Sales enablement best practices: Your key to more sales

Dave DeFranco

Written by

Dave DeFranco

Once upon a time, there was a sales team that was struggling to meet its revenue targets. The team members were working hard, but they were not getting the desired results. They were using outdated sales techniques and lacked the necessary resources to sell effectively. That’s when they decided to adopt sales enablement best practices.

With the help of sales enablement, the team was able to provide its members with the knowledge, skills, and content they needed to engage buyers at every stage of the sales process. They developed a sales enablement strategy, created a sales enablement team, aligned sales and marketing teams, created a sales enablement content strategy, provided sales coaching and training, measured sales enablement success, and continuously improved their sales enablement efforts.

As a result, the team was able to meet its revenue plan targets and equip its sales teams with the information and tools they needed to provide real value to buyers. Their sales enablement efforts helped them to keep pace with the rest of the industry and stay ahead of the competition.

If you resemble the sales team at the beginning of the story, this article is for you. We will share best practices for sales enablement that can help you achieve similar results.


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What is sales enablement?

Sales enablement at its core is about creating memorable sales materials that provide your sales team with the resources necessary to close more deals. It’s a strategic effort where resources are unified and standardized to provide content, training, and coaching services to align with the customer journey. 

It also provides a consistent and scalable methodology that allows customer-facing roles to add value in every customer interaction. Sales enablement leaders care about increasing productivity, making a business impact they can measure, and getting training programs out the door faster.

Why is sales enablement important?

Sales enablement is critical for sales organizations today because it helps them meet revenue targets while equipping sales teams with the information and tools needed to provide real value to buyers. Many sales organizations currently have either a:

  • Dedicated person;
  • Program;
  • Immerse Listener™;
  • Or function for sales enablement.

From a competitive standpoint, organizations without a sales enablement practice or function will struggle to keep pace with the rest of the industry.

What does sales enablement do?

The goal of sales enablement is to help sales representatives improve their skills, onboard more efficiently, and close deals faster. Sales enablement leaders focus on increasing productivity, making a measurable business impact, and getting training programs out the door faster. It is a critical function for helping sales teams navigate through the constant change that surrounds them, including the buying environment, the macroeconomic landscape, and evolving seller roles. Sales enablement is a key driver of revenue growth and customer satisfaction.

Best practices for sales enablement include:

  • Using the right sales enablement technologies.
  • Developing a sales enablement strategy.
  • Creating a sales enablement team.
  • Aligning sales and marketing teams.
  • Creating a sales enablement content strategy.
  • Developing a sales enablement deck.
  • Providing a sales enablement framework.
  • Conducting sales enablement training.
  • Measuring sales enablement success.
  • Continuously improving sales enablement.

How does B2B sales enablement work?

Business-to-business (B2B) sales enablement is unique from standard sales enablement in that it is tailored to the specific needs of B2B sales teams. B2B sales cycles are typically longer and more complex than B2C (Business-to-customer) sales cycles and involve multiple decision-makers. As a result, B2B sales reps require a different set of skills, tools, and resources to help them navigate these complex sales cycles, close deals faster, and be successful.

B2B sales enablement also places a greater emphasis on account-based selling, where sales reps focus on building relationships with key accounts and delivering personalized experiences to each customer. This requires a deep understanding of the customer’s business, pain points, and buying behaviors. B2B sales enablement helps sales reps to better understand their customers’ needs and tailor their approach accordingly.


What is sales enablement marketing?

Sales enablement marketing is a strategy that aims to empower sales teams with the right tools, content, and training to help them sell more effectively. It’s a process that involves educating reps with content and certifications, coaching them, and bringing them together at events like sales kickoffs. The goal is to help them close more deals, faster.

Sales enablement marketing is important because it helps sellers advance prospects through the sales pipeline by providing them with education and guidance. Without these resources, sellers will struggle to bring value to each conversation and close deals. Sales enablement marketing is a way to unify marketing and sales efforts, so that sellers and marketers work cohesively on content, branded collateral, and customer solutions from point of concept to closed sale.

As part of a sales enablement marketing strategy, you should be adopting and utilizing the right technology solutions to manage and distribute the right content to the right person at the right time. Some sales enablement solutions that most sales teams can use:

  • CRM systems: CRM systems like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho can help sales teams manage their leads, track their progress, and automate their workflows. They can also provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences.
  • Internal website or intranets: Company intranets can help sales teams manage and distribute their content more efficiently, and keep standardization to scale.
  • Sales analytics tools: Sales analytics tools like InsightSquared, Gong, and can help sales teams analyze their performance, identify areas for improvement, and optimize their sales processes.
  • Sales enablement platforms: Sales enablement platforms like Highspot, Seismic, and Showpad can provide sales teams with a centralized platform for managing their content, training, and analytics.

But the best technology solutions mean nothing if the content you create doesn’t help your sales.


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What is a sales enablement framework?

A sales enablement framework is a set of tools, techniques, and strategies that sales teams can use to become more successful. It involves the use of technology, content, and training to help sales reps improve their skills and close more deals. According to Gartner1, a sales enablement framework is composed of five core elements:

  1. Alignment to revenue objectives
  2. Design-driven
  3. Value-centric
  4. Technology-powered
  5. Always-on

The framework helps sales teams to optimize their sales process, improve their customer experience, and drive revenue growth. It can also help unify marketing and sales efforts, so that sellers and marketers work cohesively on content, branded collateral, and customer solutions from point of concept to closed sale.


Create valuable sales enablement content

Sales enablement content refers to the resources that sales teams use to better understand their customers’ needs, pain points, and buying behaviors which helps reps create better engagement with customers and prospects throughout the sales cycle.

These content resources are also designed to help sales reps to better understand their own products and services, so they can better communicate the value proposition to customers and prospects. Sales enablement content can also include materials that help sales reps to improve their own skills and knowledge.

Sales enablement content is critical for helping sales teams to navigate through the constant change that surrounds them, including:

  • The buying environment
  • The macroeconomic landscape
  • Evolving seller roles

Effective sales enablement content can help reps build stronger relationships with their customers, increase customer loyalty, and drive repeat business. Ultimately, sales enablement content is about empowering sales teams to be more effective, efficient, and successful in their roles.

Examples of sales enablement materials found in a framework

These are just a few examples of sales enablement materials that can be included in a framework.

  • Buyer personas: Detailed profiles of your ideal customers that help sales reps understand their needs, pain points, and motivations.
  • Case studies: Real-life examples of how your product or service has helped other customers solve similar problems.
  • Competitive battlecards: Side-by-side comparisons of your product or service with all of your competitors’ offerings.
  • Customer testimonials: Positive feedback from satisfied customers that can help build trust and credibility.
  • Demo videos: Short videos that showcase your product or service in action.
  • E-books: Comprehensive guides that provide in-depth information on a particular topic or industry.
  • Infographics: Visual representations of data or information that are easy to understand and share.
  • Interactive assessments: Quizzes or surveys that help prospects identify their pain points and needs.
  • Live chat: Real-time conversations with prospects that can help answer their questions and build rapport.
  • Product datasheets: Detailed information about your product or service, including features, benefits, and technical specifications.
  • Product demos: Live demonstrations of your product or service that allow prospects to see it in action.
  • Product tutorials: Step-by-step guides that show prospects how to use your product or service.
  • ROI calculators: Tools that help prospects calculate the potential return on investment of your product or service.
  • Sales scripts: Pre-written scripts that help sales reps handle common objections and questions.
  • Sales training materials: Educational resources that help sales reps improve their skills and knowledge.
  • Social media content: Posts, images, and videos that can help build brand awareness and generate leads.
  • Test drives: Free trials or demos of your product or service that allow prospects to try it out before they buy.
  • Webinars: Live or recorded presentations that provide valuable information on a particular topic or industry.
  • Whitepapers: In-depth reports that provide insights into a particular topic or industry.
  • Workshops: Interactive sessions that provide hands-on training and coaching to sales reps (like our VisualStory® workshop!)


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The sales enablement resource that can help bring this all together

Sales enablement decks are foundational tools that support marketing efforts and provide sales teams with what they need all in one place. Don’t think of it as a presentation, per se, but rather a strategic internal slide document (or a Slidedoc™ as we call them) for your sales team.

A sales enablement deck helps organize your sales process and aligns it to your sales strategy with information that helps your reps win.

A sales enablement deck can include important company information, guidance, messaging, and collateral. It can even be organized by each stage of the sales funnel so your reps can help nurture and move prospects along their buying journey with ease. When done right, a sales enablement deck can:

  • Reinforce your sales strategy;
  • Provide concrete sales plays;
  • Provide brand-approved messaging;
  • And offer brand-compliant imagery, data, and other helpful resources.

It is a great sales enablement tool that provides sales reps with a shortcut to refining their sales pitch and closing potential customers. In other words, a sales enablement deck has the potential to make or break your organization’s bottom line and brand reputation.


Case study highlight: Learn from Veeam scaled their sales enablement effectively

When the high-growth technology company Veeam Software wanted to grow its enterprise sales, they turned to Duarte for help. Partnering with Veeam’s revenue acceleration team, we crafted powerful messages and impactful slides to help their reps deliver highly persuasive pitches to enterprise buyers. Watch our on-demand webinar to hear more about how we developed sales enablement materials that helped Veeam scale across their $1B organization.


The easiest way to get started with sales enablement best practices

At Duarte, if you find that you just don’t have the time to do it on your own, we can make your sales enablement materials for you. Share your sales enablement content needs with one of our Solution Architects. We’ll then design an engagement strategy that builds the sales content your reps need (and that your customers want to hear) with an approach that helps them understand how to use it.

If you’d rather do it yourself, take our VisualStory® course to tackle your sales enablement content today. With input from Veeam’s marketing team and top-performing reps, Duarte completely revamped their pitch using VisualStory® principles that upleveled conversations from product features to business outcomes. We then rolled it out at Launchpad – Veeam’s global sales kickoff – leading simultaneous “Storytelling for Sellers” trainings on three continents in five cities to drive rapid adoption.

As a result, Veeam transformed the way it landed enterprise deals. Take the course, and you can do the same.


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