Article

Gideon Thomas
Gideon Thomas 4 March 2019

Sales Enablement + Sales Engagement = Sales Success

Sales Enablement and Sales Engagement may seem like they exist in two different parts of the sales process. However, when they are treated as part of a holistic process, each contributing value to the buyer experience, the results exceed what can be achieved by each system individually.

Let’s take a look at the differences between Sales Enablement and Sales Engagement and how the best performing sales teams are using them to gain greater insights into buyers’ needs and ultimately close more deals.

Sales Enablement vs. Sales Engagement – The Differences

Simply put, Sales Enablement encompasses the tools, knowledge, and processes that enable sales reps to maximize and improve their effectiveness. In their definition of sales enablement, Salesforce.com includes tasks and tools that contribute to the following efforts:

  • Recruiting and Hiring
  • Training and Coaching
  • Equipping via CRM and communications tools
  • Assessing and Analytics

Sales Engagement involves the processes and technology supporting the interactions between a sales organization and the buyer, and the measurement and tracking of those interactions. Measuring and analyzing buyer engagement at every point in the sales journey gives sales teams the advantage of gauging buyer interest and using that data to present impactful content quickly. This allows effective communication with prospective customers while moving deals forward in the pipeline.

Tools within a Sales Engagement Platform contribute to:

  • Delivering personalized content to buyers based on deal stage
  • Gauging buyer interest
  • Producing pricing and quotes based on buyer needs
  • Tracking approvals
  • Managing the contract lifecycle and e-Signature
  • Onboarding

Sales Enablement and Sales Engagement are typically perceived as separate systems working together toward the goal of increasing sales and measuring the effectiveness of sales operations. I like how CSO Insights put it: Sales Enablement sets the sales team up for success. Sales Engagement is the team actually using the skills, tools, and analytics required to be successful.

Sales Enablement + Sales Engagement - The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

Sales Enablement technology, once on the cutting edge of sales tools, is now table stakes. Organizations seeking the upper hand in their market are learning that they need to a) do a better job of knowing what their buyers want and need, and b) better cater to those needs. This is where Sales Engagement technology comes in.

B2B buyers are doing research online, gathering information, and engaging with content (yours and your competitors’) before they click the “Demo” button. Leveraging sales engagement technology early in the sales cycle is how you can begin to learn what your customers want, and what content best answers their questions.

You may be thinking – measuring content engagement is Marketing’s job. However, engagement data and the lead qualification process empower sales reps when they make that first contact with prospects. Continued tracking and analysis of buyer engagement throughout the sales cycle facilitate the relationship between sales reps and buyers.

As reported by Marketing Profs, a recent survey by RAIN Group found that 71% of B2B buyers want to hear from sellers when they are looking for new ideas to elevate business results. 62% want to hear from sellers when they are looking for a solution to a problem. Two-thirds of buyers prefer to be contacted with content that is relevant to their needs, such as relevant research data, best practice methodology, and insights on the use of products and services.

It’s likely that your organization has marketing and sales assets prepared. But, does your organization have a system by which your sales team can deliver relevant content to buyers at the moment that makes the most impact? A sales engagement solution determines the right content to deliver to the buyer at the right moment in their buying journey to facilitate their buying decision.

A Sales Engagement Platform, which integrates sales enablement tools, a sales engagement solution, and a CRM, is most powerful when it provides sales teams with the content and framework within which to communicate with buyers. Guided selling, or using a sales playbook, allows sales reps to dynamically generate personalized and relevant content to facilitate the conversation with buyers while driving deals forward.

Sales-Process-Predictive-Sales-Playbook-and-Sales-Engagement-Analytics.png

When Sales Enablement and Sales Engagement work together, powered seamlessly by one software, they yield greater achievement of sales goals. When using one unified platform, administrative tasks are reduced as redundancies are eliminated and sales tasks such as email, tracking, and deal workflows are automated.

Sales Success

Using sales engagement technology to facilitate an end-to-end, holistic approach to the sales process yields benefits for the sales organization and buyers. Sales organizations collaborate around one source of truth about their buyers, and buyers appreciate a faster response to their needs and a more personalized approach to handling their account. This consolidated approach yields improvements in business efficiency, including the ability to:

  • Ramp new hires faster
  • Increase win rate
  • Decrease sales cycle duration
  • Increase active selling time
  • Decrease sales admin time
  • Create an accurate end-to-end view of the funnel & attribution
  • Improve forecasting
  • Elevate the buyer experience for high-value customers

Sales-Enablement-Sales-Engagement.png

A Unified Sales Process

There is a common misconception that Sales Enablement and Sales Engagement are two separate stages in the sales process, in theory, handled by separate teams with respective skill sets. However, the evolution of the sales stack, and the handshake between Sales Enablement and Sales Engagement, has significantly changed the relationship between the two. 

There are now technologies in the marketplace that enable one seamless and connected process. With the same Sales Playbook used in the Sales Enablement stage, now implemented as a predictive decision-tree within the Sales Engagement creation and distribution stage, a unified platform brings it all together. If J.R.R Tolkien had written this article he would have said, “one Sales Playbook to the rule them all.” 

Above all, Sales Enablement and Sales Engagement should not be allowed to function as two silos within a Sales Process. Technology has evolved to the point where that gap is now bridged - the whole process can be connected as one seamless delivery method. Customer Experience and Engagement is the barometer measuring the effectiveness of execution.  
 

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