Without engaging your sales team, you could be missing out on vital opportunities. If your sales department isn’t supported in all areas of development and understanding then you could be harming your overall operations. After all, your sales staff are the ones who are following through with leads and converting them to customers. They’re the foundations of your business.
With the ever-growing manufacturing industry, there’s always going to be pressure. Having fierce overseas competitors and trying to be experts in your field - it’s challenging work. It’s hard for any Sales Director to inject enthusiasm into their teams - let alone support their teams to allow them to flourish. However, with the help of a good sales enablement strategy, you’ll be well on your way to empowering your teams and driving the success of your business.
In this post, we’ll cover the benefits of sales enablement and why you should be using it as a driving force in your business. Start to view your sales team as a vital process. They’re the ones who deserve your support!
What is sales enablement? A recap
Sales enablement involves equipping your sales team with the appropriate tools, technology, knowledge and whatever else they need to enhance the sales process. How can your other teams smooth the sales process? Educational content marketing, seamless web design, user-friendly communications and more.
Sales enablement gives manufacturing organisations the ability to look at the sales process with tremendous insight and provides context to the data created from these processes. Sales aren’t just selling your products to prospective customers. It’s about taking a holistic look at data, technology, and processes to create the BEST sales process possible.
If you do this, you’ll understand what your potential customers want and you’ll be able to give them the support they need. Increasing your overall sales and customer retention - win! Stop looking at sales as a bunch of red or green numbers and start to look at the process holistically. If you do this, you’ll reap the rewards we’ve listed below.
5 benefits of sales enablement
Improved team collaboration
Traditionally, there are clear divides between each department in a business. There’s no intention of this, it’s just how systems usually work. However, although this was traditionally the case, all areas of a business pose a different perspective and insight. These different perspectives can be joined together to create huge success across the business.
Now we’re in a digital age, the role of the sales teams has changed - that’s if you’re enabling your sales team. Collaboration begins with the CEO or company owner and should resound with company directors, who then drip-feed information to managers and their teams. After all, if your team isn’t kept in the loop, how do you expect accuracy across all departments? It’s impossible.
For example, let’s say your company is a plastic bottle manufacturer, and the CEO has a goal to make a 100 percent switch to biodegradable bottles within ten years, with a 20 percent plastic reduction per year.
Each department would have separate goals and objectives that would support this goal:
- Marketing: the marketing team needs to create thought-led educational content that promotes and engages readers. Showing that you’re a leading provider of biodegradable bottle solutions - while generating high-grade leads to pass onto sales.
- Sales: the sales team should educate potential buyers about the benefits of biodegradable bottle solutions, and convert leads passed on from marketing. Building relationships and following up with potential buyers too.
- Production: manage production efficiency to hit a target of 20 percent plastic reduction in a year, which will give sales 20,000 units.
If the company wants to achieve the primary business goal, each department has to understand other departmental goals. Reports need to be kept and analysis should be carried across all departments.
For example, if the production team confirms that it’s feasible to reduce plastic production by 20 percent, the marketing and sales teams have to promote this message to generate interest and sell the new products.
Sales could then generate a report for units sold and customers acquired, and next year’s goals would be adjusted accordingly. Meaning growth is guaranteed as you’ve got your finger on the pulse of all business operations.
Your sales team will understand the buyer
Sales enablement allows your team to nurture qualified leads by providing them with relevant information, insights, and values based on their unique needs. It ensures that your team has all the information they need to build lasting and meaningful relationships with prospects over time. Increasing the likelihood of closing the deal.
A more informed salesperson will possess better judgement. If your sales team knows that a prospect usually asks a question at a specific point in the buyer’s journey, they’ll know when to bring it up and when to leave it.
They’ll also understand how to ask the right questions and dissect the questions prospects ask. Working collaboratively as a big team will ensure every process of the sales and communication process is streamlined for the customer = customer delight! Wonderful stuff.
Customer relationship first, sales second
Customer relationships are essential - fact. As a manufacturer, you’re probably used to building relationships - but it may have been a different way to how we do it now. Although it can be daunting to attract new customers, there are so many ways to delight potential customers and support them.
Sales is a high-pressure environment, especially if your sales staff are bringing in high-value clients that will be paying a lot of money for your products. So why would you have your sales staff contact companies with generic sales pitches they don’t care about?
Providing your sales team with the correct information and training will enable them to collect sales and keep ROI as high as possible. They’ll learn how to communicate effectively and make customers feel valued and appreciated throughout their customer journey.
We aren’t saying you should be best friends with your prospects, but it helps if you build positive relationships that have strong, valuable foundations.
Sales enablement shortens the sales cycle
Over three-quarters of first sales calls will be around similar things. Not only is this an exhaustive process for your sales team but it wastes vital time where your sales team could be qualifying leads and building meaningful relationships.
If you collect the information from your sales team about what the questions are, you’ll be able to provide your marketing team with essential information for user-generated content. Collect the FAQs and build a resources page on your website. In doing so, you’ll be pushing your prospects to the next step on the path to purchase without a rep having to repeat themselves over again, wasting time.
Another positive, the more educated your prospects are on your product before they talk to sales, the more qualified they’ll be. The more qualified they are, the easier your sales team will find it to convert - what a winning process!
You'll get the best out of your sales team
A lot of organisations have a narrow view of what sales teams do, they think the sales team are only there to sell a product. Well, this philosophy is wrong. Granted, it’s the main way a salesperson will be judged, but they need the right training and coaching to be effective. It requires a skill set, it isn’t just as simple as communicating.
You may have hundreds of products and ways of making them, various package offers, shipment costs, tax restrictions. It isn’t an overnight crash course. It takes time. You need your sales team to do the best job at communicating your business and its values. There are many things you can do to train your sales team effectively. Let’s take a look.
Here’s how to educate and support your sales team for success:
- Use the content you have to train your team: product descriptions, marketing material, product demos and educational blogs.
- Empower your sales team: ask the team where they need additional training, and encourage them to be honest without repercussions.
- Pair new reps with older, more experienced, willing sales reps.
- Don’t treat them like salespeople: Salespeople provide solutions to problems, and they help your business run smoothly. They’re in a high-pressure environment and still achieve good results. Be the support they need.
- Give them genuine praise: focus on areas that aren’t about selling, maybe they’ve got infectious energy, are really good with numbers or connecting marketing to sales. Don’t just give them a pat on the back when they hit targets, tell them why you’re happy.
- Use e-learning: make sure you get the right provider (HubSpot has some FREE inbound sales courses).
If you’ve got the basics of sales enablement drilled down, you’ll be setting your team up for success and growth. Your processes will be streamlined, your customers will be supported and you’ll continue to build a positive business reputation. So although sales enablement is ‘sales’ focused - it empowers your whole team.
There are many benefits of sales enablement and it certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. Especially if it’s guaranteed to bring your increased revenue - why would you miss it out?
Red-Fern can help with your sales!
Have you considered sales enablement before? Do you engage with your sales team? Amazing news if you do - you’re on the right track for success. If you’re wanting to further streamline your sales process, enhance your marketing efforts and measure your results effectively - we can help!
With over 30 years of combined experience in the manufacturing industry - we’re experts in our field and we can provide the guidance and support you need. Get in touch with us and start putting your team and your sales first - it’s a worthwhile investment for your business as a WHOLE.