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A Complete Guide to Sales Enablement

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Kinsey Sullivan Wolf

Sales success in 2023 is more than just “dialing for dollars.” Today, sales leaders need to be adept at building connections, collaborating with other team members, improving systems and processes, and always adding value. The best strategy to get you there? Sales enablement. 

This in-depth guide is designed to be your source of truth, inspiration, and encouragement when embarking on the sales enablement journey.

Today, you’ll learn all about Sales Enablement, including:

What is Sales Enablement?

Aligning Your Strategy

Conversational Sales Enablement

Supercharging Sales Enablement

How Calldrip Helps

What is Sales Enablement?

Intro to Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is a strategy to improve your sales team's performance, by providing them with the resources they need to close more deals. The goal of implementing sales enablement is to improve your processes, resources, and strategies to make sales more efficient. For sales enablement to be successful, your strategy needs to prioritize building trust quickly and serving customers effectively.

The overarching goals of sales enablement are to:

  • Empower your sales team to close deals.
  • Prioritize your sales team's efficiency and efficacy.

Sales leaders do this by understanding your buyers’ journey, identifying key decision moments, and creating the resources needed to advance the sale at those moments. In some cases, this sales enablement initiative may mean that you need to adjust your existing sales processes to more closely align with your customers’ needs.

In practical terms, that may mean providing resources like videos, interactive tools, articles, training, or content; all of these should make it easier to sell your product or service. We’ll cover more about the sales enablement resources you might want to consider in a later section.

“At Calldrip, we think about sales enablement as a way to strengthen relationships, which is the cornerstone of any healthy sales process.”

Forest Ward, VP of Sales at Calldrip

Remember, sales enablement enhances the efficacy of your sales team. It doesn’t seek to replace them. After all, people buy from people!

Benefits of Sales Enablement

Why does sales enablement matter? There are plenty of benefits of sales enablement, including better relationships with leads and prospects, faster deal velocity, and happier customers. Said differently, sales enablement ensures that your sales team is empowered to provide a positive customer experience, every single time. 

Still not convinced?

  • About 80% of American consumers say that friendly service, speed, knowledgeable help, and convenience are the most important elements of a positive customer experience. 

  • Almost 90% of consumers report purchasing due to the overall sales experience, rather than price or functionality.

  • Even if customers love your company or product, 59% say they will walk away after several bad experiences, 17% after just one bad experience. 

  • Roughly ​​66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.

The reality is that prospects buy from people and companies that they know, like and trust. Much of this human connection is built during the sales process. The efficacy of your sales team is directly related to their ability to connect with and serve your leads. Sales enablement makes that process seamless and scalable.

There’s another reason why sales enablement matters: your competitors are probably implementing it. In fact, sales enablement has seen a 343% increase in adoption over the last five years. And it’s working; more than 75% of companies using sales enablement strategies have seen their sales increase between 6% to 20%. The global sales enablement market is growing; in fact, it’s projected to surpass $3B by 2026

Given that sales enablement has such significant benefits, you don’t want to be left behind.

6 Steps to Sales Enablement6 Steps to Successful Sales Enablement

The steps to successful sales enablement includes:

  • Step 1: Clear sales processes that align with a buyer’s journey.
  • Step 2: Quality sales training that empowers your team to be as successful as possible throughout the sales process.
  • Step 3: High-value sales resources to share with prospects at key moments during their journey. This includes meaningful internal resources to support every member of your sales team’s performance.
  • Step 4: A clear, easy-to-use system for collecting and managing these sales resources. 
  • Step 5: Performance tracking and measurement to evaluate sales performance qualitatively and quantitatively.
  • Step 6: Active, iterative sales coaching to support the progress of the entire sales team.

Aligning Your Strategy

How to Get Started with Sales Enablement

By now, you’re convinced that sales enablement is right for you. You just need to know how to get started building your sales enablement strategy. Here are four steps to help you get started:

Step 1: Build Your Buyer Journey Map

Your sales enablement strategy needs to start with an in-depth understanding of your ideal customer and their buyer’s journey. This is the foundation of any sales enablement strategy. Your marketing and sales team will need to collaborate to build an ideal customer persona and a buyer journey map, if you don’t have one already.

As you create your buyer journey, pay particular attention to:

  • Existing sources of lead generation. About 50% of businesses say inbound marketing strategies, such as forms, are their primary source of leads. If that’s true for you, the buyer journey will look different than a business who generates most of their leads at a conference.
  • Key moments or conversations that can make or break the sale. If you’re not sure what they are (and even if you are), it’s helpful to speak to current clients and closed-lost opportunities to learn more about what happened.
  • Critical path actions that must be taken by the prospect and/or your sales representatives.
  • Moments where your internal sales team needs to reference materials or company information to progress the sale. For example, where does your sales team look for prices to build quotes and proposals?
  • Any moments where resources are being shared with prospective clients, and what those resources are. This could be a brochure, a demo video, or even the proposal itself.

This map should reflect the internal and external reality of your sales. This exercise should make it easy for you to define a clear sales process, which is key to any successful sales enablement strategy.

Step 2: Establish (Or Improve) Sales Training

Now that you have a clear understanding of your buyer journey, you’re in a position to develop a sales training program that reflects that.

During the process, chances are you’ll identify new resources and assets that can support the sales process. Make a note of these, and discuss them with your marketing team.

As you build your training program, leverage your top salespeople’s unique insights and knowledge to include in your training program. Ask your best customers what sales techniques made the most impact during the buyer process. And last but not least, explore software (like Calldrip’s all-in-one conversational sales enablement software) to effectively and consistently train your sales team.

Step 3: Build Your Resource Library

Now, it’s time to actually create or enhance the resources you’ve identified in your customer journey mapping and sales training program creation. 

We recommend creating a list of the resources you think would be beneficial to your sales team. Then, evaluate whether you already have a resource or would need to create one. Don’t forget to consider assets that are being used in one-off cases, or address some (but not all) of a need.

Now, it’s time to actually create or enhance the resources you’ve identified in your customer journey mapping and sales training program creation. It can be difficult to prioritize the most important content, but again, the sales team’s current processes can be a signal. Ask your sales team what tools, resources, or documents they’ve created for themselves. These valuable tools have proven their importance, and are likely to be a high-impact starting point. 

Finally, ensure that your market team reviews all existing resources to make sure they’re integrated and on-brand.

Step 4: Create an Easy-to-Use System

Now, it’s time to ensure that your sales process is as efficient as possible. For many, this means automation and technology.

You'll also need an easy, seamless system to organize your sales resources and support your entire sales enablement program. This could look as simple as a shared drive or folder system, or as complex as a dedicated software.

Identify repeatable steps, like setting up tasks or sending a follow-up resource. These are clear opportunities for automation. 

Step 5: Monitor Performance

It's critical to monitor performance so that you know what's working - and what's not. We recommend evaluating both qualitative and quantitative data. Metrics might include things like "calls connected," "appointments booked," or "customer satisfaction." Monitoring calls also allows you to measure sales team performance, and pinpoint training and coaching opportunities.

You can also monitor performance via customer feedback. Calldrip also makes it easy to automatically collect customer reviews via call and text and automatically publish them to Google, which will help with coaching and staying close to your customer's voice.

Your conversational sales and sales enablement strategies will be even more effective with the support of a great sales automation software tool. 

Step 6: Sales Coaching

Sales coaching is an essential part of any performance-focused sales effort. With all the insights you've gained, you should be in a perfect position to execute an effective sales coaching strategy. 

We'll explore sales coaching in more detail next.

How Sales Enablement Relates to Sales Coaching

A sales enablement strategy exists to empower your sales team to perform at their best. Sound familiar? It should! This is also the mandate of sales coaching. These two efforts - sales enablement and sales coaching - are distinct, but related. They work best in tandem.

Sales enablement requires a crystal clear understanding of your prospects’ buyer journey, which includes a clear articulation of conversion moments. With this clarity comes the opportunity to track and measure performance, qualitatively and quantitatively. This is perfect for sales coaching. 

With this data, you can provide more meaningful evaluation and constructive feedback in a sales coaching session. And those coaching conversations are likely to surface opportunities for improved sales enablement resources. Over time, these two strategies can create a positive feedback loop that make each other stronger - and are likely to boost sales. 

Studies show successful coaching can improve conversion rates by as much as 29%, and companies that focus on coaching can expect a massive 353% return on their investment.

Not sure where to start with sales coaching? Here are a few resources that can help:

In addition, Calldrip's award-winning sales call coaching software includes customized KPIs, coaching scorecards, and purpose-built playbooks. The scorecards measure your team's performance based on sales enablement strategies and will identify coaching opportunities for your team. 

Who’s Responsible for Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is a collaborative, cross-department strategy. In many organizations, marketing will be responsible for creating the resources, while sales is responsible for actually leveraging them. Your sales team is also responsible for communicating with marketing about which types of content and materials would be most helpful.

Since your marketing team “owns” your company's brand message and voice, they’re in the best position to create the resources. However, they’ll only be able to do that effectively by communicating with sales about the buyer journey and actual sales processes, to understand the resources that are most valuable.

It’s important that both teams understand the value of collaboration; your company culture can help this cross-department alignment. Research shows that alignment between sales and marketing teams can help your company become 67% better at closing deals and see 41% greater growth in reaching your quotas.

By working together, both teams will be able to reach more prospects, convert them into customers more effectively, sell more efficiently, and retain customers more effortlessly.

Conversational Sales Enablement

What is Conversational Sales Enablement?

As leaders in the sales technology space, we’re constantly evaluating the leading sales strategies, and considering how to make them even better.

Conversational Sales Enablement is one of those strategies.

Conversational sales enablement is a strategy that empowers your sales team to have a high-value conversation at the perfect moment, while navigating questions and doubts with ease. Designed by our sales and marketing team, Conversational Sales Enablement blends relationship building techniques with technology to streamline the sale.

If sales enablement is about providing your sales team with the right resources, conversational sales enablement is about how your team puts those resources in practice in actual conversations. Conversational sales enablement embraces the foundations of sales enablement, and takes them further.

4 Pillars of Conversational Sales Enablement

There are four pillars of a successful conversational sales enablement strategy:

  1. Prioritize speed of response. The best time to communicate with a prospect is at their peak moment of interest: when they engage with you. Your conversational sales enablement strategy empowers your sales team to have a high-value conversation at that moment. The odds of qualifying a lead are 21 times higher if you call within 5 minutes of the lead’s inquiry versus 30. After one hour, the odds of qualifying a lead are negligible. Your team needs to be ready to connect with the prospect when they make contact.
  2. Meet your prospects where they are. Put your leads first, and be available on the channels that are convenient for them. Conversational Sales Enablement isn’t just phone calls - though those are important - but also about business text messaging, live chat, automated lead follow-up, and more. To do this effectively, you’ll need to leverage technology so your team can communicate via phone call, text, web chat, and other channels as they evolve. 
  3. Embrace the human element. Prioritize building strong, honest human connections with prospects, at scale, because people buy from people. Conversational sales enablement isn’t about automated emails or voicemails, though those have a place. It’s about making sure that your team takes every opportunity to strengthen an authentic, human connection with prospects. That’s why sales coaching is more centered in a conversational sales enablement strategy.
  4. Empower your sales team. Ensure that your team has the resources, coaching, technology, and processes they need to perform at their best. That means building strong listening and communication skills, via phone and beyond. Research shows that, with complex purchases, consumers want to talk to a salesperson. At Calldrip, we say that “every sale starts with a conversation.”

Conversational sales enablement relies on a variety of tactics:

  • Sales automation, including rapid lead response, click-to-call automation, auto attendant and call routing.
  • Call tracking and monitoring.
  • Sales coaching.
  • Multi-channel communication, including call, text and web chat.
  • Conversation analytics and data integration.

Conversational Sales GraphicEach of these tactics delivers great customer service and helps build an authentic, convenient relationship with leads and prospects.

Your conversational sales enablement strategy exists to enhance your greatest sales asset: your sales team. You'll never replace the salesperson. People buy from people!

If you’re interested in learning more about conversational sales enablement, this in-depth guide is for you. Learn more about Conversational Sales Enablement in this quick two-pager; download it for free here.

Calldrip's Sales Enablement solution is unique, because we provide a hassle-free, all in-one-approach that supports conversational sales every step of the way. Plus, with our mobile app, your sales representatives can be successful from anywhere, with a tool they're already using constantly: the phone in their pocket. Calldrip can help you level up your customer experience - and your sales.

Supercharging Sales Enablement

How to Supercharge Your Sales Enablement Strategy

To supercharge your sales enablement strategy, you’ll need to start thinking about how you can leverage efficiencies. In many cases, the more efficient your team is at fielding inquiries and moving the sale forward, the more successful they will be.

Marketing and sales automation software can help to supercharge those redundant moments in your sales process. For example, a big part of the sales journey is your process for responding to leads. How and when your sales representatives make that first follow-up contact has a major impact on the sale.

Sales software exists that can automate the follow up phone call and text, automatically leave a voicemail message if the lead doesn’t pick up, automatically ask customers for reviews - and so much more. Every repeatable process you can automate is time you free up for your sales team to handle those critical, customer-focused human connections.

Calldrip’s all-in-one conversational sales enablement solution can help with many of these automated tasks, as well as more advanced aspects of sales enablement, like coaching and call tracking and monitoring.

AI & Sales Enablement

As the prevalence of AI software increases, we believe that sales empathy will become more important than ever. There’s potential for AI to improve processes, increase productivity, and streamline initiatives - but it can’t replace the human connection that’s rooted in real feelings and experiences.

The benefits of a personal connection can’t be overstated. Research consistently shows that people want to talk to people, especially when making complex buying decisions. One Concentrix study showed that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences. A PwC study found that approximately 35% of consumers would be willing to pay more for some sort of human interaction.

“Humans crave a personal connection. AI can enable us to build those connections more efficiently.” 

Brock Jackson, COO at Calldrip

Embracing human connection in the face of technological advancement is a competitive advantage: almost 60% of customers feel many brands have used tech to de-prioritize the human element of customer experience.

Artificial intelligence is an incredibly powerful tool - more powerful than almost any other - but it’s not the answer to all of your sales problems. It may make your sales efforts more efficient, but it can’t and won’t replace the skill, experiences, and connections that one person can share with another.

Meet Calldrip’s AI Assistant

Create multiple AI-powered assistants for specific customer engagement objectives. You can quickly create a dedicated assistant for a specific assignment, like a sales assistant to nurture your leads. This AI Assistant helps engage more prospects in human conversation. 

Your AI Assistant will nurture your leads, instantly letting them know you will be calling. Plus, they're available 24/7/365 to start the conversation when you're out of office and then can automatically follow-up over a customizable time period if you are unable to reach the prospect right away. Ready to learn more? Book a demo here.

How Calldrip Helps

How Calldrip Supports Sales Enablement

The goal of sales enablement is to empower your sales team to effectively connect with prospects and close them into customers. To do that, they need to build trust with your prospects. One of the best ways to build trust quickly is by sparking an authentic, friendly conversation with leads at their peak moment of interest.You Have A New Lead (1)

We call this conversation-focused approach to sales enablement “conversational sales enablement.” Our software is designed to build that positive human connection and add value - again, at scale.

Calldrip integrates with your CRM and existing lead sources to track inbound inquiries, automatically follow-up with leads via phone call and text messaging, and provide sales coaching. Our all-in-one software also includes automated review capture, web chat, business text messaging flows, virtual respondent, and more.

Calldrip isn’t just automated lead follow-up - though that is very important - we also provide website chat and comprehensive text messaging to engage your leads, conversational analytics to pin-point optimal marketing channels, coaching tools to take your team to the next level, and an automated customer review process that can build trust and improve your search rankings.

Here's an overview of the Conversational Sales tools included in the Calldrip software, and how they work:

  • Respond is an automated lead response solution automatically generates a phone call and/or text message from your salesperson to a prospect immediately after the prospect submits an inquiry.
  • Engage is a text chat widget that converts qualified prospects to a phone call or SMS text chat - automatically. Engage ensures that you connect with your prospects via a conversation at their precise moment of interest.
  • Monitor is an AI-powered conversational monitoring tool measuring conversations in real time. Call summaries, transcripts, keyword detection and sentiment analysis support sales performance and coaching.
  • Track clearly identifies phone call sources and metrics, so you can see which channels and lead sources are converting the best. This is a good proxy metric to understand which Conversational Sales channel and lead sources are most valuable to your business.
  • Review makes it easy for prospects and customers to leave quick, conversational reviews on the top review platforms, including Google.
  • Coach is a sales coaching software that helps ensure every conversation is top-notch. It includes call recording reviews done by both real people and AI technology.

Here’s a sample use case for our flagship product, Respond:

  • Imagine a dealership that has a simple inquiry form on their website, as well as a web chat widget. They advertise on Facebook and Google, and purchase leads from a third party. They have a reputation for high-quality used trucks, and some leads also call in directly.
  • When a lead comes in from any of these sources, Calldrip records the lead and shares that information with your CRM via an integration.
  • Immediately after the lead is created, Calldrip sends an automated yet personalized text message to the lead, letting them know to expect a call from a member of the team shortly.
  • Just a few seconds later, Calldrip dials the appropriate sales person on your team, based on your existing process.
  • When your sales person picks up, they hear a short, whispered message with information about the lead, including their name and what car they’re interested in (if applicable). If the salesperson isn’t available, you can set Calldrip up to re-route the call to another member of your team. Or, you can use our VIP service and send the call to one of our sales agents.
  • After the message, the call connects to the lead. If they answer, you’ll probably hear something like, “Wow, that was fast!”

When compared to manual processes, such as creating tasks for a salesperson inside your CRM, Calldrip is significantly faster: with us, you can connect with leads in about 10 seconds versus a national average of 42 hours. This long response time results in millions of wasted marketing and advertising dollars.

Try Calldrip

Calldrip's all-in-one sales automation software provides the tech tools you need to develop and implement your sales enablement strategies today. With Calldrip, setup is quick and easy. You’ll be paired with a customer success professional who is dedicated to your account. If you ever have challenges or questions, they’re available to help.

Claim your free demo, and let's get started.

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