Frontline Sales Managers Are Central to a Sales Enablement Strategy
Successful Sales Enablement Initiatives at the Managerial Level
Many sales enablement strategy’s today have a tendency to bypass the managers altogether or, at a minimum, to downplay their importance in the enablement process. By not tailoring sales enablement initiatives to managers and focusing solely on the sales representatives, companies are diminishing efficacy and losing out on vital opportunities.
Don’t Lose the Value of Your Frontline Managers
You have managers to manage, to inspire, and to coach. Don’t lose sight of that value when initiating sales enablement systems and processes. Any forward-thinking sales enablement strategy needs to ensure you’re aligning your frontline managers with the team of reps and giving managers the necessary tools and resources to effectively do their jobs.
Remember, your frontline managers are going to be the ones expected to drive all initiatives forward with the reps, so they can’t be shortchanged or neglected in your planning.
Sales Enablement Should Be a Holistic Endeavor
As you’re setting out to create and to implement a sales enablement plan, don’t lose sight of this as a holistic process. If you want success enabling your sales team, you need alignment, and that applies to managers and teams as much as it applies across departments.
After all, the more you support and provide resources and guidance to your managers, the more you’re ultimately supporting the system as a whole. Any strategic effort should not be viewed or developed in a silo but incorporated into an overarching, strategic sales enablement program and vision.
Tailor Your Sales Enablement Strategy
When you’re thinking through the implementation process of any sales enablement strategy, it’s critical to remember this isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. The way you approach these programs, including the material, processes, and strategies presented, should be different for reps and managers.
With managers, it’s essential to focus on the coaching, training, and everboarding piece because that constitutes a large portion of what they’re expected to do. They must be able to effectively communicate message, intent, and logistics, which means that’s where their efforts should focus.
Too often managers are judged solely against their quotas. Did they hit their numbers? Did they hit this forecasted mark? This should not be the only way in which a manager is deemed successful or not. A highly important facet of their job is helping to coach and to train their reps, enabling them to be more effective and productive in their jobs, and your overall sales enablement strategy should acknowledge this.
3 Things Every Great Frontline Manager Should Know
1. The Importance of Value in the Sales Process
Value is critical to the sales process today. (Check out this article to see what a key role it plays in customer retention.) If you’re looking to implement a value-based system, your managers need to not only have a good understanding of this concept but to truly believe in the efficacy of value and what it brings to the sales landscape. If they have that, then they’re better positioned to convey it to the reps, who will then implement it in day-to-day interactions with their clients.
2. The Value of Specific Content and Messaging
A great frontline manager will appreciate and understand the value of content when interacting with a prospective or existing client and convey that to the team. They will ensure the sales messaging is appropriate, effective, and available to their team.
Similarly, they will appreciate the value of internal-facing content. This includes all onboarding and everboarding material. Managers must be aware of this content, as well as the repository where it’s stored. If it’s not already a system in place, they should leverage just-in-time learning, which can increase retention and minimize the time lost to trainings.
3. What Sales Technology Can Bring to the Table
A manager’s job is to make the team more effective and productive, and one way that can be accomplished is through smart, strategic selection, adoption, and implementation of sales technology solutions.
Managers must understand the technological solutions well. Only then can they help the reps leverage them to actually decrease the burden of paperwork and administrative tasks. When that process is successful, reps are freed up to spend more time selling, and that’s when dramatic return on investment can be seen with technological solutions.
Manager enablement is a big issue in the minds of organizations today, and we’re not the only ones talking about it. It’s important to get right, but the mechanics of how to achieve it are not always entirely intuitive. If you have questions or want to talk through how this process applies to your business, reach out today. We’re always happy to help!