Sales Enablement Strategy – Why Some Succeed

Far too many organizations run their Enablement programs without a solid Sales Enablement strategy. It’s the reason why far too many organizations fail with Enablement.

Let’s dive into how you can build your strategy.

How to Build a Sales Enablement Strategy

Build your Sales Enablement StrategyThe process for creating a sales enablement strategy is straight-forward to explain, but can be very challenging for anyone unfamiliar or inexperienced in strategy development and change management.

Here is an overview of the process.

Review Current Goals

Ah.

You saw the old start with why coming, didn’t you?

This question is always the most important to work out.

Why are you implementing Enablement and, based upon that answer, you begin creating a sales enablement strategy to achieve these business outcomes.

You do not have to begin with by defining a complete set of leading and lagging indicators; you simply need to ask yourself, initially, are you trying to drive one or more of these outcomes:

  • Revenue Growth
  • Time/Dollars Savings
  • Risk Reduction

Baseline Current Efforts

Based upon the answer to that question, you can begin your journey by first baselining where you are right now with regards to the following:

  • Executive Alignment
  • Understanding of current target business metrics
  • Examine the buying, sales, and customer journeys
  • Identify content, training, process, people, and technology gaps
  • Use of quantitative and qualitative data to guide the process

The most effective approach is first to bring all stakeholders together and walk through these items in detail as a group.

Then, pull each significant subgroup and key stakeholder aside for smaller group conversations walking through these areas again.

Painful? 

Redundant?

Yes, and yes.

But also critically important.

You will learn different information with each audience.

Document, Review, Propose Next Steps

You have now spent a day or two or three having fantastic conversations and receiving more feedback than you ever expected.

The hard work is now beginning.

Based upon the current goals and desired outcomes for Enablement, begin aligning all feedback against the goals they impact, your initial thoughts on perceived ROI (total effort vs. business impact), and priorities.

I prefer to use a spreadsheet for this activity, but some prefer documents.

And hey, if you are doing this yourself, you choose.

When you finish, you will have a set of prioritized recommendations to bring back to the stakeholder group.

Create an executive summary of recommended changes based upon this work.

Review with Stakeholders and Gain Alignment

You have done all the hard work and now need to bring it back to all the stakeholders; it’s easy from here forward, right?

Sometimes.

More often than not, however, each of the stakeholder groups will have their own opinions about priorities, and your executive sponsor will need to take ownership of keeping everyone focused on the business goals.

Once have alignment, document your priorities publicly.

Build Your Strategy, and Execute

Finally, we can now build our sales enablement strategy!

First, recognize that we do not need to build a long and complex document.

This document is a living thing that you should review and update quarterly. Keep it simple and just call out:

  • What are the business growth levers you are impacting? Revenue Growth? Time/Dollars Savings? Risk Reduction?
  • What leading and lagging KPIs will you use to monitor progress?
  • What teams will you focus on serving and using what mix of Enablement capabilities?

I know this sounds similar to your sales enablement charter, doesn’t it?

For many organizations, the charter is a great place to document your sales enablement strategy. If you add an executive summary to the beginning of the charter, you have done enough on this front.

Yes, some enablement experts believe you need something more complicated than I have laid out here.

They are wrong.

Remain agile and create the documentation you need to focus your efforts and build alignment, but going further than this is truly a waste of time and effort.

Now, go execute your Sales Enablement Strategy!

Remember — It’s okay to ask for help

Business needs change to keep up with the markets around them.

Your Enablement program needs to do the same — sometimes even requiring a complete restart.

When you get into this situation, talk to your CRO and give me a call. The $50,000 you spend resetting your strategic approach will generate far more than that in the near term or cost much more if you don’t pivot quickly enough.