How to Plan for Progressive and Effective Sales Enablement
Planning ProgressiveEnterprise SalesEnablementAN EBOOK & IBOOK BY JEREMY BARNISH & STEVE CREPEAUFOR VP’S OF SALES & MARKETING & OTHER SENIOR LEVEL EXECS WHO NEEDTO PLAN TO RAMP UP NEW SALES PEOPLE OR IMPROVE THE PRODUCTIVITYOF AN EXISTING TEAMTHE TRUE SALES RESULTS SALES ENABLEMENT PLANNING FRAMEWORKTM
Even world-class sales and marketingorganizations struggle continuously withfield execution and with sales productivity.One reason is the confusion between ‘fieldreadiness’ and ‘Sales Enablement.’ Bothare essential. They are not the same.Field readiness is a set of ‘ready to sell’ actionitems which must be completed before theengineering and product team is allowed to walk away. Such as aclear transfer of information and solid offer-based go-to-marketplan for the product.This is very different from Sales Enablement which is about saleshonestly assessing the strengths and weaknesses of its ownorganization over time, addressing productivity gaps andspreading best practices in order to make the plan. This is whatthis eBook is about.Jeremy BarnishBusiness to business selling is harder thanever. To a large extent, the customercontrols how and when they engage withsales.You can no longer expect to dictate your salesprocess to the customer, rather you need to map and align yourselling and marketing efforts to their “Buyers Journey.”Successful sales teams understand this dramatic shift in theselling/buying process and are constantly endeavoring to honetheir art to become more effective.Top performing companies always share great strategy coupledwith strong execution. Sales Enablement is the linchpin betweenbrilliant strategy and executional excellence.Don’t accept the status quo, challenge yourselves to optimize yourselling effectiveness through strong Sales Enablement. We hopethis eBook serves as a catalyst and inspiration for your journey.Steve CrepeauiPlanning Progressive SalesEnablement
PlanningProgressiveEnterprise SalesEnablementFor VP’s of Sales & Marketing and other Senior Level Execs who need toplan to ramp up new sales people and improve the productivity of anexisting sales team.The True Sales Results Framework for Sales EnablementTM
Why SalesEnablement?• Enterprise selling has become harderand harder as buyers become moresophisticated.• Even for the most functional salesteam, on-boarding new sales repscan take 12 months to become fullyproductive.• Normal attrition rates means a thirdof your sales organization can leaveevery year.Sales Enablement is not about providing a blizzard of product training slides,a new document portal, messaging or a proprietary sales training. It is beinghonest about what’s broken in the buying and selling process and making thepeople who sell, and the people around them, more productive more quicklyand waste less of limited resources at their disposal. Field sales managersmust be ready to challenge their teams to think differently about this.Some things will always remain the same in enterprise sales. Top of this list ishiring the right sales people, having the right comp plan and maintaining a‘vigorous’, forecasting process. As one VP of Sales said: “We hire the best andowe them a cell phone, a comp plan, a territory and a few sales tools.”This attitude is still not a-typical today,and some companies still have a policyof hiring only top sales reps who comewith a proven track record, thenmanaging the numbers, and trustingthat they will work the rest outthemselves. But fewer and fewer salesVPs are successful with this approachas fewer companies can offer the3
earning potential for top flight sales reps that it requires.Also, buyers are more sophisticated than ever. The Internet istheir tool of choice to avoid sales people. The need tounderstand an ideal sales process has shifted towards theneed to teach how to discern when buyers are ready to buyand how to engage them atthat point for maximumeffect.We see Sales Enablement asa strategic business tool. Thelink between your strategyand successful execution.Somewhere between pistolwhipping the sales team andspoon feeding them is a planto help low performers behave more like higher performers,the team to act as a more effective unit and for newbies to getclear signals of where to focus their time to be moreproductive.That seems obvious, yet:• Why do so many companies have new product informationmasquerading as Sales Enablement?• Why do they overstuff their internal portals with hundredsof presentation files with no rationale?• Why do they use their sales kickoff as an exercise in speedreading?• Why do they send in paint-by-numbers sales trainers onsome old rehashed methodology that’s barely relevant intoday’s world?It’s a matter of attitude. Analysts show that leading salesorganizations stand out from laggards in their use of bestpractices. They seek to understandthe nature of how complexenterprise selling has changed andare adapting the way that theyengage and sell. They turn to theirexperienced field sales leaders tocapture those best practices and toleverage valuable field knowledge.Conversely, lagging salesorganizations are stubbornlyinsisting on trying to sell the sameway; trying to force their sales processes on to theircustomers. Which leaves them scratching their heads andbefuddled by lukewarm results. Accepting the status quothese days is the shortest route to mediocrity, or failure.If you are a senior executive looking to ramp up your salesteam and improve it’s selling effectiveness, none of thisshould be a surprise. Rather it’s your daily reality. The onlyreal question is - how do you deal with it?4Here are just three of the many best practices for SalesEnablement that this guide proposes.• Center your Sales Enablement around an analysis of yourcompany’s customers buying journey and selling process.• Content, tools, training and ‘buy-in’ of the program must pivotaround field sales leaders and their best practices.• Great Sales Enablement starts with a commitment from fieldsales managers to identify and coach their team on the missingskills that most impact revenue.
Misconceptions• The business case behind SalesEnablement isn’t difficult to build.• Every week you can shave off a newsales person’s ramp up time adds upto many more dollars in revenue.• Every time you maximize a deal sizeor reduce the sales cycle or waste lesspre-sales resources resulting in no-decisions through the right decisionsyou will most likely add revenue withless waste.• The biggest issue however is notagreement on the problem, rather onthe plan to fix it.Analysts and companies we work with agree on the top sales issues year afteryear: conversion ratios are falling, less sales reps are making quota, sales repattrition rates are rising, it’s taking longer to effectively ramp up new salesteam members and there is continuing misalignment between sales andmarketing. People we meet are often scratching their heads when it comes tohow to fix this. Here are the top five that misconceptions.Let’s just do some more content.At the most basic level, Sales Enablement requires two key things: the rightcontent in digestible formats complemented by carefully designed training toget it into the brains of action oriented people. This is why we believecontent for Sales Enablement should be produced in as wide a range offormats as possible, ranging from the traditional guides to videos and audioclips.Most people who make this statement however really mean ‘cram more slidesinto a portal.’ Rather than better organization they tend to add moredownload links and more levels to dig into to have to find something.5
Lets face it, most sales people have spent most of their careerslearning while talking and do not have a high attention spanfor searching for the right content on a densely packedwebsite.Just give them the value prop.We’ve never met a sales person who has been unappreciativeof a well written value proposition or elevator pitch in plainEnglish. We’ve met many who complain about bad valueprops. We prefer this HBR definition of a good value prop inbusiness markets.The line of thinking often goes: “let’s not insult them by tellingthem how to sell, lets just give them the slides and the valueprop!”Sure, maybe the top 20% of the sales team can simply takeyour messaging and just sell. But in today’s highly complexworld of selling when it’s the whole team that needs tointeract and be more productive, rarely does one person carrythe sale alone. A good Sales Enablement program strives tomake ‘the many’ as good as the best practices of ‘the few’based on tribal knowledge and best practices from the fieldwhere real lessons are being learned every day.Enablement is done by Marketing or Ops.There is no doubt that both sales ops and marketing make aninvaluable contribution to Sales Enablement.We believe however that the person with the quota shouldown the show so that the program is aimed towards thesimple goals of bringing in more revenue with less waste.Strategy without good execution is pointless, and tacticswithout a strategy are simply ‘the noise before defeat.’ Toooften both strategy and ownership of Sales Enablement hasbeen delegated by sales and the program has lost its way.Sales leadership needs to identify the gap between companystrategy and field sales execution, set a training strategy anddefine outcomes aligned with both the Buyer’s Journey and awell orchestrated sales and marketing process that canimprove your teams ability to sell more effectively.6
Lets get a new portal.Technology is an enabling agent, not a panacea.Sales people don’t learn by downloading, they learn best bydoing and practicing against real world scenarios and by beingcompetitive with each other. This is why ‘gamification” canwork so well. This is not what the sales portal sales guywould have you believe.On the other hand, some of the most innovative SalesEnablement programs we’ve seen use wikis, blogs, YouTubeand podcasts that allow the corporation and the field to sharetop down and bottoms up content. So, go ahead, make thatportal. But please, don’t blow all your budget.Don’t bug me.This can be common with some VPs of Sales who viewenablement as just another fad sales methodology or genericsales skills training that they did themselves. In our view,they aren’t paying attention to how the world has changed.We have never come across anyone who has been able to stafftheir team with a full complement of highly performingautomatons who didn’t need to improve.Nowadays, the reality is that your team is constantly in flux.Sales reps are not making quota, customers are harder toengage, and even normal attrition means you may be losing agood chunk of your people annually.Enablement is simply one of the must-have business tools inyour arsenal, alongside a good recruitment process, goalingand compensation plan and a solid way to fill your pipeline.7
Challenge your team• If you run sales, challenge your teamto think differently about SalesEnablement with these fivequestions.Is the plan simple and aligned?Ask your team to show you the plans and expected outcome for new sales on-boarding, product training, product launches, field readiness, and salestraining or enablement.We’ll predict that what comes back will be largely out of alignment, productoriented and most likely more about your company than field productivity.Almost certainly, you will be shown you lots of ‘deliverables’ versus the simplegoal of improving productivity or on-boarding new team members thatprovides a clear return on investment in increased revenue.The bottom line: if you don’t have a single sales-led definition and ROI on theoutcome of your Sales Enablement, challenge your team to go and get one.Whose journey are we on?Progressive companies don’t just think about sales process, rather they startby thinking about their ‘Buyer’s Journey.’ At a minimum, it’s a fantasticengagement model. Properly adapted, it’s a sales culture change that matchestoday’s reality and means better selling results, less waste, and a far betterway to to organize your training and content.8
The bottom line: if you don’t have a well defined Buyer’sJourney mapped to your sales process, then get your topfield sales practitioners in the room and develop one.What did you learn?Do a deep-dive win/loss analysis with your sales people.• Do your average sales reps understand the critical buyerinformation that they missed in their lost sales?• Do they know how this relates to the key ‘go or no go’decisions they need to make next time at each stage in thesales process?Compare this to the best sales people on your team and whatthey can reverse engineer from their wins and losses. The gapbetween the two will probably shock you. The best performingreps intuitively get this idea and mediocre ones struggle,believing everything is worth winning. Sometimes the bestdecision is to disengage and nurture for the future. You candramatically improve effectiveness at this. Does your currenttraining teach them this?The bottom line: get your best into a room and ask highperformers to map their ‘go/no go’ decisions against aBuyer’s Journey. Then bake this into your training and salesprocess and ask your sales managers to instill this in theirforecasting.Tell me the gaps and gains in sales productivity?Where are the gaps in our ability to sell? Ask yourheadquarter managers what sales capabilities the team ismissing today.What many will tell you will be probably be organizationalreadiness or product knowledge and will not link to the threeto four key things that sales people can do to improve theirdeal sizes or optimize their territories.Bottom line: identify top half a dozen sales capabilities thatare the common denominators within your best performers.Ask your coaches - how do you coach?You probably have multiple levels of sales management. Askyourself what impact they have on individual sellingeffectiveness? Where are your coaches?Hard experience as coaches has taught us that any programwhere we can’t find committed internal manager-coaches canbe flawed. People who want to take the enablement programsand tools we use and apply it to their everyday job becausethey see the benefit for their team, and on their own ability tomeet their goals.The bottom line: get your top coaches in to a room and askthem what are the keys to improving performance and howthey are helping. Also ask them how they coach.9
Definitions• We’ve been asked whether enterpriseSales Enablement is a function, a setof tools, a program, or a combinationof all of those things.• We believe that it best characterizedas an ongoing business process,mapped to the buying and sellingprocess.• Sales Enablement strategy needs tobe owned by the function that thatbenefits from it most - sales.10Our Deﬁnition• Enterprise Sales Enablement cements the join between businessstrategy & execution. It is in itself a best practice characteristic ofleading selling organizations.• Sales Enablement optimizes revenue performance at the individual rep,territory or regional level through content and training.• The best Sales Enablement consists of multiple types of easily accessedlearning content (aural, written, visual) based on “discovery” from fieldbest-practices combined with a progressive interactive team trainingworkshop techniques.• Sales Enablement is an ongoing process that helps lower performers toimprove and reduces the ramp up time for new hires.• Over time, Sales Enablement improves decision making andproductivity across the team and helps them to use your scarceresources better, reduce sales cycles, increase deal sizes & improve saleswin rates.
The implications of this definition is that, if your organizationis seeing Sales Enablement as a set of tools, websites,collaterals, internal comms, job functions or random salestrainings we would contend that you are missing the overallreason for doing it.We’re not saying that preparing the field to understand aproduct launch or new organizational change is notimportant. In fact, the best Sales Enablement consists of acombined schedule of activities designed to prepare the field.We are saying that the focus for Sales Enablement shouldbe on improving your sales effectiveness by providing thecontext for the sales team to make smart decisions as they tryto engage, qualify, discover, propose and close deals. In otherwords, goes beyond knowing the product to knowing thecustomer and how they buy, and how you can most effectivelysell to them.It follows from this that the best Sales Enablement teaches theskill of recognition of sales opportunity in terms of signalsfrom customers and prospects, alongside decision making,discernment and sequencing of what best to do with thatinformation.Sales Enablement meshes your corporate strategy with field-tested best practices from your top ‘sellers’ to add to the salescapabilities of the rest of your team. From the opposite view,it identifies and negates the common challenges that the salesteam faces every day.Who owns the enablement function?Sales Enablement is a process that requires multipleorganizations to work together toward a common goal againsta single strategy. This is something that, in our experience, isdifficult for many highly territorial sales and marketingorganizations to do. Quite often, the focus is not set on salesgoals simply because of who historically ‘owns’ the headcount.Focusing it on sales objectives is the most effective way ofasking yourself when evaluating current efforts. Threequestions to ask yourself of any ‘field readiness’ initiative inyour company:• Will this help my team to sell more, more quickly, or tooptimize their territory or deals?• What do my sales team really need out of this?• Is this benefiting my reps, or some hidden goals oforganization providing it?More than a functional responsibility, we see SalesEnablement as a company level process across the sales,marketing, pre-sales and customer service teams, driven by apainfully obvious imperative: maximizing revenue whileminimizing the cost of sale.What analysts say about enablementAccording to Forrester, on average companies are spendingaround 19% of their SG&A costs in sales support-relatedactivities. According to IDC, these expenditures are11
inefficient, with B2B buyers complaining that only 29% ofsales reps are well prepared to engage with them. There aremany many definitions, but here are how two firms define it:• "Sales Enablement is a strategic, ongoing process thatequips all client-facing employees with the ability toconsistently and systematically have a valuableconversation with the right set of customer stakeholders ateach stage of the customers problem-solving life cycle tooptimize the return on investment of the sellingsystem." (Forrester - see ref 1.)• “Today it is a front-and-center function that plays a criticalrole in readying sales to succeed in an ever changing andincreasingly challenging marketplace .. the goal of theSales Enablement function is simple – to ensure that everyseller has the required knowledge, skills, processes andbehaviors to optimize every interaction withbuyers.” (Sirius Decisions - see ref 2)Deﬁned by best practice ‘discovery’There is no doubt nowadays that buyers are now firmly incontrol of their own evaluation and buying process andorganizations that ignore this do so at their own peril.In this context, the heart of great selling today is a transparentprocess of sales discovery with customers to derive a solutionthat solves the buyers business problems and maximizes ‘our’revenue at the same time. This goes well beyond ‘qualifying’but is rather a series of meetings or calls that identify, align,and even challenge key stakeholders in order to quantify,assess and ready a business case for an investment.We believe that discovery also defines great Sales Enablementtoo; an honest attempt to identify the best practices of the topsales peoples. Unfortunately, many companies confuseactivities that benefit their internal organization with that ofthe individual sales person and have the attitude that all fieldcommunication is good, which puts the onus on sales peopleto sort through it all themselves.We see Sales Enablement not endorsed by the field as millionsof wasted dollars over time and a process that will inevitablycollapse in upon itself as it gets rejected by the sales team.Sources:http://blogs.forrester.com/scott_santucci/10-08-14-what_%E2%80%9Csales_enablement%E2%80%9D_and_how_did_forrester_go_about_defining_ithttp://www.siriusdecisions.com/live/home/Browse.php?CC=RecentSES&dA=AllSalesEnablementStrategies&FID=marketing12
A FrameworkFor Planning• A Sales Enablement Framework willkeep your cross organizationalefforts on track.Here is a sobering fact. According to CSO Insights, B2B buyers now evaluatewithout engaging sales in up to 80% of their buying process. With a smallerand smaller share of attention, a sales person’s productivity thereforeimproves dramatically with better recognition of opportunity. This comesfrom better discernment and sequencing of what to do to capitalize on anysignals received from buyers.At it’s best, Sales Enablement offers learning possibilities for all your team tocoach each other and be coached on discernment and sequencing of decisionsat whatever level of experience. It can also offer a focal point for both salesand marketing alignment by focusing on the top successful sales ‘plays’ whichare simply a series of pre-determined best-possible decisions in commonsituations.In order to ensure success across all your organization’s efforts, we propose aframework in this section. This framework allows you to analyze your skillsgaps and enablement needs against the buying and sales cycle and to build acurriculum and quarterly schedule of activity and certification on a solid base.The full framework is on the last page of this section, with a short step by stepoverview on the next page.13
1. Start on the top row from left to right by identify the buyingand selling cycle stages that are unique to your company.We often base this on the ‘Buyers Journey’ which is aconcept pioneered by Hugh McFarlane, author of the LeakyFunnel.For the purposes of thisdocument we havesimplified the model but,taken fully and seriously,this ensures that youconstantly ground yourselling process againstcustomer understanding.Walk through each stageand consider sales issuesand buyers concernstogether. A big hint: thisprobably can’t done wellwithout talking to front line sales people and probably tocustomers as well.2. Based on this, identify the important information andcritical decisions that your sales team need to make at eachstage to help customers move from one stage to the next.Ask yourself at each stage: ‘what do they have to do to helpbuyers move from one stage to the next?3. Out of this, map the missing skills of your customer facingselling organizations, working with your local salesmanagers and by looking at your real conversion ratios inthe sales process. Could inside sales improve at engaging?Are we making poor decisions about whether to commitresources to a proof of concept to early in the cycle?4. At this point, theenablement contentand training tools andtactics needed toaddress those gapsstart to emerge.5. Next, look at yourinfrastructure. Can itdeliver top down andpeer to peer contentand training - simplyand easily?6. Use this then to reverse engineer a discovery process andidentify field subject matter experts required to capturefield best practices in order to develop content and training.7. Define a curriculum that contains ways of measuringphased levels of understanding.8. Break the curriculum into quarterly bite-sized phases,aligned with product and other training.14McFarlane’s Buyers Journey:• The Buyers Journey recognizes and maps the journey of businessbuyers for any company as they move through the process ofidentifying, deciding upon and purchasing a product to address theirneeds.• The buyer moves from being ‘untroubled & unaware to general marketevaluation’ to an ‘inflection point, then becomes clear about needs andoptions, before deciding on a solution that solves their pain and startsnegotiating to buy.• The marketing and selling process maps to this but follows its ownparallel path with some of its own related steps.
THE TRUE SALES RESULTS SALES ENABLEMENT PLANNING FRAMEWORKTMTHE TRUE SALES RESULTS SALES ENABLEMENT PLANNING FRAMEWORKTMTHE TRUE SALES RESULTS SALES ENABLEMENT PLANNING FRAMEWORKTMTHE TRUE SALES RESULTS SALES ENABLEMENT PLANNING FRAMEWORKTMTHE TRUE SALES RESULTS SALES ENABLEMENT PLANNING FRAMEWORKTMTHE TRUE SALES RESULTS SALES ENABLEMENT PLANNING FRAMEWORKTMTHE TRUE SALES RESULTS SALES ENABLEMENT PLANNING FRAMEWORKTMTHE TRUE SALES RESULTS SALES ENABLEMENT PLANNING FRAMEWORKTMTHE TRUE SALES RESULTS SALES ENABLEMENT PLANNING FRAMEWORKTMTHE TRUE SALES RESULTS SALES ENABLEMENT PLANNING FRAMEWORKTM1STAGE IN BUYER’S JOURNEYPre sales cycle stages:unconcerned, categorizingPre sales cycle stages:unconcerned, categorizingInﬂection pointcreates desireforengagementwith salesSales cycle execution stages, from identifying needs to resolvingconcerns and negotiating.Sales cycle execution stages, from identifying needs to resolvingconcerns and negotiating.Sales cycle execution stages, from identifying needs to resolvingconcerns and negotiating.Sales cycle execution stages, from identifying needs to resolvingconcerns and negotiating.Renewal1THE BUYERS GOAL AT EACHSTAGENot yet willing to engage;kicking the tiresNot yet willing to engage;kicking the tiresWilling toengage toaddress painBuyers needs mapped to sales process.Buyers needs mapped to sales process.Buyers needs mapped to sales process.Buyers needs mapped to sales process. Willing tore-engage2THE SELLERS GOALS & KEYDECISIONS AT EACH STAGEOutbound and inbound salesdecisionsOutbound and inbound salesdecisionsHow toengageInformation and go/no go decisions insales process mapped to buyers needs.Information and go/no go decisions insales process mapped to buyers needs.Information and go/no go decisions insales process mapped to buyers needs.Information and go/no go decisions insales process mapped to buyers needs.How tore-engage3SKILLS GAPS ACROSS THESELLING CYCLE BYORGANIZATIONInboundmktgInside salesInbound &outboundmktgSales Dev’tInside salesInside sales Inside salesOutside salesOutside salesPre-salesOutside salesPre-salesNurture mktgOutside salesProf. ServicesSupportNurture mktgInside salesOutside salesPre-sales4REQUIRED SALESENABLEMENT CONTENTEngagementEngagement EngagementSales cycleSales cycleSales playsSales cycleSales playsCompetitiveSales cycleSales playsCustomersuccessSales cycle4PROPOSED TRAININGTOOLS AND TACTICSVirtual and face to face teammeetings, ChecklistsVirtual and face to face teammeetings, ChecklistsVirtual, Sales Kickoﬀ, Face to Face, Boot Camps, SKOs,Checklists, Sales Certiﬁcation ProgramVirtual, Sales Kickoﬀ, Face to Face, Boot Camps, SKOs,Checklists, Sales Certiﬁcation ProgramVirtual, Sales Kickoﬀ, Face to Face, Boot Camps, SKOs,Checklists, Sales Certiﬁcation ProgramVirtual, Sales Kickoﬀ, Face to Face, Boot Camps, SKOs,Checklists, Sales Certiﬁcation ProgramCustomersuccessmetricsROI tools,Checklists5INFRASTRUCTUREREADINESSHow infrastructure supports top down and peer to peer sharing of best practices. A single accessible trusted source fordocuments, multimedia, informal/technical interaction, product collateral, training/ enablement organized by sales cycle.How infrastructure supports top down and peer to peer sharing of best practices. A single accessible trusted source fordocuments, multimedia, informal/technical interaction, product collateral, training/ enablement organized by sales cycle.How infrastructure supports top down and peer to peer sharing of best practices. A single accessible trusted source fordocuments, multimedia, informal/technical interaction, product collateral, training/ enablement organized by sales cycle.How infrastructure supports top down and peer to peer sharing of best practices. A single accessible trusted source fordocuments, multimedia, informal/technical interaction, product collateral, training/ enablement organized by sales cycle.How infrastructure supports top down and peer to peer sharing of best practices. A single accessible trusted source fordocuments, multimedia, informal/technical interaction, product collateral, training/ enablement organized by sales cycle.How infrastructure supports top down and peer to peer sharing of best practices. A single accessible trusted source fordocuments, multimedia, informal/technical interaction, product collateral, training/ enablement organized by sales cycle.How infrastructure supports top down and peer to peer sharing of best practices. A single accessible trusted source fordocuments, multimedia, informal/technical interaction, product collateral, training/ enablement organized by sales cycle.How infrastructure supports top down and peer to peer sharing of best practices. A single accessible trusted source fordocuments, multimedia, informal/technical interaction, product collateral, training/ enablement organized by sales cycle.6 DISCOVERY PROCESS The discovery process and SMEs required to capture best practices and build or support validity of content.The discovery process and SMEs required to capture best practices and build or support validity of content.The discovery process and SMEs required to capture best practices and build or support validity of content.The discovery process and SMEs required to capture best practices and build or support validity of content.The discovery process and SMEs required to capture best practices and build or support validity of content.The discovery process and SMEs required to capture best practices and build or support validity of content.The discovery process and SMEs required to capture best practices and build or support validity of content.The discovery process and SMEs required to capture best practices and build or support validity of content.7 CURRICULUM Instructional strategies and required reading and learning outcomes by experience level with required methods of certiﬁcation.Instructional strategies and required reading and learning outcomes by experience level with required methods of certiﬁcation.Instructional strategies and required reading and learning outcomes by experience level with required methods of certiﬁcation.Instructional strategies and required reading and learning outcomes by experience level with required methods of certiﬁcation.Instructional strategies and required reading and learning outcomes by experience level with required methods of certiﬁcation.Instructional strategies and required reading and learning outcomes by experience level with required methods of certiﬁcation.Instructional strategies and required reading and learning outcomes by experience level with required methods of certiﬁcation.Instructional strategies and required reading and learning outcomes by experience level with required methods of certiﬁcation.8 SCHEDULE The course laid out with skills learned by month, quarter and ﬁnancial year and aligned with other related ﬁeld training needs.The course laid out with skills learned by month, quarter and ﬁnancial year and aligned with other related ﬁeld training needs.The course laid out with skills learned by month, quarter and ﬁnancial year and aligned with other related ﬁeld training needs.The course laid out with skills learned by month, quarter and ﬁnancial year and aligned with other related ﬁeld training needs.The course laid out with skills learned by month, quarter and ﬁnancial year and aligned with other related ﬁeld training needs.The course laid out with skills learned by month, quarter and ﬁnancial year and aligned with other related ﬁeld training needs.The course laid out with skills learned by month, quarter and ﬁnancial year and aligned with other related ﬁeld training needs.The course laid out with skills learned by month, quarter and ﬁnancial year and aligned with other related ﬁeld training needs.
Business Case• Sales Enablement is a strategicinvestment with tactics aroundtraining and content.• The business case is around the timeto full sales productivity for new repsand overall effectiveness of the entiresales team.The return on investment of enablement is clearest for teams with growth orturnover problems in the team itself or in management, when the company isentering new markets for the first time or when sales become stagnant.How do you build a successful business case to make a strategic investment inSales Enablement? The stakes can be high. Depending on the size of yoursales organization, a comprehensive Sales Enablement program investmentcan range up to millions of dollars. Given the costs it is imperative to build acompelling business case that justifies the investment.There are several key business drivers behind why you should invest, andsound math behind each one of these that impact your top and bottom linerevenues. There are the five core business case elements:1. Compressing a lengthy new sales rep ramp up cycle.2. Improving sales win rates.3. Reducing sales rep attrition.4. Growing average deal size.5. Compressing lengthy sales cycles.16
Compressing new sales rep ramp up cyclesMost complex technical products have ramp up cycles of up toa year for new sales reps, and most companies tend tounderestimate how long it really takes.In fact, CSO Insights 2012 Sales Performance Optimizationreport shows that newsales rep ramp-up is takinglonger, with nearly 40% of2,500+ companies sayingthat it takes 10 months ormore to fully ramp up theirnew sales reps.When ramp up doesn’thappen quickly, someblame the average salesrep, or try to compensateby overpaying for highlyexperienced new sales repswith the expectation thatthey will ramp up faster.Given the annual sales quota that a fully productive enterprisesales rep is responsible for producing, anything that reducesthis timescale can be seen as a clear and quantifiable return toan effective Sales Enablement program. This is amplified bythe volume of new sales reps that need to ramp up to fullproductivity on an annual basis.The variables that factor into the business case for reducingramp up are:1. The quota of your sales reps.2. Realistic / historic ramp up to full productivity for a rep.3. Reduction of ramp up timescale to full productivity throughenablement.Improving sales win ratesMost companies tend to providepieces of enablement, such as basicproduct training, and then expecttheir new sales reps to start selling inthe field. Others may have newsales reps shadow their experiencedones. Others might have a trainingand certification process focusedaround learning the elevator pitch,value prop and some basiccompetitive positioning.Your biggest productivity killer is that new sales reps simplyhave a less effective sales process and make poorer decisions(for example, about when to walk away, or when to bring inthe pre-sales team) and therefore have lower win rates.On top of this, forecasted B2B win rates have been droppingprecipitously over the past ten years due to a number of thefactors we have talked about in this guide. In fact, down to17Example - Compressing Ramp-up CyclesSay your reps have an annual quota of $2.4M or $50K per week inrevenue production fully ramped. Additionally, your historicalramp to full productivity is six months. Data shows that afterenablement there is typically a 10-20%+ reduction of ramp up time.Thus, a very typical conservative business case calculation might be:1. $50K of full ramp revenue per week per rep.2. 24 weeks to full ramp up without enablement.3. 2.4 weeks saved at 10% compression due to enablement.Reduction of ramp up by 2.4 weeks at $50K or $120K added topline revenue per net new sales rep.4. Following this simple logic, just ten new sales reps ramped adds$1.2M in new top line revenue due to enablement.
48% of forecasted B2B deals in 2012 according to CSOInsights, with 24% also ending up as no decision.Given this, improving your win rates by just small percentagepoints can result in millions of dollars in additional top linerevenue across your team, depending on on your average dealsize and historical win rates. Plus, reducing no-decisions by afew percent can also save you millions more in wasted salesresources effort on no-deals.CSO Insights research also provide benchmark data whichshows that companies with a best practice Sales Enablementprogram achieve higher winrates. In fact, in companieswith best practices SalesEnablement versus lowerperforming groups:• 68% vs. 55% of reps areachieving quota, a 23%higher rate.• 54% vs. 43% of their B2Bforecasted deals close, a28% higher rate.• 24% vs. 34% of B2Bforecasted deals result in aloss, a 29% lower loss rate.• 54% vs. 43% of their B2B forecasted deals close, a 28%higher win rateConsider stratifying win rate data into new and experiencedsales reps, top performing vs. other experienced sales reps vs.best in class to make this data even more actionable.Reducing sales rep attritionSales rep attrition is a problem for all companies. The typicalrate ranges from 20% to 30% or more annually. Which meansyou are rehiring your entire sales force every three to fiveyears. This aspect of sales management reeks of inefficiencyand can be positively impacted by an effective SalesEnablement program.Over 70% of new employees decidewhether to stay with the companyor leave in the first six months,according to Aberdeen Group. Itis probably fair to say thatpercentage is even higher for newsales reps that earn commissionsas a significant proportion of theirincome.Following on from this, if theybecome frustrated at the lack oftraining or content to bring themup to speed, there is a solid chance they will quickly move to acompetitor that does.CSO Insights shows that companies with best practicesenablement report an attrition rate closer to 20%, versus 31%18Example - Improving Win RatesLets apply this benchmark to an example business case using CSOInsights research:1. Assume 10 reps with an annual quota of $2.4M.2. Historically in your company 63% are making quota =$15,120,000 total annual revenues.3. CSO Insights research shows that companies with effective SalesEnablement report 68% of their reps are making quota or above.4. At this level your 10 reps could produce up to $16,320,000 intotal annual revenues with the same headcount through bestpractices enablement.
for companies that have no formal program. That’s a 35%difference in turnover simply because of training!Our experience with companies dealing with attrition is thatsales managers tend to start by looking at their interviewingand hiring process. “Do we have the right sales rep hiringprofile identified? Is our hiring process lacking? Do ourhiring managers recognize talent? Is the reference checkingworking?” Invariably, theyquickly come to realize that it’snot hiring but the lack of an on-boarding plan at issue, coupledwith well communicatedexpectations and training.It is common in exit interviewsto hear leaving sales repsexpress their frustration in thelack of an training program asthe primary cause behind theirresignation.Growing average deal sizeThere is ample evidence that your top performing enterprisesales reps develop, win and close the largest deals. It’stherefore intuitive that the way you produce the most revenueis to close larger deals, if only because there is a practical limitto the number of deals your team can effectively manage atone time and over the course of the year.Your company puts a tremendous investment in each deal;countless calls and meetings, demos and proof of concepts,much involving travel. Depending on the complexity,enterprise sales reps can typically only work three to fiveactive deals at any given time.Since there are only so many selling hours in the day, topperforming reps instinctively know they have to maximizedeal size in order to make andexceed their quotas. Wetypically see a third to a halflarger average deal size betweentop performing and middleperformers, and as much as twotimes between the top and thebottom.Enablement will notmiraculously transform all ofyour lower performing reps into top ones, but sharing field best practices in the form oftraining will help them to engage and sell more effectively andthe by-product of this process is that average deal size willgrow as they learn as they learn from your top performers.Compressing lengthy sales cyclesMuch like growing your average deal size, an effective SalesEnablement program can have a dramatic effect on reducingyour sales cycles. Depending on the cost and complexity of19Example - Reducing AttritionA company with best practice Sales Enablement will probably rehireand train its sales team over five years. Laggards may need to rehireand train every three years....a huge competitive advantage for thosetop performing companies who reap the fruits of their laborExample - Growing Deal SizeBenchmark your own sales organization and analyze the averagedeal sizes for three tiers of sales rep performance. The top 20% ofyour sales reps will likely produce 80% of your revenues.
your solution, nowadays it’s not uncommon to experiencecycles lasting up to year.Top performing sales reps work more efficiently and are ableto close deals in less time. Here are the main factors allowingthem to do this:1. Going beyond basic qualification into an effective andrepeatable sales discovery process that takes theircomprehension of what is really happening to a muchdeeper level. They understand where the customer is intheir buying process and who the key stakeholders are thatthey need to engage with and earn support from.2. Better discernment of what to do with their discoveryfindings. In other words, better go or no-go decisions andbetter targeting of the resources at their disposal. In short, the top performing sales reps work smarter, notharder, don’t waste their time and generally don’t getsurprised often. They pride themselves on knowing well inadvance how everything will be evaluated, decided upon andeveryone that needs to be involved. They qualify out morequickly and will have a much lower percentage of their dealsend up in the no decision.Opposite of this, lower performing sales reps all too often tendto use basic qualification information (e.g. budget, authorityor business need) and engage without additional discoveryand mutual commitments from the customer.20Example - Compressing Sales CycleAn effective Sales Enablement program captures top performer bestpractices and helps the rest of the sales team understand them andhow to apply them in their own world.Top performing sales reps manage and close their sales cycles in 10to 30% less time than their counterparts. It’s an easy exercise tobenchmark the average sales cycle (paying close attention to thefrequency of “no decisions” for the three tiers of your sales reps too)to see the difference in the length of the average sales cycles.There are certain aspects of a sales cycle that you can’t control orcompress. But given the typical length of an enterprise sales cycle,shaving just a few weeks or even a month off of your average salescycle due to smarter selling can have a significant impact on yourtop line revenues.
MeasurementThere are two best ways that youshould measure the effectiveness ofyour Sales Enablement program.1. Quantify using the business caseelements in the prior section.2. Anecdotally through captured proofpoints during roll out.Don’t ignore one for the sake of theother.Quantifying your Sales Enablement starts by level setting your salesorganization metrics prior to implementing your program.First, break down and analyze the performance of your sales team into thirds;the top performing tier, the middle tier performing tier and the bottomperforming tier.Then gather the data for each of the performance tiers related to the businesscase elements that we provided: compressing lengthy new sales rep ramp upcycles, improving sales win rates, reducing attrition, growing average deal sizeand compressing lengthy sales cycles.This analysis will provide you with the “before” benchmark for your SalesEnablement investment measurement and ROI analysis.Recognize that Sales Enablement is an ongoing investment and process. It isnot a discrete point-in-time investment that will yield results in one month.Rather you should expect to more gradually see positive results andimprovement in the business case and your sales overall.21
Obviously, your results and improvement will also vary basedon your starting point and sales leadership’s commitment tothe ongoing Sales Enablement process.Sales Enablement programs also need to be iterative as yourmarket changes, new competitors arrive, you try to enter newsegments or introduce new products. You’ll need to decide inadvance how often youneed to assess updates toyour data based on theyour particular dynamics.A good starting point istwice in the first year andthen on a quarterly basis.Using the business casemetrics we describe atthese kinds of intervals willprovide insight as to areasthat you need to improveand reinforce to get aneven better return on your investment over time.You will need to monitor market changes thatwill prompt changes and updates to yourcontent and training to focus on newcapabilities.Of course, you can measure all you like butSales Enablement ultimately remains astrategic investment based on the commitmentof the executives of the company. It’s no surprise thatprograms which do not have this basic gut-level high levelcommitment quickly founder.Get proof points of successA second effective way to measure the success of your SalesEnablement program is anecdotally. Ask these types ofquestions.• What are you observing in theway your sales calls are going?• What are you hearing from yoursales team members and salesmanagers?• What are your new customerssharing with you in their perceptionof how you engaged and workedwith them during their buyer’sjourney?•What are competitors saying aboutyour sales team and theireffectiveness?• How are analysts or market pundits talking about howworking with you is easier than competitors?”The best question here ultimately is: which source does yourexecutive team trust as proof of success or failure? Go getyour anecdotes there. We also find that organizations thattend to look for evidence of success and repeat it versusfailure build better programs.22Example - Anecdotal Proof PointOn the way to a sales kickoff, after a year of continuous enablementtraining, a newer inside sales reps said that she constantly used ourmaterials and training to prepare herself prior to calls on key sellingpoints and her pitch.She went on to say that, in 15 years experience, it helped her rampup faster than any prior sales position and she felt like she wasengaging and selling more effectively than at any other point in hercareer after only 10 months.That night, she was given the award for the top performing insidesales rep in the company for the fiscal year.
xxiiiAcknowledgementsWe’ve had the good fortune to collaborate with some incredibly bright and talented sales and marketing leaders in developing andimplementing world class Sales Enablement programs.What’s unique about these folks is that they are running incredibly successful businesses by any reasonable measure and yet theyhave the foresight to look ahead 12 to 18 months and recognize that there is trouble on the horizon if they don’t invest in and builda solid Sales Enablement infrastructure to support their rapid sales growth. That is incredibly rare for most sales leaders who can’tlook out beyond the next fiscal quarter or two and tend to get blind-sided when their sales growth stalls.Two visionaries that we’d like to acknowledge and personally thank for their passion and progressive ideas around SalesEnablement are Jim Yares and Jon Gettinger. We’ve collaborated closely with them and learned tremendously throughout theprocess. It’s an honor and pleasure to work with such strategic sales and marketing thinkers.