We all know enablement isn’t a quick fix. It’s an ongoing effort that compounds over time to help us close more deals—and in today’s macroeconomic climate, the enablement function has more responsibility than ever. How can we execute an efficient, swift, and measurable sales enablement strategy while being mindful of what’s at stake?
In a recent webinar, I spoke with Jonas Taylor from Lattice, Mallory Lee from Nylas, and Josh Scott from Seismic about how enablement leaders can scale their initiatives and respond to the increasing pressures we face in today’s economy. While the enablement team may lead the charge, it’s partnering with cross-functional teams that ensures the sustainability and success of our sales enablement programs.
From identifying priorities to measuring their effectiveness, our obligations as enablement professionals aren’t changing—but how we execute them is. Here are 4 ways we can equip our people to respond to changes in the market, leverage our GTM partners, and lean on cross-functional support to scale and maximize our enablement efforts.
>>> Want a deeper look at how sales enablement can align cross-functional teams? Download An Essential Guide to Revenue Enablement here <<<
How to Maximize Your Sales Enablement Program with Cross-Functional Collaboration
1. Pick your priority
In today’s economy, the stakes are high. Enablement must support each customer-facing role in the revenue org, as well as customers themselves. With pressure from all sides, how do we identify what to prioritize first?
Join forces with your leadership team to understand high-level business goals. What are the larger outcomes or initiatives at play? Pick your priorities and define your goals based on these. Then, look closely at your sales cycle to identify the process gaps preventing you from hitting those goals. From there, you can determine how to effectively tackle that priority.
Leadership: Connect with leadership on high-level OKRs and prioritize sales enablement programs that ladder up to these.
Frontline managers and sales coaches: What are your top performers doing well? Where are others struggling? Use performance data to understand where people need to improve so you can build training programs.
RevOps: Partner with RevOps to determine the leading and lagging indicators to measure success and effectiveness.
“Enablement priorities aren’t just going to be sales training, onboarding, or content and asset management. Those are all important things that enablement does, but at the end of the day, our priorities should be in service of a business outcome our leadership team has identified as a priority.” – Jonas Taylor, Manager of Global Revenue Enablement, Lattice
>>> Need help deciding which enablement priority to tackle next? Download our free Enablement Audit Framework template to identify your gaps and develop your sales enablement strategy. <<<
2. Test, optimize, and launch
Cross-functional partners need to be bought-in on specific priorities to effectively support enablement. In order to carry out the long-tail sales coaching and reinforcement your sales enablement programs require, you need to know: Does everyone understand the priority and why you’re making a change? Are they prepared to help you put that change into practice?
Launching new training or content to beta groups is a great way to not only get the buy-in you need by letting people test it, but to also find the cracks in your process so you can optimize before rolling it out to the full team. Ask your beta testers for feedback, and use their results to forecast the value your program will provide when it’s fully adopted.
Sales reps: Use rep feedback on new enablement programs to improve and iterate. Analyze their initial results to predict long-term impact.
Leadership: Share the results of your beta test with leadership to prove the value of your program.
Frontline sales managers: Ensure managers are on board, feel equipped to coach on new skills, and will hold their reps accountable to new learnings.
“Perfection can be our kryptonite. It can really kill motivation or any progress you have with your content. Let’s get our programs 75%-80% of the way there, and then let’s launch it and see what happens. When we do that, we can see what kind of impact it’s going to have. Sync with a small group and share what content you’re producing. Getting their feedback can be huge to the overall impact of your programs.” – Josh Scott, Manager of Enablement, Seismic
3. Identify success metrics
Enablement is a long-game, and in most cases, you may not see results for a couple of quarters or until the end of a sales cycle. So how do you know if it’s working? Identifying success metrics from day one is essential to keep your program on track to help you achieve your goal.
Set the expectation with cross-functional partners for how long it will take for a new skill to be fully adopted, as well as what success should look like after 30, 60, and 90 days. It may take time to see win rates or top-of-funnel conversion improve, but you can measure things like content utilization, training attendance, coaching conversations, and ESAT (enablement satisfaction score) in the meantime.
Sales reps: Make sure reps attend training, utilize content, and fill out scorecards.
Frontline sales managers: Work with managers to ensure coaching is happening consistently so reps can continue to practice and improve upon new skills.
RevOps: Align with RevOps to determine which leading indicators you can use to measure initial success.
“It takes time for behavior change to become automatic. What enablement and managers can measure in the meantime is content utilization, training, attendance, scorecard completion, or how many coaching conversations are actually happening per week between manager and rep. When you really focus on those inputs in the first 30, 60, 90 days of a program, the lagging indicators will fall into place.” – Jonas Taylor, Manager of Global Revenue Enablement, Lattice
4. Set your control variables
If you change too much at once, you won’t be able to accurately measure the success of enablement. What are the “control variables” you can establish to actually see how behavior changes or messaging shifts impact revenue? Without these, you can’t attribute results to one initiative or the other. Here are some control variables you should consider when launching a new sales enablement strategy and measuring enablement effectiveness:
- Training: Has everyone completed the training, and do they understand the change?
- Adoption: Is everyone adopting the change in the same way?
- Coaching: Is coaching on enablement materials happening consistently?
- Content: Can everyone access just-in-time content and resources needed to support the change?
Leadership: Ensure top-down understanding of the change, from leadership to sales reps.
Sales reps: Ensure sales reps understand the change and are equipped with the support and resources they need to adopt it.
Frontline managers: Ensure reps are being coached consistently on the change and provide reinforcement as they put it into practice.
“Often, we will make a big change, and two months later we want to know: Did it work? The answer is not that simple. First, I have to give you the certainty that everyone is doing it the same way. Then I have to give you the certainty that there are no other confounding factors that are causing our success beyond our primary initiative. And then I can tell you if it’s working.”
– Mallory Lee, VP of RevOps, Nylas
>>> Start dissolving team silos and build stronger cross-functional work groups with our Product Enablement Template. Download it here! <<<
Accelerate Your Enablement with Consistent Coaching
Enablement succeeds with the support of your entire revenue organization, and coaching is the connective tissue that streamlines cross-functional GTM efforts. Watch the on-demand webinar here for the full conversation, and schedule a demo with an Ambition expert to learn more.