The sales enablement profession is evolving from stewards of "broken things” into a more strategic function that helps CEO’s bridge the gap between the business strategy and field execution. Our upcoming Sales Enablement Forum is dedicated to these emerging HEROes and sharing the path forward to a more efficient and adaptive selling system. Having said that, I am excited to share an interview we had with Carol Sustala, senior director of Global Sales Enablement at Symantec and one of our keynote speakers. I have the privilege of getting to work with her hands on a lot over the past year and am excited for the rest of you to hear her story.
So, enough about me – here is Carol in her own words:
(1) Sales Enablement is a big, cross-functional role; what did it take to motivate your peers to team with you on some challenges?
The function of Sales Enablement requires tremendous cross-functional alignment and collaboration, and that's not something that happens overnight. One of the key elements to success in driving an aligned sales enablement effort is not really motivation so much, as it is relationships and shared commitments to success. Invest in building strong relationships built on mutual respect for unique talents, expertise and experience across the key stakeholder organizations responsible for some aspect of Sales Enablement, and the motivation to team up on challenges will follow close behind.
(2) Sales Enablement is an emerging role and discipline; where do you see the Sales Enablement role headed at Symantec?
Sales Enablement has been a recognized functional discipline and role at Symantec for a couple of years. It began with a focus simply on "Sales Training" and has branched out to encompass the various key functions of equipping our sales organization to be successful, including sales content, training, communications, programs and sales enablement tools. Sales Enablement is recognized internally as one of the most critical functions that unlocks the potential gaps between strategy and execution, and for the foreseeable future will continue to be seen as an integral lever to drive company success.
(3) What is a good way you have found to bring the realities of your customers in to the sales and marketing conversation at your company?
Representing the reality of what our customers are looking for in their business relationship with Symantec is crucial to equipping our sales teams to be successful. Building meaningful sales enablement programs requires both a great vision that is aligned with the company strategy as well as an understanding of what it means to carry a bag. At Symantec, we have employed several strategies and tactics to ensure that the "real" customer/account manager relationship is understood including:
- Hiring former successful sales people in to key sales enablement roles
- Building and engaging directly with sales management and account manager & engineer/pre-sales advisory panels
- Engage with customers and account teams across Sales Enablement roles in Sales, Marketing and Portfolio Management
- Employ a recurring lifecycle around sales enablement content, training, communications, programs and sales enablement tools that includes triangulation of needs requirements from both a frontline contributor and a sales leadership perspective
What do you think about what Carol has to say? How similar and how different is this from your organization? Wouldn't it be valuable to join a community of peers all looking to become HEROes inside their organizations?
Stay tuned, we will feature more stories from our other HEROes in action leading up to the Forum.