The success—or lack thereof—of a sales enablement team isn’t the easiest to track because the area itself isn’t always clearly defined. When a scaling company develops its initial sales enablement strategy, it’s often a struggle to determine exactly what the organization needs to focus on first. And that lack of clarity can present a real problem. “Enablement means something different in every company,” Katie MacDonald, global sales onboarding and enablement manager at Optimizely, said. “A lot of companies think they need enablement. But if there is not a clear understanding of the purpose of sales enablement, it can die very quickly.”
So how do you start? Simply. Focus first on a handful of easy-to-identify valuable functions that drive performance in a sales organization. Here are three great ways to start:
Decrease time to quota obtainment
All new hires face a steep learning curve when entering a new organization and a new sales process. Providing the right tools that boost a new hire into peak productivity mode is remarkably important. And cutting down the number of days until that happens can wildly profitable. So the role of a new sales enablement team must start hacking at that time to quota obtainment with insights for into the sales process. Empowering new hires with basic strategies that overcome common obstacles that have slowed success in the past is a key component in enabling the sales team. Identifying selling pitfalls, core value propositions and common pain points and some additional tricks of the trade helps shorten the road to top performance.
Decrease time to pipeline obtainment
In order to hit that quota, reps need to fill the pipeline first. Most companies will use the 3x sales pipeline-to-quota-ratio as the goal for the sales team. For the sales enablement team, it’s essential to identify the best ways new reps can hunt for new leads. Your enablement team can provide information on the right customer types, how to best reach them and how to determine which opportunities might be better than others.
Again, you’re providing new reps with a better roadmap to avoid obstacles others have already encountered. The bottom line is if your sales enablement team isn’t decreasing time to quota obtainment or pipeline obtainment, they aren’t providing the right boost to your onboarding efforts.
Decrease sales cycles
Finally, moving beyond new hires, sales enablement teams must deconstruct the sales cycle and find ways for the entire organization to cut down on the time to commitment. They have to monitor how deals track through the process and identify common factors that are often introduced and slow down the action. Sales enablement teams gather intelligence and data from across the team and synthesize the learnings into communication training that drives iterative improvement. That speeds up the process and makes enablement worthwhile in the long-run.
There is almost no end to the avenues your enablement team may explore to keep your organization innovating and working smarter. But by focusing first on just a few key areas, you can convince investors of the need for sales enablement and earn buy-in from the rest of your leadership team of its value.