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8 Sales Enablement Insights to Elevate Your Strategy

May 15th, 2018

Great sales enablement leaders understand the need to clearly define what success looks like – both for themselves and their salespeople – before putting a strategy in place.

That’s easier said than done, especially for sales enablement rookies. But here’s the good news: unless you’re aiming to land humans on Mars, chances are you’re not the first person to attempt anything these days. More likely, many others have already tried (with various degrees success) to accomplish your current goals.

Some will have found a way to overcome their early mistakes, too, which makes them an invaluable learning resource.

Learning how others practice sales enablement, one of 14 “sales enablement hacks” detailed in Brainshark’s latest eBook, means you can use their success as a rough outline for your own sales enablement strategy. This can be accomplished by consulting research firms, studying leading companies in the space and syncing up with other subject matter experts.

Call it peer learning for sales enablement decision-makers.

In the spirit of sharing useful advice, we’ve compiled 8 sales enablement quotes from analysts, sales consultants and people in our own sales organization designed to help new leaders establish an effective long-term strategy. Let’s dive in!

[Read “14 Hacks to Upgrade Your Sales Enablement Strategy” to learn more about setting strategic enablement and readiness initiatives, with ideas for sales manager enablement, coaching and more.]

Jim Ninivaggi, Chief Readiness Officer, Brainshark

“Sales enablement leadership can take a lesson from the airline industry when it comes to training. Too often, sellers are asked to complete courseware that requires assessment only through quizzes and tests — then are sent out ill-prepared to engage with buyers, ending in meetings that, at best, never quite take off. Experience may be the best teacher, but in sales, it’s not the most economical [one].”

[Read more: Sales Readiness: If You’re Not Assessing, You’re Guessing]

Heather Cole, Service Director, Sales Enablement Strategies, SiriusDecisions

“Knowing how to coach is one thing – actually doing it is another. If your organization does not have a culture of accountability around sales coaching, coaching will be inconsistent in quantity and quality.”

[Read more: Asynchronous Sales Coaching: It’s About Time]

Tamara Schenk, Research Director, CSO Insights

“Sales strategies are implemented at the frontline, or not at all – we cannot forget that sales managers are responsible for implementing sales strategies. The main sales enablement — and sales manager enablement — mistakes arise from underestimating the complexity of the sales manager role, and its huge relevance for implementing sales strategies and driving sales performance.”

[Read more: Avoid These 3 Sales Manager Enablement Mistakes]

Peter Ostrow, Senior Research Director, SiriusDecisions

“Leverage [veteran reps’] extensive tribal knowledge by creating coaching opportunities via ride-along sales calls and best-practice-sharing processes, without stealing time from their own deal-making.”

[Read more: 18 Sales Quotes to Help You Dominate in 2018]

Beverlie Heyman, Sales Enablement Manager, Brainshark

“If sales enablement wants to have a seat at the executive table, they need to have some skin in the game. In other words, they have to establish key performance indicators that clearly demonstrate the impact of their efforts. From there, sales enablement should be able to show a correlation between their efforts and sellers’ output.”

[Read more: 4 Takeaways from the Sales Enablement Society]

Norman Behar, CEO and Managing Director, Sales Readiness Group

“Creating a coaching culture begins at the top with a clear message that management’s role is to support, develop, and empower sales people. This message allows sales managers to begin a series of positive discussions that focus on how reps can improve going forward, as opposed to a critique of historical performance.”

[Read more: Why You Should Create Coaching Culture with Your Sales Reps]


Kevin Starner, Vice President of Sales Enablement, Iron Mountain

“It takes a village to enable a salesperson. We are all enablers of sales – from the execs all the way down to the front-line employees.”

[Read more: 2017 Sharkie Awards Recognize Leaders in Sales Enablement]

Wondering if your sales enablement strategy is built for readiness? Take our 2-minute sales readiness assessment to see whether your program makes the grade.