First of all, some of you may be asking what sales enablement even is. George Bronten defines it as “a complete system that improves sales effectiveness by providing salespeople with everything they need in a structured and guided format to achieve their highest potential”. It can range from training to marketing materials and everything in between. At JRW our marketing department shares responsibility in equipping the sales team with the training, processes, methodology, content, and technology that ensures their success and a platform for our customers to succeed.
Sounds like a lot, right? Well the truth is, it can be. Sales Enablement, while a powerful force, if not correctly and cohesively aligned, can just create a lot of noise that does more to overwhelm your sales team than it does help.
Here are a few considerations to make when putting together sales enablement for your team:
At JRW, our customers’ success is always at the forefront of our minds, as it should be for all companies. We believe you should equip your sales team with what best aligns with your customer’s needs. This allows your sales team to easily communicate value to their customers in a motivating and appealing way. As well as, not lose focus on what is most important to our base.
Bronten again communicates this well by saying that “in a complex sales environment, HOW you sell becomes critical, and maybe the last differentiator in a world when offerings look the same to buyers”. Your sales enablement should best equip your sales team to communicate effectively and efficiently with their customers.
The food ingredient space can be a complex one. Whether you’re distributing to a large, national manufacturer or the mom and pop shop down the street, your sales team should be equipped to communicate and move through the sales cycle in a simple and clear way.
Your marketing department should develop processes that are easy to adopt and embed in your sales team’s workflow.
Once these processes are ready to start running, use your marketing department to build both content and training materials that guide sales. This material should be available for your sales team to access when they need it, wherever that may be. Whether that’s right before they walk in the door to meet a customer for the first time or after helping to find solutions for customers they have worked with for years, relevant material builds confidence and spreads thought-leadership.
At JRW, we have invested in a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. The software ensures easy and active pipeline management and allows our marketing department to upload sales enablement and sales collateral materials for the team to access at their convenience. Gone are the days of lugging around a briefcase full of sales manuals, vendor materials, or pricing sheets. That information is now easily and electronically accessible ensuring quicker responses to customers and more value in every interaction.
Sales coaching should be an ongoing process. There are always new hurdles to jump and obstacles to overcome when it comes to sales. That’s where a good sales manager comes in. They are there to help work out all the kinks to the salesperson’s system so that the salesperson can focus more on what they do best, selling. This coaching shouldn’t be reserved for your quarterly sales meetings or yearly performance reviews. It should be implemented regularly to help develop your sales team to be the best they can be.
Bronten’s best advice is to “collect data and analyze your process against goals to enable constant improvement”. Processes and data are your best friend when it comes to sales enablement. Your marketing team should be continuously seeking to understand how they can best equip your sales team.
Here at JRW, we believe that excellence is a habit, and we like to make it a habit to effectively equip, train, and enable our team to continuously improve and consistently drive value to our customers.
Have any questions on how we enable our salespeople? Looking for more value out of your supplier? Contact us here.
To read a little more on Sales Enablement, click here to read the article by George Bronten.