Over the last couple of years, the term sales enablement has been a hot topic and it’s become a bit of a buzzword that everyone is using. I have a real issue with this as it has become a catch-all term that can be used in so many different ways which means that everything to do with sales support is suddenly being put under the banner of sales enablement.
Or the other extreme is people are using it just to capture the terms for all platforms and tools which there are now over 45 different categories with nearly a thousand vendors supplying products in this space. So, it’s an absolute minefield for people to explore but to just label it sales enablement is also a big no-no in my book.
Sales enablement is ultimately all about effectiveness and how we help our frontline teams become more effective in the conversations that they are having with their customers. When I say frontline teams, I don’t just mean sales, but also service teams such as customer success or customer service and also marketing teams who are helping engage with clients – playing a critical part right across the sales funnel.
Although frontline team members such as sales and service are doing it through face-to-face meetings, through chat or the telephone, marketing also plays a big part in it through the content that they’re putting in front of our clients and future clients.
It’s therefore really important that we get this right and we think about the teams that are involved under sales enablement and for me, that’s why I say sales enablement is all about effectiveness.
Going hand in hand in with that is sales operations – this sits closely with sales enablement and is all about efficiency and how we help our teams become more efficient and productive in the ways that they work.
This can include getting the right data in front of them or creating clearly defined processes, but sales operations and sales enablement go hand in hand, and we shouldn’t just put everything under the banner of sales enablement.
Let’s be really clear about the different skills and responsibilities that we need our support teams to have when they’re engaging and supporting our frontline teams to help them have better customer conversations and be more efficient and effective with their time.
I’m calling BS on some of the ways in which sales enablement is currently being used and I’d love to hear your thoughts around ways you think the term sales enablement should be used and how that fits with sales operations.
You can download my free eBook which includes tools and framework from my sales operations and enablement pathway – Perform through Productivity.
Chris Ellis is the founder of Ellivate Consulting who focus on providing consulting, training and coaching support in the field of sales operations and enablement for SME’s. Chris has over 20 year’s senior executive experience in the UK, Australia & USA, within financial services and fast-growing technology businesses.
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