Sales Enablement Leadership: The Power to Influence

Sales enablement leaders may feel they lack the ability to impact the sales outcomes that the business wants to see. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

A key role that sales enablement leaders can fill is to join the dots between what sales wants and what sales actually needs.  

To really influence business outcomes, sales enablement leaders must think big – beyond processes and programs – and use their influence to set strategy, targeting the C-suite to have a genuine impact on business outcomes. 

THE MISSING LINK

There’s no question that without a C-suite buy-in, many sales enablement initiatives will fail. In many cases sales enablement leaders have a lot of power to influence the strategy before they execute the processes and programs. But how do you make the most of this opportunity? 

BE THE BRIDGE

Those in sales enablement leadership roles are well positioned to influence and lead strategy and change. Although, in most cases, the C-suite will mandate company goals.  

Take for example increasing sales and revenue. The CEO is likely to put the onus on the sales leader to make this happen, who in turn will ask sales enablement to ensure the sales team has the tools to do their job. 

Essentially, sales enablement becomes a liaison between sales and other parts of the business. Together they look at what the sales enablement requirements are, versus the reality of what can be provided within timelines, technology restrictions and other criteria. 

This is where the sales enablement leader can optimise their significance in the process – connecting the dots between the stated goal and the execution of the task. Sales enablement is often tasked with filling in the gaps that lie between what sales is asking for and what sales really needs. 

But prior to bridging the gap between the needs and wants of the sales team, sales enablement must conduct an internal assessment to really understand what will work best. This means asking some key questions like: 

  • Are new team members trained in engaging prospects?

  • What does the data from the onboarding process show?

  • What are the known obstacles to closing deals?

  • Where do we stand out from our competitors?

By removing obstacles, outdated processes and irrelevant content, the sales enablement leader has an opportunity to become a ‘fixer’– thereby assisting the sales team in their challenge to increase sales.

HAVE A PASSION FOR DATA

Data is imperative for sales success and being able to supply and explain metrics and other relevant information to decision-makers is invaluable when working to influence change.  

Not only can data show how the sales team is interacting with content, it can provide valuable information on the effectiveness of components of the sales process. This can help establish where training and team education may assist. 

Effective use of sales enablement data means the sales process can incorporate metric driven goals, and measure learning outcomes that can be connected with performance outcomes. 

IMPACTING SALES STRATEGY

Through strategy, data, expertise and collaboration, the sales enablement function in any business can have a huge and important influence on sales strategy and change implementation.