Building Your Enablement Team To Succeed in 2023

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Heading into a new year brings about inevitable changes. With looming economic uncertainty across industries, many companies are planning for the year ahead while navigating tightening budgets and an increased need to do more with less. A dependable support system can help organizations weather impending storms – making enablement a critical lever for businesses to lean on in the year ahead.

Sales teams rely on enablement to execute the strategies that help sellers succeed in navigating today’s business landscape. From onboarding and training to coaching and leveraging sales content that resonates, having a steady enablement function is table stakes for any revenue-facing organization to thrive in 2023.

Building an enablement team that is ready to take on the challenges of a new year requires enablement leaders to help their teams go beyond executing new processes, programs, and tools. Now is an optimal time to help enablement teams develop the resiliency needed to effectively help sales organizations thrive even through times of uncertainty.

Below, learn how to build an enablement team that embraces change in 2023 by focusing on developing a growth mindset, aligning with the organization’s key priorities, and understanding each team member’s values.

Embrace Change Through a Growth Mindset

Leaders often have a litany of responsibilities tied to their day-to-day job: setting a strategic direction, creating a shared sense of purpose, communicating transparently, and more. But one seemingly simple task can be rather challenging — getting people to do things they might not want to do.

“One important thing to focus on in 2023 to bring out the best in others is understanding change,” said Jeffrey Hatchell, vice president and head of U.S. sales enablement and global leadership at American Express.

This year may bring about continued challenges for various organizations and industries. For leaders, preparing their teams for the headwinds that come their way will almost certainly become a core part of their job. One of the best ways to handle any change management situation is to get teams in a position to mentally start accepting and, ultimately, embracing the change that is coming.

“For change to really be something that we embrace and that we say is good means having that mind shift around change and to think about having a fixed versus growth mindset,” said Hatchell.

In her 2006 book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, psychologist Carol Dweck developed the concept of growth and fixed mindsets. According to Dweck, someone with a fixed mindset views traits such as intelligence, abilities, and talents as inherently stable and unchangeable over time. Conversely, someone with a growth mindset views those traits as learnable and capable of improvement through purposeful effort.

“A growth mindset is thinking, ‘With the right coaching, with the right support, with the right strategy, I can bring out the best [in my team],’” said Hatchell. “It’s having the mindset around shifting from being ‘all about me’ to ‘all about us.’”

When a leader reinforces a growth mindset in their team, it can help employees feel empowered to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed. This mindset shift makes turning a challenge into more of an opportunity, which can be a powerful tool in embracing change and adapting to different kinds of turbulence in the workplace.

Understanding the Values of Each Team Member To Develop a Shared Purpose

Within any organization, core values can serve as guideposts that bond a team with a shared sense of purpose for achieving goals. Values can also help leaders understand how to define the behaviors of their team, how the people on their team think and behave, and how understanding those values can help drive performance. When values are incorporated into how people do business, it can directly impact profitability. In fact, organizations with a high sense of purpose have experienced a valuation increase of 175% over the past 12 years, compared to the 70% growth rate for organizations with a low sense of purpose.

As a leader, it can be helpful to understand the core values of each member of the team because it can inform how those values may ladder up to the business’s core values. Personal values guide people’s daily decisions and behaviors and can ultimately have a ripple effect on how to guide those behaviors toward a new set of possible actions within the workplace.

“One of the things that I enjoy doing as a leader is understanding the values of my team members,” said Hatchell. “We do a values assessment and take the time to understand beyond work what matters most to you as an individual and as a person. What’s most important? Because if I can understand what’s most important to you, if I’m getting to know you as a person, then we can connect on a much deeper level.”

By understanding the core values of each team member, leaders can develop mutual respect and trust and help one another understand the vision and purpose of what they are working toward.

Leading With Alignment To Achieve Shared Goals

Alignment is often the secret weapon to success for any organization. Clear alignment prevents friction within a team or organization. When cross-functional teams reach alignment, it can lead to better roadmaps for achieving agreed-upon goals.

“We have to really be more conscious about what we’re going to do,” said Simon Gilks, vice president of revenue operations and enablement at Ometria. “We have to make an effort to really focus on alignment. We have to make sure that right away, from the planning of the project to the execution, all of the right stakeholders are involved in maximizing success.”

As a leader, ensuring alignment can be a complex task. It goes beyond getting on the same page about any project’s context or purpose. For enablement teams, especially when juggling multiple projects or priorities, gaining clarity among team members is crucial to set teams up for success by helping them ruthlessly prioritize. There are three important types of alignment for enablement leaders to achieve in order to set their teams up for success:

  • Cross-functional alignment. Alignment with key stakeholders can be both internal and external. For enablement teams, understanding the impact of cross-functional alignment on the buyer experience can significantly improve the sales team’s efforts to deliver value.
  • Aligning personal goals to overall company goals. When leaders can identify the motivations and goals of their team that ladder up to the overall goals of the business, alignment can be actualized.

“Alignment is the linking of organizational goals with colleagues’ personal goals,” said Hatchell. “It’s painting the big picture and connecting the dots to their respective areas. The more we can do that, the more aligned we can be and the more we can get their involvement for success going forward.”

  • Alignment with customer priorities. When enablement can understand how sales processes affect the customer, it can better ensure that reps are fully equipped to engage the customer in the right ways at the right time to exceed their expectations.

“One of the things that we’ve discovered is so important is to align our efforts and our priorities to our customers’ priorities,” said Hatchell. “When our customer, whether internal or external, wins, we win. So making change purposeful aligns our strategy, goals, and all that we do to fulfill our customers’ [needs].”

The next year ahead may be uncertain, but with some preparation and enablement, leaders can guide their teams to success amid change. By emphasizing a growth mindset, alignment, and shared values, teams can be better prepared to handle the challenges and opportunities that come their way.

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