Why you need a sales enablement charter and how to get there: Part 2

Last week, I discussed why a sales enablement charter is such a critical element for sales enablement success, and why only few organizations, 9.2% to be precise, run their enablement practice based on a formal approach with a charter (which is just another word for a business plan).

This small group achieved 19.2% better win rates for forecasted deals, which is a performance impact we observe year after year. Let’s quickly recap why a strategic and formal, charter-based approach makes such a difference:

  • In the case of a formal approach with a charter, the main reason for the significant performance increase is that sales enablement takes a strategic and tailored approach to support the sales strategy, to address its specific challenges and to contribute to the success of the organization’s strategic initiatives.
  • At the other end of the spectrum is the random, ad hoc and project-driven approach to sales enablement that’s disconnected from the sales strategy and is focused on doing “things” such as running programs, providing content, etc. Projects are measured by budget, time and quality (job done, good participant feedback), but not by the performance impact of the project’s outcome. And those organizations don’t even achieve average sales performance. Instead, they ended up with win rates that were 9.1% worse than the study’s average win rate for forecast deals of 49.5%

That’s why we last week we discussed the most critical component of your enablement charter, the vision, mission part first. Today, let’s discuss the other areas that need to be covered in your charter.

Determine your sales enablement objectives and the related metrics:
Defining objectives and metrics allows you to answer two key questions: “Specifically, what will we try to achieve?” and “How do we measure success?”First, your objectives need to be specific, directly derived from your vision and mission. As an example, if you have to reduce the ramp-up time to full productivity for new hires, define a percentage, or how many weeks or months you want to reduce it. If you have to improve your customer relationship level to get to your vision, define the desired level and how you will measure it. If you have to increase your available selling time, define a percentage or a number of hours. Ideally, you might want to focus on both leading and lagging KPIs. An example for leading indicators could be conversion rates from lead to opportunity, measured in terms of value, volume and velocity. Just make sure that every goal is connected to related metrics.

Define your sales enablement audience and the related regions or business units:
Defining your enablement customers allows you to answer the question, “Which roles, regions, etc., will be served?”
If you are beginning to structure your enablement efforts, you might be focused on sales roles only. That’s fine for now; it only needs to be clearly stated to ensure that expectations are managed. If your enablement efforts are already more mature and you work with your sales managers as well, state it. If your audience doesn’t include the entire organization, but, for instance, a pilot, specific sales teams or only the channel, be specific in your charter.
If you are responsible for a certain region, it’s recommended to have a global charter that is broken down to a regional level to ensure that regional challenges, needs and requirements are addressed adequately.

Roadmap part 1 – Build sales enablement capabilities step by step:
This is all about the inner workings of your sales enablement function. It’s necessary work that has to be done to ensure sales enablement’s success. Therefore, it’s important to capture it here, to secure resources, budget and awareness. One area should address your governance model. Therefore, implement an advisory board to keep your senior executive sponsors informed and engaged. Another area is to develop your sales enablement framework (take our sales enablement clarity model as a starting point) that fits into your organization’s frameworks and strategy models. Another area is to plan time for assessing existing enablement services across the organization, analyze the findings and take the next required actions. Also important for your ongoing success, formalize your cross-functional collaboration and implement an enablement production process to ensure consistency, effectiveness and scalability.

Roadmap part 2 – Define enablement services to be provided:
This is the area most people focus on only, without ensuring that the necessary foundation gest established as well. Based on the organization’s strategy, sales strategy, sales initiatives and identified challenges, provide the relevant enablement services for the most important selling situations. These services will include, for instance, relevant sales content, internal enablement content assets, sales skills and methodology training, product and customer’s path training, and value messaging. If possible, always ensure that you also offer the related coaching services for sales managers to ensure adoption and reinforcement. For this area of the charter, there are many blog posts available here on our blog. Just search for content, training, coaching, value messaging and you will find lots of information.

Now, after the second part of this series regarding the need of a sales enablement charter, are you convinced that it pays to go through this process to implement a sales enablement charter? If yes, let me know, because the number next year should be significantly bigger than 9.2%. If not, let me know too, and let me know why.

If you haven’t already, have a look at our new book Sales Enablement – A Master Framework to Engage, Equip and Empower a World-Class Sales Force. Lots of “how to” information to address the challenges mentioned here.

Questions for you:

  • Do you have a sales enablement charter, or a business plan?
  • If yes, how did you develop your charter?
  • What areas are most critical from your perspective?
  • Who are your sales enablement executive sponsors?</li

 

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