Move over sales enablement, there’s a new kid in town and this one’s not leaving anyone behind.
Though sales enablement and revenue enablement sound close to enough to be interchangeable, there are significant differences between the two. According to Gartner, revenue enablement provides buyers and sellers with a seamless and more effortless experience through shared technology, tools, data, analytics, processes and KPIs. It combines the efforts of multiple departments and job functions to increase revenue at every stage through streamlined processes.
The concept has been around for only a few years, gaining popularity in 2019 after research conducted by SiriusDecisions found that focusing on the complete customer experience rather than just the initial buying process was proving to be more lucrative. This is not to discredit the effect and success of many sales enablement programs. If executed well, sales enablement can help sales teams move customers through the sales process more efficiently, resulting in a higher likelihood of purchasing their solution.
However, as customer buying preferences continue to evolve towards more personalized experiences, it takes more than even the most highly skilled sales team to capture and hold their attention and loyalty. That’s where revenue enablement shines. Companies can provide cohesive and consistent messaging throughout the customer journey by including the following types of positions instead of solely focusing on Sales:
- Sales +
- Customer Success
- Solution Architects and System Engineers
- Offer Specialists
- Channel Managers and Partners
Think of Yourself
Consider your own buying experiences. Is there anything more frustrating than receiving multiple different responses to an inquiry? What if you want to talk to a salesperson but can’t get in touch with one when you want to?
On the sales side, how much time have you wasted looking for the most recently revised product catalog? Perhaps you delivered a great demo but once you got off the phone, were notified that you gave out outdated information? All of these examples are solid grounds for frustration for you and the customer.
Even though consistent messaging, programs, processes, etc. may seem like internal motivations for exploring revenue enablement, they directly benefit the customer as well. Consistency helps build trust and confidence in your company. With so many options for your customer to choose from, this can be detrimental to winning them over.
Implementing a revenue enablement approach doesn’t have to mean undergoing a massive overhaul. Here are some simple ways to get started.
1. Make a Plan
Make a plan that includes who, what and how. Who needs to be involved, what will each role be responsible for and how will progress be measured are three starting questions to ask.
2. Create the Process
You may need to actually draw out the entire process to get a clear picture of what each step entails. Be sure to include every potential customer touchpoint and who will be involved at every stage.
3. Write It Down and Distribute
You’re spending all this time creating a new process. Be sure to document it in detail to keep employees on track and in line. It’s easy to revert back to old ways especially if they’re unable to find something to reference.
4. Organize and Streamline Your Technology
There are countless options for every task and chances are, your company is doubling up on more than a few. Typically, a revenue enablement stack includes a shared CRM and tools for sales engagement, content management, project management and customer success management as a minimum. But do they all work together effectively? Managing this flow of information from so many sources is also why functions like Revenue Operations have grown so much recently.
5. Ensure Alignment and Measure Outcomes
Ensure alignment and measure outcomes with regular check-ins. It’s important to establish a meeting cadence involving at least one member from each team involved to discuss feedback as well as what is and isn’t working based on consistent metrics and KPI’s.
If you’re ready to evolve your current strategy to keep up with customer preferences and demand, it may be time to consider how revenue enablement could benefit your business.