Putting Sales Enablement in a box: Why it’s time to stop defining Sales Enablement.
Raise your hand if you’ve read a definition of Sales Enablement recently. If you follow Sales Enablement closely, you probably have seen the race for the perfect definition of Sales Enablement.
It’s time to stop defining Sales Enablement, and time to start focusing on actually taking Sales Enablement to the next level.
Why we keep defining Sales Enablement
Ok, there is of course a good reason why we keep trying to define Sales Enablement. Product Marketing, sales leaders, sales trainers, hr… ok, at the end of the day, everyone within the company enables sales in one way or another, so it even the title “Sales Enablement” is confusing. Sales Enablement as a field is new(ish), and it’s unusually broad. Most of the push to define Sales Enablement has been to help the C-suite and hiring managers to figure out how to utilize it efficiently. I salute the groups who are trying to bring order to chaos.
Why we need to stop defining Sales Enablement
Sales Enablement evolved because B2B selling became more difficult. As we moved from on-prem solutions to SaaS, we suddenly had rapidly changing products and solutions to sell. Release cycles increased, as did the need to inform the field force on what made their product or solution different from others. As customers became more sophisticated in their research, our sellers needed to be armed with something greater than features and benefits. As collaboration became more of a corporate norm, sellers needed to learn how to sell to a group vs. a single decision maker. As marketing and sales tools erupted, we suddenly needed to figure out how to utilized utilize those tools more effectively. As millennials flooded the workforce, we needed to learn how to support a workforce that had different expectations and needs than previous generations. Sales became more complex, and Sales Enablement rose up to make sales more predictable, scalable, and useful.
Grey Area Sales Enablement
So what does Sales Enablement do? Sales Enablement should remove the road bumps to sale’s success. What kind of road bumps slow down sales success? Your salespeople might be talking to the wrong people, or you might be hiring the wrong people. Your sales reps might be ramping too slowly, or they could be stalling out before the close. There are multiple reasons why revenue is being impacted. Putting sales enablement into a box of being focused on a set group of problems sets them up for a fight when they notice new problems arising. The best sales enablement professionals are nimble professionals with a sharp understanding of sales and marketing, hr and product fit. More than that, great sales enablement professionals can pivot into new areas as needed.
Stop Defining Sales Enablement.
Here’s the biggest problem with defining Sales Enablement. The definition doesn’t take into account how sales, or the customer, will continue to change over the years. Definitions of Sales Enablement that focus on content, skills or messaging only are addressing the very real state of sales today, but not taking into account what may be the biggest problems in the coming years.
The customer, and thus sales, will continue to evolve. The problems we face will continue to change. Let’s make sure that Sales Enablement stays nimble, and not boxed in.
Coming next… decreasing the the cost of high turn over in sales.