‘Sales Enablement’ – has this hot topic caught your attention too? Wondering if it is an extended form of sales training? What is the place of product sales training in sales enablement? Let’s dive in and see.
The renowned research firm Forrester says, Sales Enablement (SE) is a strategic and ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees. This process equips workforce with the ability to have systematic and valuable conversations with the right set of clients, at each stage of the sales life cycle.
Seeing the definition, we understand Sales Enablement is a comprehensive sales process. In this super set of Sales Enablement, product sales training is a subset. Sales Enablement consists of various components, such as onboarding, training, communication, pre-sales, and post-sales.
Though product sales training is a part, it is the vital heart of sales enablement. Because, even if all sales functions are integrated, the sales force ultimately needs to present your products/services as solutions to clients’ needs and challenges. So, the value of product sales training does not diminish in the sales enablement process. However, Sales Enablement fine tunes the process of product sales training. Let’s go further to see in detail.
Product Training Prior to SE
Until recent developments – prior to Sales Enablement, product training content development was an independent process. Product marketing or training managers used to prepare the training material without proper communication with other departments.
There was poor coordination with other teams to get the content. Sales teams took that up and began their sales pitches. Often, the content and training was product and company-centric, instead of being client-focused. This led to the sales processes failing or being under-used.
Many B2B product sales training programs are not developed in the context of how sales teams can use them to demonstrate the value of the product to customers. The sales team is just given sales tools such as guides, questionnaires, competitive comparisons, ROI calculators, etc., without proper training on when, where, why, and how to use them in sales calls. This renders them ineffective.
Product Training Under SE
Under sales enablement, new tools, programs, procedures,and software are adopted to bring in coordination among all departments that support the sales function. Product training content is developed to equip sales teams better and enable them to have meaningful conversations with prospects, respond intelligently to their needs, and guide them throughout the selling process.
Product training under the sales enablement umbrella helps the sales team:
- Understand what the product does to solve the prospects’ business problems or challenges
- Understand the buyer persona, know his buying behavior, and pitch about the product accordingly (contentis aligned with different stages of the buying cycle; readily made available by the sales enablement function)
- Gain knowledge on users’ application of the product in their businesses
This would ensure your sales teams make meaningful conversations with customers about their challenges, goals, and issues, rather than pitching about the product directly.