sales conversations.
7. Creates closer alignment with your revenue teams: You're probably bored of us harping on about cross-functional alignment, but it's the key to everything! Sales enablement is a team effort, led by your product marketing manager (PMM), who is both a product expert and the voice of your customer, meaning they have the insights needed to help build sales collateral and train your Sales team in how to use them effectively (they are also key to the rest of your go-to-market strategy).
Then there’s your marketing team. They support the PMM in that content creation, a key ingredient in sales success. Teams are more successful when they can provide prospects with the right assets at the right time, and if anything, the trend for more content is going up, not down. According to Demand Gen’s 2022 Content Preferences Report, B2B content consumption is up nearly 10%, C-level content intake is up nearly 18%, “55% of buyers surveyed said they rely more on content to help them make buying decisions than they did a year ago,” and over 60% said they engage with 3-7 pieces of content before talking to a salesperson.
Therefore, aligning closely to marketing and working more collaboratively is a considerable aspect of sales enablement. As a part of ARISE, we conduct a content audit on what you have and what you need, keeping in mind that this will also change as the company and market grows. ARISE is designed to force adopters to recheck and refresh GTM and your sales enablement collateral via tasks in your CRM as the business grows.
8. Foments better brand recognition: When B2B sales organisations create a great sales experience for their customers, word spreads and the business is well-reflected. Peer recommendations influence more than 90% of B2B buying decisions and nearly 85% of buyers start their purchasing path with a referral. However, the sales experience is only a part of this; as with ARISE, we recommend mapping out the entire customer journey from GTM as well - increasing the likelihood of those all important referrals, raising brand awareness and more importantly, reducing churn and customer acquisition costs.
We think this raises a compelling case for sales enablement as part of your go-to-market strategy, setting your revenue teams up to win right from the start. Nearly 85% of reps achieve their quotas when their employer invests in a comprehensive sales enablement strategy. You’re going to want to be in that 85%.
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