What is Sales Enablement?
The million dollar question
Every organization and practitioner defines Sales Enablement differently, which as you can imagine, makes it very difficult to align on a) what folks mean when they say they do it and b) what an organization says when they want it.
At the outset, I have a hard time trusting any practitioner who comes in completely confident of what will “work” - great enablement is a bespoke, collaborative endeavor that has to be constantly iterated on based on the needs of the organization.
Very broadly, I look at Sales Enablement as encompassing four major buckets:
New Hire Onboarding
Product Education + Industry Insights
Culture + Communication
Each of these buckets can then be iterated + expanded upon depending on the maturity of your organization and your specific GTM [go-to-market] motion.
What I mean by that is - if you are a brand new Sales organization with a slow cadence of hiring reps, your Sales Enablement leader might prioritize Sales Readiness/Training over New Hire Onboarding. Conversely, if you are an established Sales Organization with a solid GTM motion and plans to hire aggressively, with not that many seasoned managers, onboarding might surface as the leading priority.
So much of the work of enablement is being in tune with the organization’s trajectory, leadership insight and field needs.
I have personally found that a lot of Enablement resources/materials are fluffy and outdated. My hope is to start demystifying how I see it and by sharing my perspective, learn, evolve and create a space for folks to do the same.
I don’t want to give this a ton of thought and would like for it to evolve naturally but I’ll be digging into maturity models, tools, my career, how I’ve thought about staffing my team, mentorship, and the changing nature of Enablement in subsequent posts. Please subscribe to stay tuned.
3 Resources I Found Helpful This Week:
This podcast with Meka Asonye - the world of Sales is rapidly changing and keeping up with it can feel overwhelming at times. I loved how Meka sees Sales as a strategic differentiator for companies and how this function, even in a world of rapid automation, is the face of your organization.
I’m hiring and our office opened in SF this week - #alwaysberecruitingi'm going in to a real hub tomorrow for the first time since I interviewed in early 2020 and it feels like the first day of school. so excited but like what do I wear! how early do I get there? will they like me? 🥺
I attended the Metrics chat that Misha McPherson puts on as part of the Sales Enablement Squad - one solid idea that emerged from my small group discussion with Keyuri Yagnik was the idea of creating a baseline 10 question survey on how comfortable someone might be with specific topics before a training session and then offering the same survey at the end of the training to assess proficiency. Seems basic, I know, but phrasing it with comfort or confidence can go a long way if you don’t have the resources to tie back to revenue up front.
(bonus) This overview of GTM motions really helps lay out what different organizations prioritize and has helped guide some of the way I think about general strategy.