Enabling your teams through a training program is an effective way to ensure everyone within your organization is on the same page when delivering sales calls, customer support, and so on.
Also, having a strong training program to provide this support can help to develop employee confidence, knowing they’re supported in their role, which will ultimately improve overall sales and employee retention rates.
But how do you know if your company actually needs a sales enablement training program?
In this article, we focus on:
- How do you know when you need a sales enablement training program?
- Who owns and is involved with sales enablement in an organization?
- Strengthening your sales enablement training program.
How do you know when you need a sales enablement training program?
From a B2B perspective, the buying process is so complex, that we’d argue every organization selling to businesses requires a strong sales enablement approach - including a sales enablement training program.
An effective sales enablement approach should help you answer or have a plan to figure out:
- What does the buyer journey and customer journey look like and how does your brand, company, employees, and product support through every step of that journey?
- Whether your sales organization is hitting its goals, optimizing metrics (like win rates, closed deals, and so on), and how does enablement support them in those efforts?
- Do you understand the different roles that exist within your sales organization and how they support sales goals, what their top challenges are, and how you’re supporting them?
- Are all your sellers able to consistently speak about the value of your products to different buyers at every interaction? Can you confidently say that all your reps are using consistent messaging through the sales cycle?
- Are leads being effectively followed up on by sales and converting through the funnel/sales process?
- What kind of onboarding, training/sales coaching, and communication exists to align salespeople on new sales tools and product updates?
- How often are existing sales-facing initiatives updated?
- Do you know how sales reps are using the sales enablement tools and templates provided to them and if they are leading to a positive impact?
Your role in sales enablement will very likely include convincing the organization itself it needs to invest in building the function or redesigning your approach.
So, if you or your teams still need knowledge or answers to these questions… the answer is: You likely need a training program dedicated to sales enablement.
Who owns sales enablement in an organization?
Ownership for sales enablement is varied across the board. Let’s start with some data from the Sales Enablement Landscape Vol. 2 report:
- 33.3% of product marketers said they don’t have a sales enablement team in place - and have no plans to introduce one.
- 64.6% of product marketers said they own sales enablement at their company.
- 94% of product marketers surveyed said they’re responsible for creating sales enablement assets.
- 46.4% of product marketers surveyed said they don’t have a dedicated budget for sales enablement.
It’s also interesting to note that a report from HubSpot found organizations with a dedicated sales enablement team were more likely to outperform against revenue targets.
This tells us that product marketing will very likely always play a part in sales enablement, whether they own it or not. How that plays out in your organization will depend on variables such as team budget, size, resources, and so on.
Lawrence Chapman, Senior Copywriter here at Product Marketing Alliance, wrote an article that dives deep into expert sales enablement insights and opinions with the help of Kelly Esten, VP of Product Marketing, Marketing Insights & Pricing at Toast.
The key takeaway here is that the structure and responsibilities for this role can vary from business to business; in some companies, product marketing will be responsible for all things sales enablement, whilst in others, dedicated sales enablement teams collaborate with product marketing.
It tends to depend on the size of the business and the resources you’ll have. For example, in small companies, it may be explicitly owned by product marketing - in a larger org, there may be a sales enablement team and they’re broken out into specializations themselves, with practitioners focused on sales enablement, and success enablement, sales leader enablement, and so on.
And that brings up another important point - sales enablement doesn’t just mean strictly sales. Many sales enablement teams are moving to “revenue enablement”, which focuses on any customer-facing team and stakeholders like pre-sales engineers and customer success teams.
In the example of customer success, these roles are often critical in up-sell and cross-sell opportunities and need to be enabled. Another statistic from the Sales Enablement Landscape Vol. 2 report shows that 6.3% of respondents stated that sales departments take ownership of sales enablement.
While sales should not own sales enablement, they have to play a critical role. For instance, sales leaders need to be a major input to and reinforce all sales enablement efforts. If you don’t have the buy-in from your sales leaders, you’re doomed from the start.
Additionally, sellers themselves shouldn’t only be receiving enablement - they also need to provide feedback and share stories of success.
It’s critical to figure out the roles everyone will be playing. We’ve seen the best sales enablement strategies fall apart due to unclear expectations on who’s doing what. It’s critical to define accountability on a clear scope of work.
This’ll be accomplished by building out a sales enablement charter, which you can liken to a business plan and blueprint for what your sales enablement discipline will be focused on, how you’ll achieve it, how you’ll measure it, and who plays a role in that.
Strengthening your sales enablement training program
It’s a sign of a good leader when you’re implementing training for your team members so they can confidently carry out their roles and improve their sales performance.
Ensuring that your sales teams are knowledgeable and sufficiently trained in their area of work is vital to an organization’s success. After all, without sales, you have no purchases, and without no purchases, you have no steady revenue income.
We have a multitude of different resources here at Product Marketing Alliance that are sure to help you strengthen your sales enablement process and skills, alongside finding ways to ensure that your sales enablement training program is running smoothly.
In this article, we discuss org design and specifically restructuring sales enablement to mimic a traditional product dev team in order to build the sales enablement organization in a way that makes accessing investment dollars based on proven outcomes achievable and maximizes your impact.
In this article, Kyle Doerflein, Director of Sales Enablement at LogicMonitor, gives tips on how to convert your sales enablement function into significant revenue.
A sales team plays an essential part in any company’s success. Check out how to conduct training sessions, optimize knowledge, and convert more customers in this article.
Sales enablement can help your reps convert prospects into bonafide customers. Check out how you can introduce the process within your organization.
This article serves as a hub of sales enablement insights, focusing on what it is, why it's important, and advice from experts in the field.
Sales Enablement Certified: Masters course
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Sales Enablement Podcast
Leading the Way: The Sales Enablement Podcast is hosted by Marissa Gbenro, Director of Content Marketing at Highspot, and Jarod Greene, VP of Product and Customer Marketing at Highspot.
In this podcast, they discuss hot topics surrounding sales enablement with guests from leading brands including Salesforce, LinkedIn, and Pluralsight.Tune in today