A week ago I received a reply to a recent article I wrote. The premise of the note was around the optimal Sales Enablement Structure. Here is an excerpt:
“I was appointed Head of Sales Training and Processes last February. I’ve been in the process of starting up this important role within the sales organization… I believe that an ideal structure is key to support this new role. The time has come to think about this. Do you have any suggestions?”
The answer is ‘yes’. I do have a suggestion on how to approach the structure. Continue reading for further detail.
Afterwards open up Page 49 and 61 here. There you will find a step-by-step approach to answering this question.
So let’s dive into answering the question above. “What is the optimal structure for a Sales Enablement team?”
One quick note before doing so. There is no “one-size-fits-all” Sales Enablement structure. The team has to be aligned with Sales, Marketing and Product. That is step #1.
Discussing the process to structuring the team is first order of business. Taking this approach will let everyone formulate an answer best suited for their organization. That is what is done here.
Structuring the Sales Enablement Team – 3 Step Process
Step #1 – Review the Sales, Marketing and Product Strategy
The first step is to review the Sales, Marketing and Product strategies. Why? Because it is Sales Enablement’s job to make these departments more effective. This cannot be achieved without acknowledging their strategies. Or aligning resources accordingly. Skipping this step will lead to incorrect roles being created in Sales Enablement. Ultimately, Sales Enablement helps execute these strategies through alignment.
Step #2 – Align Sales Enablement to Strategies
Once the strategies are clear, it is about aligning Sales Enablement. Being aligned is done across multiple dimensions:
- Initiatives – the “plays,” or projects, Sales Enablement is running.
- Processes – the approach, or methodology, being taken to run these plays.
- Modalities – the modes, or channels, being used to run the plays.
- Tactics – the daily activities being performing relative to the plays.
- Resources – the people executing the plays.
An example of the above is a Sales Process Certification Program. The play is the Certification Program. The process is a 3 step approach to go from “beginner” to “expert.” The modalities include a mix of 1-on-1 coaching sessions and knowledge management tools. The tactics range from sitting with the Sales team, conducting training to building content. And the resource dedicated to the program is the Sales Training Manager.
With that context, it’s now about the people needed to execute those plays.
Step #3 – Determine Resources Required
How do you figure out how many people are needed in Sales Enablement?
To determine this, answering these 3 questions are key:
- How many people are involved?
- What is the mode being used?
- How frequent are the interactions?
These will lead you to an answer.
To illustrate, let’s compare two example plays – a Global Sales Kickoff Event and Sales Manager Coaching. The SKO example is a “one-to-many” event. While many people are being trained, its one-time nature requires fewer resources. The Coaching example is a continuous 1-on-1 interaction with many individuals. To make it scalable, multiple resources are going to be needed.
Comparing the above, it’s clear people, mode and frequency are essential when determining resources.
So, what is the optimal Sales Enablement structure for your organization? Have you already defined the team and roles for next year? Or is the role heading for a year of ambiguity on what it should be doing?
If ambiguity is on your horizon, I’d recommend signing up for our workshop. It’s a free 90 minute session with one of our Sales Strategy Experts. They’ll walk you through the process to help you answer this question.
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