The Value of Enablement

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Allison Sword Allison Sword 2 years, 9 months ago.

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    Steve Myers
    Steve Myers

    I have often been asked to place a value on the role of enablement to the sales organization. People get frustrated when I ask them which of the sales enablement roles they are asking about?

    Are we talking about the training role? Even organizations without a formalized sales enablement role conduct training of their reps. As a product developer and later as a sales engineer I tought sales reps about our products, how/why they were used, their value to a customer….. so THAT is going to occur whether sales enablement exists or not.

    Are we talking about formalized on-boarding? I’ve started several different on-boarding programs over the years and we’ve established various criteria to measure performance – time-to-1st sale, time-to-quota attainment, employee retention, etc. Just being trained doesn’t allow a new rep to necessarily meet those metrics, they need to be able to place their training in context and be able to use it with the prospect. I’ve attended dozens of new-hire training programs that taught me everything I needed to know, but failed to place it in usable context – with decades of experience it still takes a while to place a lot of those sessions into usable context that allows a rep to operate independently. Instead of 40 hours of Death by PowerPoint, what if we only put them to sleep in 3 days by concentrating on the things they will actually be doing in their 1st weeks on the job?

    Are we talking about reducing the friction of the selling process? I was a part of a 30 year old company that had a terrible asset storage system, not the technology, the management of it. There were tens of thousands of assets of various vintages and applicability to the currently shipping product. The average rep was using materials that were 12 months or more out of date, and were spending hours every week maintaining their own content. When they needed something, they would ask me and I was spending nearly 20 hours a week researching content for them. With a new system, we managed the content and the reps were using the latest and greatest content within hours of it’s release, could locate new content within minutes, and my data librarian duties were reduced to less than 2 hours a week.

    Any one of these (and sales enablement is so much more) can justify the expense of a full-time enablement professional and sometimes the supporting infrastructure. Sales enablement can be as simple as 1 instructor and a share drive or a team with specialized roles and focus areas. It’s less about the size of your organization as it is the maturity of the organization and the leadership team. The value is what you can deliver.

    Allison Sword
    Allison Sword

    Love this Steve! I feel a lot of people are in this same situation because sales enablement wears so many hats.

    I have to wonder if enablement could be seen as more ‘valuable’ by outside groups that don’t understand what sales enablement does by utilizing a formal enablement charter. Would love to hear different thoughts on that.

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