While there are a few people who have done it successfully multiple times, most people have not.
In this article, I wanted to provide you with a 30/60/90 day program that provides the structure you should follow to start your sales enablement program.
You start your sales enablement program starts during the interview
- Why is the company starting the sales enablement program?
- What does good sales enablement look like at this company?
- How do you want and expect to work with the sales enablement team?
- How is enablement funded, and how will success be determined.
You are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you.
If you do not hear the same responses, or similar, from everyone you interview with, you may be walking into a bad situation.
Ensure you meet with the following individuals during the interview process:
- The hiring manager’s boss.
- The team currently developing sales content today
- The HR person onboarding employees today
- The head of customer success
- The head of sales
I have seen and heard countless examples where misalignment on the vision of enablement at each of these critical positions has led to pain and failure in year one.
Meet these people.
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Start your sales enablement program on the right foot – your 30/60/90 day approach
Please repeat after me.
All of my assumptions about this role are wrong.
I need to listen with my two ears, see with my two eyes and learn.
The first 30 days
During the first 30 days, interview all those people you spoke to before, and then interview every single member of the go-to-market team.
Ask them all the same questions you brought up during the interview and compare what you hear to what you heard in the interview.
In addition, ask them:
- What are the highest priority challenges on which you are hoping the Enablement team will work first?
- Where do you encounter issues meeting your targets?
- Where do you think our customers and prospects struggle to work with us?
- Describe what you like about your job
- Tell me about the training and content you have to do your job
You are using what you learn to start your sales enablement program on the right foot.
- Listen and take notes.
- Don’t propose solutions.
- Don’t form opinions.
During the first 30 days, spend as much time as possible meeting with your boss, their boss, and the CRO/CSO/CEO to clarify:
- Business goals for the next quarter and next year
- How is progress towards these goals measured
Be data-driven and conversationally informed.
You need to understand what success looks like in terms of what the executive team focuses on and what your teammates and other business leaders will say about your teams.
Find time to deliver quick wins to the team.
You don’t want to say yes to every request; you are standing up a sales enablement program that will deliver a positive, measurable impact.
Don’t fall into meeting hell either.
You may want to jump into every meeting you hear about. Be smart and strategic, meeting individually with the key stakeholders.
Your next 30 days
You have learned a lot and should be able to flesh out your sales enablement program at this point.
During this time, in addition to defining your strategy, your program:
- Create your sales enablement charter.
- Stand up your sales enablement advisory board.
- Work with the operations team to begin creating reporting against the sales enablement metrics you are using.
Also, ensure you can draw a line between the tactics you will use and your reporting outcomes.
If you cannot do this, your executive team won’t either.
The last 30 days of your 30/60/90 day plan
As you come to the end of the first ninety days, it is time to set down with your advisory board and executive leaders to review:
- The strategic, data-driven plan you have in place.
- Your dashboards showing how you measure your progress on the business goals.
- Your strategic program(s) for the next quarter
- Quick wins you have already delivered on, and how they relate to the overall strategy
I hope you find this advice useful.
This framework will help you start your sales enablement program in the right way, but it’s not perfect.
Listen, learn, and apply this to what is happening in your business, in your environment.
If you can do this, you will continue to build credibility and deliver results through your sales enablement program.
Living Enablement as a practitioner and as a leader. I’ve seen the confusion and frustration that many practitioners live. From working in other areas of the business, I’ve also seen the genuine need for the capabilities that enablement provides.