Enablement for Teams Across the Revenue Organization
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Enablement can play a significant role in shaping the customer experience – from the beginning of their journey through their entire lifecycle with an organization. But doing so requires looking across roles within the revenue organization to ensure teams are prepared to provide seamless experiences. By intertwining business goals with the key tools and strategies to drive forward the strategic priorities of the revenue organization, enablement can implement meaningful programs that encourage collective success.
While enablement has historically served traditional sales roles, and these roles continue to be a primary audience for enablement programs, organizations have also begun to expand the scope of enablement across other revenue-facing teams in recent years.
With all of the large-scale change as a result of the pandemic, and economic uncertainty looming, organizations are increasingly prioritizing the retention and satisfaction of existing customers in addition to the growth of new customers to nurture long-term revenue health. This means that the customer experience is a top priority for many organizations, and role-specific enablement that serves teams across the revenue engine can be a key lever to help these teams provide exceptional experiences end-to-end.
Through an in-depth understanding of different revenue-facing teams, including their potential challenges and priorities, enablement can fuel behavior that aids in the accomplishment of role-specific goals and transformational business impact.
“It’s not just about helping sales, it’s about helping the sales experience and more importantly, that customer experience,” said Tim Ohai, global director, sales effectiveness at Workday.
Below, learn about four key roles across the revenue organization that enablement can influence with role-based programs, including best practices to serve each effectively with consideration of their different strengths and priorities.
Business Development Reps
Business development representatives (BDRs) serve as the initial point of contact for prospects throughout the sales lifecycle, helping to streamline initial engagement and nurture sustainable relationships early on. From research, to lead generation, to networking, to cold-calling, BDRs need to be equipped with adequate tools and training to continuously develop their ability to build relationships.
On the more technical side, it is important for this role to hone its business acumen. Insider knowledge along with knowledge about potential competitors can help them stand out in their interactions as they leverage data to create an accurate analysis of their organization’s position in the market. This means they must be highly skilled at using the tools within their sales tech stack to optimize outreach and personalize as much as possible to catch a buyer’s initial attention.
Below are a few of the key characteristics that are necessary for success as a BDR and strategies to build these skills through enablement:
- Persistence: The sales process can be inconsistent at times, which becomes amplified by demanding expectations and hard deadlines. BDRs must maintain a persistent work ethic to be able to overcome potential obstacles and ensure that they are meeting expectations and accomplishing goals. Enablement can help BDRs build this skill by setting and holding them accountable to key milestones from the beginning of their tenure with an organization during the onboarding process. This can help them learn time and project management skills while stakes are low, which can then be reinforced when the stakes are high and reps are fully ramped.
- Adaptability: Since both information and prospect needs can constantly change and evolve, BDRs need to be able to think on their feet and adapt their approach as needed. Doing so requires up-to-date knowledge regarding industry trends, competitive intelligence, and more. Enablement can help keep reps informed by ensuring that the latest resources are easy to find at the moment they need them, as well as providing in-depth guides and best practices through tools such as sales plays.
- Advocacy: Not only should BDRs advocate for their buyers internally to ensure a seamless experience, but they should also advocate for themselves. This ensures that they are communicating their needs to be successful, aligning their efforts with those of the team, and maintaining a firm sense of direction. Enablement can help empower reps to advocate for themselves and their buyers by establishing a feedback loop, such as holding BDR office hours, surveying reps, or observing reps directly.
“I wanted to sit with the BDR team and see how they were reaching out to prospects, what tools they were using,” said Jenna Cronin, senior manager of sales enablement at FiscalNote. “It was very enlightening. I came away from every session thinking, ‘Okay, there’s a really easy fix here we can make with either the integration of a tool or training on the way they use it, down to the messaging and what was actually going on in some of those emails.’ It’s very different when you observe first-hand.”
While BDRs often develop and nurture new leads to build interest, account executives are responsible for building value and closing the deal. As they illustrate the value of products and services, AEs create growth opportunities with prospects and begin curating the relationship that occurs after the initial point of contact.
While providing data on the market, product value, and industry trends is important, training them on how to use it most effectively is critical to enable high performance. Here are a few ways that enablement can arm AEs effectively as they navigate buyer relationships:
- Provide Access to Subject Matter Expertise: Opportunities to connect with SMEs helps reps tap into in-depth knowledge to engage in deeper and more informative conversations that drive value. Enablement can facilitate these connections by initiating discovery sessions where AE teams can meet with different SMEs across the business to listen to first-hand knowledge, ask critical questions, and build on insights together.
“When you’re partnering with [SMEs] to utilize their expertise or mastery of a subject, it makes it much easier to build revenue inclusive programs at scale,” said Jonas Taylor, manager of GTM enablement effectiveness at Lattice.
- Facilitate Peer-to-Peer Best Practice Sharing: Hearing advice on what works from peers who are actively engaged in similar scenarios can be extremely powerful in helping AEs build confidence and strengthen the behaviors that lead to outcomes. By ensuring that there is delegated time for internal cross-collaboration, enablement can help reps deepen their expertise and sharpen their skills to improve buyer interactions. This is especially impactful as buyer needs and expectations shift rapidly.
On the post-sales side, account management (AM) aims to continuously provide value and increase the lifetime of customers at their organizations. The nature of their role requires them to be extremely customer-centric, with a well-rounded and deep understanding of customer needs and wants.
“The more they understand where the customer is at, the more effectively they can drive opportunity through various processes,” said James Marrable, senior sales enablement manager, UKI at ServiceNow.
To develop a deep and detail-oriented understanding of the customers they are serving, enablement needs to ensure that AM teams can effectively gather and leverage customer insights and feedback.
- Personalization: Tailoring messages uniquely to customers by first being receptive to their needs is key in adding value to conversations. Enablement can ensure that AM teams are integrating personalized information and insights in all of their conversations by curating and centralizing customer insights that highlight needs and preferences that can be used to help tailor conversations.
- Product Roadmap: By training AM teams on product roadmaps, they can become well-versed in what the future may look like to help guide customer decisions. For example, enablement can help facilitate collaboration with product and product marketing teams to ensure AMs can accurately convey product development information to customers to demonstrate long-term value.
Adjacent to account management teams, services/customer success teams are critical in maintaining customer engagement and loyalty. These teams can relay opportunities, advance engagement, build advocates, and attract more customers, which ultimately fuels growth.
“You want to ensure that they’re confident in front of the customer and that they understand what they’re offering to them along with the business value of it,” said Jennifer Wahl, director of professional services enablement at Informatica.
Consider the following ways that enablement can support these teams:
- In-depth Technical Knowledge: Customer success teams must be highly knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the product or service, as they are often directly involved in helping customers implement and effectively leverage the solution. Enablement can help support this by ensuring these teams have immediate access to the latest feature updates or projected changes, as well as in-depth re-training to ensure technical skills stay up to date.
“We are customer-facing, we are high-revenue producing for the company, but the role is highly technical,” said Wahl. “These are the individuals who are coming in often onsite to a customer location and interfacing with the customer and ensuring the fact that what the customer was looking to have delivered is exactly what they want.”
- Align to Customer Concerns: Alleviating potential concerns from customers not only increases customer confidence in their current solution but also in the value that the company can deliver long-term. Customer success teams play a crucial role in proving value and securing customer loyalty by ensuring customers have meaningful and attentive support. Enablement can help support customer success teams in effectively addressing customer concerns by proactively identifying trends in the market and actions from competitors to help these reps stay ahead of changes or arising concerns.
Teams across the revenue organization can benefit from enablement support, helping them execute strategic endeavors that allow them to be successful in their respective roles. Enablement serves to connect reps and customers, fueling customer satisfaction and creating tangible results.
With a deep understanding of each designated team and the driving forces that aid their success, sales enablement can help increase revenue streams, aid in the overarching success of the larger organization, and most importantly, build long-lasting, meaningful relationships with customers.