Customer expectations are at their highest ever. The only way to impress them is through a smooth sales funnel; futuristic sales enablement tools and strategies make this possible.
But how can you tap into the full potential of sales enablement to drive your organization’s growth? 

This article will discuss sales enablement best practices with practical examples to boost your teams’ performance and elevate customer experiences. 

Recap: What is sales enablement?

Sales enablement is the set of processes, tools, and resources used to train, support, and coach sales teams to close deals more efficiently while minimizing manual work. 
Effective sales enablement can also bridge the gap between sales and marketing teams by promoting smooth collaboration. As a result, both teams align their efforts and work towards achieving shared goals.
Gartner’s Sales Enablement Survey of sales leaders’ enablement objectives outlines the top ones:
  • Increase pipeline conversion rates and size
  • Optimize the overall sales process
  • Increase customer count
  • Improve sales reps’ skills 
  • And more!
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Best practices for sales enablement 

Whether you’re a sales manager, a marketing professional, or a C-level exec, try implementing the following 13 sales enablement best practices for a more significant sales ROI:

1. Use the right sales enablement tools and technologies 

The right tools and technologies help your team stay ahead of the competition. For instance, technologies like AI, ML, Data Intelligence, Speech Recognition, and others have been transitioning sales processes by automating several monotonous tasks. 

HubSpot’s research suggests that sales professionals save two hours and 15 minutes daily thanks to AI tools automating manual tasks. And 78% of sales teams spend more time on critical tasks due to AI. 

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Tools like virtual sales assistance, CRMs, email automation tools, automated note-taking tools, and lead scoring tools can help sales teams sell better and sales leaders train their reps with the required knowledge and skills. 

For example, Docket is an AI-based virtual sales assistant that can easily integrate with your collaboration tools like Slack and equips your sales reps and GTM teams with sales-ready responses on the go.

It learns from multiple knowledge sources, such as Slack conversations, Google Drive, meeting transcripts, PDFs, URLs, CRMs, and other sales enablement platforms like Highspot, Showpad, and Seismic. Apart from answers to critical queries, Docket also helps your team fill up RFPs and RFIs instantly.

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2. Provide structured training and continuous learning 

Sales training programs and learning should never be a done-and-dusted experience but rather a constant process. 
Also, data across sources shows that attrition is lowest when employees are encouraged to get upskilled in a friendly learning atmosphere.
Considering the ever-volatile sales environment, sales reps must have the necessary soft and hard skills to genuinely understand what and how they must sell. 

You can ensure your sales teams stay competitive by:
  • Setting up a continuous learning program that introduces reps to the latest sales enablement tools to ease their efforts. For example, Conversation intelligence AI tools that provide answers to critical queries, meeting note-taking tools, and sales analytics tools to understand customers better.
  • Conducting workshops on the latest sales techniques and trends 
  • Customized sales training programs based on each rep’s strengths and weaknesses rather than generic ones
  • Creating product training videos to help reps practice and understand the tool 

3. Align your sales and marketing teams 

As your sales and marketing teams expand, it becomes more challenging to align their efforts. 

This alignment, also known as “smarketing,” involves creating a shared framework of strategies and goals backed by constant communication. Simply put, rather than working as two independent entities, sales and marketing teams can collaborate better to ensure cohesive messaging and strategy execution as a GTM team.

For example, suppose you’re a SaaS company that sells a technically complex product. In that case, the sales team can gather prospects’ frequent objections, pain points, and customer feedback for the marketing team to create detailed guides, presentations, and other marketing collateral addressing the challenges and feedback. 

AI tools like Docket are perfect for equipping your GTM team with critical answers to complex queries. Its powerful analytics dashboard curates reports on the top questions asked by prospects so teams can use these insights in their messaging. 

4. Offer accessible, up-to-date sales content 

Sales reps are at their most productive when supplemented with valuable content. When content is easily accessible, they can spend more time perfecting their selling skills and less time on menial tasks. 

For example, curate a digital content library with prospects’ frequently asked questions about your product and brand. This single source of truth allows teams to share resources and continuously educate themselves without needing additional support from Sales Engineers or Account Executives.  

5. Have a feedback loop in place

A continuous feedback loop involves capturing customer and prospect insights through interviews, surveys, and tools, analyzing insights, and acting on the feedback. 

Here’s an example of a typical feedback loop for successful sales enablement:

Step 1: Gather feedback - Collect customer or prospect feedback via a collaboration tool or survey emails.

Step 2: Analyze the feedback - Use AI or machine learning tools to analyze this real-time feedback and extract insights. For example, AI sales enablement tools like Gong.io and conversation intelligence tools like Docket can auto-record, transcribe, and analyze prospect feedback.

Step 3: Act on insights - Use the AI tools’ insights to train sales reps and optimize the sales process. For example, anticipating specific questions prospects may ask before they convert. 

6. Measure the impact of your sales enablement strategy by defining KPIs

Understand if your upgraded sales enablement strategy works by measuring it against KPIs. 

The following measurable and attainable KPIs help you know the true ROI of your sales enablement strategy:
  • Win rates and the total number of deals closed
  • Average sales cycle length 
  • Customer retention rates
  • Average deal size
  • Buyer engagement through LinkedIn, email, Slack, SMS, etc.
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Pipeline velocity
These KPIs can enable continuous focus and direction and allow data-backed decision-making for sales and marketing success. 

7. Personalize your sales approach 

Personalizing your sales communication and approach increases trust and the likelihood of conversion. It helps potential customers perceive your product as the ultimate solution tailored to their needs.

For example, prospects who feel a sales pitch is more tailored to their challenges and goals are more likely to pay attention to your sales reps and consider moving to the next stage. 

8. Improve your onboarding process

A recent sales readiness report shows that the average time for sellers to complete a sales onboarding program is four weeks. Depending on its complexity, a typical program can take up to three to six months.

Getting sales reps up to speed quickly ensures they start contributing to your bottom line. A little support from AI sales enablement tools makes this happen. 

For example, a Virtual Sales Assistant like Docket helps your sales reps become well-versed in everything they need to know to move leads down the sales funnel.

9. Make collaboration simple 

Allow seamless collaboration between sales reps so they can solve problems together. It can be as simple as using Slack for instant messaging across departments.

For example, you can use Slack to set up an automated reminder system to remind sales reps to complete their training steps or notify them of updates to sales-related resources, the centralized database, or the Cloud. 

10. Automate where possible 

Your sales teams are better off performing monotonous tasks like data entry, writing outreach messages and follow-up emails, or scheduling meetings. 

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Automating such tedious tasks can free a significant chunk of your sales rep's time and give them more energy to focus on other critical activities. For example, sales reps can use sales enablement automation tools like Outreach.io to auto-generate outreach email sequences with personalized messaging at scale. 

11. Encourage social selling

Social media is an incredible tool for nurturing prospects and building personal relationships. Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook provide brilliant opportunities for salespeople to share valuable content, discuss industry trends, and become brand advocates. 

For example, your sales rep can nurture a lead on LinkedIn by connecting with them and sharing engaging blog posts on their pain points, thus building an authentic relationship instead of direct cold outreach.  

12. Create individualized coaching plans 

No two sales reps are the same. One may be good at data analysis, while the other may be great at prospect engagement. So, a generic coaching plan would not sharpen their selling skills.

The best way is to create individual coaching plans based on each sales rep’s strengths and weaknesses. 

For example, you could use Conversation Intelligence or Analysis tools to understand how your old and new sales reps confidently handle messaging, sales calls, and other sales initiatives. Then, you could use the tools’ insights to curate custom coaching plans. 

13. Involve stakeholders 

Collaborating with key stakeholders, such as sales managers, marketing professionals, customer support executives, senior sales reps, and the product team, can help you build sales enablement strategies well-aligned with your business needs and objectives. 

For example, bring the product and customer service team on board for regular check-in meetings. The product team can add insights on recent product-related improvements, while customer service executives can exchange customers’ product feedback directly with the product and sales teams.

14. Identify and analyze top sales performers 
Top sales performers often exhibit certain behaviors and follow strategies that help them deliver high performance. Uncovering these elements reveals what’s missing in most sales reps.

For example, it could be their communication technique, problem-solving, or exceptional product knowledge. Once you gain proper insights, you can curate better learning opportunities for the rest of the team. 

Wrapping up

Remember, these sales enablement practices are not set in stone and must continually evolve based on performance. 

The best path forward is to equip your sales reps with the right technology and tools so they pay you in return for their outstanding performance. 

Start with Docket, a Virtual Sales Engineer and Assistant that will guide your GTM teams through every stage of a complex deal.

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