As we all know, sales has changed a lot with the global turmoil in 2022.
Working with our clients, we’ve experienced that SaaS customers are more demanding than ever (rightfully so!). The unstable climate and constant threats to business survival is causing longer sales cycles and a demand of more decision makers included in wider business decisions. We’ve seen more meetings per closed-win and more buyer-side focus on how a product will immediately provide ROI.
In these times, without the right tools, knowledge and support, sales teams will find it difficult to constantly deliver sales, hit KPIs and company goals. This means that it will be critical for companies to put plenty of focus on the 2023 sales enablement strategy.
What is sales enablement? It is basically the process of equipping your sales team with the things they need in order to be successful. It’s about communicating how your product can give value to your customers, it’s about helping your sales organization to do what they do best.
How to build a winning sales enablement strategy in 2023
Every step in the sales cycle is crucial, from prospecting to customer success. Sales enablement must touch each point in the process. We believe that a winning strategy for a successful sales enablement approach includes:
- Knowledge of your business and clients
- Understanding of your prospect, your product, and your market.
- Effective sales tools
- Innovating your sales process will be vital in putting your sales enablement into practice.
- Sales teams must be able to provide informative and inspirational content to convert leads into sales. Marketing must constantly raise awareness to fill your lead pipeline.
- A healthy environment
- A sustainable approach in how your sales team spends their time in an effective way. A healthy team is a strong team.
- Customer Success
- Retaining and upselling customers is the secret to success. Always strive to give value to your customers through your product or service.
1. Make your sales team into experts, not just salespeople.
Sales enablement is built on the foundation of knowledge. Sales people are constantly exposed to tricky questions about how your product will help companies to succeed in today’s climate. Having the right answers is crucial in order to get a client to buy in. A strong and competent sales team can in most cases even give the answers ahead of time.
The first step in the process is to ensure that your team knows your product inside and out. Nothing is more off putting for a prospect having to deal with a sales-rep that can’t answer their questions. Your team must know every detail about your product, but also your industry and competition. This gives credibility to the sales rep and your company.
Another important element is the track-record of your product’s success. Make sure your sales team has access to a bank of customer success case stories, testimonials and PR articles. Your product’s success story will be your sales team’s greatest weapon.
Introduce a knowledge space where your sales team can share success stories among themselves. Building a team spirit and creating a hub for best-practice will be even more important in a post-COVID-19 sales enablement. Hero your best performing sellers by rewarding them, but most importantly, give them a channel to educate the whole team. Your new and junior sellers will gain a ton of value from their knowledge, your sales stars will appreciate the spotlight and your team will grow in the right direction.
2. Equip your sales team with the right tools
Armoring your sales team with the right tools and best practices creates an immediate competitive advantage. Your team will be in a better spot to serve your prospect and convert them to deals. The tools on the market today enable you to be more personalized and tailored in your selling.
Here’s a list of a few tools that we deem critical in order to succeed in tomorrow’s climate.
Sales coaching: the perfect tool for skill-based enablement. Tools such as Gong.io, Chorus.ai and ExecVision help salespeople improve key competencies, such as presentation skills, defining value propositions and problem solving.
Customer Relationship Management: an important tool to ensure your communicating with your clients, managing your pipeline, logging activity, and tracking deals at every stage of the process. Zaplify has a native integration to HubSpot and SalesForce today, but can also connect to other CRMs through a webhook.
Sales engagement: a perfect tool for minimizing manual labor, giving salespeople more time to focus on large accounts. Sales engagement tools can help you create a highly automated prospecting and outreach sales process, at massive volume.
Sales productivity: not having enough time is something that we all struggle with. Salespeople spend countless hours prospecting low-quality leads. Project management tools help you structure workload, time and priorities.
Having the right tech-stack will help your sales team save time and always add value to your ever-growing client portfolio. The key is to always strive to improve and innovate – the digital landscape changes by day.
3. More content, more deals
There’s a saying that “content is king”, we believe this is true. Your sales team should always work in sync with what the marketing message is. A common red thread across the full organization makes your company look more credible and purpose driven. Content should go out at a consistent rate and always add value.
Make sure to create a variety of content. This includes webinars, blogs, social media, white papers, influencers and videos. Your marketing content will create solid inbound sales traffic and help prospects answer questions that they may have. The more content you produce, the better you will rank in SEO (in most cases). Have a goal to inspire your audience, but at the same time, answer any questions that they may have.
Your marketing efforts should communicate what your product or service can do, but more importantly, show your customers what it can do for them. What keeps your customers up at night? What pain points do they have? Your content should address this and create a desire to convert. The stories that are developed within your marketing team should not be created by your sales team, but your sales team should be familiar with them in order to ensure the same value propositions are communicated in meetings. Always think of sales and marketing as one unit, and all departments together as one team. At Zaplify, we roll by: one team, one dream.
Lastly, always shape your content strategy around what stage in the purchase funnel your customers are in. Serving the right content at the right time is a game changer in converting leads. Blogs, paid media and webinars are perfect content pieces for driving traffic, educating your audience and increasing awareness. “Gateway content”, such as whitepapers and e-books, that requires a value exchange is perfect in retrieving leads. Newsletters will further educate your leads and fundamentally lead them to book a demo. In conclusion, content makes your sales team’s job easier!
4. Growing in a healthy environment
A sales enablement strategy should focus equally on building an effective sales strategy, as on ensuring that your sales team is taken care of. Companies that develop strong cultures tend to see a greater output from their teams. While there is much competitiveness within sales teams, the end goal must always be that everyone is playing for the same team. Team incentives is a great tactic in how you create togetherness in a competitive environment.
Create a culture that is built from within the team. Use data to understand what people actually care about. More too often you see companies introducing mandatory social gathering and big ping pong tables in the office, when actually, a company paid for lunch on a Friday would be much more appreciated. Create pools, Q&As and other surveys to understand what your team wants. Take decisions based on data and measure everything as you go. There’s nothing more powerful than a happy and hungry team.
5. The importance of Customer Success
Within the SaaS industry, there is nothing more important than having a strong Customer Success team. It is estimated that up to 85% of revenue comes from renewals. Getting customers in the door is important, but once they’re in, it is your retention strategies that keep them there. At Zaplify, we work based on the idea that “you lose a client as soon as you’ve won them”, this has created a customer-centric culture that always puts our customer at the center of everything we do.
The most profitable SaaS companies are those with the most loyal customers. A customer who keeps paying their subscription is about x 6-7 cheaper to sustain than a new one. Make sure to create an unparalleled customer experience, define a touchpoint strategy and measure your net promoter score. If your scores aren’t where they need to be, redefine your strategy before it’s too late.
It is not the sales team’s responsibility to ensure there’s a successful onboarding and continuous support system in place. However, the sales team is still an important part of the sales enablement process through ensuring best practices are in place when handing over the clients to the customer success team. Who is the client? What is their business? What challenges do they have? Why did they buy our product or service? What are the upselling opportunities? All these questions are crucial in order to create a perfect customer experience.
One team, one dream
We hope that this article can give creative insight to how you develop your sales enablement strategy in an ever-changing world of disruptive innovations. Your clients, product and market are constantly changing – your strategy must be able to adapt, always ensuring that your team has the right tools and support to succeed.
Never think of your departments as separate teams. Avoid silo mentality and break barriers. A successful sales enablement strategy brings all your departments together to fulfill your customers needs. You need to create a seamless flow of knowledge across all departments – the dev, product, customer success and marketing team all have knowledge valuable to your salespeople.
We look forward to your future success. Please reach out to us if you want to speak further!