How Do You Set Up Your Sales Enablement Team For Success?
May 23 2019
If you are in a sales enablement role, you probably provide a lot of enablement services for your target audiences. Those services likely include various training services, customer-facing and internal content, some sales coaching and various sales tools.
How do you make sure that the production of your enablement services ensures quality, efficiency and scalability? (click to tweet)
How do you feel when facing a deadline for your new onboarding program or product launch? Do you have all of your ducks in a row? Does everyone involved know what to do and when? Do they know their roles and responsibilities along the process of creating, say, a new playbook or value messaging training service? Are all of the steps that have to be taken based on some sort of enablement production process everyone is following?
Or do you feel nervous, spending most of your time convincing your peers in other functions that your enablement tasks are top priority and have to be done in between to meet the deadline?
Let’s look at some data from our 4th Annual Sales Enablement Study:
- Only 25% of organizations have some sort of production process for their sales enablement services in place. (click to tweet)
- Only 38.9% of organizations have their cross-functional collaboration efforts formalized, which means they have at least defined the responsible roles per sales enablement service type. (click to tweet)
Most enablement leaders possess the skills to “get things done,” and they are often admired for that. If you thrive on being the master of chaos and enjoy reinventing the wheel every time, I get that. But I have to tell you that those ad hoc approaches are not in the best interest of your role and your organization’s sales performance, because how you approach cross-functional collaboration and the production of your enablement services does matter.
Organizations that follow a formal production process for their enablement services ensure more consistency, better quality, better scalability – and better results. (click to tweet)
They set themselves up for better performance. Again, citing results from our 4th Annual Sales Enablement Study:
- The 25% of organizations that follow some sort of formal production process achieve win rates for forecast deals of 54.5%, which is 5 points better than the study’s average of 49.5%. (click to tweet)
- The 27.2% of organizations that produce their enablement services in an ad hoc manner, without any process in place, must not be underestimated: win rates were 43.5%, which is 6 points below the study’s average. (click to tweet)
We saw similar results regarding a formalized collaboration approach. Organizations that define the responsible and accountable roles for each sales enablement service show slightly better productivity. Ideally, they also have defined what roles should be consulted or informed.
How do you get better with the “inner workings” of sales enablement, with a collaboration model and a production process?
Often, these inner workings are not considered at all, simply because they are not visible. And because they are not visible, people assume that they don’t matter. But as the data shows, that assumption couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s not enough that enablement teams are proud to get everything done, in whatever way and with lots of effort. Imagine that the leadership team acquires a new company or changes the strategic direction in a significant way, and the enablement team is forced to scale its services. Then, the ad hoc model is about to crash, and stakeholders’ expectations cannot be met. But an implemented production process connected to a formalized collaboration model can scale and ensure the expected consistency and quality.
Here are some ideas on where to start with the inner workings of sales enablement:
- Prerequisite: Make an inventory of your enablement services. Assess what exists and where, and define enablement service types such as white paper, playbook or case study for content and skills training, value messaging training, etc. for training services.
- Collaboration: Define roles per enablement type. Using the orchestrating role of sales enablement, invite your peers from contributing functions such as product management, marketing, sales operations, etc. to discuss who is responsible, who is accountable per enablement type, and what roles need to be consulted and informed. As an example, marketing is accountable and responsible for the content type “reference,” the account executive is probably the role to be consulted, and sales enablement and legal are the roles to be informed.
- Process: Define the steps from definition to tracking results. Such a process does not need to be complicated. It’s about getting everyone on the same page re: phases that begin with defining and designing the enablement services, then it’s about creating and localizing it, then it’s about providing and publishing it, and then it’s about tracking and measuring the impact.
- Connect the dots between collaboration model and process. Now it’s only a final step to connect the collaboration model to the production process, and the foundation for an efficient, consistent and scalable production of enablement services is established.
On another note, because research also needs study participants, we just launched the survey of our 5th Annual Sales Enablement Study. We’d appreciate you taking 15 minutes to participate in this survey so that we can continue to help you! Click here to get started!
What’s in it for you? You will be among the first to receive the full report, before it is open market; you can download a members-only research asset right after completing the survey; and you also are invited to become a member of our research community.
Questions for you:
- How do you plan the production of enablement services?
- Do you have an enablement production process in place?
- Would you be able to scale the production of your enablement services tomorrow?
If not, why not?
Related blog posts: