Today’s post is by Roderick Jefferson, CEO of Roderick Jefferson & Associates, LLC.
You’ve been hired as (or promoted to be) a sales enablement leader. Now what do you do? Where do you focus? How do you evaluate your team – or build a new one? Every company wants a world-class program, but what does world-class sales enablement look like?
How many times have you been asked this question? My best advice is to let your customers (sales leadership) answer it for you. This will give you an opportunity to build a group of champions on your behalf while showing them that your organization would never build what you “think the sales organization needs,” – instead, building a long-standing, mutually equitable relationship that impacts the maturation, growth, and success of the company!
As you move into this role, you must adopt a well-structured approach to gathering and analyzing information about the function’s responsibilities and priorities. First, you need to evaluate your current environment.
As a new sales enablement leader, you’ll need to quickly develop an understanding of the organization’s current enablement resources, processes, tools, and priorities. Meet with as many of your internal customers (sales, marketing, sales ops, product marketing, competitive, HR, etc.) as possible to help you form a well-rounded opinion about the maturity and value of your current organization. They will also help you focus on their priorities and needs. Because enablement is an evolving function, do not make any changes within your first 60 days!
Listen, Learn, Lead
As you meet with your senior sales leaders, ask them the following ten questions:
- What is your definition of sales enablement?
- If you had a blank canvas, what would you see as your team’s top three to five priorities for this quarter and fiscal year?
- What is your definition of success – beyond just “hitting the number”?
- How long is it currently taking to successfully onboard a new sales professional?
- How are you currently tracking and reporting on the components of their onboarding experience?
- What type of feedback are you receiving about their onboarding experience?
- Who are your most successful frontline managers and sales professionals, so I can get their input and feedback?
- What if I could create a way to scale your top performers and drive more incremental revenue at a faster rate?
- What are you willing to commit to in order to ensure the success of your frontline managers and their direct reports?
- How soon can we meet again so I can share the results with you?
It’s critical that you get a deep understanding of the nuances of their business, leaders, and teams, as well as position yourself as a valued partner.
Next, you need to develop a strategy. As a new sales enablement leader, you’ll want to develop an in-depth evaluation of assets that will be used to determine which will require further optimization.
This evaluation should drive the creation and communication of your 100-day SWOT analysis. While continuing to deliver existing enablement programs, you must select new strategic initiatives that can improve the effectiveness of sales in the near term. Based on the list of potential new activities, process changes, and technology improvements identified in the previous steps, identify and build consensus around priorities – then begin implementing.
Remember, as a new leader you can do anything you want – you just can’t accomplish everything within the first 90 days. Especially if hope is your only strategy.
Learn more about how I can help you with sales enablement strategies by watching the video below.