Can I get fries with that? Avoid getting underserved by sales enablement.
If your company is already on a massive growth curve, this week’s blog isn’t for you. Yet.
I want to talk with the folks who are either struggling to grow and/or have plateaued and can’t seem to get past their current state.
And I’m not just talking to sales people here. These principles apply across industries and functions. They apply to both enterprise and start-up. And if you are still reading this, they apply to you.
My simple definition of sales enablement is getting the right people into the right conversations in the right way.
(Note: If you are not in sales, change “conversations” to “interactions” and keep reading.)
That’s actually a pretty loaded statement. Unfortunately, most organizations reduce what is involved in making this happen to the point of oversimplification.
Take onboarding for example.
Most organizations treat onboarding as an event that is akin to sheep dipping – grab someone new, push them through some training, and let them loose with the rest of the flock.
But if you’re stuck as an organization – and revenue is not growing – “fixing” onboarding is not your answer. At least, not all of it.
You probably need to evaluate your recruiting, and your sales methodology, and – most importantly – your clarity.
In other words:
- If your recruiting strategy is not completely aligned to your onboarding, your recruiting efforts are experimental at best.
- If your sales methodology is not relevant to your customers, you are wasting your time teaching it.
- If you don’t have clear definitions of your goals and roles (both the customers AND your sellers), no training experience is going to fix it.
- If your profiles, methods, and clarity are broken, what is the value of the onboarding experience?
It’s all interconnected. The only way you can ignore this truth is when your innovation is selling itself. You can afford to be sloppy.
But when your innovation is not as fresh as it used to be or when the competition is as close to – if not better than – your value, well…
It’s kind of like ordering the lunch special and only getting a burger. No side. No drink. Not even a glass of water. You’re getting underserved.
And the same principle applies to more than onboarding.
It applies to process improvements.
It applies to content development.
It applies to cross-functional alignment.
There are more bits involved than most people realize.
Great enablement looks at how all the bits work together. In sales enablement, it’s especially focused on Sales and Marketing, but also HR, Ops, and Finance. Frankly, anyone who impacts revenue and margin can be drawn into the discussion.
Here is the twist – doing this can be very complicated. Especially when no single person is actually in charge of the enablement.
You can certainly expect to get all of leadership on the same page and working together as a high-performing team. That truly happens. Some times.
More often, silos develop and functional leaders push their functional agenda over others, leaving the CEO to jump in and play referee for a function that could be set up on its own.
And when the CEO turns his/her back in these situations? Burgers all over the place. Of different qualities, quantities, and kinds.
Make YOUR story different.
I mua. Onward and upward.
By Tim Ohai
PS If you or someone you know needs to get better performance from the sales team, let’s set up a conversation to talk about it. Get on my calendar here.