Enablement Leaders: The Payment For The Pain

“Where there is less pain, there is also less pay.”
Auliq Ice

If you follow our research, then you already know that sales force enablement is a strategic, complex, cross-functional discipline to drive sales results. And so is the role of the enablement leader: multifaceted, complex, cross-functional, and always challenging because sales performance and sales transformation are both on sales force enablement’s goal list.

Enablement leaders have a complex role that has to address structural issues

Furthermore, the role of the enablement leader is not designed to always make friends. Instead, the more strategic, holistic, and orchestrating sales force enablement is set up, the more structural challenges have to be addressed.

There are content repositories, as an example, to be consolidated. Most organizations have too many, so that salespeople don’t use a single one. Consolidating those various sales content repositories down to one platform, ideally within the CRM, is just one example of how the enablement leader touches other people’s responsibilities, resources, and the way they have worked so far.

Another example is the need to align product training and sales content, at least on a value messaging level. Also, this challenge touches each involved function at the core of how they have worked so far.

And last, but not least, because it is an essential foundation: aligning all enablement services along the customer’s journey, instead of aligning internal departments to each other, is a game-changing exercise. To succeed, it requires a compelling change story, lots of time, and even more patience. Is it hard? Difficult? Expensive? Yes, yes, and yes. Is there any alternative? No.

The sales force enablement leader’s role is challenging and often painful: How well are they compensated?

income enablement leaderLet’s look at some data, based on our 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study.

Global overview across regions and industries and company sizes: One-third (36.1%) of the global participants earn less than $100K. One-quarter (24.4%) earn between $100K and $150K, 22.8% earn between $150K and $200K, and the last chunk of 16.7% make more than $200K. This is interesting data; it’s the first time we have asked this question. The role has many facets many compensation plans.

The impact of company size on the sales enablement leader’s compensation

Organizations with annual revenues above $1B pay differently, as is to be expected. In larger organizations, sales force enablement is set up more strategically, has an overall orchestrating character, and is perceived as a valid contributor to overall performance. And that’s represented in the sales force enablement leader’s compensation.

In these billion-dollar companies, more than 60% of enablement leaders earn between $150K and more than $200K. Across all company sizes that amount is only paid to 39.5%. The compensation range between $150K and $175K shows the biggest difference: almost one-third here (29.3%) compared to 12.8% across all company sizes. The percentage of study participants who earn between $100K and $150K is, at 26.8%, very similar to the comparable value across all company sizes (24.4%).

The compensation structure is also very different in smaller organizations: In small organizations with less than $50K in revenues, the majority (55.7%) pay less than $100K, and another 22.8% pay between $1500K and $150K.

For ambitious sales enablement leaders, the size of the organization they work for does matter. And for those who are not yet paid as much as they would like, we strongly recommend these five steps to create significant and measurable sales results:

Stay tuned! We will soon talk more about the skill profiles of sales force enablement leaders!

Questions for you:

  • How does your organization approach compensation for sales force enablement leaders?
  • How are sales enablement team members compensated?
  • How is sales enablement success reflected in the enablement leader’s compensation?

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