Have you ever wondered what you could buy with five billion dollars? A pro sports team or two, your own island, perhaps a castle, or maybe even the White House. Any of these purchases would still leave you with plenty of cash to burn. $5,000,000,000 − that’s a lot of zeros! Let’s apply this figure to the virtually untapped sales enablement market. While we’re not exactly sure what the future of sales enablement will bring, one thing is certain. We are at the cusp of a revolutionary change in B2B sales. The current market size of sales enablement technology now stands at $780 million. And according to Aragon Research, this figure is expected to grow to a whopping $5 billion by the year 2021. Why now and maybe more importantly, what is driving this nearly unprecedented growth spurt? Many small-to-medium size businesses (SMBs) are trapped in a world of outdated technology and tools. However, with the recent increase in IT budgets, the market is ripe to invest in solutions that will improve productivity, enhance efficiency and have a positive effect on revenue.
A recent study by Insidesales.com found that, on average, a salesperson spends less than half (35.2%) of their time on revenue-generating activities. The question then becomes, what is occupying nearly 65% of their time? Aside from administrative tasks, reps spend a great deal of time preparing for sales calls. In fact, International Data Corporation (IDC) − a global market intelligence firm − estimates that salespeople spend 7 hours per week searching for content. That’s nearly one complete business day per week, per each of your sales reps. A quick calculation will give you a good idea of the money spent on non-revenue generating activities. With sales productivity being a challenge for most B2B companies, incorporating sales enablement is fast becoming a priority among SMBs.
The Unfolding Future of Sales Enablement
Although a relatively new term, sales enablement has been around since the advent of sales. Because there are nearly as many definitions of sales enablement as there are sales enablement vendors, many remain puzzled about what it is, what it does and the benefits they can receive. The most basic definition describes sales enablement as an enabler of sales. What does that really mean?
CSO Insights defines sales enablement as:
A strategic, collaborative discipline designed to increase predictable sales results by providing consistent, scalable enablement services that allow customer-facing professionals and their managers to add value in every customer interaction.
Gartner®, leading research, and advisory company, describes sales enablement as:
The activities, systems, processes, and information that support and promote knowledge-based sales interactions with clients and prospects.
Although these definitions vary to a degree, there is a common denominator − interaction with prospects and customers. When you dig a bit deeper, sales enablement is the umbrella term for numerous categories, including technology, training/education, processes, people, content management, knowledge management, asset management and more. However, the single most important benefit of sales enablement is in its ability to help you close more deals and drive revenue. And this is achieved by providing customers and prospects with an exceptional customer experience during every interaction.
Although the name − sales enablement − may imply that the users and beneficiaries are salespeople, the reach is much broader. Designed to bridge the gap between your sales strategy and its execution, sales enablement provides the tight intersection needed between sales reps and marketers. For example, marketing is tasked with creating impactful content, generating and nurturing leads at the base of the funnel, ensuring consistent messaging and branding and managing the content, including removing decaying material. When marketing and sales priorities and strategies aren’t in sync, content may be created that is not needed, forcing sales to create their own which may not align with current messaging or branding, or worse decayed content is shared with prospects and customers. Sales enablement empowers sales and marketing to work in close collaboration to seamlessly interact with buyers throughout the entire customer journey to win more deals.
Sales Enablement, the Future is Now
Businesses have always been on the lookout for ways to improve efficiencies and sell more. What has changed is the sophistication of the technology that allows customer-facing employees to communicate their offering’s value in a more compelling and consistent manner.For example, artificial intelligence (AI) is making its way into SMBs, providing marketing and sales with additional efficiencies and helping them to increase their productivity. By supplementing sales and marketing member’s knowledge and insights, this powerful machine learning technology aids in the identification of content needed, suggesting the right content, at the right time, for the right buyer persona. By improving the customer experience, starting with the very first interaction, sales reps are positioned to create and build the type of trusting relationships that boost profitability.Sales enablement use to be considered a non-essential function to the financial health of SMBs. This is no longer true. It’s progressed from ‘nice to have’ to a necessity. Businesses that have incorporated sales enablement are leapfrogging the competition, closing more deals faster and enjoying increased profitability.
Not All Sales Enablement Solutions are Created Equal
As one of the few vendors that invest in marketing efficiency, as well as sales enablement Enablix delivers a powerful solution that enables marketers to share, track engagements and manage content and decay from a central source. Throughout the buying journey and customer lifecycle, your reps require an array of content that includes traditional sales material such as sales decks, data sheets, brochures, customer success content, white papers, etc., as well as content created by others within your company. The Enablix platform provides a single source of all your trusted material for efficient and effective sales enablement, digital asset management, knowledge management, and content management.