Accelerate: In a few sentences tell me what sales enablement means to your organization?
Phillip: It allows us to create a culture of coaching and feedback which in turn helps provide better service to our clients. Being prepared and having the right information at the right time allows us to basically close more and achieve individual and company goals.
Accelerate: What is one enablement tool that is a must-have for your team? How do you measure its effectiveness on your sales enablement efforts?
Phillip: A knowledge management tool. Having a source of truth and being able to manage and deliver information in real-time to the frontline and to clients is a game-changer.
Accelerate: How do you build rapport and get buy-in from the management team?
Phillip: We build rapport and buy-in through honest communication. We are a “start-up” with rapid growth and are moving quickly. So we are constantly communicating, trying to develop a good feedback loop. The frontline management team sees and hears everything first hand. Their input and open collaboration help to create a culture of open feedback. Managers along with reps tell us what they need to serve our clients well. As sales enablement, we try to remove those barriers within the context of the overall plan.
Accelerate: Can you share any real-life examples of times when you’ve included the management team in the sales enablement process and what the outcome was?
Phillip: The number is when we started to rebuild and define the sales process for all sales positions. They will be the ones coaching on developing. They need to know and buy into the overall process and how to execute. From the quality conversation to system compliance.
Accelerate: After you’ve provided a structure to develop your management team’s knowledge, how do you go about ensuring they are following your plan to coach their team?
Phillip: We (leadership team) coach them in the same manner we expect them to coach on the frontlines. How they approach every conversation becomes an opportunity to coach and develop. How we do 1-on-1’s and the messaging becomes consistent. Consistency breeds success. Somebody said that once.
Accelerate: Is there a way to measure your sales enablement effort toward management development?
Phillip: We are starting to develop measurables now. Of course, end results help, but those are lagging indicators. In developing a rapid growth sales floor, we have to take a step back to look at the KPIs that impact the management team. We are working on this one.
Accelerate: What is the biggest challenge of putting together an enablement program for management?
Phillip: We know the right activities, but these are intangible and qualitative. Quantifying these activities in a way that impacts the business at the management level is the difficult part. Coaching activity is a must and always pays off.
Accelerate: What’s one skill you possess that makes you stand out in the enablement industry?
Phillip: I have found that I am very good at building and executing a plan. This of course also means I usually have a great team to help get us there. It is fun identifying the issues and developing a plan with the team. Watching it unfold makes it that much more satisfying. Like the A-Team says, “I love it when a plan comes together.” Even in failure, we learn from it, quickly. Then we start again.
Accelerate: How do you see the industry changing over the next five years?
Phillip: Even now we can see how sales enablement is being embedded into large companies. Because Enablement touches so many parts of a business (sale, on-boarding and training, HR, customer care /account management and more), it could become the cornerstone for most consumer-based companies.
Accelerate: What’s the biggest misconception about the enablement profession?
Phillip: The biggest misconception is that it is training and on-boarding. It is much more. It is continued education, content creation, they help to identify trends that impact the client directly. They work with many different departments to insure they get the right information at the right time in their journey to close.
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