Sales Enablement capabilities occur in many forms by providing tools to a sales person usually to create sales process efficiencies and drive the behaviors that will lead to topline results. Both of these may be desired in the context of a field sales team, an inside sales group, a call center sales function or other teams responsible for part of the sales function, each with a different set of needs, objectives and goals.
As examples, a few key objectives associated with the capability of Sales Enablement for a given company may encompass any of the following:
- Improve sales responsiveness
- Increase close rate
- Decrease the sales cycle
Ultimately, the above may be measured in goals set to align with the group of objectives, such as calls per hour, lead to close ratio and average days to close, respectively. The techniques implemented to reach these objectives may vary based on many factors. A method for improving sales responsiveness is to ensure that initial contact for each lead occurs within a certain amount of time from it arriving. This sounds reasonable, but if the close rate typically increases along with the amount of research a sales person performs on a lead, then these objectives may work against each other. Therefore, enhancing access to the amount and accuracy of knowledge about potential customers, respecting their privacy of course, may play an important role with regard to making progress toward all objectives simultaneously. The question then becomes – what methods and technologies will enable a sales team to ensure prompt initial contact yet improve their access to research and information that will better the close rate?
Let’s discuss a more tangible industry example for a hotel that wants to increase its ability to respond to a plethora of group business leads from corporations. The better the hotel’s sales person understands the prospect’s needs as it relates to their event, the better they can customize a proposal for the group. What will drive results in this situation for the hotel? The following should improve the opportunity to generate these results barring other counterproductive influences:
- Automating and integrating the identification and consolidation of relevant prospect information from available sources
- Streamlining the customization and generation of the RFP response
While additional assumptions may be required for the above to deliver results, these are examples of what’s possible today. In fact, multiple solutions provide the above sales process enhancements in various forms. Finding the specific solutions within the thousands available that both provide these capabilities and are in harmony with your sales objectives is the next step.
A partial list of capabilities and features associated with Sales Enablement may include those in the following list, among many others:
- Data Sources
- Data Verification
- Account Management
- Contact Management
- Sales Methodology
- Correspondence Management
- Lead Management
- RFP Management
The hospitality industry as a whole may also want to manage event scheduling, menus, marketing materials along with reporting for the sales cycle. Furthermore, the overlap of these elements with Customer Relationship Management solutions should be readily apparent. As a result, decisions regarding the features of solutions covering the necessary capabilities should be considered in conjunction with an existing or planned CRM.