Helping Sales Leaders to Understand the Power of Sales Enablement
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In sales enablement, success can be exponentially amplified with the buy-in of sales leaders.
However, while sales enablement professionals know the many ways in which their efforts influence business goals and outcomes, sales leaders may not fully understand the power of enablement and the entire scope of how it can deliver strategic impact in organizations today. To maximize sales efficiency, effectiveness, and success within organizations, it is imperative that sales enablement achieve buy-in from sales leaders by making the strategic impact of the function clear.
Here are some best practices sales enablement professionals can use to educate their sales leaders and executives on the power of sales enablement in their organizations.
Define Goals and Demonstrate Purpose
By developing and understanding their own goals, objectives, and purposes within a company, sales enablement professionals can better relay them to sales leaders and executives. Defining a charter for what sales enablement is responsible for, the objectives it will pursue, and the steps it will take to meet those is a good first step to outline avenues for impact. This creates transparency between sales enablement professionals and sales leaders by establishing a mutual understanding of what enablement can do for the company and vice versa.
“As an enablement professional, showing that you’re there to fix problems or you’re there to make their job easier goes a lot further than putting a stake in the ground and saying, ‘I represent the CRM’ or ‘I’m in charge of support,’” said Christopher Kingman, global head of digital sales enablement at TransUnion. “Ground yourself in a charter or a mission statement, then define goals. If you could tie these goals to ROI, even better.”
These goals and objectives should also align with the goals and objectives of the sales leaders and executives in order to build resonance and ensure enablement is positioned to influence success on the things that matter most to leadership. After goals are defined and a charter is built, sales enablement professionals also need to demonstrate active action toward reaching the outcomes outlined. In doing so, practitioners can ensure sales leaders understand how the role, purpose, and actions of sales enablement professionals impact the company, which in turn helps to establish ongoing support.
Provide Consistent Enablement Updates to the Company
To ensure sales leaders not only remain in-the-know on all of the programs and initiatives sales enablement builds but also how those programs are contributing to the bigger picture, professionals can provide leaders with regular updates on key enablement deliverables. By doing this, sales enablement professionals are able to convey to sales leaders and executives their consistency, usefulness, and importance, which in turn communicates the power of sales enablement.
“For me, it was very important that enablement’s updates were included in our weekly review of how the new sales side of the business is doing and then the customer success side as well because their success or their failures are very much tied to everything that enablement was doing,” said Vanessa Metcalf, director of revenue enablement at Docebo. “I think that’s the number one thing, apart from being proactive with the insights you’re bringing to the organization, is really making sure that your updates aren’t just once a quarter, they’re on a weekly basis, just like everyone else’s would be.”
Always Be Prepared to Deliver New Ideas
Sales enablement professionals can also prove the value of the function to sales leaders by constantly being proactive in the collection and delivery of new, creative ideas. For example, keeping an updated briefing deck on hand to show sales leaders as needed when the opportunity arises can help sales enablement professionals to stay prepared and demonstrate their value as a collaborative partner.
“Always have a briefing deck ready to go upwards,” said Simon Rider, global sales enablement director at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). “I have my standard deck, but I have a bunch of slides beneath it of the ideas I’m just doodling out. I’ve always tried to walk in my exec’s shoes and think about what’s on their mind.”
By constantly thinking proactively and continuously being prepared to share new ideas, sales enablement professionals are able to recognize and share solutions to business challenges their sales leaders are facing. Accomplishing this helps sales leaders and executives understand the value of enablement as a strategic business partner, which in turn proves the power of enablement.
Analyze Metrics and Present Important Data
Successfully analyzing metrics and showcasing how sales enablement is directly affecting the company through data is critically important in helping sales leaders understand the power of sales enablement. The key metrics to analyze may differ based on the priorities of the company and the goals of executive leaders. However, being able to demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) from enablement efforts will help in garnering support from sales leaders to invest in enablement programs.
“Use data, because any time you’re asking for some kind of investment of time or resources, you have to be able to say what the potential ROI is,” said Jen Spencer, chief revenue officer at SmartBug Media. “So, use data that you have to show things that your team cares about.”
By successfully analyzing key metrics and presenting them alongside valid data, sales enablement professionals can effectively show sales leaders the impact sales enablement has on a company, which establishes long-term buy-in.
By utilizing these best practices, sales enablement professionals can effectively communicate and demonstrate the power of sales enablement to sales leaders and executives. As a result, sales enablement can secure buy-in for key initiatives and elevate its visibility as a strategic lever to achieve business success within companies.