Enabling Revenue Growth (or what is sales enablement and why do you need it)
Discover why sales enablement is essential to revenue growth. With the emergence of the CRO, and Vice Presidents of Ops and Enablement, sales enablement has evolved beyond being a buzzword to being table stakes for high-growth organizations.
That’s a question many enablement, ops, sales and revenue leaders both appreciate and dread. The reason is that we are typically outcome-oriented problem solvers, or we wouldn’t be in these professions, but we don’t have the data and insights we need to correlate our programs to outcomes. We have more tools than ever before, each capturing only a piece of the puzzle. That’s why we have to figure it out from scratch in each new role to “prove the value,” even though we know it’s been proven time and time again.
This is changing, however, and these roles have evolved far beyond being buzzwords, cost-centers or “glorified back office functions' ' to being table stakes, especially for high-growth organizations. The emergence of the CRO, and Vice Presidents of Ops and Enablement in the executive layer of businesses proves that.
The trend is also gaining momentum with the looming recession. Increasingly cost-conscious organizations are realizing they can’t just throw headcount after ambitious growth targets without a proportional amount of support functions that are focused on scale to generate revenue.
What is the outcome?
This all started with B2B sales getting exponentially more complex. With buyers doing more independent research before ever talking to a seller, the size of buying committees growing, and content taking center stage as a distribution channel for messaging, the need for alignment across go-to-market functions is at an all-time high. The functions responsible for this alignment are far from reaching their full maturity though, with many organizations still incorrectly positioning the roles for hiring and long-term success. That’s fair given that enablement has only existed as an independent function from sales training for about 15 years, similar to RevOps but, the fact remains, we have work to do!
That’s why I have made it a point to prioritize the creation of a sales process performance dashboard in my enablement and RevOps roadmap. This is not something you want to wait to do until you have it all figured out, but rather set up initially to inform future decision-making and continuously improve. Without data, Enablement and RevOps cannot live up to the promise of proactively identifying gaps in the buyer journey and shaping priorities to fill those gaps with the optimization of people, process, and technology. It is reduced to being tactical and administrative, reacting to requests by creating content or scheduling training.
How to implement it successfully?
To ensure that enablement and ops continues to be successful, you must measure the results of all your hard work. To do this, work with your analytics team or someone internally who is well-versed in working with a BI tool. Then, continuously analyze the correlation between leading and lagging indicators to track rep effectiveness throughout the process and proactively identify gaps. Leading indicators can include time to ramp (must be defined with leadership), training, and certification completion.
You can and should also include metrics from across your tech stack, like SLA monitoring, MEDDPIC adherence and adoption key messaging if you have a conversational intelligence solution. Lagging indicators are more traditionally analyzed metrics, like deal stage conversation, win rate, and quota attainment. Correlating between the two also allows you to prove Enablement’s impact on revenue, the crown jewel of every Enablement program. Enablement will be rightfully viewed as a strategic function with influence if you can prove that.
But building a dashboard with all of this information is expensive and time-consuming, and it alone does not fully solve for tying Enablement initiatives to outcomes. We’ve all heard the objection, “correlation is not causation,” and it’s a fair point. After all, how do you know that more deals are progressing from S1 to S2 just because your reps completed their pitch certification and are adopting the new messaging? It could also be because you hired a string of experienced reps who ramped quickly and are improving top of funnel conversion.
That’s why we must get more granular than stages and focus on specific selling activities. The problem is that there aren’t many solutions for this and Enablement and RevOps professionals find themselves spending hours in manual, redundant and reactive work to generate those insights
Given that Enablement and RevOps are not a quota-carrying role, that connection to revenue is essential in the current economy to avoid being positioned as a cost center. Enablement was born as a function only about 15 years ago, so many leaders still are learning about it and don’t yet realize the vital importance of having a proportional number of support roles for their field teams. After all, you can’t just have everyone focused on execution. There must be people focused on building frameworks and processes to scale what works in a repeatable fashion.
The time savings is also essential in the current economy, as most support roles are being asked to do more with less. Many Enablement and RevOps teams are, in reality, armies of one. If they are left to manually identify gaps, they have less time to solve those problems. That’s where having the right operational structure, a close connection to their Operations counterparts, and a solution like Gluework can help them thrive.
With Gluework, enablement professionals leverage real-time monitoring and alerts to go beyond simple stage conversion and instead focus on which activities are not working, measuring improvements over time, and driving adoption by being able to easily explain the sales process for repeatability. This means they save time by more quickly diagnosing and addressing gaps in the buyer journey with a clear connection to revenue.
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