Preparing Your Enablement Programs for Scale
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In times of economic uncertainty, enablement leaders are often tasked with solving a key business challenge: determining how to do more with less. When resources across the business are tight, it is especially critical to ensure that enablement programs are equipped for scalability in order to support the broader sales team in maximizing their ability to achieve success.
At their core, enablement programs aim to create more efficient and effective sales teams. But to do this, programs need a thorough, strategic approach to prepare them to scale alongside the needs of the business.
For enablement professionals preparing to scale a sales enablement program, placing sales reps at the forefront of the scaling considerations is essential in ensuring their needs are met. Some of the most valuable assets to sales teams, especially when things may be changing quickly, include consistent access to distribution channels for enablement tools, information, and forums of knowledge.
With continuous access to these resources, reps can increase their overall effectiveness and efficiency because it allows them to operate more autonomously on their day-to-day work while utilizing information from other reps and the enablement programs.
“Scaling is not just about people,” said Michelle Dotson, head of GTM and enablement strategy at Zoom. “It’s about the resources that those people have. To me, that can be a challenge and an area that people might actually think of as not as important, but it’s critical in scale.”
By placing a focus on increasing accessibility, enabling self-sufficiency, and encouraging knowledge-sharing, enablement can effectively prepare programs to support sales teams at scale.
Making Enablement Even More Accessible to the Sales Team
When scaling enablement programs, a significant consideration is how the sales team can access, or continue to access, enablement resources and other tools from the programs. Because the core purpose of a sales enablement program is to improve the sales team’s efficiency and effectiveness, it is important for sales enablement professionals to develop a scaling strategy that allows for the resources and tools reps need from different enablement programs to be more accessible to them.
To increase the efficiency of an enablement program, sales enablement professionals can focus on what enablement tools, resources, and information the sales team finds most valuable and their frequent needs from the program. Opening continuous lines of communication between the enablement and sales teams to accumulate this information directly is an effective way that sales enablement professionals can ensure that the team’s needs are being met.
In addition to communicating what the sales team needs, optimizing the channels of distribution for the enablement resources, tools, and other information can be beneficial for both the sales and enablement teams. Through optimization, enablement professionals can more efficiently share essential information so that reps and other sales reps are able to access the information in a more meaningful and streamlined way at scale.
“Figuring out the right sales enablement tools for your business is really key to operationalizing and scaling what you do,” said Hannah Ensler-Rivel, director of revenue enablement at Red Canary. “You can create great content, but if you can’t figure out how to share that meaningfully, it’ll never get seen. Picking your tool stack is really key.”
Utilizing the information collected from the sales team, sales enablement professionals can develop a channel of distribution for the valuable enablement tools, resources, and other information from the programs that are more accessible to the sales reps as the program scales. In addition, by focusing on the tools and resources that the team finds valuable and working to understand how the enablement tools and resources that are important for their work can be best accessed, sales enablement professionals can begin to scale the program more effectively.
Enabling Self-Sufficiency for the Sales Team
As enablement content is made more accessible through the optimized distribution channels, sales enablement professionals can work on methods to increase the capability of sales reps to more self-sufficiently engage with enablement programs in their day-to-day workflows. Self-sufficiency is essential when scaling enablement programs because it allows for the sales team to work more effectively and efficiently while the enablement team provides support through methods like consistent content updates.
“The best we can do is enable our sales leaders and enable our frontline to be as self-sufficient as possible,” said Rachel Chambers, head of enablement at Marketplacer. “We do that by providing best practice coaching frameworks for our sales leaders, quality content to our sales team that’s easily accessible, sales technology that will make it easier for sales to interact with their clients and speed up the buying cycle, online training to really close any capability gaps. By providing these services, not only will we be able to scale, but we’ll also accelerate success.”
Encouraging self-sufficiency for sales teams can be a critical point for supporting an enablement program’s scaling. Sales enablement professionals can provide ways to independently access channels of sales knowledge, resources, and methods that allow for performance and revenue-generating efforts to continue to grow as enablement programs go through the scaling process.
“[W]e essentially need to empower [reps] with self-sufficiency in a way that won’t slow them down,” said David Seugling, director of global sales enablement at monday.com. “That way when new changes are made, or information is presented to them, they can easily reference it anytime they need.”
Creating Spaces for Sales Knowledge-Sharing
As the enablement programs begin to scale, it is critical to capture the sales and enablement team’s knowledge so that it can be made continuously available. From onboarding to day-to-day tools and practices, seasoned reps and managers hold a wealth of knowledge and methods that can be useful to other members of the sales team.
Outside of the sales team, there are many subject matter experts (SMEs) across the business that have valuable knowledge that can sometimes be missed or not fully accessed in the midst of the different programs. To best ensure that key questions are being answered and the people with experience and knowledge can share insight, sales enablement professionals can develop dedicated forums for people to share information, ask questions, or utilize any other enablement support provided by the team.
“Essentially by creating these channels of knowledge and information and knowledge-sharing, you’re creating a space for people to listen and to be heard,”said Seugling. “These are fundamental successes in anything in life, not just sales enablement.”
Even as the enablement programs are scaling, creating spaces for sales reps to be able to share and ask questions to their coworkers, the enablement team, or SMEs about things they may have not fully understood or may need to clarify can help to make the processes and information more accessible to those who use it most.
Preparing to scale an enablement program means returning to a fundamental understanding of what the programs are for and who they are intended to serve. In doing this, both the sales and enablement teams can benefit when at scale. By utilizing these concepts as points of reference when preparing for scaling enablement programs, sales enablement professionals can plan methods to create forums of knowledge while providing consistent access to key enablement resources. Providing the resources that the sales team needs while keeping in alignment with the core purpose of programs is important for the successful scaling of sales enablement programs in the future.