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Our Picks: The Top 10 Sales Enablement Posts of 2017

Dec 06th, 2017

This year has been a big year for sales enablement. According to CSO Insights 2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, nearly 60% of respondents (up from 33% last year) have a sales enablement function, person or program and 73% of them now report to senior sales management.

At Brainshark, we’ve covered sales enablement this year from nearly every angle. As we say goodbye to 2017, we’re sharing the top 10 Brainshark Ideas Blog posts of the year, which cover everything from tips on sales onboarding and coaching, to career development and sales humor, to in-depth thought leadership around the sales enablement function and its evolution.

Here are our top 10 sales enablement posts of the year.

#1: 30-60-90 Day Sales Onboarding Plan: Can You Do It vs. Did You Do It?

The quality of your sales onboarding program can have a direct effect on how successful your new reps are in their first few months selling. But how can you tell if they’ve learned the core competencies they need to be ready to sell? One way is with a 30-60-90 day onboarding plan that answers the questions of ‘did you do it?’ versus ‘can you do it?’ This plan helps to get all reps onboarded through three phases of assessment.

#2: How Do Sales Professionals REALLY Feel About Coaching?

Sales organizations know coaching is important, but there are so many obstacles to getting it right. In this post, we detail comments from sales practitioners and experts around what coaching is really like within sales organizations. Some said coaching was minimal because of other priorities or that sales managers were not set up to succeed. Others committed to coaching but still wished they had more time for it. How much time do you or your manager spend coaching each week?

#3: 7 Ways to Save Sales Peer-to-Peer Learning from Anarchy

In this post, Brainshark’s chief readiness officer, Jim Ninivaggi, talks about how the democratization of content within sales organizations can turn into anarchy if it’s not managed appropriately. Don’t let your organization become the Wild West of content, he says. Follow these 7 steps to create a peer learning program where content is managed and shared so it can benefit everyone in the sales organization.

#4: 5 Sales Onboarding Mistakes That Lead to Reps’ Early Departures 

No sales organization wants a new hire to leave early because they weren’t set up to succeed from day one. There are many ways onboarding can fail a new sales rep, so avoid these 5 common mistakes, such as starting onboarding on day one (it should start before that!), making boot camp into a lecture or halting the learning process after onboarding.

#5: The First 100 Days: Getting Started as a Sales Enablement Leader

Sales enablement is not a “keep the lights on” type of position. Start off your tenure at a new company with a strategic plan for the first 30, 60 and 100 days on the job. Go through your own onboarding process to learn about the company and the products. Then as you move forward, become familiar with key competitors and shadow sales people. By the 100-day mark, you should have a fluid, yet detailed plan about the projects to tackle in the next 6 to 12 months.

#6: The Sophomore-Junior Curse: How to Retain New Sales Reps in Years 2 and 3

Ramping up new reps is hard enough, but how do you tackle the training and development of sophomore and junior year reps? The second and third years for reps are the most critical times of their tenures – it’s when they decide if they can make it, or if it’s time to look for another job. To understand and fix this problem, sales enablement leaders need to not only emphasize retention but improve onboarding and be familiar with the concept of the “lifetime value” of a rep and its  potentially massive cost to organizations.

#7: Why is Your Sales Team Underperforming? Diagnose Before You Prescribe

If your sales team is underperforming, don’t jump to conclusions. Think about what the actual problem is and why it’s occurring before you try to implement practices that will solve it – in other words, diagnose it before you prescribe a solution. Follow these 5 steps including reviewing benchmarks such as quotas and win rates, shadowing reps on calls to see for yourself what’s going on, and using coaching to assess reps’ skillsets.

#8: Sales Tips: 10 Sales Pros Reveal Their Best Sales Advice

Ever wonder how the best sales reps and experts got to where they are today? They did it through mentors, experience and taking to heart the best advice they’ve received. In this post, we asked 10 sales pros, including Nancy Nardin, Barb Giamanco, Anthony Iannarino and a few of Brainshark’s own, about the best sales advice they’ve ever received and why they value it so much in their careers.

#9: Are You Ready for the Next Generation of Sales Leaders? 

Millennials are expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025 – is your organization ready for the next generation of sales leaders? As the torch is being passed to this new generation, it’s important to prepare your existing sales professionals to lead your business as it evolves. Make sure your up and comers know the latest trends and technologies, have a strong social presence and commitment to social selling and more.

#10: Sales Enablement Definitions: 12 Key Terms You Need to Know

Sales enablement is an emerging field, but one that is increasingly important to sales organizations. No matter where you are in your sales enablement journey, there are certain concepts and terms you should start learning, including the difference between sales enablement and sales readiness, the strategic value of content authoring and what sales mastery means in a real-world context.

For more on how technology can support your sales enablement strategy, check out our Sales Readiness Technology Buyer’s Guide.