Revenue enablement is a customer-centric discipline that covers the entire buyer journey, from awareness of a specific business problem through solution discovery, purchase, deployment and beyond. It leverages the key portions of Sales Enablement (communications, training, and coaching) and extends it to the entire go-to-market organization.
Revenue enablement, however, goes one step further, extending the powerful aspects of Sales enablement to focus on collaboration and alignment, process improvement and data-informed decision-making.
As with most process improvements, revenue enablement requires adoption of new practices and skills that need content creation and training. For many practitioners, and for many enablement teams, this is the most challenging aspect. However, document automation, provides an easy and effective option for organizations looking to better align their resources and focus on successful revenue enablement.
Document automation is the process and workflow through which content is dynamically generated from pieces of information – content and data- and spread throughout an enterprise. When implemented correctly, document automation can reduce costs and risks and increase profitability within a business. This method for automating documents – as well as processes – and can play a crucial role in revenue enablement.
Across businesses in various industries, time is wasted all the time on manual tasks that should be automated. For example, a Marketing team at a Financial Services firm spent an average of one month each quarter creating and updating hundreds of slides for over ten different investment strategies.
A group of a dozen people needed support locating slides to create their custom presentations for clients and prospects. To accomplish this they used a workflow, managed via email and Microsoft Excel, supported compliance approvals. The whole process worked, but it wasn’t efficient. This is the prime example of where revenue enablement, leveraging document automation, has the potential to lead to greater process transparency and improvement, cost savings, and higher customer experiences.
While this financial services firm was clear about the high-level aspects of the process they used, but they were not as clear on all the details. To automate a process, you must be able to define it at a detailed level, not a broad stroke description. How can this be done? Sit with every person involved in the process and ask each of them:
- What information/content do they provide, use, or receive, as part of the process?
- Does the process run automatically, or do they have to set reminders, run through manual steps, and so forth?
- What are the exact steps they run for their portion of the process?
- How often are follow-up conversations required?
- Is the process, or any portion of it, automated?
As these conversations take place, it is important to document everything in as much detail as possible. In this documentation, including all steps, time spent running through these steps, and any additional cost beyond just the hours spent.
As steps became clear, the financial services firm was able to identify areas of redundancy and inefficiency as well as process gaps. This analysis led to optimizing the manual processes that they had been using and provided a more straightforward approach for automation. To replicate this process, it is best to pay special attention to:
- Is everyone clear as to why this process matters, how it impacts the business, the criticality of doing it at all?
- Is the right information being fed into the process? Is there a better way to access the data?
- Are the wrong steps being followed? Are the wrong conclusions being drawn?
- Are there better ways to share the data?
There are often many areas for improvement that will result in time savings and data accuracy.
Finally, we were able to automate the entire workflow, saving a lot of time for the business. This same firm was able to reduce the time spent by Marketing each quarter by one half and baked compliance into the process.
That’s right: with document automation in revenue enablement, it was able to cut two weeks per quarter, across 12 people, or 96 person weeks each year of effort, nearly saving the cost of 1.5 headcounts to support this content creation. The business was also able to share the most up-to-date, legally approved, and compliant content every time. Depending on the processes, you may be able to leverage RPA tools like Workato, more complex workflow and process automation platforms like Nintex, or document automation platforms like XINN.
So, what is the idea platform for this process? It is dependent upon your exact infrastructure, available budgets, and long-term needs. However, the investment is worthwhile if you are serious about driving more business through your pipeline, better support existing customers, and freeing up your resources to work on more critical tasks.
As noted previously, revenue enablement is a customer-centric discipline that covers the entire buyer journey; from awareness of a specific business problem through solution discovery, purchase, deployment, and beyond. Businesses have dozens, if not hundreds, of processes that occur across this journey, but luckily through leveraging document and process automation, the can streamline efforts, better engage employees, and deliver improved experiences to customers.