article | August 26, 2017
Where Does Sales Enablement Belong?
Sales Enablement is a growing capability in most organizations. The question has become, who owns Sales Enablement? The answer is stunningly simple: Sales. Ensure your sales enablement team is focused on doing the right things by stress-testing your team against emerging best practices for top-tier enablement teams. Carve out 10-minutes in your schedule to answer the questions in the Sales Enablement phase starting on page 407 of the How to Make Your Number .
Sales Enablement needs to be a centralized function within sales for a number of reasons. Here’s the ‘why’.
Many organizations have been performing tasks related to sales enablement for a while now. But in most cases, these tasks have been fragmented and handled by a variety of different teams. The end result is a lack of effectiveness – the exact opposite of Sales Enablement. Like the name suggests, Sales Enablement is about enabling the sales team to be more effective, something that can be accomplished with a centralized function and team.
Why Should Sales Enablement be Centralized?
Without a proper definition, the ownership of sales enablement has thus far been split by a host of departments, including marketing, products, HR/training, and sales management. The problem is that each are biased with their own goals and objectives. This sends a fragmented message to the sales team, again resulting in a lack of effectiveness. However, centralizing the function brings cohesion to your message and sales plan. In summation, a centralized team responsible for enabling the organization is optimal.
Sales Enablement is key to executing on sales strategy. But, if they aren’t in a position to be successful, the team can’t be effective. For more information on Sales Enablement, check out our Annual Research Report.
Why Should Sales Enablement be in the Sales Organization?
The Sales Enablement team knows how best to produce content that is specifically relevant to the sales person. Additionally, they do so in a way that is optimal for the sales person to consume. Ergo, the logical step is for the Sales Enablement team to sit in Sales.
For sake of triangulation, let’s consider this from these two lenses: Content and Audience.
Content: When content (creation, development, etc.) sits outside of sales, the sales aspect is diluted. Why? Because Marketing produces content optimized specifically for your buyers. Thus, the content focuses on buyer objectives and their decision making process. Put differently, marketing content focuses on solving the buyers’ problem. It is not meant to educate a sales person.
In addition to marketing, the training department is also producing content. Usually, the content is academic and rarely applicable to the everyday interactions sales reps have. And if a sales rep doesn’t see its relevancy, it will be dismissed immediately. Finally, while Sales Management may be well suited to deliver content, it’s poor at producing the right content.
Audience: Understanding how your audience consumes content is just as important as the content itself. Would it be ideal for your expensive selling resources to sit in a classroom for a week at a time? No. But that is how training typically spreads content and education. Is it optimal for marketing to disseminate a bunch of white papers onto the company’s intranet hoping that someone in sales knows about it? No. It bears repeating, training and marketing have competing priorities than sales.
The thing is, Sales Enablement knows how the sales team consumes information – via mobile enabled content and individual coaching. Your Sales Enablement team is responsible for putting this content out in an easily consumable manner. Timing is also critical, as in, during a sales process or right before a major interaction with a prospect.
If you don’t have a Sales Enablement team, organize one immediately. If your sales enablement strategy is fragmented, centralize it immediately. Procrastination will see your sales strategy suffer due to a lack of execution and adoption.
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