Sales Enablement Growth Has Stalled

By John Moore

Do you know how many jobs were added to the US Economy from January 2017 through today? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 6.5 million jobs have been added.

According to Paul Krajewski, who has been tracking Sales Enablement job titles on LinkedIn for many years, people with Sales Enablement in their job title has nearly tripled since 2017.

Based upon those two data points, you are likely assuming that the growth of Sales Enablement is skyrocketing.

According to the latest CSO Insights Sales Enablement Survey Results, the number of businesses making use of a Sales Enablement function has been flat over those three years. In 2017, 59.2% of companies surveyed had a Sales Enablement team. In 2018, the number inched upward to 61.0%, and it crawled slightly higher to 61.3% in 2019.

The number of businesses investing in Enablement has, at least for now, plateaued but those that have already invested appear to be:

  • Adding to their teams
  • Changing job titles to align job roles to the newly recognized profession

According to a Bloomberg survey of economists in September 2019, the chances of a recession are increasing. Current estimates show that there is a 35% chance in the next 12 months, up from 20% at the end of last year. These surveys do not mean a recession is guaranteed but does mean that an economic downturn is possible, and with it, job cuts.

Initial job cuts generally hit the lower performing staff and teams, so all should be good, right?

A more in-depth review of the CSO Insights Survey results is helpful. One note that caught my eye was that:

“Only 19 .0% of organizations dynamically align their internal processes to the customer’s path. But this one-fifth achieves significantly better results.”

It is this 19% of teams that are delivering incredible results for their businesses. What kind of results? As compared against the average, the following results have been seen:

  • 17.9% better win rates
  • 11.8% better quota achievement rates

Okay.  

  • We know that 61.3% of the study participants have a Sales Enablement function.
  • According to the survey, 19% have their selling processes dynamically aligned to the customer’s path, leading to much better results.

Only 27.5% of the total study’s population met or exceeded their stakeholder expectations. Remember, it is this group that is achieving significantly better results.

On the other hand, more than 50% of these teams are only meeting SOME of their stakeholder’s expectations, and this group does NOT move the needle.

This large group of professionals is in companies that are investing in Sales Enablement and NOT seeing results. It is this same group of Sales Enablement professionals who are most at risk of losing their jobs if a recession does occur.

What do individuals and teams to do?

The good news is that Sales Enablement can have a significant impact on businesses able to do it well.

My recommendation?

  • Download and dig into the full CSO Insights Survey results.
  • Invest in doing Sales Enablement right. Download a Sales Enablement guide to understand how to set up and run a successful Sales Enablement program.
  • Start looking into Revenue Enablement. This form of Enablement focuses on achieving alignment, data-driven decisions, and uses business metrics to achieve success across the entire buyer journey.

The clock is ticking. Your future and that of your business are in your hands. What path will you choose?

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