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It takes a village: how to get your entire company to enable sales

Sep 19th, 2022
it takes a village enabling the whole company to support sales

Enabling sales reps to sell more and sell better is not an easy job —  that’s why sales enablement departments (and an entire industry) were created.

But sales enablement leaders can’t operate in a silo. They’re often small teams tasked with overseeing dozens or even hundreds of sales reps.

To deliver the onboarding, continuous training (AKA everboarding), coaching, and content that sales reps need to be successful, enablement leaders need to collaborate with other functions across the company, including marketing, product, and the C-suite.

But that requires getting buy-in and regular contributions from people in these departments (who have full plates of their own).

So how can sales enablement leaders “rally the troops” and get others to contribute to supporting sales? Try the following approaches to get your organization on board.

Get strategies for empowering sellers to do more with their time in this sales productivity eBook.

Empower subject matter experts with technology

Subject matter experts (SMEs) know their areas of the company inside and out — product managers have all the details on new products and releases, marketers have memorized the corporate messaging, C-suite executives can explain the company direction, and so on. 

It’s the job of sales enablement professionals to seek and capture that expertise and empower SMEs to share their knowledge for the benefit of the sales team. In other words, you need to find an impactful way to get the right information out of the heads of your subject matter experts and into the heads of your salespeople with minimal time and effort required on the part of the SMEs. 

This is the sort of situation sales enablement technology was built for. 

For example, Iron Mountain simplified content creation and delivery for sales training when they implemented Brainshark – which in turn, has empowered others at the company to become part of the content creation process.  

brainshark for easy sales enablement content creation

Remember, SMEs are not necessarily expert content creators, so you should be the gatekeeper of the content before it goes out to sales – vet it, package it and refine it.

Expert tip: If your enablement team can provide a template that SMEs can work with, especially product organizations, it will speed up projects and drive consistency.

Adapt existing content from marketing and other groups (and vice versa)

It’s good to stay apprised of other great content that’s being created across your organization – that’ll make less work for you! 

See what marketing, product management and other departments have created and see if there’s an opportunity to adapt it into a sales context – they’ll be glad their content is being put to good use. 

For example, if product management created a guide for a new product launch, isolate the parts relevant for sales and copy that over into a quick learning presentation for reps. Like this Brainshark one of our product managers created for our recent UI updates:

Brainshark custom branded sales readiness solution

Any learning content you or others create also has the potential to be shared with other departments across the organization. For example, this Brainshark presentation helped our marketing department create supporting materials for the product launch. 

Expert tip: Sharing sales learning content with customer success teams lets them know how reps are being asked to position the latest product feature so they can follow suit and ensure message consistency with buyers (which is key for customer experience).

Further reading: Roadblocks to Delivering a Competitive Buying Experience

Incorporate peer learning

Research done by the Association for Talent Development found that 91% of sales reps say learning from peers helps them succeed. So outside of the content you and SMEs create, make salespeople part of the sales enablement process too! 

After all, they are the ones on the front lines and in the field. Top reps can share knowledge with underperformers through quick-hit content and videos they record themselves, and you can capture these best practices, tips and tricks for all reps to benefit from. Reps will appreciate learning from each other’s experiences and finding common ground on successes and challenges.

brainshark for sales peer learning
Peer learning example from Brainshark

Expert tip: Win stories are a great way to quickly get reps involved. They love to talk about their success and others want to learn from it. Again providing a template will go a long way in keeping key win messages on track, concise, and consistent.

Again, sales enablement should be reviewing and refining the content, and – if you use a sales enablement platform – organizing it properly so it’s easily searchable and accessible by reps.

Make it a company initiative

Another great way to motivate employees to contribute to sales enablement is to get the executive team on board. Show the C-suite how an “all hands on deck” approach will feed into sales and company goals. If it’s a companywide initiative to share knowledge and content with sales, employees will be more motivated to be a part of it. And when good results start to come in, everyone will feel like their contribution made a difference.

Expert tip: Employees love to hear directly from leadership on what the plans are and what strategic initiatives are driving the business. Good communication from leadership is key to employee satisfaction and company success at all levels. Sales enablement teams can provide leadership the tools that make it easy for them to get the message out.

More organizations recognize that supporting sales is beneficial to the entire company and is not the purview of just one department. Even Gartner recently redefined “sales enablement” as “revenue enablement” in recognition of this broadening scope. But this still isn’t the case at many companies. 

Get your copy of The 2022 Gartner® Market Guide for Revenue Enablement Platforms to learn more about changes in the industry.

It’s your job as a sales enablement leader to evangelize the idea to your “village” to gain their support. Especially if sales or revenue enablement is a newer initiative at your company or you’re new in your role.

The key is to make it as easy as possible for your collaborators to contribute and demonstrate the benefits of their efforts. Learn how Brainshark helps you do exactly that.