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Where Enablement Leaders Must Focus in 2021 to Stay Successful

Posted in:  Sales Enablement Strategy

For enablement leaders everywhere, 2021 represents opportunity.

By now, most businesses are familiar with and have invested in some form of revenue enablement. As these organisations mature, enablement leaders must strategically invest in order to scale their operations and secure success in the new year. This includes everything from understanding which metrics matter most to embracing new, more flexible processes.

Let’s take a look at the top challenges sales leaders will face in 2021 and how to overcome them.

Communicate Impact

Every successful enablement organisation has executive buy-in. But gaining the trust of cross-functional leaders takes more than faith, trust, and pixie dust; you need to be able to show measurable impact on revenue.

This has historically been a challenge for enablement organisations. In fact, TOPO reported that “43% of those surveyed are unable to measure the impact that their investment is having.” Luckily it doesn’t take much to turn those numbers around.

Advancements in sales enablement technology will allow your organisation to track and measure key leading indicators like customer content engagement, training completion, and play engagements as well as lagging indicators such as time to first deal or quota attainment. Using your sales enablement platform, you can quickly build dashboards that can be easily shared out to demonstrate business impact and gain executive buy-in.

Embrace Agile

Enablement practitioners are increasingly being asked to respond to changing marketplace dynamics in real-time. According to TOPO, “Even during the 2020 economic downturn, companies were hiring and relying on sales enablement to make rapid changes to messaging, virtual selling, and effectiveness strategies.”

How can enablement leaders respond quickly and effectively to ensure continued sales success? By embracing agile enablement. With agile, enablement organisations continuously build, deploy, and optimise key initiatives. This approach allows teams to quickly test and pivot everything from sales plays to pitch templates.

With buyers’ needs changing rapidly, an agile approach will ensure your sales team always has what they need to meet — and exceed — customer expectations.

Train to Retain

In order for your enablement efforts to deliver impact, reps must utilise the training and coaching services you provide. Yet research shows that within one hour, people will lose an average of 50% of information presented.

For learning to be effective, it can’t be a one-off experience. Rather than doubling down on Zoom lectures, reinvent your training and coaching for the modern age. Lean on your enablement platform to deliver on-demand learning that is available when and where reps want it. This can take the form of bite-sized courses that are delivered weekly or sales plays that reps engage with prior to customer interactions.

Not only does this approach space training out over time — a method that has proven to be effective — but transforms learning from a tedious hassle into a natural part of your reps everyday workflow. With ongoing engagement, your reps will retain more of what you teach them and perform better.

Codify Success

Once you have identified an enablement approach that works, how can you scale it effectively? According to TOPO, 36% of revenue leaders consider effective sales playbooks and processes to be critical to enablement’s success.

To this end, your program should document best practices for every step of the sales process. Capturing these best practices ensures that they are accessible and available to every person in your sales organisation. This eliminates the mysticism around top performers and ensures that every person, regardless of tenure, has the same foundational knowledge — and thus, the same opportunity to succeed.

Importantly, when your entire sales organisation adopts the same processes, you can more easily track the impact of specific initiatives, allowing you to iterate and optimise your program more effectively.

Scaling Success in 2021

By focusing your attention on these key areas, you can effectively scale your enablement program and overcome any challenge in 2021.

Take a deeper dive into key areas of strategic focus with TOPO’s Sales Enablement Leadership Report.