SiriusDecisions’ latest Buying Study found B2B customers interact with an average of nine types of provider representatives before making a purchase decision, not just sales reps. And customers are more likely to move forward with a purchase when their presales experience is consistent across all provider representatives. But is sales enablement enough to ensure all of your customer-facing employees can create a consistent presales experience?
SiriusDecisions suggests sales enablement may not go far enough to enable customer-facing employees outside of the sales organization. They argue newly coined “revenue enablement” should be deployed in conjunction with sales enablement to ensure everyone at your company who interacts with buyers is fully equipped to lead consistent, engaging, and impactful customer experiences that drive revenue.
Those of you who have just gotten your sales enablement initiatives off the ground may be shaking your heads right now (something else to add to your plate, right?). But don’t worry. I’d argue enablement doesn’t happen in a vacuum. If you’re genuinely leveraging sales enablement technology to its fullest potential, revenue enablement should coincide.
What is Sales Enablement?
Forrester Research, owner of SiriusDecisions, defines sales enablement as “A strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return on investment of the selling system.”
What is Revenue Enablement?
According to SiriusDecisions, “Revenue enablement allows sales, marketing, and customer success to work together to consistently assess and prepare all customer-facing personas and provide the skills, knowledge, process expertise, and assets they need to execute their role – resulting in a better experience for associates and customers.”
Both definitions agree that enablement must:
- Be process-driven
- Help create a better customer experience
- Equip all client-facing employees to have consistent and valuable conversations with buyers
The primary difference is that revenue enablement explicitly addresses the need for cross-functional alignment.
If You’re Strategic, Sales Enablement Is Revenue Enablement
But the right sales enablement technology can help you successfully align all of your client-facing teams including sales, marketing, support, and customer service to improve the customer experience, shorten sales cycles, and drive more revenue on its own. Here’s how:
Ensure All Employees Have Access to Compliant, On-Brand, and Up-to-date Content
A sales enablement platform with advanced content management capabilities allows anyone with access to store, manage, search, and find the latest, compliant, and on-brand content in one central location, on any device, online or offline. Roles and permissions can be assigned to ensure everyone always sees the most relevant content, and folders can be created to further organize content by function, product line, or buyer persona. Content items can also be mirrored to various folders to streamline the content creation process and avoid duplicating efforts.
Dynamic content can be incorporated to allow different roles within the business to customize or personalize content as needed, within the guardrails of marketing and compliance. And all content can be shared or presented from directly within your sales application to assure a consistent customer experience regardless of who at your organization is engaging your buyer.
Integrate Your Sales Tech Stack for Maximum Return on Investment
When integrated with CRM, AI-powered sales enablement technology can automatically track and log meeting details in the appropriate CRM account record to ensure everyone who interacts with a specific buyer is privy to content that has already been presented or shared and whether or not it resonated with the buyer. Did they view the content? How long did they spend on each page? Did they revisit or forward anything specific? Having everyone who touches an account or opportunity on the same page, allows you to create a more seamless and personalized end-to-end buying experience.
Adopt a Data-driven Strategy
Sales enablement technology can offer invaluable insights beyond what content your sellers are leveraging and how buyers are consuming that content. It can help you directly tie specific content assets back to revenue. When your marketers understand what content helps sellers close deals, they can optimize existing assets, reallocate marketing resources, and prioritize future content projects accordingly. And when sellers see data evidence that the content marketing is producing works, they’re more likely to use it. With sellers and marketers aligned, buyers receive more targeted and relevant content that builds trust in your brand and confidence in your product or service, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.
Leverage Microlearning Modules to Ensure Consistent Customer Interactions
While sales kick-offs are a common practice, it’s much more difficult to get the entire organization together to standardize things like messaging, process, etc. And even if you can, one-time, classroom-style training is rarely enough to ensure everyone is equipped to create consistent and compelling customer experiences. Deploying a sales enablement platform with a sales readiness component allows you to create and disburse short, microlearning video modules to employees across your organization when new products or campaigns launch. You can track completion and identify who needs further training. You also have the option to “unlock” content only as training modules are completed to ensure everyone engaging customers can effectively and consistently deliver your value proposition.
From my perspective, strategic sales enablement is revenue enablement. Just because it’s called “sales” enablement, doesn’t mean the strategies and processes you put in place to empower your sellers can’t be leveraged across the business to enhance customer experience and fuel business growth.
Download our guide ‘10 Challenges Every B2B Organization Can Overcome with Sales Enablement Technology’ to learn more about how you can maximize the ROI of your sales enablement solution.