Sales enablement best practices, #2 – Integrating the solution

In last week’s blog, I talked about how important it is to anchor sales enablement to the buyer’s problem-solving journey. This is vital because:

  • If there is no problem to solve, there is no sale
  • Not every buyer journey ends with a decision to buy from you
  • Even after the purchase, there is a tremendous amount of work to do as part of the “journey”
  • It shifts our focus to serving, not selling

This week, I want to continue talking about another not-so-common thing that makes sales enablement thrive. And in particular, how you link selling content, tools, and behaviors.

People will roll out a new marketing message, or implement a new technology, or even train everyone on a new skill – but there will rarely be an integrated, architected strategy.

How often do sales people complain that they have to do training, while also learn a new tool, while also having to mix in the latest marketing message to their customer communications?

They complain because they do not see it as helping them. Don’t they know we are just trying to help? (Insert sarcastic chuckle here.)

Let’s sideline the question of whether or not those elements are even needed (assume that they all are). The impact of so many “random acts of enablement” is poor execution. Period. It’s no wonder that quota attainment will go down when we don’t “do” sales enablement correctly.

Ask yourself this: does your organization integrate how content, tools, and behaviors are improved? In other words, is there:

  • A single decision-making process, with clear veto authority, over what and how selling content, tools, and behaviors get rolled out to the sales force?
  • A single team that oversees the creation of selling content, tools, and behaviors so that they work together as part of a consistent customer experience?
  • A single calendar that covers all selling content, tools, and behavior timelines?
  • A single, unified experience for sellers that goes from sales onboarding to working on the job – without losing credibility along the way?

You can probably see – very quickly – how sales enablement efforts get messed up. People wind up doing/redoing/undoing someone else’s work. One solution will actually work against another. Sales people randomly select what they will support and what they won’t. And ultimately, the customer experience gets lost in the chaos.

Again, assume that everything being rolled out is well-intentioned and needed. And none of it will matter when put together as one solution.

Because that is what the minimum standard of sales enablement is. It’s the COMBINATION of selling content, tools, and behaviors all combined to deliver a great customer experience.

Trying to separate any of these elements is like to trying to build a car with hooking the systems together. The fuel system is meaningless without the ignition system. Which is meaningless without the exhaust system. And so forth.

In other words, the solution is ONLY defined when it is all put together. There is no sales enablement solution that is independent of the other efforts.

So, how does your business “do” sales enablement? Does it integrate everything or roll out as siloed initiatives?

And now, finally, bring in that even bigger question: is your business even creating the right content/tools/behaviors that help the customer’s problem-solving journey?

I mua. Onward and upward.

By Tim Ohai

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