Working with, supporting, and managing sales teams is one of sales enablement's many responsiblities.
Sales enablement is well-placed to assist with the development of sales strategies, go-to-market strategies, sales pipeline development, sales kick-offs, and the general sales operations in an organization.
Sales enablement is about continuous, repeatable, scalable growth, support, and improvement in all aspects of the sales organization, so it's important to understand the ins and outs of these key cogs in the sales machine.
Obviously sales management plays a vital role in any organization, that goes without saying. As a sales enablement professional, in many ways you're an extension of sales management so the topics below are extremely relevant.
While sales enablement is quite clearly responsible for the successful deployment of an organization's enablement strategy, the department is so closely aligned to the rest of the sales organization that it can provide invaluable input and direction when it comes to the overall sales strategy.
At the end of the day, sales enablement will be responsible for onboarding, coaching, and training people on how to operate within this strategy. One could argue that your sales enablement strategy and sales strategy are intrinsically linked.
The cornerstone of any good sales strategy is the playbook. Sales playbooks are an invaluable resource for management and reps alike. There are a lot of challenges and pressures associated with building playbooks, however.
They're going to be your reps go-to resource in a lot of instances, they're going to shape your strategic approach to selling. If you get it wrong, it could make sales' job harder.
One of the main reasons that the wider sales community is great is because there's always someone with experience willing to share insights and lend a hand.
Developing a sales strategy is tricky, but look in the right places (like here at SEC!) and you'll find expert sales managers sharing the lessons they've learned while building playbooks, providing sales playbook templates, and more.
Below, you'll find just some of our playbook-related resources but for a quick overview of do's with your playbook look no further:
- Remember to build around the needs of your prospective clients. It's all too easy to get wrapped up in what sounds good to you, when really the customer is king.
- Focus on the top priorities you want to cover in the playbook. Your product/service is great, and there's lots to say about it. But say too much, and it'll get confusing. What three things do you need to communicate?
- Don't be afraid to take on feedback. Learn from the playbook once it's out in the wild. See what the reaction is, and adapt if necessary.
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Once your playbook is built, the work isn't done. There's always more you can do to optimize and maximize your sales playbook's return. After all, if you've spent time putting it together then why wouldn't you want to extract every bit of value from it that you can.
So, when you're developing a sales strategy and are building playbooks, factor in that your playbooks will need reviews and optimizations. That doesn't mean your first iteration is bad, it just means that there's always room for improvement.
Sales teams, sales development, and sales operations
Stating the sales enablement plays a major role when it comes to sales teams and the general sales operations in an organization. That's why you need to be prepared for every situation that may arise in your sales team.
Whether it's demotivated reps who won't engage with your content, or a confused sales operation that interferes with your enablement activities, if you're in sales enablement you need to be able to deal with these challenges.
For example, While sales enablement wouldn’t need to get directly involved with managing conflict within the sales team, your job is to support sales teams to operate efficiently and overcome barriers.
In other situations, your might arrive into an organization and find that it has a disorganized sales team, where roles and duties are unclear and no one is quite sure who is responsible for what. While this is a frustrating situation to enter, it also provides you with the possibility of shaping the sales team's structure. Below, with the help of sales enablement experts, we outline exactly what the most common sales roles entail and what tasks are best suited to each role.
Overall, the message is clear. Sales enablement cannot be siloed away, only answering when called. If you're leading a sales enablement department you have to be ready to have a finger in every pie. You need to have your finger on the pulse of every sales team and of every sales leadership position, as that way you'll be in the position to provide a bird's-eye-view of the sales organization.
That's incredibly valuable, and another place where enablement can prove its worth.
Sales kick-offs and go-to-market strategy
Sales kick-offs (SKOs) are an integral part of the sales experience, and as a sales enabler you have to be prepared to support SKO efforts for that reason.
Similarly, sales enablement is often closely aligned with the entire go-to-market (GTM) organization, that means you're well-placed to chip in on the overall GTM strategy. It's simple.
Sales enablement is the foundation that supports the entire sales organization. If you're involved in SKOs, they're likely to be better. If you're involved in GTM strategy, it's likely to be a better, more thought out strategy. Enablement is just that influential.
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