It was an honor to present on a sales enablement panel yesterday during Dreamforce with Craig Rosenberg and Nancy Nardin, with Craig Nelson from Callidus Cloud moderating.

We covered several strategic and operational keys to making sales enablement succeed in modern B2B organizations.  If you missed our session, here’s a highlight of the five key areas of focus that we covered:

Simply put, know why you’re focusing on sales enablement, what problem you’re solving, and how you will measure success.  For me, sales enablement is about addressing two measurements – 1) improving active selling time (as a % of total work time) for your sales team, and 2) increasing conversion rates of sales opportunities into closed deals.  Or in other words, sales enablement is about making your sales team more efficient and more effective.

Effective sales enablement addresses people inside and outside your organization.  Inside, it’s about making your people better as stated above.  But outside, it’s about addressing and getting to know your buyers far more intimately than before.  The better you know their motivations and needs, the better you can cater your content and processes to their individual work habits and buying processes, the more effective you will be as sellers.  And back to your internal sales resources, knowing how they best learn and operate will help you improve penetration and impact of sales training that you do moving forward with them.

Absolutely key to increasing sales efficiency is developing and operationalizing processes that increase speed, consistency and repeatability of how you do business.  These processes ultimately give your sales team more time to be creative, more ability to customize their approach to unique situations, but otherwise give them a blueprint to help all sides be more successful.

The vast majority of content created for sales goes unused in most organizations.  I’ve seen this figure as high as 90 percent.  But key to a successful sales enablement content strategy is both creating the right content, and making it easy to find in exactly the right moment for your team.  If you create better content for each selling context (for each buyer, at each appropriate stage of the buying process, etc.), it’s even more important to ensure your sales team doesn’t waste precious selling time trying to find it.

Tools & Technology
I’ve listed tools & technology at the end here for a reason.  Technology is not a strategy.   Great technology (and the RIGHT technology) enables everything discussed above – making it more seamless, more efficient, more consistent.  Technology can make your sales team wildly more efficient and effective IF it’s applied in the right places.  And every company is unique in their tech needs based on their industry, their customers, their culture and more.  Don’t let the tail wag the dog, select and integrate tech tools that solve your most important problems, and alleviate your most egregious roadblocks to success, first.

Special thanks to Highspot for hosting us yesterday.