January 18, 2017

2 Keys to Effective Sales Teams: Sales Training and Sales Enablement

Written by Awais Ahsan

Sales Training Sales Enablement.png

According to Manpower’s 10th annual talent shortage survey, a sales person is the fourth hardest role to fill in an organization. Ask any sales manager and they will tell you that of all sales roles, inside sales teams are especially difficult to staff. Inside sales representatives typically need significant sales training and a lot of high quality sales enablement tools to do their job well, feel successful, and therefore commit long term to the role. While sales positions in general are hard to fill, it does not help the situation that inside sales reps are also expensive to source.

Depaul University reports that it costs $104,000 to replace a sales development rep.

While sales training and sales enablement play an outside role in an inside sales rep’s job satisfaction, there are, of course, a few things a sales manager must do early in the hiring process to ensure a top-rated team.

Before sales training and sales enablement can produce their benefits, sales managers must find and secure talented, hard-working and motivated employees. To do that, sales manager should:

Focus on Fit

Does the prospect fit with the company culture? Does he or she show a willingness to learn, a drive to succeed in a quota-based system, and the wherewithal to uncover opportunities? These are important questions a sales manager must consider in the hiring process.

Incentivize Appropriately

Further, to hire and retain the best and the brightest inside sales people in a hyper competitive market, sales managers must ensure they are incentivizing appropriately. Sales managers should check industry standards regularly to make sure they are offering the right salary, bonus and commission to keep inside sales reps in their roles.

Once a sales manager has hired a good team, the next most important step is to keep that team successful and motivated. That’s where cutting edge sales training and top-flight sales enablement tools come in.

Sales Training With the Inside Sales Rep in Mind

Every role in an organization is unique and requires their own unique training. Just as you would not train an IT help desk associate in the same way you train a software engineer, you should not train an inside sales rep with the same information as a  sales account executive.

Effective inside sales training includes:

  • Training in phone-based selling and the ability to ask for a meeting
  • Training in prospecting, uncovering and nurturing sales leads
  • Sales coaching and peer mentoring to share best practices and strategies for effective sales prospecting

While sales training helps the inside sales rep become more comfortable and autonomous in their prospecting and selling, strong sales enablement tools helps inside sales reps increase success rates, turn cold calls into warm leads and nurture prospect. In turn this makes inside sales reps more likely to stay motivated within their roles, and commit to the company long term.

Effective sales enablement tools for inside sales teams include:

  • Secure content delivery solutions that allow inside sales reps to know exactly when a prospect has open, shared or edited a piece of content, and what part of the content interested them the most.
  • Strong analytics to understand which sales enablement content works best with which types of prospects and at what point in the prospecting cycle.   
  • The right content that is always relevant, up-to-date and delivered in a wide variety of media, including secure enterprise video, to interest the widest variety of prospects.


Awais Ahsan

Awais is Director of Marketing at Content Raven. Having taught math for 10 years, he is passionate about Education, Training, & Technology. Awais holds his MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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