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The primary reason I think sales enablement is trending toward reporting to the CEO is that the CEO is the one that needs to be accountable to whether or not they take out critical infrastructure that is standing up the sales organization…I think you’ll see organizations that have a safer org structure achieve better results because the CEO can be more connected to the transformation that you’re driving. I’m a firm believer that the practitioner has to report to the CEO.

Sales enablement should report to the executive leader in the company who is most passionate about enablement and is willing and able to provide sponsorship for programs. Alignment with sales, marketing, operations, is necessary regardless of the reporting structure, but direct executive sponsorship and alignment is a requirement, and an important indicator for success.

Five years ago, the enablement function was reporting into marketing and then maybe three years ago, it was starting to report into the head of sales, and now we are seeing a move where it is reporting into the COO or CCO. And it is really smart actually, because it is one thing to call somebody’s baby ugly, it is really hard to call your boss’s baby ugly. So, it’s good to see that movement. If it is reporting to the COO or the CCO, your end customer is THE end customer; it is not to marketing, it is not to sales. And the COO and the CCO have customer success as part of the team, so I think it’s a really smart move and that’s kind of where enablement is going.

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