The world of sales is getting more complex. Gone are the days of a sales rep pounding the streets and knocking on doors. Buyers’ behaviours have changed, with 81% of retail shoppers conducting online research before buying (Source: GE Capital Retail Bank) and 70% of B2B buyers fully defining their needs on their own before engaging with a sales representative (CSO Insights).
Organisations, therefore, need to change their approach to selling. No longer is it just about the sales rep. Sales is a team sport and include all go-to-market teams such as marketing and customer success. Right across the organisation, other teams such as product and operations also play an important role.
To further support the go-to-market teams, the right frameworks, systems and processes need to be implemented to ensure teams are set up for success to make the most of their customer engagements.
This is where operations and enablement come into play.
The most common question everyone asks is, “Aren’t operations and enablement the same?”
The answer is simply no.
Operations is about helping your go-to-market teams become more efficient, getting better results from less effort and freeing up time to spend more time selling.
Enablement is about enhancing individual and team effectiveness, increasing their capability, knowledge, and skills to enable them to have better conversations with their prospects and customers.
Both are critical to how a business should function and if embedded correctly, help to drive results and revenue growth.
Let’s drill a little further into each of these:
Operations focus on the implementation of activities and processes which allow the go-to-market teams to work as efficiently as possible.
Operations are directly involved in the team’s performance, implementation of processes and monitoring.
From optimising the sales process, implementing supporting systems and tools, to leveraging data and analytics to drive insights and better decisions, operations support the go-to-market teams to deliver better outcomes internally and for the customer.
Operations can help drive alignment across marketing, sales and customer success through some of the following responsibilities:
- Incentive programs
- Process optimisation programs
- Reporting and setting of KPIs
- Lead and forecast management
- Other forms of go-to-market communications
- Cross-functional collaboration
At Ellivate, we like to call this function “Revenue Operations”, focused on much more than just sales results-driving revenue. Roles within this function can include the more commonly referenced sales operations but also marketing operations, customer success operations, CRM admins as well as data and analytics roles.
Enablement focuses on aligning your team and those who interact with them with the right tools, knowledge and strategies.
It means optimising the team’s skills, knowledge and capabilities by equipping them with training, tools, and practices to close deals. It is the function that focuses on setting up the team for success through the alignment of people and technology.
Enablement provides resources needed throughout the entire sales process, including:
- Skills development through training and coaching
- Effective coaching practices
- Useful sales enablement tools and technology
- Best practice development for teams to adopt
- Consistency and alignment of messaging across all go-to-market teams, e.g. value proposition
- Supporting content and tools to use throughout the buyer journey by working closely with teams such as product marketing
- Development of cross-functional learning programs to support sales readiness
Again, as with Revenue Operations at Ellivate, we like to refer to this as “Revenue Enablement” creating a much wider focus than just sales. More and more technologies are helping drive this broader focus.
To achieve revenue growth, a team needs to have both sides of the coin. When operations and enablement are cohesively working hand-in-hand, you can ensure that the go-to-market team’s productivity is more efficient and performance is more effective.
That is why at Ellivate, we created a 12-level pathway that addresses every facet of operations and enablement while also enhancing the relationship between them to improve go-to-market productivity and performance.
Ellivate’s 12-level pathway
We interrogate every aspect of the journey and provide the required frameworks, processes, systems and tools needed to create a cohesive and unified approach — and, ultimately, business success. It’s all about identifying the right solutions for the real problems and embedding them into the foundations of your business.
The 12-level pathway is divided into four quadrants to drive an organisation to scale:
- Perform through Productivity
- Measure & Motivate
- Scale with Systems
- Talented Teams
Strategy is at the core of the 12-level pathway, which is considered the centre of the journey.
A salient strategy will help your team understand where they are heading, what they need to achieve, and how to get there. Without it, each organisational action and activity will be misaligned and ultimately be ineffective.
As teams adapt to the changing business landscape, it is crucial to understand the differences between operations and enablement and how they complement each other to drive scale and revenue growth for your organisation.
Ellivate is the expert partner helping organisations and their go-to-market team scale. Our powerhouse team of industry experts – with a combined 60 years of experience across the fintech, corporate, and technology spaces – will work alongside your business to achieve your goals.
We have a shared passion for working with businesses to achieve rapid growth and apply an authentic, human layer of expertise that addresses the real challenges and concerns at the heart of your business. We will work alongside you as a trusted and expert partner. We get in the trenches, and we ensure to embed every solution within your business.