If your organization’s sales enablement functions reside across marketing, sales, sales operations, and training, it’s unlikely you’re optimizing your potential ROI. The mission of a dedicated, strategic sales enablement function is to align every area of your business to work seamlessly in support of sales. To do that effectively requires cohesion and teamwork.
As Forrester Research defines it, “Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return on investment of the selling system.”
Do the functions described in this definition have ambiguous or overlapping ownership in your organization? If the following questions elicit hesitation or uncertainty, it may be time to develop a dedicated sales enablement function:
- Who trains client-facing employees in consistency of messaging?
- Who defines the right set of customer stakeholders?
- Who researches and disseminates intelligence on your customers’ life cycles?
- Who determines the conversations to be held at each interval in the sales cycle?
- And who determines the ROI you’re getting from your SES?
Dedicated staff must have ownership of and be accountable to sales enablement imperatives including high-quality lead generation, customer intelligence, sales-ready content aligned to the sales cycle, and systematized proposal generation.
To create a dedicated sales enablement function, we advise the following three steps:
1. Identify the responsibilities that will be within the new team’s (or individual’s) purview. Determine which tasks in the areas of lead generation, content development, message consistency, brand protection, and customer engagement are urgent and which are ongoing. Consider milestones and deadlines, and skills required to execute on these responsibilities.
2. Identify gaps and redundancies in tasks that need to be executed. Are they all being currently executed by marketing, training, or sales operations, or are some tasks new? Does your organization require personnel with new capabilities? Would there be redundancies in efforts if certain position responsibilities weren’t simplified? Redundancies should be eliminated without appearing to threaten the important contributors who currently perform them.
3. Become the conduit for all functions that inform marketing, empower sales and persuade buyers. These – along with alignment of all of these disparate responsibilities toward common objectives – are now the domain of your new sales enablement function.
Following these steps will enable you to build a lean sales enablement organization that serves as an indispensable partner to your in-the-trenches sellers. At Bridge Metrics, we’ll partner with you to ensure that the right technology and the right functions are in place to optimize the potential of sales enablement in your organization.