No sales team is complete without sales enablement. Without it, the team will lack the structure needed to onboard new hires effectively, develop and track KPIs and run efficiently on a day-by-day basis. You wouldn’t coach a football team without developing a game plan leading up to Sunday, so why lead a sales team without developing an enablement strategy?
Like a great football team, a sales enablement team starts from the top down. If the players on the field are equivalent to the salespeople, then the coach would be the sales team manager, the GM would be the Director of Sales Enablement and so on all the way up to the team owner, which would be the Chief Enablement Officer. Each member of the organization has a special role to play in accomplishing the final goal, whether that be a Super Bowl or smashing your quarterly numbers.
Sales enablement is simpler than it sounds. Yes, a lot goes into it. But, at the end of the day, sales enablement is all about getting the right tools to your reps to help them succeed. If you provide your reps with the right tools, efficiency, adoption and sales should all go through the roof. Here’s a little more about sales engagement in general.
What is the Role of Sales Enablement?
The role of sales enablement is simple. It is to make your sellers more efficient and effective. Implementing proper enablement techniques can help ensure your sellers are working like a well-oiled machine to hit their goals. From a very high level view, a sales enablement framework involves the strategy, playbooks, tech stack, messaging and training in a seller’s daily life as well as the content they use and how they track success. Sales enablement is there to make your seller’s lives easier, thus providing them more time to go after deals.
Who is Responsible for Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement doesn’t come from just one person. A simple breakdown would be to say it comes from both sales and marketing. On the sales side, sales enablement starts from the top down. Company leaders must decide on what numbers sales must hit. What goals are going to be set for this quarter, this year, the next five years and so on. From here, sales team leaders can decide on what KPIs are important to track to get their teams to hit these numbers. Then, the sellers utilize the tools provided to them in the tech stack to accomplish these goals.
Marketing’s role in sales enablement revolves around providing the best content available to sellers to leverage. Everybody loves content. So, everyone is sending content. However, knowing which content reaches your target personas best is crucial in your selling efforts. It’s not enough to just blast out every piece of content you must everybody on your prospect lists. You must track analytics on your content and understand what is going to grab your audience more.
How is Sales Enablement Different from Marketing?
Understanding the roles of sales and marketing in a sales enablement strategy is essential. I’m sure you’ve heard about the struggles between these two divisions. Sales says marketing isn’t giving them enough good leads. Marketing says sales isn’t closing enough deals with the leads they give them. Rather than losing efficiency, and all the hair you’d pull out, help combat this constant back and forth with sales enablement.
Sales enablement is different from marketing because their reasoning behind using and focusing on content is different. Marketing creates content for the buyer to see and interact with. Sales enablement is about how sellers use this content to reach the buyers effectively. While marketing can focus on creating new and innovative content, sales enablement helps establish when and where to use the content most effectively throughout the sales process. Check out this Highspot article to learn more about this relationship!
How to Build a Sales Enablement Team
While it’s easy to just say, “We need a sales enablement team,” it’s a whole different story trying to build one. First, you need to establish the size of a sales enablement team you need. If you’re in an organization of 10 people, you probably don’t need all 10 fully focused on sales enablement. On the other hand, if you’re an organization of 10,000 people, you will most likely want more than just one person focused on it.
Second, try to envision your optimal sales enablement team structure. What are the titles of those individuals involved in the sales enablement team? What are their responsibilities? Are these individuals fully focused on sales enablement or other priorities as well? Once you answer these questions, you can start to establish the sales enablement roles on your team.
Sales Enablement Roles
Chief Enablement Officer - This role isn’t very common as of now. Maybe it’s only because someone else in the company is already the “CEO”, but a chief enablement officer can be just as valuable. Having a presence in the C-suite can help establish credibility to sales enablement efforts and this individual would overlook all these. For companies that work well using a top-down approach, having a Chief Enablement Officer can be a huge help.
VP of Sales Enablement - The VP of Sales Enablement role works well for companies that may not have a Chief Enablement Officer. This role would be very similar. Providing both strategic vision for the sales enablement direction the company wants to take and a connection to company leaders.
Director of Sales Enablement - This role is the connection between sales enablement leadership, either the VP of Sales Enablement or Chief Enablement Officer, and those using the sales enablement tools on a daily basis. The Director of Sales Enablement is responsible for taking the leader’s vision and turning it into reality. Managing the budget, creating relationships to further promote sales enablement within the company and more.
Sales Enablement Manager - The Sales Enablement Manager, or Managers if there’s more than one, plays a huge role. They are the one with boots on the ground helping sellers implement the sales enablement strategy. They are the ones ensuring everything leadership wants gets done. On top of this, they are typically responsible for tracking how progress is being made towards leadership’s goals and reporting back to them accordingly.
Sales Content Specialist - Earlier we talked about how important content was in sales enablement efforts. So, utilizing a content specialist can be helpful in your sales enablement efforts. This person is typically a marketing specialist who can act as a link between sales and marketing. Solely relying on marketing, no matter how good the relationship is, to create the correct content doesn’t always work. So, by having one established person to make sure everything goes smoothly, or can even help create specific content separate from what the marketing department is doing, can go a long way.
Sales Coach - Sales coaches are vital to any organization with a sales team. However, they can also help immensely with sales enablement goals. Part of sales enablement is creating a better onboarding and day-by-day experience for sellers. By having a dedicated sales coach, you can help ensure all your new sellers will take full advantage of this great onboarding process and get any individual help they may need. A sales coach can also help notice issues that may be happening within sales teams and help try to solve them or bring them to leadership.
Building an unstoppable sales enablement team is what may stand between your team struggling and smashing their quarterly goals. Not only understanding the who of sales enablement, but also the why can help build something great in your organization. Getting the right team behind the right tech stack is crucial. Combining a CRM, like Salesforce, a sales engagement tool built for it, like Salesvue, and sales enablement tools together can help this new team become rock stars in your company.
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