Sales enablement, revenue operations, cross-functional teams...there are a lot of buzzwords out there. You can hear them echo in meetings and conferences, but what do they really mean and how do they apply to your business?
Whether you have a fledgling business you’re trying to boost or a long-established business whose sales processes you’re trying to improve, understanding these terms will help you. They’re not just empty jargon but terminology that will help you drastically transform the way you do business.
Sales enablement is about improving the efficiency and efficacy of your sales operations. With strong sales ops, your business will improve drastically. A sales enablement platform can help with analytics that provides vital insight into your business’s customer experience.
Revenue operations (RevOps) prioritizes the alignment of different teams, intent on driving revenue growth with efficient interaction and effective communication.
All of this leads us to the holy grail of cross-functional teams. Your marketing, sales ops, and customer support teams should all be aligned with each other. If they align their goals to become in sync with the Big Picture goal of revenue generation, you will see improvement in your selected metrics. When they don’t, customers’ notice and the customer's lifetime could be impacted.
We threw a lot at you, but you don’t have to enact a sales enablement solution or build your RevOps team alone. Get a free consultation today and let us help you understand how a RevOps model can help your business!
How RevOps and Sales Enablement Works Together
A B2C or B2B sales operation works towards the big-picture goals of customer attraction, acquisition, and retention. Sales enablement platforms shed light on the processes that go into this. They provide visibility that allows your sales team to make data-driven decisions about marketing content, customer access, and the presentation of your business by your sales team.
At a bare minimum, your sales team should not be siloed from your marketing department. Marketing is tasked with curating a message, and your sales team is tasked with pitching it. Those goals are interlinked and rely on each other for maximum efficacy.
A revenue operations business model realizes the significance of interactive teams. Though they have different jobs to perform, your business’s teams should be working towards the same goal: improving the customer journey to maximize revenue generation.
When you build a revenue operations team, it contains departmental enablement teams to improve the functionality of each revenue-driven team (sales, marketing, customer support) by providing key support. For instance, sales enablement tools cover a lot of ground that impacts the way your departments perform and how the final product gets to the customer:
Training and hiring
A RevOps approach can enact sales enablement by providing valuable tools, analytics, and information about how your business’s teams should handle these crucial aspects from a holistic perspective.
After all, marketing may develop the content that gets used in sales materials and on the website, but it’s the sales team that is responsible for getting the customer to buy in.
What to Look for in a Sales Enablement Platform
Now we’ve talked about the nuts and bolts of RevOps and sales enablement, let’s talk sales enablement platforms. A sales enablement platform works to get your sales team and all its operatives on the same page by creating a singular source of truth (SSOT) for your company. Consistency is important for regular customer acquisition and retention to generate recurring revenue. When your team has consistent messaging, training, and skills, your customers will notice.
So a good sales enablement platform focuses on integration, communication and sharing information with other teams. When looking for a sales enablement platform, these areas can play a big part in its success:
Be sure the platform you select is intuitive, easy to use, and integrates easily with the existing components of your tech stack. If the system is too intimidating to utilize in someone's workflow, that's a huge detriment to your team.
2. Easy to Monitor KPIs
Be sure your business knows what key performance indicators (KPIs) they will be tracking to judge success. Whether it’s tracking sales goals, completion time, or retention and churn rates, your sales team should know what metrics for success are being used. With the right platform, your sales leads and reps can monitor those changes and improvements.
3. Helpful Customer Support
This makes all the difference. From initial integration to full-scale onboarding, a sales enablement platform can take up all of your business’s resources and time. Using free trials, demos, and consultations, you’ll be able to judge customer support teams to determine if they can devote the proper attention to your business’s needs.
When you choose a sales enablement platform that prioritizes and meets these criteria, you’ve likely made a solid choice for your business.
Features of Good Sales Enablement Platforms
As with shopping for anything, you need to know what’s most important for your business and its sales goals. Before you head into platform demos, ask yourself what features you'd like to see. Here's a list to get started:
Like your teams, your tech stack needs to be aligned to reach its goals. A sales enablement platform is only as effective as the tools it unites. These tools need maximum efficiency and need to prioritize the goals of your entire business in their function, so that means that other parts of your tech stack need to link to it. Here are some of these components:
Marketing automation tools
2. Data Synching
For all your teams, tools, and platforms to work in concert they need to be working with the same current information. Data syncing will improve the overall health and quality of your data, along with maximizing efficiency by reducing duplicate and redundant data across different platforms.
3. Sales-Focused Automation
Effective automation will drastically improve the performance of your sales team. By replacing time-consuming manual processes with automated lead-nurturing paths and automatic follow-up, your sales team can focus their resources on the best way to engage and attract customers from the jump. Automation doesn’t have to be rote - it can be customized to your business, using a specific tone to brand all lead-cultivating communications with its specific personality.
4. Clear Reporting
When your sales enablement platform emphasizes quality reporting by generating specific and detailed reports, it shows. These reports are crucial to understanding the overall performance of the sales enablement tool as it’s reflected in discernible improvements.
How to Set Up Your Sales Enablement Platform for RevOps
Even if you choose the best sales enablement platform, it can only work as well as you use it. Certain characteristics are key for its integration and its bearing on your revenue operations efficiency.
Though sales enablement platforms can be useful for everyone, only relevant job titles and functions should have access to the platform. With proper permission management, you can be sure no one is bogged down with extraneous information that has no bearing on their functions.
Additionally, having universal metrics for success will clarify goals and be sure your teams are holding each other accountable. Those KPIs important for your platform are also crucial for your teams’ success and their understanding of it.
These metrics should be accessible and so should your sales content. By conducting a full content audit, managing, and organizing your business’s existing content you’ll be much closer to a coherent strategy and goal. Start by centralizing all your sales content for your reps and team members. A helpful content flowchart can also engineer the success of your sales leads.
A simple document index, compiling the relevant articles, blogs, and PDFs or eBooks generated in the past can help your sales reps with lead management. A helpful content flowchart can engineer the success of your sales leads. Operations like “if a lead asks this question, then point them to this article” can curate intuitive content interaction for potential leads.
CRM vs Sales Enablement Platform
You may be thinking to yourself that you have customer relationship management software that checks a lot of these boxes. Sure, sales enablement platforms and CRMs have a lot in common, but the distinctions make all the difference.
A CRM tool improves efficiency in managing your business’s interactions and long-term relationships with prospects and customers. It makes a sales team and sales reps’ jobs easier by automating time-consuming processes and storing and updating data for several teams concurrently. Long story short, a CRM makes a lot of jobs easier.
Whereas a sales enablement platform makes your sales team do their job BETTER. It devotes all its resources to managing sales ops’ training, interactions with other teams, and utilizing data to improve its content management and sales practices.
Sometimes your business needs one more than the other. Sales enablement helps build and maintain sales to work towards revenue generation, whereas a CRM provides end-to-end analysis and implements changes across the entirety of your business.
Sometimes your business needs both, and there are some platforms that are capable of that. HubSpot is a CRM that meets all the criteria as a sales enablement platform. Understanding which approach would help your business reach its goals will determine your chosen route if you can only do one.
Want more RevOps Content?
In this blog, you discovered how RevOps can help your business reach sales goals and improve overall performance. Plus, you finally understand the tiny distinctions between CRMs and sales enablement platforms that mean all the difference.
The best part is you don’t have to have it all figured out, and certainly don’t have to do it all by yourself. Get your free consultation today to see what strategies work best for your business’s goals.
Though you know a lot more, there’s so much more info that can improve your sales and other revenue-driven teams. Check these out for some more informative reading.
Jake Fisher, is President and Co-Founder of Bridges. He helps Bridges’ clients with their revenue and growth goals by providing better strategies, better processes, and better technology. He also makes videos and written content to help entrepreneurs, business owners, and managers achieve their own revenue goals. And, he talks to business and industry leaders at conferences and association events.