If your business wants to sell more, the solution seems obvious: hire another salesperson. But is hiring another salesperson really the most cost-effective solution to your problem? Onboarding a new team member requires training, salary, and overhead costs. Not to mention, you will incur additional costs if they decide to quit. Time is money, and the last thing you want is to waste your time.
This article will talk about some of the most common mistakes businesses make when trying to grow and the common pain points they experience. It will also discuss the importance of sales development and why a better process (not additional salespeople) is oftentimes the answer.
Before you can determine what’s lacking in your sales process, you must understand the difference between sales development and sales enablement. Many people think the two terms are interchangeable, but really, they have different meanings and serve entirely different functions within an organization.
To put it simply, sales enablement is the division within a company that supports the sales team to enable higher and faster revenue attainment. This support is offered in the form of training, content, tools, and operational support. Sales enablement teams can directly support sales development, but they can also directly support sales representatives. In turn, sales reps can support sales enablement by telling them what types of training, tools, content, and data would enable them to do their jobs better and sell more.
It takes several team members performing various functions to make up a sales enablement team. Here are each of those functions and what they entail:
- Training—Manager(s) and/or director(s) who oversee a sales enablement department are responsible for providing ongoing training to team members. The concept of sales enablement is relatively new (originating in 2013), and it’s continuously evolving as technologies and processes advance. For this reason alone, frequent training sessions are essential if you want your sales enablement department to be up-to-speed.
- Content—Sales enablement content teams are responsible for creating content that supports sales teams. This is not to be confused with content strategists who fall under sales development, as they are responsible for driving leads directly with content. Sales enablement content specialists create content that can support sales teams and help them sell more, but their content isn’t intended to drive leads on its own. Sales enablement content can include marketing collateral, landing pages, and other forms of content where the purpose is to support a sales rep, not drive leads.
- Tools—Supporting your sales team and enabling them to sell more is a big job, and it requires more than just people. Tools are needed in order to create content, scout the right prospects, and keep all sales enablement materials organized. Not only that, but if your sales enablement team is creating professionally designed sales collateral, graphic designers will need access to tools like Adobe Photoshop and InDesign.
- Operations—It isn’t just content that helps a sales team sell more; it’s the actual leads themselves. While it’s not the job of a sales enablement team to deliver leads directly to sales reps, it is their job to deliver high-quality prospects to the sales development team, so they can start building a sales pipeline. To do this, operations team members should be responsible for pulling data on target prospects and delivering information about those prospects to sales development representatives (SDRs).
In short, sales enablement has become a critical part of B2B lead generation because without it, sales reps wouldn’t have the information they need to sell as much. They could still sell, sure, but having a sales enablement team helps you maximize your selling potential.
Sales development falls under the sales enablement umbrella because it technically does enable the sales team to sell more. However, while sales enablement is responsible for providing support, sales development is responsible for providing leads. This part of the company is 100% dedicated to creating a sales pipeline to drive leads and set appointments for sales representatives.
More often than not, a sales development rep (SDR) is an individual who performs outbound sales activity (cold calling, emailing, etc.). An SDR is responsible for identifying, connecting with, and qualifying leads to set appointments for sales representatives. Content specialists can also drive leads, which means they also fall into the sales development category. When a professional SEO content writer writes SEO-focused copy to drive traffic and then that traffic converts into leads for a business, this is sales development. Similarly, when an email marketing specialist sends emails directly to prospects with the goal of trying to set an appointment, this is also a sales development activity. These writers don’t fall under sales enablement because their content isn’t supporting the sales team; instead, it’s being written to drive leads.
Sales development is such a critical part of B2B lead generation because it feeds more leads to the sales team. So many businesses make the mistake of hiring sales reps to do everything: prospecting, qualifying leads, nurturing leads, managing a sales pipeline, and delivering pitches. This is too much activity for one person, which is why sales development teams have become such an instrumental part of enabling sales teams to sell more. Having one team focus solely on managing and building a pipeline and setting appointments allows sales representatives to focus on what they’re best at: delivering a sales pitch.
“The sales development team is the most important sales process innovation in the last 10 years.”
— David Cummings, Atlanta-based tech entrepreneur
While sales development does fall under the sales enablement umbrella, the two departments also work together cohesively to maximize sales for an organization. Having a sales enablement department helps you grow faster by increasing sales at a faster pace. Shown below is a visual representation of how sales enablement, sales development, and sales teams all work together.
What is your sales team actually lacking? Let’s discuss →
Now that we’re clear on the difference between sales enablement and sales development and how they both enable a sales team to sell more, the question still remains—how do I increase sales for my business? It depends, what is your process lacking? Do you need another sales rep, or do your existing sales reps need more support? For most companies, it’s the latter.
If your business is struggling with B2B lead generation, it could be for one of the following reasons.
If you need more leads, you probably just need an appointment setter. One of the biggest mistakes a business can make when trying to increase sales and generate more leads is hiring another salesperson. Most businesses think that hiring an additional salesperson will result in more self-sourced leads which will result in more pitches and thus, more closed deals. While this is true, you won’t maximize your sales potential without an appointment setter and a process. So, yes, you need a person. But that person is an appointment setter, not another sales rep who will struggle to find appointments on their own.
A B2B appointment setter focuses solely on building and managing a sales pipeline. They’re responsible for prospecting and engaging with leads to set appointments for salespeople. Imagine how many more deals you could close if your salespeople were entirely focused on pitching hot leads all day. If your sales reps have too much responsibility, they won’t generate as many opportunities, and they certainly won’t have as much time to close deals.
When you have one team of sales development reps and another team of sales reps, each team has clear responsibilities, so they won’t feel overwhelmed. When you hire an external appointment setter, they typically already have a process in place. They already use a CRM and know how to engage with prospects and build a pipeline. By hiring an appointment setter, your two teams can hit the ground running and help each other to generate more opportunities and close more deals for your business.
If leads aren’t the problem and you’re just having trouble closing, you probably need additional sales enablement support. This could mean a variety of things; maybe you need a better website, better content, or better marketing materials.
Here are a few things that could support your sales team and help them close more deals:
- Website—A website can do a lot of things, but one thing that businesses often forget about is that it can be an excellent sales tool for sales teams. Professional website development can help you build a website that not only looks nice, but also includes all of the content and visuals you need to sell your service to potential customers.
- Marketing Collateral—Marketing collateral can help you sell more because it builds credibility and gives your sales program something extra. It’s another way for you to communicate with prospects who may be visual learners. Brochures, one-sheeters, and case studies can really give you an edge. Or, if you’re looking to improve your sales pitch, creating a new sales presentation or improving your current pitch deck might be the answer. Videos can also be a great sales tool.
- Content—In addition to the content on your website’s service pages and within marketing materials, you can also create blogs, landing pages, and social media posts. Any form of sales enablement content can be used to help your sales team close more deals. For example, you can write a blog to position yourself as a thought leader or to help a prospect understand your services more, or you can create landing pages and social media posts that explain your services. These forms of content can also be a huge help to your sales team.
When trying to grow your business and generate more leads, don’t jump into anything too quickly. Before you just assume that you know the best solution, do some serious thinking. What is it that your business is actually lacking? What do you actually need? Only then can you address your business growth problems. And once you fill the holes in your sales process, you’ll be unstoppable to your competitors.
Are you interested in learning more about B2B appointment setting? Abstrakt Marketing Group offers a variety of services that can help you build a sales development and sales enablement process. Let’s talk → book a meeting today.