- The goal of sales enablement is to ensure sales reps have the right knowledge, skills and process to maximize every buyer interaction
- Sales enablement should improve the lifetime revenue contribution of reps
- The key to sales enablement success is methodical prioritization, defined execution strategy and aligned structure
At SiriusDecisions, we define sales enablement in terms of the end result,” said Nancy Maluso recently at Summit 2017 in Las Vegas. “The end goal is to make sure sales reps have the right knowledge, skills and process expertise with access to the best assets to maximize every buyer interaction.” Sales enablement must improve the lifetime revenue contribution of reps, which means improving time to competency, optimizing execution, minimizing distractions so reps can focus on selling, and ensuring that reps stay with the organization longer.
Earlier this year, SiriusDecisions introduced the Sales Enablement Range of Responsibilities Model, which helps sales enablement leaders understand the range of possible responsibilities in the three primary areas of sales enablement – sales assets, sales talent and sales communications. During their Summit 2017 presentation “Sales Enablement Functional Design: One Size Never Fits All,” Nancy and co-presenter Heather Cole described the model, then advised attendees how to prioritize and execute enablement responsibilities within their organizations.
“Not all sales enablement functions need to execute all of these responsibilities, but the most effective sales enablement organizations meticulously prioritize activities and assign resources to meet the needs of the organization,” said Heather. “Sales enablement must be selective when deciding what to take on; the key to success is methodical prioritization, defined execution strategy and aligned structure.
The sales enablement leader can leverage the range of responsibilities model to inform what to prioritize and which responsibilities to take on based on how well each activity is currently being done, the potential value of getting it right and the risk associated with getting it wrong. Ultimately, sales enablement leaders need to prioritize the focus areas that contribute the most to sales productivity.
The next step is to establish an execution strategy by gauging the ownership of a given responsibility (distributed vs. consolidated) and the function’s capacity (limited vs. extensive). This process maps each sales enablement responsibility to one of four categories:
- Own. The sales enablement function is fully responsible for the activity.
- Collaborate. Sales enablement co-executes the activity with another function.
- Orchestrate. Sales enablement defines the activity, but another function executes it.
- Source. A third party is held accountable for executing the activity.
By using the prioritization and execution matrices, sales enablement leaders can ensure that the function zeroes in on activities that are of the highest value to the organization, which means a more efficient and effective use of resources.