May 25, 2020

Why now is the time for sales enablement directors to double down

The hard work of sales enablement just got harder.

As the needs of both buyers and sellers have grown more complex, the value of equipping salespeople with the content, tools, knowledge, skills and coaching necessary to optimize buyer interactions has become clear.

But now sales enablement professionals must work in overdrive to not only support sellers across their organizations, but do so while navigating the pitfalls of remote work and a rapidly changing business landscape.

That’s why it’s never been more important for sales enablement directors to ramp up their efforts by investing in strategies and technologies that empower sales organizations from the bottom up.

The rise of virtual enablement

In our current business environment, in-person collaboration and knowledge sharing are generally out of the question.

And the move toward remote work — already under way before current events accelerated the trend — has created unique challenges. Sellers who were previously able to sit down with prospects in person or schedule meetings from their corporate offices now have to guide potential customers through the buying process while isolated in their homes.

But sellers aren’t the only ones feeling the sting. Among other duties, sales enablement professionals are now tasked with onboarding new hires and providing ongoing training to sales representatives from a distance. They’re forced to get creative in moving their work, which has historically been accomplished in a live setting, to a digital format that needs to be just as impactful.

This new reality has increased the urgency for sales enablement directors to embrace digital transformation.

As Ronaldo Profico, CEO of Doodle, said in a recent article published by Fast Company, companies need to “lean into the socially collaborative nature of digital tools at a time when employee engagement and retention could dip significantly.”

The necessity of change

Our new normal has certainly thrown the value of digital sales enablement tools into sharper relief, but the need for change is nothing new.

In fact, only 53% of sales reps hit their quotas in 2018, according to a report from ASLAN.

Many sales organizations have seen the writing on the wall, trading in outdated, classroom-based onboarding and training programs for digitally augmented, practice-based learning experiences that empower and engage both sellers and their managers.

Thanks to the rise of digital technology — with all its easily accessible information and seemingly endless options — buyers have become more sophisticated, and their expectations have followed suit. Salespeople must be able to articulate unique value quickly and succinctly, presenting themselves as trusted partners who deliver a better buyer experience than their competitors.

Yet, based on data from CSO Insights, less than a third of buyers feel like sellers exceed their expectations.

This has turned up the heat for sales enablement professionals, who are struggling to develop relevant, effective onboarding and training experiences while working to prove the value of their initiatives to leadership.

Without digital tools and easily trackable data, it’s difficult to scale training, measure rep performance or identify potential knowledge gaps.

And then there’s the issue of getting buy-in from sales managers, who are essential to strengthening enablement strategy through coaching. With frontline sales managers leading increasingly large, diverse teams and spending most of their days tackling administrative duties, it’s sometimes difficult to get them on board. Only 38% of sellers say their managers help them develop the skills they need for their current roles, according to Gartner, demonstrating the need for technology that helps automate and streamline sales enablement reinforcement.

The opportunity for optimization

The pressure is on for sales enablement directors, but change comes with unique opportunities.

As our recent eBook, “No more half measures: How to identify and maximize sales enablement ROI,” illustrated, sales enablement strategies that incorporate content, training and coaching, and are powered by the right technology, empower sales enablement directors to meet and exceed their primary goals: scaling onboarding and training for growing teams, overcoming competing priorities and translating strategy into actionable steps sellers can use to deliver better buyer experiences – all while aligning to company goals and proving value to executive leaders.

There’s no shortage of obstacles to successful sales enablement. But by augmenting a smart strategy with advanced technology, there’s no limit to its potential, either.

The time to revise and reaffirm how sales enablement is achieved is now.

Ready to get started?

Download “Optimizing performance with sales enablement: a sales enablement director checklist” to see how you can start amplifying impact at your organization today.

Optimizing Performance with Sales Enablement

Optimizing Performance with Sales Enablement

Salespeople are in need of more support than ever, handling evolving buyer needs while working remotely. Here are the questions sales enablement directors should be asking to ensure their enablement programs have all the elements sellers need.

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