Sales Enablement Leaders have two choices.
Option #1 is to be a proactive, strategic resource. This means running initiatives which are aligned to the sales and marketing strategy. Those initiatives make the sales force more effective.
Option #2 is to be a reactive, tactical resource. This means performing “tasks” which are separate from the sales and marketing strategy. They are focused on efficiency and not part of Sales Enablement’s responsibilities.
Despite the difference, Sales Enablement Leaders are choosing (being assigned) Option #2. This happens because there is ambiguity surrounding the initiatives which Sales Enablement owns. That ambiguity is replaced with “tasks” outside Sales Enablement’s forte. This results in Sales Enablement doing tasks which they should not be doing. To access a list of emerging sales enablement best practices, download our workbook and flip to the Sales Enablement phase on pages 319 – 322 of the PDF workbook.
So how do you decide what Sales Enablement should be doing? Download the Sales Enablement Diagnostic Toolkit to find out. The toolkit will help you:
- Be a strategic Sales Enablement Leader
- Uncover gaps in the sale team’s effectiveness
- Prioritize key Sales Enablement initiatives addressing those gaps
Have your company’s Sales Enablement Leader running the right initiatives. Download the Toolkit to identify what those are.
How do you determine what Sales Enablement should be doing?
Determining Sales Enablement initiatives can be accomplished in a three step process.
- Confirm the sales and marketing strategy to focus diagnostic efforts
- Conduct diagnostic to identify gaps which impact the effectiveness of sales force
- Define problem and calculate the potential opportunity from solving the gap
Let’s take a closer look at each step.
Confirm the Sales and Marketing Strategy
The Sales Enablement Leader has a key activity to complete before gaps are identified. That is to review and understand the Sales and Marketing strategies. Why? Because prioritizing an initiative which is misaligned to the strategy will not be successful.
Sales Enablement initiatives should be aligned with the effectiveness strategy components. Those components of the strategy are the parts which are focused on revenue generation. Sales Enablement’s job is to make the team more effective. Not more efficient. Leave the efficiency-based projects for other groups.
This should take a few reviews before completing. Plan on speaking with Sales and Marketing Leaders to confirm your understanding.
When this is complete the next step is to conduct a diagnostic on the sales team.
Using the Sales Enablement Diagnostic Toolkit, you’re able to identify sales effectiveness gaps.
Start by focusing on a single part of the business (i.e., one regional team). They will serve as the initial proxy for the rest of team. Find out their current pain points. Then conduct the diagnostic. Use a variety of methods – interviews, surveys, field rides – to identify gaps.
As you are doing your best Columbo impression, focus on these areas:
- Selling Time vs. Non-Selling Time – Gaps which impact a rep’s time in the field.
- Adoption – Gaps which are a result of a process not being adopted by the field.
- Knowledge – Gaps which occur due to lack of understanding.
The output of your discovery efforts brings you right into step 3.
Define Problem and Calculate Potential Opportunity
Your findings from the diagnostic step will uncover major sales effectiveness gaps. Those gaps are a result of underlying problems. Sales Enablement initiatives are focused on solving those underlying problems.
To determine which underlying problem to start with, we must prioritize the effectiveness gaps. This is done by calculating Potential Opportunity, which results from solving the problem.
Here is a simple formula to help you calculate the Potential Opportunity:
Revenue Upside refers to the amount which can be generated by solving the problem. Time to Realization refers to time required for the problem to be solved. High priority initiatives will have large Upside Potential and short Time to Realization. The reverse would be true for low priority initiatives.
The output is a prioritized set of initiatives based upon Potential Opportunity.
Sales Enablement can influence a company’s success. This happens when Sales Enablement Leaders choose Option #1. When Option #2 is chosen, Sales Enablement Leaders are not influential to the business. They become tactical resources and are not used to their potential.
Avoid Option #2. Download the Sales Enablement Diagnostic Toolkit. Identify where you should be focusing your efforts today. If you want help with your Roadmap, come see me at The Studio in Dallas. The Studio is SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art, executive briefing center. Sessions at The Studio are experiential and are designed around the principles of interactive exercises, hands-on innovation, and peer-to-peer collaboration.