The Hidden Opportunities for Sales Enablement

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    More About Sales Enablement

    When it comes to sales enablement, the first thoughts any company has is about generating new streams of revenue. In this blog post, we’ll talk about how sales enablement tools boost your sales org, hidden opportunities for upselling and cross-selling, and the pivotal role AI plays in all of this. Let’s dive in. 

    What is Sales Enablement? 

    Sales enablement refers to the process of providing your sales teams with the resources, tools, and information they need to effectively engage and close deals. Sales enablement materials help Sales teams streamline their workflows and accelerate productivity. CRM systems, customer analytics, and deal management tools are all helpful tools for sales enablement.

    The primary goal of sales enablement is to empower sales teams to educate buyers. If the messages are clear, and the pain points addressed, the odds of closing a deal increase significantly. Organizations with sales enablement achieve a 49% win rate on forecasted deals and those that execute the best practices for sales enablement experienced an almost 14% increase.

    Good enough reason to focus your efforts on creating compelling sales enablement materials, right? 

    Why is Sales Enablement So Important? 

    Sales enablement plays a critical role in equipping sales teams with the right tools, knowledge, and support to succeed. Traditional sales enablement materials such as sales decks, one-pagers, product sheets, and case studies, are all effective for closing the next new logo.

    Sales Operations vs. Sales Enablement 

    Sales ops and sales enablement are two different animals, but in order to succeed, they must synergize in perfect harmony. 

    Sales operations have an important role in unlocking predictable revenue. They are responsible for implementing various processes, including automation to streamline the sales process, helping the teams execute the marketing and sales strategy more effectively. While sales enablement is about equipping the sales team with assets and materials to execute the sales strategy.  By working together, sales ops can implement sales enablement resources within its processes and workflows.

    The Broken Pipeline of Sales Enablement

    Expansion opportunities are seldom missed, and investing in your existing customer base, despite being the lifeblood of your business, is sometimes perceived as a “cost center.” 

    That said, who then is helping the farmers, AMs, and CSMs grow the business off existing customers? This is an entire segment of sales enablement tools that are being completely ignored.

    According to our recent research, 52% of sales execs claim that “new business deals” are easier than “customer expansion deals” while only 15% thought the opposite. It’s no surprise, as customers require Sales teams to take a history lesson. When there are missing pieces in that story, sales teams will simply give up and move on to the next new lead, leaving a lot of hidden growth potential on the table. 

    When sales teams have a thorough understanding of the customer’s history and pain points, it paves the way for more meaningful conversations that truly resonate. This builds more trust and credibility, and the building blocks for stronger relationships. 

    Combining sales operations and sales enablement together can help empower sales teams with the intelligence or materials needed to effectively execute the sales strategy, at the right time. 

    What Are the Elements of a Sales Enablement Strategy? 

    Executing a sales enablement strategy requires companies to be attentive both to the customers’ needs and the sales team’s needs. The key components of a good sales enablement strategy is: 

    Marketing-Sales alignment: Sales and marketing misalignment can kill deals. Based on a recent survey, it costs businesses $1 trillion each year in decreased sales productivity and wasted marketing efforts. HubSpot reported that 52.2% of sales professionals said the biggest impact of sales and marketing team misalignment is lost sales and revenue. 

    The solution? Teamwork. Establish a unified messaging and content strategy. Develop ICPs and buyer personas that encompass insights from both sales and marketing perspectives.

    Continuous learning: A busy sales rep does not have time to watch a full product walkthrough or webinar during the day. Instead, break things into digestible pieces such as microlearning course sessions of 15 minutes, and leverage gamification techniques internally to create leaderboards and test their knowledge in a fun and interactive way.

    You can also use Conversation intelligence tools to record prospects’ calls for learning purposes and identify key pains in customer calls. 

    Customer intelligence: Customer intelligence can help uncover growth opportunities and get the lowdown on what’s happening in accounts, before reaching out. These tools will help get the full story to the AM and a glimpse into the customer’s pain points.

    Sales Enablement Best Practices 

    Don’t leave pain discovery at the acquisition level: Understanding customer pain points is the solid foundation for successful customer acquisitions and retention. One approach you can take is through the power of empathetic listening. When you engage with customers, take the time to really understand their challenges. Put yourself in their shoes, feel their pain, and let them know you’re there to help them conquer it, without relying on the capabilities or attention of your CSMs

    Build relationship heatmaps for your reps: Relationship heatmaps can open the door for an expansion deal. Relationship heatmaps visually represent your relationships with customer stakeholders, helping sales teams build the right sales strategy when it comes to different personas in the account. You’ll be able to determine which customers are satisfied and which might need a little extra attention, ensuring that you’re engaging with the right person in each account, and uncovering who has the best relationship with your champions.  

    Check for advocates using sentiment scores: Sentiment scores can uncover new potential fans or advocates worth engaging with. Armed with this knowledge, sales reps can develop personalized outreach strategies to best engage with happy customers regarding a new product or a service. You can leverage data from individuals’ sentiment scores to level up the conversation and put the champions at your side. 

    Create a library of content to help your reps learn: 81% of sales executives cited content search and utilization as the top productivity improvement area. Take the time to develop new content to fill the identified gaps and address specific learning objectives. This could involve creating sales playbooks, training modules, interactive quizzes, video tutorials, podcasts, or webinars. Make it visual. Make it enticing. Make it human. 

    Who Owns Sales Enablement?

    This is the multi-million dollar question. In order to answer it, without throwing your sales and marketing budget into the ocean like in The Wolf of Wall Street, we’ve broken down the roles of both key stakeholders and how AI fits into the sales enablement picture. 

    Provide feedback on the quality and effectiveness of sales enablement resources Establish consistent brand messaging and positioningGather direct feedback for continuous improvement 
    Responsible for continuous learning and professional development, such as updating their product knowledge and staying atop industry trendsCreate high-quality sales enablement content that is aligned with the buyer’s journeysuch as battle cards, and sales playbooks Identify opportunities to expand customer accounts by identifying upselling and cross-selling possibilities
    Provide insights on competitors’ offerings, pricing strategies, and positioning in the marketConduct training sessions to educate sales teams on new product launches, updates, and market trendsEnsure successful onboarding and training of new customers 

    How AI fits into the sales enablement mix

    And then there is the magic of AI.

    AI can level up sales enablement since it helps in creating materials with generative AI, and through the use of AI-powered customer intelligence and analytics to better strategize deals.

    It can build relationship heatmaps, create advocate lists and scores, and highlight pain points and topics. With this missing ingredient, sales teams can finally be empowered to close the easiest deals – expansion deals. 

    You’re 70% more likely to sell to existing accounts than to selling to new logos. And this is where Staircase AI comes in. 

    Staircase AI adds the missing AI ingredient to fuel sales enablement. Unlock hidden growth opportunities and see which customers are likely to expand. 

    Get a free Expansion Report here.