Meet Ljiljana Budimir Vukicevic, Sales Enablement Digital Capability Lead at Schneider Electric. In her 20+ year tenure with the global energy management and automation company, Ljiljana has seen and led major technological evolutions across the business — from customer care to IT support and, most recently, sales enablement.
But when you’re leading enablement at a company as large as Schneider Electric (with nearly 130,000 employees and hundreds of distributors globally), you will run into some challenges.
Learn how Ljiljana and her team are tackling sales enablement and change management on a massive scale with the “right information at the right time” approach.
Paving the way as Digital Citizens
Schneider Electric has always focused on driving innovation to stay on the cutting edge. In Ljiljana’s 23-year career with the organization, she’s seen it evolve significantly — especially when it comes to the role of technology. “It makes me laugh remembering the time when I was using the fax machine, and now we are completely digital,” says Ljiljana.
Schneider Electric has embraced its digital transformation and empowers its employees to become digital leaders through its Digital Citizenship program. A course is available to all employees to undergo digital upskilling and digital transformation training.
As part of this digital transformation, Ljiljana has seen a shift from exclusively in-person customer meetings to more remote interactions with customers who are increasingly adopting a self-serve approach. “The new way of living and working has pushed us to embrace more digital tools than before,” she says. “We all check online first now. We’re all looking for the right information at the right time. And that’s the same for our customers”.
Keeping sales enablement at the heart of digital transformation
Leading with the “right information at the right time” approach to digitization, Schneider Electric has kept sales enablement as a key pillar of its digital transformation.
“We’ve seen an evolution over the last few years, one that was accelerated with the pandemic, which was to provide our sales force with the tools that will enable them to make their activities easier,” says Ljiljana. “The shift has been focused on trying to give our sales force the necessary tools — from a global CRM, to a mobile solution, and to Showpad — to provide them with the right content for the right customer at the right moment.”
Building enablement around the customer journey
Like any global enterprise organization, Schneider Electric’s sales force has access to vast amounts of content. But this presents a challenge when they have to find what they need. Especially when that means giving up time they could spend connecting with customers. (Something that customer-centric businesses like Schneider Electric hold dear).
So when Ljiljana and her team embarked on their sales enablement journey, they kept the customer at the center of it all. “First, you build the customer journey. And then, based on the customer journey, you build the way to work”, she explains. “This is part of the key transformation we’re working on now.”
Using the customer journey as their enablement foundation helped the team determine how best to support sellers at each pivotal moment. So sellers are equipped with the content and knowledge they need to expertly guide customers through each stage of the journey.
Ljiljana’s tips for leading change management
Let’s face it. Introducing new processes and tools is never easy. Especially when you’re a global enterprise.
Here’s how Ljiljana’s doing it.
Start with strategy and processes before tools
Before introducing a new tool to your existing (and perhaps already overloaded) tech stack, get the right stakeholders involved early on to nail down your sales enablement strategy and processes.
Ljiljana’s advice: “Before starting with tools, start with strategy and processes. A tool is an outcome of your processes and what you are expecting to achieve.”
A strong setup is key
Before rolling out your sales enablement tool, put some serious thought into how you’re actually going to set it up and run it. A strong setup ensures you’ll get the most adoption, engagement and value out of it.
This includes thinking about:
- How different teams (like sales and marketing) are going to work cross-functionally
- How your enablement instance will be set up locally and globally
- Who’s going to own what elements of your enablement processes
- What content governance policies you’re going to put in place
- How you can gain (and retain) support and advocacy from leadership
Ljiljana’s advice: “Make sure you have strong sales and marketing teams that are working together, that are not working in silos, that are making the most of the tool and driving the strategy together. Ensure that you have resources that are animating the sales community, providing updates on new content, showing the benefits, and so on. You’ll see more engagement, better adoption, and higher value.”
Wherever there is an opportunity to simplify, take it
The easier a process is to follow or a tool is to use, the higher the adoption rate will be. Look for opportunities to simplify your processes and streamline your tech stack, even if that means revisiting legacy processes that are no longer relevant for your organization.
Ljiljana’s advice: “Challenge your organization on process simplification [as opposed to keeping with the status quo]. And continue to simplify as much as you can. So it’s clear enough for users what they need to use for what and at what time.”
Help end users understand what’s in it for them
Your strategy and vision must be clear to everyone involved — from your executive-level stakeholders to your end users (your sellers). The better your sellers understand the value they’ll receive from adopting and engaging with your sales enablement tool, the more likely they are to use it. And the more they use it, the more value they’ll get out of it.
Ljiljana’s advice: “You need to translate the ‘why’ from a very high-level perspective to ‘how’ final users are going to use it in their day-to-day. It’s a journey that requires constant support, coaching, and mentoring to really leverage the benefits.”
Know where you are, where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there
It’s important to know where you are in your sales enablement journey today and where you want to be in the future. So you understand what areas you need to strengthen, where you can grow to meet your goals and what steps you need to take to get there.
Ljiljana’s advice: “One extremely interesting thing we did was an assessment with Showpad, evaluating where we stand in terms of sales enablement maturity and what we need to strengthen to build our vision. That was one of the best learning experiences for me.”
Want to see where you stack up in your sales enablement maturity journey? Use our Enablement Maturity Calculator to find out. You’ll get tailored feedback on your maturity score with actionable next steps to take your team’s enablement strategy to the next level.