photo credit: wmosest.wordpress.com

By Kara Tiernan, Highspot

The rise of millennials, disruptive competitors, and rapidly changing technology is transforming the sales landscape as we know it, making it increasingly difficult for sales professionals to stay ahead of the market. In order to reach target goals, organizations need to increase sales productivity – and arm sales teams with the tools to deliver the right message to the right prospect, at the right time.

In this post, we’ll review how an effective sales enablement strategy can be the key to increasing sales and revenue, and reaching your target goals.

Reduce sales process complexity with a dedicated sales enablement team

In the past, it was easier for companies to grow revenue faster than their sales expenses. But today sales processes have become more complex and less efficient – leading to poor profit margins. Having a dedicated sales enablement team can be the game changer you need to sustain success. 65.4% of respondents in a recent Highspot study said they are experiencing more complex sales processes. This is because the internal process to close deals is getting more complex, the number of stakeholders involved is increasing, and sales cycles are expanding.

This study also revealed that respondents who had a dedicated sales enablement team were twice as likely to say their sales process was becoming less complex. Sales enablement teams help Sales identify customers’ needs, streamline and accelerate sales activities, and easily find content created for every stakeholder in the purchasing process. When sales enablement tools and techniques are woven into everyday activities, companies are better equipped to simplify processes and reduce cycle times.

Identify sales content through semantic search

Most sales reps use about one-third of their company’s available content according to a study by Sirius Decisions.  If you’re a content marketer, and are concerned about this low percentage, you’re not alone.  But there are some factors beyond our control in content creation, including the fact that many companies don’t have a single content repository, or don’t have a good process to help the sales team know what content worked well  in similar situations. Companies can easily increase sales productivity by implementing a sales enablement strategy that includes a sales enablement team and Content Management System (CMS) that provides granular search capabilities. Housing content in a single place offers substantial benefits, but using tools that offer efficient search capabilities allows sellers to search all text in assets (not just asset names!) and modern search algorithms will rank items based on usage and relevance so sellers can decrease search time and find relevant content quickly and easily.

Align Content with the Buyer’s Journey

Even when you reduce complexity in the sales process and implement a CMS to reduce search time – uncertainties can still lengthen the sales cycle at any time. Having effective content ready for every stage in the buyer’s journey is crucial. In the Highspot study, companies that had a sales enablement team were 52% more likely to have a sales process that was aligned with the buyer’s journey. Respondents with a sales enablement team were also 51% more likely than companies without a sales enablement team to agree that their content is closely aligned with sales stages.

When sales content aligns with the buyer’s journey, increased revenue follows. 

For example, 75% of respondents from companies using sales enablement tools reported their company increased sales over the past 12 months – and nearly 40% reported sales increased more than 25%. Sales enablement can have a direct impact on your success, and having increasingly granular content based on industry, focus area, and regional specifics will align content with the buyer’s journey and help you close more deals in less time.

Sales and marketing professionals will agree that improved collaboration achieves goals – and makes bonuses possible. A sales enablement strategy and a dedicated sales enablement team helps Sales and Marketing stay aligned, and helps vendors improve content, customer conversations, and revenue outcomes.

Kara Tiernan is a content strategist at Highspot, the sales enablement industry’s leading solution for content management, customer engagement, and analytics.