Sales enablement managers are responsible for improving sales onboarding, training, coaching, content management and engagement analytics. With such a wide array of responsibilities, prioritizing initiatives is essential to getting things done.
I recently spoke with Tamara Schenk, research director of CSO Insights and lead analyst of the CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study. Here are her suggestions for finding the starting line for sales enablement initiatives, and creating a roadmap for success.
Step 1: Begin with where an enablement initiative begins
TS: If the initiative starts in the content area, you should first assess your current content landscape, mapping it to the customer’s journey/sales process and the relevant buyer roles. Then, you will see what can be deleted right away because it is no longer relevant, what has to be redesigned, what needs to be improved, and what’s already in line with the enablement strategy!
In this scenario, never implement a tool first. Instead: Do your homework, clean your content basement, and then define your functional requirements. Then you can find the right technology. Only then will technology be able to create real efficiency and effectiveness.
Step 2: Map out all available training
TS: If you begin in the training area, I’d also recommend mapping out all available training services for all sales roles that are targeted in a few training categories (e.g., product, methodology, process, skills, and technology) and training formats (classroom, webinar, eLearning, mLearning, etc.).
Most of the time, organizations see what they have for salespeople and how many gaps they have for their sales managers. In this area, alignment – especially of product training/value messaging services to the related content – is crucial to success. You don’t want to confuse the sales force with inconsistent messages.
Step 3: Develop a vision for success
TS: Given these scenarios, I’d always recommend beginning by developing a vision for future success and creating a charter. Do the “vision, mission, and purpose” exercise and map your business strategy to the current sales execution reality. In this way, you can identify the fields of action that will then define the scope of your enablement practice. Then, work through a four-phased charter creation process and a foundation is established.
Want to learn more? Download the full CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study