I had the pleasure of being a guest on Sales Enablement Radio *by The Brevet Group) with Brian Williams as the host. Our episode was called “Seeing Through the Hype: Making Sense of SE Technology”
Brian and I talked at length on questions like:
- Where are we in this big journey we call “Sales Enablement Technologies?”
- Every day it seems there’s a new product line or a re-alignment with vendors. How can buyers navigate?
- We see the shiny object syndrome a lot. Why aren’t more people stepping back and taking a more strategic view?
- What will Marketer’s role be? Will they take over? Would that be a good thing?
Sales Enablement is emerging as a distinct role, as a business practice, and as a way to differentiate from competitors. It holds a lot of promise, especially as it relates to the evolution of a modern sales organization. More often than not, individuals who have these roles feel that they are falling behind their peers in the adoption of technology because of the market hype.
The reality could not be further from the truth. More often than not, we find that the gaps in an organizations’ ability to deliver results, are far wider than you might think, and therefore, the opportunity to surpass the competition has never been better. There is a small window of opportunity to compete, or even leapfrog your competition, but this window is closing quickly and the time to act is now.
When thinking specifically about Sales Enablement technology, the first two categories people think of, are Content Management, and Skills Development & Reinforcement, but those aren’t necessarily where you should begin. In fact, don’t start with the technology at all. Start with a better understanding of the capability gaps within your organization. Then take a look at the technology that matches to those requirements.
Within enterprise organizations, the Sales Enablement role is beginning to take the lead for the basic sales-tech stack required to ensure efficiency, productivity, and growth for all sales or customer-facing positions. Without establishing the mandate and finding the right individual or individuals who are dedicated to the strategic selection of sales resources, there is a high likelihood that poor technology purchases will be made.
Some may say that marketing should be managing this process since marketing is more metrics-driven than ever before and they have always used their budget for experimenting and testing different strategies. The reality is that Marketing needs Sales and vice versa. Without each other, neither will be as successful as when they align for mutual success.
The technology sector currently leads the way in the development of Sales Enablement and Sales Operations roles. Many of these roles focus on the integration of sales technology as a useful tool but struggle to achieve the objectives they set forth. We recommend that at a minimum, you should focus on the four fundamental pillars of SalesTech success and then grow from there.
These pillars include; CRM, Online Meeting, Sales Intelligence, and E-Signature. Starting with this basic foundation then building on the areas with the most significant capabilities gaps will ensure that you are making the most significant impact on your organization.
If capability gaps are more significant than expected, don’t worry. Vendor Neutral can recommend both consulting and training resources to help close the gap quickly and accelerate your success.
If you aren’t yet a regular listener to Sales Enablement Radio, I encourage you to tune in. They talk about important, and interesting topics every Sales Enablement leader wants to know about. Check out recent episodes like; “How to Build a Sales Team” with Mike Kunkle, and “Sales Enablement Planning & Budget Strategies” with George Brontén.
Tell us, what tips do you have for seeing through the hype?