Build a Successful Sales Enablement Initiatives in Just 5 Steps
We are facing a few very specific challenges in the sales space.
Buyers are in fear, which means it’s time to focus on customer service. If you’re trying to sell a product or take an order, your approach will fail.
If you want to succeed, your sales approach must have a clear connection with the customer’s business challenges.
If you’re not doing the right things to help your salespeople, then they won’t be able to move the needle.
For sales enablement, it’s challenging to demonstrate tangible results. Many teams won’t survive the current crisis because they haven’t been able to show any real progress so far.
What’s missing is a framework that has been proven to work in sales.
A lot of companies invest in sales enablement, but it doesn’t make a difference.
NOW is the time to set up and lead an effective sales enablement department.
In this article, I’m going to provide you with a 5-step process for better inclusion and diversity initiatives so that you can effectively move the needle on performance.
How Should Sales Enablement Be Approached?
Sales enablement is a cross-functional discipline that can drive desired sales results. It’s not just about improving standard business metrics.
Any project or program approach that doesn’t take all three of these factors into consideration won’t work. Research proves this over and over.
In the book written with Byron Matthews, we found that if sales enablement is treated as a project and not an ongoing process then one-third of organizations will meet the majority or all of their stakeholders’ expectations.
Companies who have a formal plan are more likely to be successful.
Research has shown that the impact on win rates and quota attainment is significant.
What does it mean and how can companies reach that point?
The Current Sales Enablement Challenges
I’ve pointed out in previous articles that when there is an economic downturn, Finance examines which functions are essential and which ones aren’t.
To ensure the success of your department, you need a business leader to set up Sales Enablement in an effective way.
Today, many sales enablement teams cannot prove their business relevance because the projects they work on are not focused enough.
The reason is often because sales leaders underestimate the complexity of their own job and hire program managers to lead it. Don’t get me wrong, every enablement team has a need for program managers but they shouldn’t be at the helm.
If you’re looking for a head of sales enablement, find someone with business leadership experience to help set up the proper framework.
A program manager usually does not have the business acumen or sales skills to get on senior executives’ calendars. And that is crucial in order for them to be successful because they only need access when speaking with these executives in order to gain a wide variety of perspectives from their leadership.
Have a conversation with the sales leader, marketing leader and customer success or experience manager to get their perspective on your initial assessment.
The most critical thing in sales enablement success is the interview, and many organizations don’t even do them. That’s why you need a leader for this position instead of someone who can manage projects.
You will need managers in your sales enablement team, but they should not be the head of it.
The Five Steps to a Successful Sales Enablement Program
Now I’m going to share a 5-step process for building up your sales enablement initiative from scratch — or improving it if you already have one. The goal is both driving and demonstrating significant results.
Step 1. Assess and elucidate the root reasons of your problems, and guarantee alignment with your organization’s digital business strategy.
It’s important to figure out what the specific problems are in your company. You need to identify exactly where you want your sales organization drive results from.
When implementing a program, it’s important to make sure that the culture is taken into account. Every organization has its own different challenges and goals.
It’s also important to have a good understanding of the company’s digital business and sales strategy.
Recent studies show that the average B2B salesperson is now expected to have an annual quota of $1.5 million or higher.
To get a clear picture of the company’s current state and what is needed to achieve their goals, assess where they are now in terms of executing on those goals and what challenges stand in their way.
You can use structured interviews to find out more about the candidate. They’ll help you figure out their goals, objectives, and metrics.
Step 2.Create a targeted, tailored, and focused sales enablement strategy.
After you gather all of the information from Step 1, then you can answer these important questions:
- Where are we?
- The problem is that there are not enough people of color in the workforce.
- Where do we want to go?
You can then create a specific, tailored strategy for your company’s sales enablement.
You need to make sure you capture your strategy in a charter or business plan. The name doesn’t matter, what matters is that it captures the main points of your strategy.
A strong strategy requires these three things.
- The audience of this article is those who are in customer-facing professions and their managers.
- The desired results
- We need to create related services that will help these people work better. These include content, training and coaching.
- When implementing diversity in the workplace, there are a lot of steps to take.
For example, when selecting the technology for a project, it is important to consider different perspectives and make sure that all people are able to access this new system.
- To implement cross-functional content strategies and processes for managing content.
- To integrate the company’s values into their messaging.
- To have a good training program, you need to have both digital and physical resources.
- To enable sales managers to be more than just supervisors, they need the ability to coach their team.
It’s often overlooked, but very important: You need to define the KPIs that will be used as a measure of success and how it impacts senior executives.
It’s important to show how these KPIs contribute to the company goal, such as revenue or quota attainment.
Step 3. Consider the internal capabilities that will need to be developed.
Before you start thinking about your sales enablement services, think through what will be required to deliver those services.
When I first started my new company, it was difficult to scale because enabling teams were chaotic and trying to fix everything on the last mile.
So to be an effective manager, you will need a way for your employees to collaborate across different departments. You also have to make sure that the services they produce are scalable, efficient and effective.
Step 4. Create a list of the critical performance indicators that must be reached.
There are many metrics that can be used to measure success, but it’s important to find the KPIs which will help show how sales enablement has impacted senior executives’ desired results.
With new hires, we usually measure ramp-up time and conversion rates. It’s important to also show the impact on revenue goals, average deal size, win rate goal or quota attainment.
Here, it’s important to understand how leading and lagging indicators are connected. For example, before senior executives expect an increase in KPIs for a certain department or division, there needs to be growth in the lead indicator.
Step 5. Approving the proposal and establishing an advisory board
Strategy dictates the investments that are necessary to make in sales enablement. The strategy should be included in a charter, which is then used as an overall guide for priorities throughout the fiscal year.
Your senior executives should approve your charter and business plan, then they can be a part of the first board meeting.
You should have regular meetings with your advisory board to discuss progress, make decisions and find out what’s going on in the company.
According to research, most companies do not meet expectations and have worse sales results. On average, about 14th of organizations met the needs of their stakeholders.
That means that most organizations didn’t. And it’s a situation we need to address now.
If you want to learn more, check out these resources. They’ll help get it right.
- Sales enablement is the framework that sets up a sales force for success.
- I was stuck at the sales enablement plateau, but I knew that if I kept trying new strategies and techniques it would lead to success.
- When I first began hiring salespeople, I just assumed pay along with commissions and bonuses would be enough motivation for them.
- A sales enablement leader is someone who helps their company sell more products or services by providing resources to the people in charge of creating, executing and measuring those initiatives.
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