What is Revenue Enablement?

Revenue enablement is a process that empowers every customer-facing team—from marketing, to inside sales, account executives, and customer success—to maximize revenue at every stage of the customer journey.

It’s a holistic organizational approach that gives every team—not just sales—the right training, coaching, and content to engage and support leads, prospects, and current customers at every opportunity.

When this approach is deployed across every customer interaction, it increases sales, renewals, referrals, and upsells to continually drive revenue for your business.

It’s a more comprehensive, 360-degree view of enablement necessitated by changes in B2B sales. B2B buyers now expect the same level of consistency and continuity at every stage of the sales process that they receive when buying consumer products.

From the first time a buyer visits a company website and downloads an eBook to a sales rep’s follow-up call through to purchase and handoff to customer success—prospects form an opinion of your company that influences how likely they are to buy from you. Each touchpoint has taken on greater importance. It’s up to companies to ensure that each step of the process is a positive experience.

Sales is no longer just about closing a deal. Every role that touches the customer journey contributes to revenue through sales, upsells, cross-sells, and renewals.

Revenue Enablement vs. Sales Enablement

Revenue enablement differs from sales enablement in scope and focus. At its core, sales enablement is the ongoing process of maximizing revenue per rep, by ensuring sellers convey the right concept using the right content throughout each stage of the buying process.

The essentials of sales enablement include content, skills training, messaging, product knowledge, coaching, and tools to effectively sell your product or service. These tactics must be integrated, driven by a unified strategy, and enabled by sales enablement technology.

Revenue enablement is an alternative that seeks to empower a wider range of roles to help improve every single customer interaction. The fundamental difference is a focus on customers. The customer experience is at the center of all activity.

Revenue enablement seeks to generate more revenue by optimizing every customer interaction with your organization. It encompasses sales enablement capabilities, as well as cross-organization capabilities, to deliver a comprehensive framework for revenue generation.

The role of sales enablement teams is expanding. This function now not only supports sales reps but also buyer-facing roles such as customer success, channel sellers, sales engineers, and product marketers. These roles are directly or indirectly part of a company’s revenue-generating function—the go-to-market teams responsible for revenue growth.

Businesses are starting to recognize the term “revenue enablement” to align the efforts, processes, and goals of these buyer- and customer-facing employees. The term “revenue enablement” has grown in popularity as analysts recognize the influence of each customer-facing role and companies discover the significance of every customer touchpoint for generating revenue.

Improving customer satisfaction is a long-term and complex initiative. But when overall customer satisfaction improves, companies are able to drive more consistent, predictable revenue streams.

How Does Strategic Revenue Enablement Work?

Revenue enablement supports broad organizational revenue goals with a range of processes. A successful revenue enablement approach has four key elements.

1. Buyer Journey Mapping

The first element is understanding the buyer journey. This involves identifying all of the ways prospective buyers engage with your company as they move through the sales funnel from awareness to consideration to purchase to renewal.

Mapping this journey includes touchpoints from the top to the bottom of the funnel—how buyers engage with you at each stage.

  1. Find out about your company (branding and advertising, outbound sales calls)
  2. Learn about your products and services (website visits, sales presentations)
  3. Evaluate your product (trials, demos)
  4. Negotiate (RFPs)
  5. Purchase (contracts)
  6. Implement (customer success handoff, onboarding, training)
  7. Renew (customer success support)

2. Cohesive Customer Experience

Companies must work hard to overcome a siloed approach to revenue enablement. Instead of thinking of customer experience as defined by your company’s internal departments, structure, and processes, you must start with an outside-in approach. What does a single customer experience look like?

Consider the seven steps above. What kind of experience do customers have every time they interact with your company? Does it feel disjointed or unified? Have you made it easy for the buyer to progress from one stage to the next?

From the look of your materials to the ease of getting questions answered, the customer must feel they are working with one coherent entity that is focused on their success.

3. Touchpoint and Team Alignment

Once you have identified the touchpoints along the buyer journey and worked to create a cohesive customer experience, the next step is to align teams to facilitate communication and collaboration and align every touchpoint with a department—an owner responsible for customer experience at that point.

Revenue enablement needs to encompass every department that interacts with a customer, including finance, legal, and account management, as well as marketing, sales, and customer success.

Success depends on deploying software, tools, and training to give team members the right support and content they need to meet the customer’s needs at a particular stage.

For example, the marketing team will need the most current product information to develop messaging that engages buyers at the top of the funnel. Sales enablement will need to train sales on this messaging. Customer success will need product information to ensure customers get the most value from your product or service.

4. Holistic Metrics and Results

Revenue enablement metrics and results differ from those typically tracked by sales enablement. Traditional metrics are sales-focused: deals closed, time to close, and lead-to-sale ratio. Revenue enablement, however, measures impact across the business with a more holistic view.

Revenue enablement metrics track all types of customer-focused activities that lead to revenue.

These include customer lifetime value, customer satisfaction scores, and retention rates. The metrics give insight into the success of customer onboarding that supports cross-sell and upsell opportunities, retention, and renewals.

This holistic approach to metrics recognizes that revenue is influenced by a number of different factors. It takes into account traditional sales metrics, as well as those that track and measure impact across the organization—referral rates, upsells, and cross-sells.

What Are the Advantages of Revenue Enablement?

Businesses should consider implementing a revenue enablement strategy to acquire and maintain customers more efficiently and maximize revenue at each stage of a customer’s journey.

Revenue enablement can have a significant impact on a company’s growth and profitability. It offers several advantages for both buyers and sellers.

First, revenue enablement can reduce expenses. It can cost five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, according to Forbes. Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%, according to Bain & Company.

Second, it can simplify the sales process and provide buyers and sellers with a more streamlined and seamless experience.

Third, revenue enablement connects sales enablement and customer retention across the company and leverages shared technology, tools, data, and analytics to reduce the complexity of processes from the top to the bottom of the sales funnel, saving time, money, and effort.

Fourth, organizations that adopt revenue enablement can generate more income from existing customers without dramatically increasing the number of new customers, maximizing the ROI from every initiative.

Revenue Enablement Best Practices

Companies today operate in a buyers’ world, and selling is much more difficult than it was even 10 years ago. Markets have shifted from the time when B2B buyers had a smaller selection of products and fewer ways to learn about them. They relied on in-person meetings and a lengthy discovery process to evaluate and purchase.

In many industries, there were a few big, trusted players who dominated the space. Prospects didn’t have many alternatives, and sellers could pick and choose their leads.

But with the arrival of the internet, new companies disrupted markets and there is competition in industries that had been stable for decades. Today, buyers can discover and compare products without ever meeting with a sales representative. It’s more difficult to stand out or differentiate your product.

Buyers now are barraged with sales messages from companies promoting similar product lines. While more choice is great for customers, it means organizations have to put much more effort into making every sale.

They’re competing with dozens of other companies, if not more, and trying to reach customers whose bandwidth for new information is rapidly shrinking. When B2B buyers compare multiple suppliers, the amount of time they spend with any one sales rep may be only 5% or 6%, according to Gartner.

Thriving in an ultra-competitive space takes focus and discipline, driven by a modern revenue enablement approach. Here are four best practices to equip buyer-facing roles with the learning, coaching, and content they need to succeed.

1. Tailor Your Enablement to the Buyer’s Journey

Identify all of the ways that prospective buyers engage with your company as they move through the sales funnel from awareness to consideration to purchase to renewal.

Once you have mapped this journey from the top to the bottom of the funnel—how buyers engage with you at each stage—you can define the internal team that is responsible for each touchpoint and optimize that interaction.

Revenue enablement must support each team with the specific training, content, and tools that will allow them to be most effective and efficient.

2. Create Stage-Specific Content

From the look of your materials to the ease of getting questions answered, the customer must feel they are working with one coherent entity that is focused on their success.

Take a holistic look at each interaction with your company—from initial emails to event and webinar invitations to sales decks to customer success materials. At a minimum, ensure that brand standards for fonts, colors, and logos are being met every step of the way for every type of content.

Next, audit your materials. Identify missing assets, update those that are out of date, and create new training materials and external collateral that will nurture the customer along the journey and motivate them to move forward from one state to the next. This will allow you to create the most consistent customer experience from start to finish.

3. Align Teams

The third revenue enablement best practice is to facilitate communication and collaboration between teams and align every touchpoint with a department.

Successful enablement will depend on how well internal teams are aligned around processes, metrics, and goals. The point at which each buyer is “handed off” to the next team on the journey is a moment of risk. Each has potential for error, discontinuity, or miscommunication during which the buyer will not feel supported or engaged.

It’s at these “weak links” that a customer may opt out, choosing not purchase, renew, or refer. All the resources and efforts invested in that buyer up until that time will have been wasted.

4. Rely on Data, Not Instinct

The final revenue enablement best practice is defining methods for measuring outcomes and adoption. Revenue enablement metrics track all types of customer-focused activities that lead to revenue.

If this is a new approach for your organization, you must clearly identify how the organization will measure enablement efforts. Measurement across agreed-upon metrics will reveal areas of strength and weaknesses, allowing the organization to increase or decrease resources to achieve a high ROI.

For example, measure buyer engagement and sales effectiveness with analytics tied to business outcomes using quantitative and qualitative data from the point of sale. Or validate the effectiveness of content and messaging to understand the revenue impact of content with easy-to-understand analytics and dashboards.

When you understand prospect engagement patterns across each point of interaction, you can use that information to deliver holistic improvement, inform forecasts, and iterate your revenue enablement strategy and tactics to drive significant results.

Allego Enablement Solutions for Today’s Hybrid Sales Teams

At Allego, we believe the best approach to enablement is one that appeals to both your sales team and your prospective customers. Creating a great experience for both groups is critical to producing the business outcome you’re looking for.

You need to win over your sellers with enablement that is as agile as they are and benefits them in the flow of their daily work. Don’t inflict sales enablement on your reps; inspire them instead.

At the same time, buyers want to work with sellers who know how to make the sales process relevant to them and their needs, while still giving them the independence they crave to navigate the buying journey on their own.

Allego’s AI-powered solutions are built for the way today’s sellers and buyers work. Empower hybrid teams with the skills, knowledge, and content they need to drive results anywhere, anytime.

Equip Sellers with Content
Create, manage, and activate sales content with context for greater effectiveness through marketing and sales collaboration.

Train and Coach Sellers
Foster engagement, behavior change, and retention with virtual programs that shorten ramp time and produce business value.

Connect Sellers & Buyers
Engage buyers virtually at every stage of the sales process with interactive, personalized experiences and content.

Enable Company-Wide Learning
Drive proficiency and productivity with the skills, knowledge, and content needed to win.

Sales Enablement eBook

The Complete Guide to Sales Enablement ROI

To learn more about how enablement can drive buyer and seller engagement, download your copy of The Complete Guide to Sales Enablement ROI.

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