5 Common Misconceptions About Sales Enablement
Sales enablement is a concept that has really taken hold for B2B sales teams in recent years, and as with many sales concepts, it has evolved and grown over time. If you’ve never heard of sales enablement, we recommend you get started with a basic sales enablement definition, but for sales enablement veterans, there’s still more to learn. One of the main issues we see frequently regarding sales enablement is a misunderstanding of all that sales enablement encompasses, so in today’s post, we’ll be talking about those misconceptions and how you can overcome them to make sales enablement even more useful for your company.
Misconception 1: I Don’t Stand to Benefit from Sales Enablement
You may think that because you’re not a sales manager or sales rep, sales enablement doesn’t hold any value for you. You’d be wrong. Whether you’re the CEO, an accountant, or a marketing manager, sales enablement is designed to help the entire business succeed. By streamlining sales processes and improving the sales team’s ability to make sales, your business flourishes.
Take the marketing department, for example. Marketers are typically responsible for generating, qualifying, and handing off leads to the sales team. They also often act in a sales support role, providing sales reps with relevant content for buyers. With sales enablement, the marketing team has much more visibility into what happens to the leads they pass on, what materials the sales team is using, and what type of messaging the sales reps are communicating to buyers. With this insight, marketers can adjust their marketing strategies to be fully aligned with the sales department. This leads to better qualified leads, content that sales reps actually want to use, and buyers that don’t feel like they’re being told two different stories as they proceed through the sales cycle.
Misconception 2: Sales Enablement is Marketing’s Responsibility
Sales enablement is all about making it easier for sales teams to do their jobs by fixing any inefficiencies within the sales process. Who knows the problems within the sales cycle better than the sales team? When marketing handles sales enablement, they often end up providing solutions that sales reps won’t use, simply because the marketing team doesn’t fully understand the issue at hand.
Sales support and marketing teams have a large role to play in sales enablement, but they can’t help teams who won’t help themselves. If your sales reps are pushing all the sales support tasks to marketing (from customizing presentations to researching clients), they are actually missing out on chances to improve their sales effectiveness. The people who are most likely to provide the best targeted, personalized approach to buyer interactions are the reps who deal with these things every day.
Misconception 3: Sales Enablement is All About Content Management
Sales enablement got its start with content management, making it easier for sales teams to find the right content quickly so that they can pass on relevant information to their buyers. While content management still plays a large role in sales processes, sales enablement encompasses so much more than that. If you find a way to make your sales process more effective or efficient, that’s sales enablement. From automatically entering data into CRM to streamlining ways to research clients to helping reps prioritize accounts with data analytics, sales enablement solutions are available that go far beyond a centralized library of resources.
Misconception 4: Sales Enablement Doesn’t Produce Results
Maybe you tried a sales enablement initiative in the past and didn’t have anything to show for it. If that happens, you might be tempted to think that your lack of results is because sales enablement doesn’t work. But there’s a bigger question at play here: How do you know if sales enablement is working? If you’re not tracking the right metrics, you have no way of forming a strong baseline so you can see what is improving and what isn’t.
Sales enablement is not a “one and done” activity. You don’t “do a sales enablement initiative” and have your sales process miraculously become hyper-efficient and effective. Instead, you have to learn what works and improve over time. Before you can assess the effectiveness of your sales enablement efforts, you have to learn how to measure and apply sales metrics.
Beyond your personal experience, however, the industry statistics show that sales enablement does work. An Aberdeen study found that 84% of sales reps achieve their sales quotas when their company has a best-in-class sales enablement strategy, and Hubspot found that companies with aligned sales and marketing teams have 208% higher revenue than companies with misaligned teams.
Misconception 5: I Don’t Need Sales Enablement
It’s the norm for companies to strive for higher revenue goals each year, but a CSO Insights study found that almost half of CSOs don’t know how they are going to achieve those goals. If you are truly satisfied with your sales goals and have no desire to improve, then you’re right: you don’t need sales enablement. For the rest of businesses who want to streamline their sales processes and consistently increase sales quota attainment, sales enablement is a must-have.
The other factor at play is your competitors. B2B sales is not an equal playing field, where each company has the same process and equal products. Instead, your competitors may already be investing in sales enablement solutions, which means they’re probably able to close more deals, interact with more customers, and increase revenue. If you don’t have a way to keep up, you run the risk of being left behind.