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Our 10 Favorite Sales Enablement Blog Posts of 2018

Dec 27th, 2018

Another big year is in the books for sales enablement leaders everywhere, as we saw the function continue to mature and evolve in 2018.

At Brainshark, we strive to cover sales enablement from every conceivable angle, with the hope of providing insight that readers can apply wherever they work. So as we look ahead to a new year, we’re also reflecting on the year that was by sharing our 10 favorite Brainshark Ideas Blog posts of the last 12 months, which cover everything from sales onboarding and coaching tips to career development, and even embarrassing sales moments. Enjoy!

1. No Sales Enablement Team? 4 Ways to Survive

More than 60% of companies have a dedicated sales enablement role, program or function, according to CSO Insights. But where does that leave the other 40% of companies?

While almost every organization is executing some sort of sales enablement initiative – even if it’s called something else – establishing sales enablement as a formalized function takes time. (It also holds tremendous benefits!) This post offers 4 survival strategies for practitioners who don’t yet have the buy-in and resources they need.

2. Keys to Inspiring (and Retaining) Your Millennial Sales Force

It’s no secret that traditional management styles don’t always resonate with younger generations. But with millennials set to make up 75% of the U.S. workforce by 2025, savvy sales managers know they’ll inevitably need to develop strategies for working with them.

Brainshark’s Chief Sales Officer, Colleen Honan, shares 3 areas she thinks sales organizations should focus on when it comes to motivating and succeeding with millennial sellers.

3. The Future of Sales Onboarding: Applying Agile Methodology

Not so long ago, sales organizations would invite newly-hired reps to headquarters for a months-long training and onboarding program, ensuring each seller was 100% ready before saying a word to buyers.

But those days are long gone, writes Brainshark’s Chief Readiness Officer, Jim Ninivaggi. With many of today’s new sales hires left to fend for themselves, he argues that companies need to take an entirely new approach to sales onboarding – one that’s inspired by the principles of Agile software development.

4. 5 Sales Coaching Tips from a Successful Player-Coach

Being a “player-coach” on a sales development team comes with plenty of challenges: you have to provide thoughtful feedback, foster a strong team environment, and manage time effectively in order to hit quota. In this post, Johnny Occean, an account executive at Brainshark, offers 5 outside-the-box tips and strategies that helped him succeed as a player-coach.

5. 8 Ingredients of an Unforgettable Sales Kickoff

Sales enablement teams that make the most of sales kickoff will motivate their teams to achieve the goals they’ve set for the upcoming year. But delivering an engaging and memorable message is only possible through careful preparation. Brainshark’s Director of Sales Enablement, Jenn Haskell, highlights 8 areas that enablement leaders should consider when planning sales kickoff.

6. What is an Embedded Sales Coach, and Why Should You Hire One?

Sales managers lacking the time or skills to provide effective coaching is not a new problem. Neither is the classic solution of running management through a coaching skills training program, in hopes that they’ll suddenly becomes standout sales coaches. This post explains why sales enablement leaders should consider investing in an embedded sales coaching role – and hiring an enthusiastic coach to fill it.

7. Selling Skills, AI and the Future of Sales Enablement [Q&A]

What will the world of sales look like in 10 years? 20 years? 30 years? In this in-depth Q&A, CSO Insights’ co-founder, Jim Dickie, offers his thoughts on the skills sales reps must start developing, how AI will affect the profession, and how sales enablement leaders should brace for the future.

8. 6 Embarrassing Sales Stories (and Sales Readiness Lessons Learned)

Buyer interactions don’t always play out as smoothly as a sales rep might hope. In fact, even sales experts like Dave Brock, Colleen Francis and Deb Calvert have endured awkward and humbling situations during their careers. This post explores 6 embarrassing sales stories experienced by some of the best, and what they took away from their experiences.

9. 3 SDR Hiring Tips to Out-Recruit the Competition

With talent in short supply and candidates armed with countless employment options, hiring sales development reps has become a major challenge for organizations today. Trish Bertuzzi, president and chief strategist at The Bridge Group, explains why sales development managers must rethink their hiring strategies in order to succeed – and shares a few ways to improve your approach.

10. Sales Enablement Tips for Gaining C-Suite Buy In

New sales enablement leaders need executive sponsorship and a well-defined plan when establishing a program. Of course, making that happen is much easier said than done. Jill Guardia, executive director of sales enablement at TriNet, provides a helpful blueprint for enablement pros that need to secure buy-in from senior leadership.

Want a deeper look at one of our most critical aspects of sales enablement? Check out our e-book, “The 4 Pillars of Sales Readiness.”