A primary function of sales enablement is to ensure that the sales organization succeeds. However, when I step back and think about what needs to exist at a company to really make a sales org succeed, I think about the foundation to build on, the interactions between other organizations and all of the details that need to come together. I refer to these details as “characteristics”, for lack of a better term.
The bulk of the work for sales enablement is to make sure all of those characteristics are defined and have clear ownership. My brief explanations of these are:
- Incentives to drive the desired behaviors to hit the goals
- Processes to guide the behaviors and activities per role and account relationship stage, which is clearly defined and aids, not block, the goal.
- Guidelines for customer “ownership” and hand-off from one role or team to the next
- Activities with the customer at all stages, which support the processes
- Measures to know if the organization, and each team and person are on track and the related data to measure the activates and the process, to help identify areas of improvement and to forecast future results
- Tools that enable customer interactions, manage the process, collect and report the data. All integrate with the CRM so there remains “one source of truth” for customer data and interactions
- Content to pitch, present, demo and share
- Skills to competently accomplish the activities, work through each process, and keep the customer happy
- Rhythm of business reviews, training plans, and coaching or mentorship meetings
- Training of sales skills, competencies, content and tools, which includes sales coaching and the skills managers need to be good coaches
- Methodologies, such as the Challenger Sale
- Certifications on the corporate pitch deck, different modules of it, and industry-specific topics
These characteristics are built on the foundation of the company:
- Culture of trust of each other, healthy competition between teams, agile and willing to change, fun and open, celebration of success, learning from failure, continuously improving (not being complacent) and a shared focus on the customer
- Mission that everyone can be excited about with clear goals to work towards
- Strategy that outlines the segmentation and territory plan that makes the goals achievable, which aligns teams to accounts by location, industry, size, systems, partners, etc.