We’re back in the game of leadership and this time let’s look at sales enablement; after all, every leader contributes to the growth number in one way or the other. I’m excited to highlight that this is the 5th of our 12-part blog series on leadership (business and personal).
Sales Enablement – What is it?
Sales Enablement is an interesting function. It is becoming increasingly important if your business is looking for exponential growth from different angles. Without going into the various definitions, I personally look at it from the angle of corporate strategy, sales, marketing, customer services and product teams coming together to own the growth number. By aligning resources (keeping the buyer/customer’s needs in mind), they put processes in place to sell more and retain more customers for faster and longer term profitability.
If you’re a smaller business or entrepreneur, this simply means approaching your sales process in a holistic way; taking all the above into consideration and context.
Having worked with various businesses and individuals in different capacities in sales enablement, here are some tips to take into consideration when it comes to making this function operate well for exponential growth in your business. I gleaned these tips from practical conversations over the last few months.
1. Adopt a conscious approach to success
As the sales enablement function is normally plagued with various departments protecting their own territories (who says this is usually a sales only trait), it’s important for organisations to adopt a cultural change – a conscious approach to success. Achieving a corporate goal is the focus here and we have to look at it from the internal teams’ perspective as well as external stakeholders (buyers/customers, suppliers, etc). Equal gain and share in the success story is important. All departments need a sense that some of their KPI’s are being met by the sales enablement programme, not just the sales target number.
2. The Battle – Internal, not External
More often that not, I find that the sales enablement challenge may be more about personal internal battles than they are about the external results that show up. Individual leaders and team members should therefore fight their personal internal battles to recognise that the results, sales targets and KPIs are realistic and achievable.
They can then take individual and team steps to show their desired results for the CEO, every department and the buyers/customers. Special recognition must be given to the collaboration between salespeople and marketers. Don’t forget them. They are the front-runners of the battle; a huge part of the sales enablement puzzle. Their buy-in and contribution right from the outset is key for success.
3. The Winner
YOU are the winner! Winning is a state of mind and should not be seen only as an external recognition. It’s internal for some, external for others. As a previous salesperson and sales leader, did I enjoy seeing my name on the recognition and Winners Circle boards? Hell…YES!
I’ve also seen equal, if not more, satisfaction and excitement on the faces (and in the actions) of others; when they identify with their contribution to a common business goal, KPI or team project!
So, in Conclusion
Let the sales enablement battle continue. It’s a game of hearts, minds (and of course the money), aligned to a common goal. The icing on the cake is that organisations, their leadership and salespeople will eventually become winners with the buyer. As my latest eBook shows, it’s partly about the Evolution of the Buyer and Implications for Sales.
Bottom-line: more deals won, more sales targets and KPIs exceeded, products/services meet the buyer at their exact point of need.
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By the way, you should also check out the Sales Enablement Society, where excellent debates, knowledge sharing and development of this function takes place globally; daily!
Maggie Sarfo is a passionate author, speaker, advisor and mentor for ambitious business executives, entrepreneurs and professionals looking to explode sales revenue, create new markets or access their highest potential. Her blog is her playground, where she explores the topics of business growth, personal growth and peak performance. Learn more about her programmes.