Biz Tips: Sales Enablement Consultant: Does Your Business Need One?

Biz Tips: Sales Enablement Consultant: Does Your Business Need One?

Biz Tip:

Sales Enablement Consultant: Does Your Business Need One?

Sales enablement is kind of a big deal. Many businesses have been able to speed up the process by bringing in a sales enablement consultant. For instance, research indicates that 61% of business organizations have a dedicated sales enablement function. Moreover, 59% of companies that surpass revenue targets (and 72% that surpass those targets by at least 25%) are heavily invested in sales enablement processes.

The point is that a solid sales enablement strategy can help your company to outperform the competition by a sizable margin. Of course, a winning plan doesn’t just appear overnight. It takes time and resources to provide your sales team with what they need to be at the top of their game.

Let’s dig into what a sales enablement consultant does, why you should consider hiring one, and some common signs that you need to leverage a consultant’s expertise to experience further growth.

What Exactly Does a Sales Enablement Consultant Do?

As the name suggests, a sales enablement consultant will come in, evaluate your current sales process, and identify specific areas of opportunity in terms of your overall strategy, tools, processes, and training program. Then the consultant will develop a realistic plan of action for your business on how to adopt sales enablement more fully throughout the organization (think of it as a “blueprint for success”).

In a nutshell, sales enablement consultants make practical recommendations on how to improve your sales process in ways that make the most sense for your business.

Why Should You Bring in a Sales Enablement Consultant?

There are two simple answers to this question:

  • You may not know what your business needs in order to improve its sales process.
  • You may know what your business needs, but you don’t have the expertise to implement a solution.

In either situation, having a sales enablement consultant on your team can be really helpful. A consultant has the skill set to really “get into the weeds” and pinpoint the small bottlenecks that are hindering your team’s effectiveness. The consultant can also take a high-level view of your business goals and challenges, help you to effectively train your employees, and guide you toward the right tools and processes for sustainable success.

How Do You Know Your Business Needs a Sales Enablement Consultant?

Now comes the fun part! Let’s talk about some common symptoms that may indicate your organization has a “sales enablement disorder,” and you need to call in a consultant for some assistance.

1. No accountability

Where there’s no law, there’s no crime — at least, no crime that can be legally charged to a person. In the same way, without a clear system of KPIs and metrics in place, there’s really no way to hold a consistently low-performing sales rep accountable for his or her actions.

If you see this happening within your company, then it’s time to bring in an outside consultant. The consultant can help you to develop a workable performance management system for your team. And provide ongoing support as you transform your culture from one of excuses and failure to one of accountability and success.

2. Lack of alignment between sales and marketing

This is a very common issue in business organizations today. Perhaps your marketing and sales teams are at odds with each other and are actively working to hinder the other department’s success. Then again, even if the situation isn’t quite as extreme as that, there may be a serious disconnect when it comes to critical aspects of the sales process (e.g., there’s a lack of agreement on how to define a marketing qualified lead vs. a sales qualified one, or each team has vastly different goals).

Can’t seem to get sales and marketing on the same page? Then you should definitely consider hiring a consultant. The consultant will approach the problem with a fresh set of eyes. The consultant may also be able to navigate around personality conflicts and interdepartmental dynamics that would otherwise be intractable. (It’s funny how quarreling parties are a lot more cooperative when there’s a third party around!)

Eventually, the consultant can collaborate with your sales and marketing teams to develop a mutually acceptable service level agreement (SLA). This will clearly define each department’s roles, what a lead is, when a lead should be transferred, etc. Once these elements are down in writing, you’ll almost certainly see improved alignment between your departments.

3. Ineffective or inconsistent training

Sales professionals need ongoing training, even if it’s just “refresher courses,” to stay on top of their game. A lot of times, the root cause of a decline in team performance is a lack of effective training.

A sales enablement consultant can help you to develop an impactful learning and development program. Tailored to the specific needs of your team, and the nature of your business. The consultant can also evaluate your team’s current skill set, and identify areas for individual improvement.

The fact is, sales reps and managers are busy people. And when schedules get packed, training is usually one of the first things to fall by the wayside. If that’s happened within your company, there’s no shame in bringing in some outside help to get the ship back on course.

4. A disorganized content database

Your sales team needs content that’s tailored to each stage of the buyer’s journey. Without a ready source of valuable content, your reps will have to spend precious time searching for the information they need. Or just do without it altogether. (Neither scenario is a great outcome.)

Again, a sales enablement consultant can prove to be an invaluable resource in this regard. Your consultant can audit your existing catalog of content, identify any gaps in the buyer’s journey that need to be filled, and then work with you to organize the content into an easy-to-navigate library. The end result? Your sales team can spend more time selling and less time searching for content.

Conclusion

And there you have it: the 4 big signs that you need to bring on a sales enablement consultant. Of course, it’s not an exhaustive list by any means; and your company doesn’t need to be “in trouble” to reach out to a sales enablement specialist. In fact, even high-performing organizations have benefited from engaging the services of an experienced consultant.

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