B2B Sales Enablement: A Guide To Achieve High Business Growth
October 19, 2022 Edwin Kooistra
Empowering your sales team with the right resources to improve customer engagement and conversions is a very popular modern concept that has experienced an increase in adoption by 343% (2021).
B2B tech businesses that enable their sales team with the right information and tools have proven to improve sales messaging and enhance sales team performance.
According to recent stats, sales enablement has proven to improve win rates by 49%, in addition, 76% of organizations experience an increase in sales between 6% and 20%.
B2B sales enablement for tech startups delivers crucial benefits like sales efficiency, marketing, and sales synergy, better buyer interactions, the ability to cross-sell and upsell, and so on, all of which contribute to a competitive advantage.
This guide delves into why B2B sales enablement is such an important part of a sales process, as well as how to develop a successful strategy.
What is B2B Sales Enablement?
Professionals define sales enablement as the framework designed to make selling more informed and effective for your sales team.
The idea of the sales enablement plan is to ensure the evolution of selling practices, integrate technology, create more customer-focused content, and give sales teams the tools to build better relationships with ideal customer profiles.
A solid B2B sales enablement strategy will typically cover the following areas:
- Onboarding and certification
- Management and deployment of sales assets
- Marketing communications
- Coaching and training
- Implementation of new sales technology
B2B sales enablement, when done correctly, increases your company’s competitive advantage and customer experience.
Why Is B2B Sales Enablement Important?
Sales enablement plays an important role in revenue growth. Instead of relying on just certain sales personnel, the sales enablement plan delivers a data-driven framework for sales enhancement.
Sales enablement for B2B technology companies has grown in popularity since it provides sales teams with the best practices, timely knowledge, relevant tools, and resources to improve conversion rates.
Enablement solutions provider Seismic identified in their recent infographic that B2B sales enablement enhanced their conversions by 275%, while it generated 65% more revenue from existing customers. Here are some interesting sales enablement statistics from the SaaS sector:
- Sales enablement adoption has increased by 343% in the SaaS sector
- A sales enablement training program increased win rates by 29%
- 84% of B2B sales representatives achieved their targets
- Businesses with a sales enablement program report 14% annual growth in contract values and order sizes
What is the Difference Between With and Without Sales Enablement?
Professional research and surveys have identified that organizations with defined B2B sales enablement policies simply achieve better results. Tech startups that develop a strategic B2B sales enablement plan experience 49% win rates compared to 42.5% in those that don’t.
B2B businesses that developed a sales enablement plan also reported more effective sales training, stronger customer relationships, and higher sales quota attainment. Organizations that have defined enablement strategies can:
- Allocate resources more efficiently
- Develop more robust marketing and sales processes
- Integrate the right technology
- Increase revenue consistently
In addition, the sales enablement process aims to provide organizations to optimize all their customer touchpoints for better content, engagement, and CTAs. Organizations without a sales enablement program tend to have longer sales cycles which may have inconsistencies that cause lost opportunities.
An important effect of performing successful sales enable strategies in tech startups is the radical increase in new sales, 275% as discussed above. This is further complemented by the 60% increase in revenue from existing customers.
Sales enablement for B2B technology companies allows for nurturing stronger relationships that result in improved cross-selling and upselling in addition to discovering new customers.
With a more empowered and informed sales team, B2B tech startups can focus on product development and streamline support operations through customer feedback.
Speaking of customer feedback, we have a separate guide on effective tips for creating a customer feedback strategy. Perhaps you might find it useful.
Who Is Responsible for B2B Sales Enablement?
B2B sales enablement requires a cohesive team effort to make the plan successful. Since there are multiple teams to manage including marketing, sales, human resources, and support, generally a sales enablement team or manager is appointed to overlook the process.
A 2019 research has previously identified that only 58% of organizations across different industries have dedicated sales enablement teams and plans, with only half of these having a formal strategy. While larger B2B tech companies can build an entire sales enablement team, the role can be performed by a single resource in a startup.
Extraordinary sales performers are generally considered sales mentors or leaders within the enablement plan. These leaders come together with the sales enablement team to create best practices, identify buyer personas, and assist in the go-to-market strategy.
Mike Weir identified the ideal B2B sales enablement team that organizations should suggestively build:
- Senior management representative (c-level manager)
- Sales Manager
- Marketing Manager
- Data analyst
How To Execute B2B Sales Enablement?
To execute a successful sales enablement program, tech startups must define their objectives clearly, empower salespersons, and conduct regular training.
1 – Define Your Objectives
A winning sales enablement plan must have defined objectives complemented by the ideal metrics to measure performance. Professionals identify three core objectives of any organization’s sales enablement plan:
- To decrease time to revenue
- To increase sales productivity
- To create long-term customer relationships
Sales enablement prioritizes one or multiple objectives by improving different aspects of the sales process including the tools, sales management platform, and best practices. Other secondary sales enablement objectives can also include:
- Shortening sales cycles
- Enhancing the customer experience
- Closing larger value deals
- Expanding into new markets
- Improving customer retention
- Empower your Sales Person
2 – Empower your Salesperson
Sales enablement focuses on empowering the sales teams by providing them with the necessary knowledge, best practices, tools, technology, and other resources to make selling not only easier but also quicker.
An empowered sales team can deliver better closing metrics while keeping customers happy through more engaging content. Better engaged customers who are nurtured throughout their buyer journey through a cohesive effort are bound to have long-term relationships with your startup.
3 – Conduct Regular Training
Regular training programs are a prerequisite for successful sales enablement. This as we mentioned above is what the entire framework is built on, data research and evolution.
Sales leaders, as mentioned earlier, are the ideal source of knowledge for sales teams to learn consistently improving best practices.
Marketing managers who are usually a core part of the enablement team should offer regular audience research and content that should enable the team to make a more informed approach.
It is also essential to continually train sales teams with new technology and tools that optimize their efforts and in turn their performance.
B2B Sales Enablement Metrics To Track
Your sales enablement team can have multiple objectives, and based on those, there can be a variety of tasks to improve the sales process. Tracking the enablement plan continuously remains the most important factor to make it a success. The following are some popular metrics B2B startups should measure.
1 – Sales Cycle
Measuring the sales cycle length is a very popular determinant of the effectiveness of your content, the sales team’s ability to convey the benefits, and the effectiveness of the sales pipeline. Also termed the deal velocity metric, the sales cycle measures the time it took for a lead to become a customer.
This sales cycle can include multiple stages including downloading an ebook, conducting demos, in-person meetings with leads, limited trials, watching a webinar, etc.
Shorter sales cycles establish an efficient sales team that can deliver important information to leads effectively at the right time.
2 – Time Spent Actively Selling
The time spent active selling metric is usually a percentage of time spent sending emails, interacting with leads over online channels, making calls, etc. compared to time spent on other activities. This is a subset of sales productivity metrics and is later compared with conversion metrics to make more sense.
For example, salesperson A spends 5 hours of his day approaching leads and making sales calls through various channels. For the remaining 3 hours, he performs supporting tasks. The Time spent selling will therefore be [(5/8)*100] = 62.5%.
3 – Usage of Content
Using tools including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn analytics, startups can analyze the effectiveness of their content and the quality of each interaction with potential customers. These usage metrics can include multiple sub-metrics including unique visits, time spent on webpages, different landing pages visited, ebook downloads, and email open rates.
4 – Number of Closed Deals
As its primary directive, measuring the number of closed deals directly indicates the success or failure of the sales enablement plan. This metric can be measured for individual salespersons during different time intervals to gauge their performance before and after enablement.
5 – Average Win Rate
The average win rate measures the number of won sales opportunities in comparison to the total available sales opportunities for a team. Total sales opportunities should usually include deals that are in process, those that have been lost, and those that were missed.
Understanding the average win rate allows sales enablement teams to understand the efficiency and effectiveness of the sales team at converting leads into customers. A higher win rate is a reflection of efficient sales processes that effectively educate, convince and convert leads.
6 – Sales Funnel Transition Rates
As a popular metric to measure sales team effectiveness, the sales funnel transition rate measures the progress of leads from one stage of the funnel to another. This includes an audience member entering the funnel as a prospect, then being qualified as an MQL, then to a SQL, and later converted into a loyal customer.
7 – Product Mix
The product mix metric is a simpler measure of exactly how many products and services are sold in each individual deal. For B2B startups this is a great way to identify opportunities to upsell and cross-sell through real-time customer data insights.
8 – Attach Rate
The attach ratio or rate measures the number of add-ons, cross-sells, and upsells sold together with your primary product or service. For example, a cloud storage provider sells server security and additional storage.
The attach rate ascertains the quality excellence of sales team knowledge, product understanding, and success of the sales enablement strategy. High attach rates indicate customers are well-informed about the benefits of your product and want to purchase more from your startup.
Steps To Build A Successful B2B Sales Enablement Strategy
Building a successful B2B sales enablement strategy can be a complex process. However, automation has simplified several aspects for sales enablement teams to automate their core tasks. Here are three simple steps for startups to develop a strategic sales enablement plan.
1 – Create High-quality Content
High-quality and value-driven content is the lifeblood of successful B2B sales enablement strategies. B2B buyers expect valuable content in 2022, or, they want value before they give your business value.
Buyers today are more focused on self-learning and collecting all relevant information before making a purchase decision. This massively reduces the role of the sales team, therefore, the content should be valuable to leads, in addition to being highly creative when defining the benefits of your product.
A sales enablement platform, therefore, serves the crucial role of keeping leads active within the sales funnel, while actively delivering them all the necessary information about your products and how they solve customer pain points.
Important content for sales enablement includes competitor analysis reports for sales teams, customer case studies, blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, video guides, social posts, personalized landing pages, welcome emails, and sales pitches.
2 – Remote/Online Selling
The decline in sales meetings and direct interactions has also given rise to remote selling. Ecommerce has become the norm attributed partially to COVID-19 and partially to technology. Sales teams must now integrate remote selling into their sales process to gain visibility while using all available digital marketing technologies.
Popular content types used in the remote selling process include educational videos, video conferencing, sales presentations, product demos, social media feeds, eBooks, and blogs.
3 – Sales Enablement Software
Sales enablement software are important platforms that provide enablement teams with a detailed overview of the sales process. Enablement software assists in managing all sales collateral from a centralized dashboard. Sales teams can easily share content with customers, and track engagement with content collateral.
B2B Sales enablement software for startups can offer great agility and versatility to sales teams offering some excellent benefits. These include:
- Personalized content
- Automated outreach and communication
- Centralized lead management
- A complete view of the sales pipeline
- Remote sales management
Popular sales enablement software used across the world includes HubSpot, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Seismic, HighSpot, and Monday sales CRM.
How Chasm Can Help Improve Your B2B Sales Enablement?
Chasm is a product marketing agency that assists B2B tech startups to create a holistic plan that addresses competitor research, audiences and buyer personas, demand generation, and sales enablement.
We hope this guide on B2B sales enablement for tech startups has helped you out immensely.
If your sales team has the right training, tools, and resources to do their jobs well, you should notice a significant increase in the value of your B2B buyer interactions. Customer satisfaction will rise, churn will fall, and revenue and growth will improve throughout the organization.
Sales enablement is no longer an option; it is a requirement. You can start building a customer journey that generates revenue for your company by aligning your sales and marketing.
Do you want to give your B2B sales teams the digital tools they need to sell successfully and close deals faster? Get in touch with us!