We can get far more granular, of course, and talk about creating content for sales that maps to each stage of both the buyer’s journey and their documented sales process. We can talk about going beyond simply passing along sales qualified leads, to also providing sales with messaging, follow-up tools and other support to increase lead responsiveness and conversion.
But that’s getting tactical. It’s doing the fishing, vs. teaching he organization how to fish.
The fundamentals of fishing, and sales enablement specifically in this example, is rooted in revenue responsibility. Get that part right and the rest often falls into place.
So what does that mean? Depending on your company and culture, it might mean tying marketing’s bonus structure to pipeline contribution and/or closed business. It might mean making sales-qualified leads and/or pipeline contribution the #1 measure of marketing effectiveness.
It might also mean taking a hard look at the distribution of responsibilities across marketing. What would happen if you took just one head focused on demand generation, and instead focused that person on sales enablement strategy & tactics? Would lead volume really go down? And if pipeline contribution actually went up, would you really care?
Fundamentally, you could easily argue that generating sales-qualified leads is itself sales enablement. Good leads are certainly more efficient than random cold-calling.
But we all know it goes well beyond that. And a tactical definition of sales enablement that fits all companies – sizes, industries, cultures – would be next to impossible.
So instead, I think the right definition of sales enablement is more accurately a guiding principle.
Revenue responsibility means a melding & blurring of the line between sales & marketing. It means new, seminal books such as The Challenger Sale are textbooks for not just sales, but marketing as well.
It means a focus not on internal execution but customer-cetric alignment. The tactics of sales enablement are delivered internally, but the value is 100% realized in the field and with your prospects.
This also doesn’t mean sales enablement needs to be a department, or even an individual role. Sales enablement is everyone’s responsibility. How does this effort impact our prospects? How will our sales team translate this to our prospects? How will prospects react, and how should our organization respond in kind?
These are the questions that, in part, will define how your organization executes successful sales enablement.