Though the term itself is still relatively young, sales enablement has grown into a dominant theme for B2B organizations. Through its evolution, sales enablement has become inextricably tied to both sales and marketing—ensuring that the former has everything it needs from the latter (and then some) so that reps can successfully engage with customers and close more business.
So, where will it go from here? We recently asked a small handful of sales and marketing professionals to share their thoughts. Here is what they had to say.
What is your prediction for sales enablement in 2015?
Director of Sales Enablement, Brainshark
"Glamour Magazine predicts “black and white” will be a hot combo in fashion this spring. It won’t be so clear-cut with sales enablement. Companies without sales enablement functions will consider creating them; and companies with established teams will begin to move from the tactical and reactive to the strategic and analytics-driven. All in all, 2015 is a promising runway for sales enablement. And even though we’ll see few frills and tight budgets, we can expect a greater focus on onboarding, continuous training and situationally-delivered content."
Managing Partner, CSO Insights
"Looking out to 2015, 94.5% of the 1000+ firms who took part in CSO Insights’ 21st Annual Sales Performance Optimization study reported that they raised their revenue targets for the coming year. This was in the face of the fact that the average revenue plan attainment for 2014 came in at 81.4% (down from 83.9% figure reported in 2013 and 89.2% reported in 2012). Our prediction for 2015 is that sales organizations that do not invest in providing their sales teams with more training, technology, coaching, and knowledge to help sales people hit those higher quotas are going to be in for a rude awakening come year end. You can’t just keep raising the performance bar without increasing sales effectiveness."
President, Smart Selling Tools
“I predict that marketers will make the shift from ‘get more leads’ to ‘help sales people close more deals.’ Although Marketers can’t close deals, they can have an immense impact on deal progress—if their contributions extend throughout the sales process. Sure, salespeople take charge of a lead once it’s handed-off to them. However, they still need the right content and messaging from Marketing to support the twists and turns of the buyer’s journey. Marketers… you’re responsible for the entire funnel!”
Content Marketing Manager, Kapost
“2015 will be the year of more internal webinars, strategically designed to augment sales enablement. Webinars have the unique ability to connect person-to-person but also live as an archived video. With internal webinars, marketers can communicate messaging, and sales teams can ‘attend’ when they are off the round or between calls.
A second prediction: In 2015, there will be an uptick in people with VP of Sales Enablement roles as the need for senior leadership in that area increases.”
Research Director, MHI Research Institute
Building adaptive competencies will become a core trend for training services. Adaptive competencies refer to the sales professional’s ability to quickly adjust skills and align behaviors to new, changing and complex situations. Those competencies are more and more a key differentiator in today’s ever-changing and complex buying environments.
Driving the knowledge shareconomy becomes a key challenge for all enablement services. The shareconomy is based on a “sharing – not hoarding” attitude, and knowledge is its gold standard. Sales leaders’ commitment is essential to establishing a sharing and learning organization, which is fueled by a change of the hearts and minds of its sales professionals towards conscious collaboration. Then, technology can effectively power the knowledge shareconomy, but not the other way around.
What about you? What’s your prediction for sales enablement in 2015? Sound off in the comments and let us know!