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5 sales enablement best practices to drive growth

Sales enablement consists of tools and processes that can help sales agents succeed in their roles, including training, resource availability and team involvement.

Contrary to what it might sound like, sales enablement doesn't exist within CRM; it exists alongside it. Think of it this way: If CRM is a baseball diamond, then sales enablement -- the set of processes and tools used to execute the role and responsibilities of a sales agent -- is the bullpen or the batting cage.

Sales enablement is common, and its impact is evident. According to the "2017 CSO Insights Sales Enablement Optimization Report," between 2013 and 2017, implementation tripled -- from less than 20% of companies worldwide to almost 60%. As of 2018, companies using sales enablement programs are seeing 22% more salespeople meet quotas.

What exactly is sales enablement? It is a set of processes and tools that requires a carefully considered, customized approach to fully equip sales teams for the challenges of CRM. These sales enablement best practices can help organizations set up programs or improve existing initiatives.

1. Make quality resources available

Optimize quality sales content to be a straightforward sales team resource, and make ease-of-use its main principle.

2. Cross-train sales agents

Empower the sales force to meet its goals by cross-training sales reps in marketing, product data and its uses, and broader education in the industry.

3. Measure and measure more

Sales enablement functions somewhat like athletic training -- the salesperson's performance, the status of their leads, their rate of conversion and other relevant measures are always on hand. Set goals and measure against them frequently. This information, in theory, will help keep them focused.

4. Refresh skill sets

Another of the sales enablement best practices involves the recertification of skills. Build time and bandwidth into salespeople's typically grueling schedules to refresh their competencies when opportunities arise.

5. Involve the team

A sales strategy requires team involvement; it is a team sport and no longer at the level of executive or sales management. Team members should help create and execute these strategies.

This was last published in March 2019

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