What are the common but avoidable reasons as to why most sales enablement strategies fail?
- Lack of a clear strategy and approach
- Unsure of the purpose of sales enablement
- Failing to define sales enablement for your organization
- Not knowing what your sales team need
Sales enablement has always been a key part of the marketing and sales departments. In fact, there has been an exponential increase in the number of companies that are now making use of sales enablement over the past three or four years. However, as the need for sales enablement strategies grows, the level of confusion about the core concepts seem to also increase.
The need for clarity regarding sales enablement has never been greater than it is today. Industry experts have conducted an annual study on enablement and what they have found out about it is alarming: Over two-thirds of those, who invested in sales enablement efforts involved in their studies, are not seeing the results that they have expected.
There are a lot of reasons for this confusion, so if you feel like you or your company might be part of the frustrated two-thirds, here are 4 common but avoidable reasons why most sales enablement strategies fail:
Lack of a Clear Strategy and Approach
Before you formally implement a sales enablement strategy, you are going to want to reinforce it with a strategy and an approach.
On one hand, you should have a clearly-defined approach and it should have your prospects at its core 100% of the time. It should also ensure that your sales team is as successful as possible with each prospect and customer interaction that they have.
On the other hand, your strategy should always be aligned with the objectives of your business. The key to this is getting the executives in your company to buy-in and look towards leadership initiatives as soon as possible.
Unsure of the Purpose of Sales Enablement
Don't fall into the mindset that just because you already have a goal for your sales enablement efforts, you no longer need to have a purpose. Remember, a goal is not the same thing as a purpose. The purpose is what influences your goal.
When in doubt, it should answer the question: “What are the problems that sales enablement can solve in my organization?”
Keep in mind that every organization has different problems, which means that the purpose of enablement will also vary. If these problems still persist even after you have an enablement strategy in place, then it might be time to re-evaluate the purpose of your sales enablement initiative.
Failing to Define Sales Enablement for Your Organization
Defining sales enablement simply means finding the answers to these questions:
- What are your goals for sales enablement?
- What is the scope of your organization?
- How important is sales enablement to your organization?
Properly defining sales enablement allows it to serve as your frame of reference and tells you what you should be doing in every phase. It also provides a common idea to all of the stakeholders in your company of what a correct enablement discipline is. You can either create your own definition for it or take an industry definition and use it in your own context.
Again, the definition of sales enablement can be subjective, so it is not a concrete guide for creating a formal enablement strategy. How you define it is just a part of a whole, but without one, you risk lacking a clear direction.
Not Knowing What Your Sales Team Needs
It is important for you to have a strategy, an approach, a definition, and a purpose, but these are all parts of your sales enablement strategy that your sales team might not understand.
A good benchmark to consider when you are evaluating the success of your sales enablement program is by looking at the output of your sales enablement initiative. In other words, find out what your sales team really sees. This will give you an insight on what your salespeople actually need and how you can properly deliver it to them.
To examine this, assess if your salespeople achieve the following:
- Advance and engage buyers
Make sure that your sales team is seen by your prospects as valued and trusted partners who can adapt to any situation with the right training, content, guidance, coaching, and subject matter expertise.
- Possess relevant process guidance and training
Your sales process guidance should be available to your team when they need it the most. Having the right messaging and content at the right time is one thing, but being consistent across your entire organization is what drives true productivity among your salespeople.
- Equipped with the right resources
Lastly, ensure that your salespeople are providing feedback on the content that works. In addition to this, your marketing department should be using this feedback to leverage reporting and analytics and provide the ROI on your investments for content.
The goal of sales enablement is to make your life easier. If your current strategies aren't doing just that, it might be time for you to re-evaluate.
Your sales enablement efforts should be unique to your organization, so find a good partner or provider that is best suited for your company and avoid all of the hassle and stress that comes along with improperly implemented strategies.