Sales enablement training: a definition
Sales enablement training means training your sales team so that they are able to sell your products or services to prospects in the most effective way. This means they need to fully understand your offering in terms of:
- Benefits that your solutions offer to prospective customers
- Use cases that prospects are likely to find attractive
- Industries and organizations customers typically belong to
- Technical details and requirements of the solutions you offer
- Competitors and how their offerings compare to your own
This list isn’t exhaustive. A comprehensive sales enablement strategy will identify all the knowledge your sales team will require – which is why creating such a strategy is vital when you’re creating a sales enablement training program.
Sales enablement best practices
In order for your sales enablement training to be successful, it needs to be rigorous and follow a series of sales enablement best practices. There is some debate within sales circles as to what makes up a definitive list of sales enablement best practices, but few would argue against this basic framework, which can be practiced as a series of steps:
- Make communication between sales and marketing smooth and effective
- Ensure that these departments are always as closely aligned as they can be
- Empower sales reps with the best sales enablement tools and content
- Gain as much insight as possible into sales performance and training effectiveness
- Use insights to improve training and keep reps’ training up to date and complete
Point number three, regarding sales enablement tools, has become particularly crucial for certain kinds of businesses. We’ll explain why next.
Sales enablement tools
Today, sales enablement training often doesn’t just mean ensuring that salespeople can understand and explain the products or services you offer. It also means that people in sales teams are able to demonstrate them to prospects. This is especially true for technology providers who deal in complex solutions.
Instead of merely relying on verbal or written explanation and assurance, technology companies must make full use of today’s sales enablement tools to explain and demonstrate their solutions. Hands-on virtual training is most likely to be the most effective way to help salespeople fully grasp the technology they’re selling, and also to present it to prospective customers.
Training salespeople and prospective customers
Today’s modern sales enablement platforms deliver value beyond training reps. As well as enabling an organization to train its salespeople, they also enable those salespeople to “train” prospects in the solutions’ usage and benefits.
The most sophisticated hands-on sales enablement training software will provide great scope for interactivity, going further than virtual instructor-led training. That means the ability to actually use the product or service and test it out, and even to offer prospects a free trial or a proof of concept (POC), so they can evaluate it for as long as they need, whenever they want.
Tailored content and actionable insights
The most advanced platforms will enable you to curate a selection of training sessions, demos, and trials, each tailored for particular audiences or circumstances. These could include training sessions for individual sales teams, or demos catering to specific customer industries and use cases.
And there’s more. The most sophistication of today’s sales enablement training platforms will also help organizations to implement points four and five of the sales enablement best practices: gaining and using insights into training effectiveness. Using data analytics, this software will allow you to see how training, demos, and POCs are being used, how they’re working well, and how improvements might be made.