Enterprise organizations around the world are looking for new ways to solve today’s sales challenges and gain new competitive advantage. Increasingly, they see sales enablement as a pivotal solution.
Sales enablement is the process of providing sales teams with the information, content, and tools they need to successfully engage the buyer throughout the buying process. Getting sales enablement right makes a difference: Teams close more deals. Organizations that undertake a sales enablement initiative see a 6% - 20% increase in sales.
Sales enablement is quickly becoming an important C-Suite objective. In the past five years, the sales enablement has experienced a 343% increase in adoption. “Sales enablement is poised to be a formidable engine of growth in the years to come,” says Mary Shea, Principal Analyst at Forrester. “As the bar raises on sellers, the role of sales enablement becomes more and more important. Business leaders understand the impact that sales enablement has.”
Power-Assist Your Sales Team
How can you take advantage of sales enablement? The foundation of a good sales enablement strategy is to provide your salespeople with what they need to sell more effectively. These resources may include curated proposal content, integrated pricing and product data, as well as internal best practices and customer information that guide and support the process that ultimately comes down to providing a winning proposal to customers.
“You will not win the sale if you don’t deliver the right proposal,” says Eirik Gudmundsen, CEO of Xait, in a recent interview on the Xait Factor Podcast. “Efficiency in the process is one thing, but the quality of the proposal is absolutely essential. By leveraging your content and boosting sales enablement you have a better chance of writing a high-quality proposal that will help you win. And you can use past wins as a guiding point for future proposals.”
Three Best Practices for Sales Enablement
Sales processes can be streamlined and boosted to promote more sales and boost revenue growth. Here are some best practices that can act as a solid foundation to help you maximize your sales enablement efforts.
1. Sales Enabled Content
Connected content that is optimized for sales enablement helps sales teams outpace their competitors. Teams are able to assemble the various parts, pieces and pricing they need for their proposals and tenders quickly, and with confidence that the information is up-to-date and curated to compete. In the end, this increases agility and enables sales teams to sell more, sell more quickly, and do so with less effort.
“Half of the time companies bidding for work haven't got all their ducks in a row,” says award-winning bid director Dr. Idara Umoh. “Each engagement is unique and must be targeted to each client, but there is simply no need to write it all from scratch. I’m a big proponent of having a centralized content library of vetted content. If you prep yourself beforehand it just puts you several steps ahead of everyone else.”
2. Sales Enabled Process
Sales enablement is a team sport, especially in large organizations where proposals, tenders, and contract submissions can often total hundreds of pages and involve multiple stakeholders and authors from across the enterprise and beyond. Getting the million-dollar collaboration right, and on time, can be a huge undertaking that is made even more challenging now that most teams are working remotely.
It is essential, therefore, that the workflow, collaboration, and approval processes that support sales enablement actually work to enable the process, not hinder it. This is supported by modern proposal management and sales enablement tools like XaitPorter.
“Gone is the check-in and check-out process,” says Xait proposal management and customer success specialist Cheryl Smith. “We must now have the ability to have everyone writing and reviewing in real-time, with a single source of truth where the version control is automatic. That means less time waiting, more time working, while having the control the proposal manager needs to shepherd the team to a successful outcome.”
3. Sales Enabled Pricing
Integrated pricing is another competitive advantage of sales enablement. If you have your pricing set up in a spreadsheet or something similar you’re already at a disadvantage. Integrated pricing solutions like XaitCPQ make it quicker and easier for sales teams to correctly build and price combinations of products and services, and to do so at scale.
“Prices very quickly become outdated,” says Gudmundsen. “To ensure that your prices are correct it’s important that there is a live linkage to the most current pricing information. That is difficult to do using spreadsheets or from isolated pricing systems.”
With all of the product combinations that many organizations work with, it is important to ensure that teams are not only getting the correct price, but that they're also getting the correct combinations of products and services. Configure-price-quote data that can integrate via CRM systems like Salesforce or others provides a powerful tool that gives sales teams an advantage.
Ready to empower your sales teams to sell more? One solution worth evaluating is XaitPorter, a progressive database-driven document co-authoring software with integrated configure, price, and quote features. It is an ideal approach for complex tenders, proposals, and contracts. The solution enables sales teams to more effectively and more collaboratively create, manage, and produce high-value bids and proposals and other business-critical documents. And the ability to seamlessly and accurately select and price combinations of products and services will give you an edge on slower-moving competition.
Want to learn more? Download my latest white paper, “XaitPorter Just Made it Easier for Customers to Buy from You”.