The SaaS market is poised to surpass $112.8 billion by 2019, according to IDC research. That’s more than the annual GDP of the country of Morocco! It’s a big number, but if you’re in the B2B arena it’s easy to see why that estimated growth is going to be pretty accurate.
Technology tools have become a ubiquitous part of modern business. When a new strategy or project is assigned to a business manager, their first reflex is often to look for a tool to help them accomplish it. And the SaaS market is growing so rapidly, managers rarely come up empty handed.
However, there are certain strategies that can’t be accomplished with the simple addition of a new tool. They require a shift in the way you’re currently conducting business, even if it’s just a small one. Sales enablement is one of these strategies.
What is Sales Enablement?
The research firm Forrester may have the best description I’ve seen for sales enablement. Forrester defines sales enablement as “A 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.”
Sales enablement is becoming more defined and more prevalent all the time. More and more companies are implementing a dedicated sales enablement function within their organizations. According to CSO Insights in their 2016 Sales Performance Optimization Study, 32.7% of survey respondents said they had a dedicated sales enablement function.
32.7% of survey respondents said they had a dedicated sales enablement function.
What it Requires
Why has sales enablement become so popular in recent years? The answer has everything to do with the modern buyer. Today’s buyer has more information, higher expectations, and more choices. Sales enablement helps prepare, enable, and guide a sales team to meet that more sophisticated buyer by ensuring they have the best content for every stage of the sales cycle.
It’s tempting to think of sales enablement as the creation of content, but it’s really more about distribution. Many companies have little trouble producing content in high volumes. But SiriusDecisions research shows that up to 2/3 of that content may go unused.
95% of buyers choose a supplier that provided them the right content throughout the buying process.
Sales enablement is focused on fixing distribution and visibility problems, which is crucial for companies to do. According to a DemandGen Report, 95% of buyers choose a supplier that provided them the right content throughout the buying process. Sales enablement matters.
How to Do it Right
So, sales enablement is on the rise and can be a big factor in a company’s success. How do you go about solving for it? While there are dozens of sales enablement tools to store content and make it accessible to your sales team, it’s important to assess the existing platforms and processes of your sales teams.
Change is hard for any team, especially a sales team that has their energy and focus on the job 24/7. That’s why the sales enablement strategies that work best aren’t always the shiny new third party tools, but the clever inclusion of content into existing workflows and platforms.
SalesLoft, for example, provides the ability for our users to not only add content to the platform, but surround it with the context and information required to send it to a prospect. This can take the form of entire emails, saved as team templates for the entire organizations to use, or shorter snippets teeing up an ebook or pricing information.
Regardless of how sales enablement takes shape in your organization, it’s important to consider using the platforms and strategies you already have in place before purchasing a new tool to add to your growing tech stack.
Sales enablement success isn’t about getting the sales organization to adopt a new product or workflow, it’s simply about getting them to use that other 2/3 of valuable content that is currently gathering dust.