When asked to share the secret of their sales enablement success, most high achievers answer similarly: position your team to make the most of every conversation. And the surefire way to accomplish this? Know the difference between what works and everything else. A dedicated approach to best practices is a great place to start.
Learning and Doing
At many companies, identifying and sharing best practices is a learned skill. One reason is that specific strategies and tactics that may have outperformed in one environment aren’t always neatly transferable. Another is that cross-team alignment and expectations can vary dramatically. Today we’ll illustrate how sales enablement leaders can set themselves up for success by leveraging the power of best practices.
First: Be aware of how important best practices are
In a recent survey by Highspot and Heinz Marketing, we asked 586 sales, marketing, and sales enablement leaders to offer their perspective on a wide variety of sales enablement topics. One of the most intriguing was best practices.
As illustrated below, sales respondents identified a significant gap between the importance of best practices and their company’s relative performance in this same category. Meaning best practices is one of the most pressing needs of the team with the most to gain from them.
Key questions: How do the observations above translate to your environment? Would your sales team rate the importance of identifying best practices at your company similarly? If so, why? If not, why not? With these same metrics in mind, how would they rate your company’s performance?
Whether you’re on the sales, marketing, or sales enablement team, a quantified evaluation of best practices should be a catalyst in every content decision you make.
Second: Invest in closed-loop processes and technology
At Highspot, we do our best to steer clear of sales and marketing jargon. While closed-loop might seem to violate this principle, please bear with us. It remains the term best suited to describe systems that ensure critical participants in the content and communications chain are aware of what content is working, who is doing what, and how the art and science of continuous improvement can drive the results your business needs. Here’s an illustration:
Key questions: How would you describe your company’s sales enablement processes and technology? Are they operating in a closed loop to ensure best practices and critical insights are shared? Or are they residing in silos, leaving reps to fend for themselves and not benefit from peer-to-peer and customer-to-company learning?
If you’ve already infused a closed-loop system into your business, terrific. If not (and you value best practices), we highly recommend prioritizing this approach.
Third: Optimize your sales enablement strategy
Chances are, the pace of your decision-making is faster than ever before. Coupled with the high cost of under-informed decisions, this is driving businesses to rapidly invest in sales enablement technology. Recent data validate this plan of attack.
Via the same survey mentioned above, the specific benefits of sales enablement in identifying best practices in sales are among the most significant of the top categories recently evaluated.
If your key best practices choice centers less on if and more on how, sales enablement is a worthwhile place to continue your exploration. It’s one of the few B2B technologies on which multiple teams can actively collaborate for the strategic and tactical benefit of all. In short, it helps turn best practices into tangible advantages.
One More Thing
Best practices are not for sale. They are available only through experience. By acting on the suggestions above, as well as many others listed in our Best Practices series, you’ll position your company to optimize not only its content (and with it, customer engagement opportunities), but also the full breadth of what you’re learning every day.
If knowledge is power and experience the greatest teacher, then it’s easy to appreciate the role best practices can play in sales enablement success. We want you to make the most of yours.
Read more: Are Sales Enablement Leaders Just the VPs of Broken Things?