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Everything You Need to Know about Sales Enablement
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Everything You Need to Know about Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is more than just training and development, it’s the actionable content and resources you produce. 

When you take that content and combine it with competitive sales techniques, you’re enabling your sellers to win more deals. 

And in a competitive environment where deals come down to the right differentiation at the exact right time, sales enablement is more important than ever.

What is Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the process of enabling your reps with the training, development and resources they need to close more deals. 

Sales battlecards, one-pagers and enablement decks are examples of resources used to enable your reps. 

Whereas role-playing, reviewing call recordings, and other forms of sales practice are examples of training and development.

Sales enablement benefits 

The benefits of sales enablement can be boiled down to one simple word: efficiency. 

When your reps are enabled with the right competitive intelligence and collateral, they make better decisions faster. 

Shorter sales cycles

Proactively answering questions and putting your prospect’s mind at ease, effectively handling objections, and identifying the presence of a competitor earlier in the deal cycle are all benefits of sales enablement. 

The upshot of all of them is shorter deal cycles, freeing your reps up to work more deals.

Improved productivity

Sales enablement brings your new reps up to speed faster. But it can also level up your seasoned reps by automating administrative tasks. 

What’s more, when you keep all your sales enablement in a centralized platform, you eliminate the time needed for reps to aimlessly search for docs and decks.

Consistency in messaging

Aligning all your revenue functions around a central message and POV builds trust. You don’t necessarily want your reps to spit out your talk tracks verbatim. 

But clear sales enablement on the value props and key differentiators of your solution will translate into a more coherent experience for your prospects. 

Improving performance across your entire sales force is the most obvious benefit of sales enablement. But dig deeper and you’ll find that good sales enablement not only makes your reps more effective, they become more efficient too.

Sales enablement challenges

Sales enablement can be complex and brings with it unique challenges. Three of the most common challenges are content management, adoption (buy-in), and measuring success. 

Content management

Creating good sales content that your reps will actually use is the most fundamental challenge of sales enablement. If you have no idea where to start or need to do a serious refresh, take these steps

  • Talk to your reps to identify gaps in your current compete content
  • Look at CRM and win-loss data to see which competitors to prioritize
  • Understand where your reps are spending their time and deliver your content there

A huge challenge to overcome in content management is where it’s stored. A centralized compete platform helps you overcome that challenge in ways a basic shared drive can’t.

sales enablement content

Adoption/Buy-in

Sales reps can be some the most lone ranger, beat of their own drum colleagues in any organization. So don’t be entirely surprised if you get some initial pushback on your sales enablement efforts. 

Make sure you’re spending time meeting and building relationships with senior revenue leaders. If those at the top buy-in, it’s a lot more likely reps will follow suit. 

Beyond that, the better content you create the more likely you are to get adoption. Lone rangers or not, reps are results-driven. And when your content helps them get there, they’ll be coming back for more. 

Always keep your content up-to-date, link out to supporting evidence, and internally promote your content to make sure your reps can never say “I didn’t know about it.” 
Dive deeper into Low Content Adoption and How to Fix It

Measuring success

Knowing the impact your sales enablement efforts have made on a particular deal or quarter is impossible. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways you can and should be measuring success. 

Win-rates

The strongest way to attribute your efforts to success is by looking at changes in win-rates over time. If possible, isolate the win-rates of reps you’ve enabled versus those you haven’t to see if there’s a discrepancy.

Sales confidence

Confidence breeds success. In sales more so than almost any other discipline. So conduct a sales confidence survey to give you a baseline, and then measure changes over time and correlate those changes to your efforts.

Adoption/consumption

The best centralized platforms will make it crystal clear which of and to what extent your content is being utilized. Keep constant tabs on user consumption and adoption. Use it to direct your efforts, but also to measure success. 

Sales enablement statistics 

The gap between the revenue you should have won and the revenue that you lost to your competitor is the competitive revenue gap. The secret to closing the gap is better enablement. 

We asked over 300+ director-level and above revenue leaders to ask them what’s keeping them up at night — and what they’re doing about it. 

Here are six sales enablement stats from the report

  • 91% say deals have become more competitive
  • 84% of revenue leaders said losing winnable deals impacts efficiency
  • 72% of leaders say their reps truly understand their own differentiators
  • 61% say their reps understand their competitor’s biggest differentiators
  • 30% are confident their reps can show the solution’s value effectively
  • 47% of leaders say their reps are only picking up on a competitor’s presence in the negotiation stage or later 

Everyone knows and feels that deals are becoming more competitive. The question now is what can be done about it. 

Less than half of reps knowing a competitor is in the deal until the very late stages of the cycle is alarming. And the fact that 70% of leaders aren’t confident in their reps’ ability to articulate their product or solution value is equally troubling. 

The good news? Better sales enablement supports both. 

Essential sales enablement materials 

Sales enablement materials should all strive for one thing: distill a lot of information into its most impactful and usable form. No matter which materials you decide work best for the particularities of your organization, keep the principle of clear and actionable content top of mind. 

Here’s a list of the five most important sales enablement materials. 

1. Competitive battlecards 

  • Your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses in one neat and tidy virtual card 
  • Start with the facts/background information, include the impact or potential impact of these facts, and then give your reps actionable talk tracks they can use in real-life

(Dive into our FIA battlecard framework to learn more)

2. One-pagers

  • The precursor to the battlecard, one-pagers are generally detailed and comprehensive documents meant to cover a variety of topics within that specific competitor 
  • Downsides: Static documents that are more likely to overwhelm your reps (or serve as strictly background research) than they are to be used in an actual call

3. Sales playbooks 

  • High-level strategy and principles pertaining to a particular sales motion, often used in partnership-style sells 
  • Resource-intensive to produce and maintain

4. Case studies

  • Demonstrate past successes with clients of a similar space and size to the prospect you’re looking to close 
  • Probably not something you would use on a call with a client; but great material to share with them after a call

5. Customer testimonials and reviews

  • A lighter-weight version of a case study. Customer testimonials can sum up in a paragraph or sentence a lot of the value conveyed in a case study
  • Reviews can be powerful both in the aggregate (we have thousands of five-star reviews) and individually — letting the words speak for themselves
five essential sales enablement materials

Going from sales enablement to competitive enablement 

Sales reps will often be the first department you serve as a competitive enablement pro. It’s the quickest path for showing the value of your efforts in compete. 

But enablement shouldn’t stop at sales. Your leadership team needs market insights and strong recommendations on how to beat the competition. 

Your product team needs to understand what your main competitors are up to, what’s on their roadmap and gaps your own team is currently missing. 

And your marketing team needs to understand how your competitors are positioning themselves in the market — and against you. 

Combined, all of these enablement efforts unlock your organization’s ability to collect powerful intel and turn them into actionable insights. The result? Better, more informed decision-making that helps you beat the competition. 

Check out our Competitive Revenue Gap Report where we talked to 300+ revenue leaders to understand what they’re doing to shrink the gap against the competition.

competitive intelligence report

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