In the last several weeks, we’ve discussed the what, who and how of sales enablement.
Here’s a brief recap:
What is sales enablement?
“…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 of investment of the selling system.”
Read here for a breakdown of that definition, along with some specific examples of what sales enablement might look like for a life sciences company.
Who is using it?
According to Demand Metric’s Sales Enablement Benchmark Report, more large companies report having a dedicated sales enablement function than small or medium ones.
But when considering that over half of the medium-sized businesses and almost 40 percent of the small businesses still reported having an entire function dedicated to sales enablement, it’s clear that companies of all sizes recognize the importance of this practice.
Read here to see some improvements that a couple of life sciences companies are seeing since their organization started prioritizing sales enablement.
How do I know if I need it?
Read here for a checklist to determine whether your organization’s sales enablement strategy is undefined, progressive, mature or world class.
If you discover that your company’s sales enablement efforts are anything less than world class, it’s time to either revisit your company’s current initiatives or start having the sales enablement conversation.
Now, let’s talk about why.
According to Aberdeen Group, companies that fall into the “World Class” stage are likely to implement sales enablement efforts like: determining a process to align content with key stages of the buyer’s journey, using specific, named sales methodologies and capturing feedback on content from both internal and external stakeholders.
Companies that prioritize these sales enablement initiatives see a higher rate of overall team achievement of quota, individual reps achieving quota and lead acceptance—due in large part because the sales organization is working arm-in-arm with marketing.
These initiatives matter to your organization’s sales force because:
- You are more likely to win business with personalized, relevant messaging
- You will increase efficiency by better understanding how customers are engaging with that messaging
- You can modify efforts based on data-driven decisions that lead to a shorter sales cycle
- Your sales reps will be better positioned to win at every stage of the buyer’s journey
Aberdeen Group also says companies that fall into the “World Class” stage see a higher rate of marketing contribution to sales pipeline—due in large part because marketing has strong visibility into sales content utilization.
That visibility is essential to your organization’s marketing team because:
- It enables the team to make data-driven decisions
- It allows you to understand how customers are engaging with your message and brand
- It empowers you with the insight to create content that will move the needle
- It opens the line of communication between marketing and sales
At the end of the day, your job is to get your drug, device or tool into the hands of as many physicians, hospitals or labs as possible. The sale is more than just a sale; it’s enhancing, and in some cases saving, people’s lives. And while the productivity your organization will gain from prioritizing sales enablement will undoubtedly have an impact on the bottom line, it will ultimately impact so much more.