4 Ways Small Businesses Use Sales Enablement To Improve Selling Performance

small business sales enablement improve selling performance

Have you heard of Sales Enablement? At its most basic, Sales Enablement is the tools, resources and training that help salespeople win more business. This could include Sales Enablement tools (such as a content management system or learning and development software), content (everything from newsletters to sales presentations and beyond) and regular sales training that aims to identify weak spots and build skills. Increasingly, Sales Enablement also encompasses deal support and strategy. In fact, it’s becoming such a growth business area that many companies are opting to create a Sales Enablement function to manage and oversee this support. 

For smaller companies, all this might sound a bit unnecessary. Surely, small sales teams don’t need “enabling”? But the truth is, the principles of Sales Enablement apply to organisations of all sizes. Here are four easy ways you can use Sales Enablement to improve sales performance in your small business. 

Top 4 Ways Small Businesses Utilize Sales Enablement 

1. Align Your Sales And Marketing Functions 

One of the foremost principles of Sales Enablement is that sales and marketing must be in alignment. Unfortunately, many businesses have a disconnect between the two departments and, ultimately, this comes down to a misunderstanding about what each department is doing and why. However, this can be resolved through closer cooperation and an understanding that both teams are working towards the same goal: revenue growth. 

Ironically, small businesses are better at this than big ones. With fewer people in the organisation, there is already more of a sense of unity among team members. They’re already likely to sit closer together and talk more easily. But that’s not to say you can’t make improvements. Consider creating a revenue goal for your marketing team to help them see how their work contributes to revenue growth, and provide incentives for them in the same way you do for your salespeople. 

Likewise, incentivise your salespeople to engage in marketing activities, such as content creation, to help them appreciate the contribution they could make in this area — and the impact this could have on sales performance. Remember, incentives for sales superstars don’t always have to be financial — in fact, research suggests that monetary incentives aren’t all that effective — so if you can’t afford salary perks, how about rewarding employees with additional leave? Your sales staff needs a break once in awhile to avoid burnout.

2. Go Content Crazy 

Speaking of content, this aspect of Sales Enablement is applicable to all organisations, no matter the size. Content can improve sales performance in so many ways: 

• It helps people find you online, giving you more leads to work with 
• It empowers your customers with the information they need to move forward in their buying journey 
 It allows you to create a brand identity, through which you can engage with customers and forge a relationship before you’ve even spoken to them 
• It provides you with continued opportunities to reach out to customers 
• It helps customers see how they could benefit from your offering. 

Content could be anything from a blog post or sales presentation to an infographic or video — basically, it’s anything you use to communicate with your customers online, by email or in person. And it shouldn’t only be down to marketing to put it together. Salespeople are on the front line, hearing directly from customers about their businesses, their challenges and what they aspire to. This can all be turned into engaging content that resonates with your audience and boosts revenue generation

3. Get The Right Tools For The Job 

There are hundreds of Sales Enablement tools on the market, all of which are geared towards improving sales performance. This means automating processes and tasks that distract from selling time, as well as creating new ways of performing old tasks, such as by using sales presentation tools, and learning and development apps. 

Most of these fall under what is called “SaaS”, or Software as a Service. This has two main benefits. Firstly, because you are buying a license, rather than buying the product outright, you don’t need to spend a fortune on something that might not work out for you. The majority of SaaS companies will give you an opportunity to trial the service first, however, even if they don’t, you’re only paying for a subscription — which you can cancel at any time if the service doesn’t fit your needs. Secondly, these licensing agreements tend to be based on a set number of users, which means there should be an affordable option for you, no matter the size of your organisation. 

Shop around — there really are hundreds of similar products out there, but they don’t all provide a similar experience or the same functionality. With the right tools, you can spend more time selling and less time on admin, as well as improve your sales processes. 

4. Make Time For Sales Training 

For small businesses running small sales teams, it can be difficult to make time for sales training, but it’s a worthwhile investment. Smaller teams run out of new ideas faster than large teams, but they also have the flexibility to adapt more quickly to changes in the sales process, so a little training has the potential to go a long way. 

In-person training tends to be the preference, but without follow-up, you’re still at risk of wasting that investment — studies show that most people forget about 50% of what was presented within an hour and about 90% within a week. Look at new approaches to training, such as micro learning, which don’t need to take up much of your team’s valuable time but can still be very effective ways to improve sales performance. 

Sell Smarter

In summary, though Sales Enablement is clearly a big trend in the enterprise arena, it is equally applicable to small businesses. All it really comes down to is adopting common sense approaches to selling that put the customer at the heart of the organisation, thus driving sales and growth. 

Charlotte Powell is the Head of Design and Marketing at iPresent, a sales enablement platform developed by experienced sales professionals. iPresent is tailor-made to give sales teams all the tools they need to create beautiful and effective sales presentations.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post about methods small businesses can use to improve selling performance with sales enablement.

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