This post originally appeared on the Group, where InsideView regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology for sales organizations.
Companies of all sizes that focus on their sales teams have to put effort in building them into superstars. If the sales people are going to be unleashed into the world to follow up on leads, generate interest in your product/service they need some external efforts by the sales leadership to succeed. In order to work with prospects, move them through a buying cycle, and close deals, they need some training and enablement. I think the concepts of sales training and sales enablement are two sides of the same coin designed to make sales people much better than they are.[tweetmeme source= “insideview” only_single=false]

Sales Training

Training should be seen as a map or method of engaging with sales people on the art of sales. Answering questions like “How do you position the product?” or “What trigger events should you be looking for?”. Training is something that should help sales people become better sales people in a general sense. These skills will be what helps them in the short and long term with identifying opportunities and getting to decision makers. Most of this can be given to the sales teams by your own sales leadership and even supplemented by specific training classes offered by companies like Miller Heiman or Huthwaite. Teaching sales people how to do their jobs better falls within the sales training bucket for example InsideView sales went through a training recently by Vorsight designed around sales prospecting.

Sales Rep confidence and competency in delivering your message in a way that gets the customer to care enough to do something different… and then choose you… is the ultimate goal of Sales Enablement. Training is absolutely critical to making this a reality in the field. – Tim Riesterer of Corporate Visions

Sales Enablement

Part of a successful sales enablement process is training but enablement should be a deeper dive. A sales enablement process should give sales people tools, resources and technology needed to complete their jobs. I covered the best technologies for a sales team earlier. Sales enablement should involve more than just the sales team and should bring in resources from marketing, support and other departments that could produce information or content for the sales teams. I would argue that focusing on sales enablement is much more important than just a sales training because giving sales people the ability to sell weighs more than just teaching them to sell. A true sales enablement plan leaves sales teams with a map, compass and marching orders to drive revenue. Enabled sales people are highly successful compared to a sales person that just knows the landscape and is told to go find deals. I guess you could say that SalesView is a component of a great sales enablement plan.

The ‘tools’ bucket is potentially the most difficult because it ranges from collateral to calculators to case studies – and for each business/buyer there is a different mix of tools that will be the most compelling content. – Kirsten Knip of HubSpot

As I said earlier, they are two sides of the same coin and real sales enablement must have a training component in order to be successful. Management needs to make sure that sales training is implemented and the sales leadership should put the pieces in place that lets the sales teams feel enabled and empowered to do their jobs.

Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.