Have you ever wondered what the difference between Sales enablement and Sales Transformation is? Or are they both the same? In this blog, Matt Farnworth who is an Account Director at Huble Digital illustrates how both functions are different but essentially work together within the overall sales process.
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is a repeatable series of steps, tweaked and improved upon in each cycle, that provides your sales personnel with the variety of resources they may need to win more business. These resources can be anything from content to tools — all with the view to help your salespeople sell your products or services to customers.
What is Sales Transformation?
Sales transformation is a process of change in relation to the sales operations of a business. This can be in the form of building upon or updating current foundations, driven by a company-wide desire to achieve sales-impacted objectives (such as hitting revenue targets or increasing profit).
What is the difference?
The easiest way to see the differences between Sales Enablement and Sales Transformation is to see them as potential allies that can both be valuable to a business and exist in harmony, rather than as two separate, unrelated potential options to a problem. Sales Transformation is a fixed piece of the puzzle in as much as it involves identifying processes that need to be changed, and then changing them. Sales Enablement is more dynamic: it is an iterative process that doesn't really come to an end.
Implementing Sales Transformation
To lay this out simply let’s look at the two as a journey. Imagine you’re a sales leader or manager with big targets to hit (a destination) and sales processes (a vehicle) to get you there. Only, you’re looking at your current vehicle, and you sense something is missing — think of it as having only a beat up ‘86 Corolla to take you all the way from Miami to Las Vegas. You need an upgrade to your vehicle (your sales processes). You need Sales Transformation.
So to get started, you sell the need for change to your passengers (your co-workers/sales team) and have looked at the data, statistics and past performance of your current vehicle to identify areas for change. These steps will help you firm up your choice of vehicle: Do you need a pick-up? A sports car? Or maybe it’s just a newer Corolla — after all, Sales Transformation does not necessarily mean a complete or drastic change to your processes, it might just be modernizing a certain section.
Once you’ve picked your new car and know the changes needed, you should create a series of measurable goals around the proposed upgrade and how that will look for your team. You want to get to Vegas, but a key result would first be a shorter trip to Texas using the new vehicle. These smaller goals make up your OKRs (Objectives and Key Results).
For a true Sales Transformation process, you need to align with your Marketing team, (your mechanics). If you’re not on the same page as your mechanics, they could be putting diesel in your petrol engine — or in real terms, marketing a product to your audience using different language or USPs leading to a disjointed lead to client experience. After this, you’re all set to put your Sales Transformation into action — of course, you’ll monitor over time and track progress, asking questions like “Is my MPG keeping to standard?”, “What about the tire depth?” Are you happy with how things are looking when a few miles are on the clock? Whatever the metrics, it's important to track, check and access them over time.
Implementing Sales Enablement
Ok, so negotiations are finished and you’ve got your new car (your Sales Transformation is complete), and you’re now in a position to set off for Vegas. But could you make the car go faster? Could you fine tune it to use less gas? Maybe you could even take an extra member of the team on that roof rack? It sounds like it’s time to optimise your vehicle. It sounds like it’s time for Sales Enablement.
Sales Enablement, in the simplest sense, arms the sales team with the resources they need to convert leads — but it’s very much a collaboration. Sales (the driver) needs to provide Marketing (the mechanics) with information on types of content that is missing or materials that they could utilise to sell more effectively and reach their destination more efficiently.
Much like fine tuning and optimising a car, there are a few vital areas to focus on when implementing Sales Enablement, namely: reporting and analysis, sales content optimization, technology and automation, and sales enablement software.
Reporting is very much about agreeing on standardised reports — are we talking Miles per hour or Kilometers per hour? Sales Content optimisation looks to streamline the sales process with sufficient case studies, pitch decks and email templates — extra can of NOS strapped below deck? Technology and automation & Sales enablement software focuses on taking the typically manual process of sales and using technology like HubSpot to bring it into the modern day — who doesn’t love an automatic?!
Congratulations! You’ve gone through Sales Transformation and got yourself a brand new car that meets all your needs. You’ve also driven that car to the Sales Enablement garage and optimised it to be primed and ready to transport your sales team, and equip them with everything they need to sell effectively. Suddenly that road to Vegas is looking a lot shorter, smoother and more enjoyable. The important takeaway from this is that Sales Transformation and Sales Enablement needn’t be ideas accessed against each other, or even necessarily at the same time. They both hold substance and can be of great benefit to a business — ensuring they have a well oiled, fuel efficient and high performing sports car sales team.
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