Too often, sales enablement is loosely defined as sales training.
That definition is a recipe for disaster.
Many organizations invest in training and believe they have adequately invested in sales enablement. In contrast, other organizations invest in blended learning – both in-person and virtual – and think they have gone above and beyond to set their salespeople up for success.
What these organizations don’t recognize is that sales enablement is not about one or two components… sales enablement is an ecosystem.
Strong Ecosystems… Are Not Made Out of Straw.
The sales enablement ecosystem exists to set salespeople up for both immediate and lasting success, giving them the skills necessary to create differentiating value while maximizing the customers’ buying evolution.
To do this, the sales enablement ecosystem should consist of multiple components, including recruiting, onboarding, training, reinforcement training, coaching, validations of proficiency, and succession planning. These sales enablement components require collaboration between multiple departments within an organization, including marketing, finance, human resources, and operations.
And building a sales enablement ecosystem is worthwhile, resulting in boosted retention rates, increased revenue, and a higher sales performance.
Sales training and blended learning are just two of the components of a strong sales enablement ecosystem. To invest only in these two components is to leave your salespeople unprepared and your organization vulnerable.
It is akin to building a house ( i.e. sales enablement strategy) out of straw… or sticks… much like the first two of the three little pigs.
A Strategy Built Out of Straw
Much like traditional training, this house is fast to complete and looks fantastic from the outside. However, it is incredibly flimsy. It doesn’t take much to blow this house down. One puff and this sales enablement strategy crumbles to the ground, taking the organization and its sales projections, visionary goals, and bright future with it.
A Strategy Built Out of Sticks
Much like blended learning, from the outside, this second house seems like an upgrade from the first house. Looking closer, though, it’s clear that their infrastructures are identical. This is still just a shell of a building, and not strong enough to withstand the challenges, transformations, and development of a successful organization.
A Strategy Built Out of Bricks
Much like a sales enablement ecosystem, this third house takes a little longer to build. That’s because it has an exceptional architectural design; a foundation, framing, and roof; storm windows, insulation, running water, and electricity. And it’s fully equipped with Wifi. The third pig doesn’t build this house all alone either. Instead, skilled architects and partners work hand-in-hand to bring this home to life.
Who’s House Do YOU Want to Live In When Challenges Come?
The first two pigs have only prepared their houses for short stints and sunshine. If a storm or a proverbial wolf gets too close – or a pandemic for that matter – there is no way their houses will stay standing.
The third house, though is designed to weather anything. It is a collaborative effort, built sustainably using expert planning, structural integrity, and state-of-the-art materials that keep it sturdy and secure.
The third house has:
- Thoughtful Architecture: also known as a purposeful recruiting and onboarding strategy
- Foundation, Framing, and Roof: also known as your customized training process and methodologies
- Storm Windows, Insulation, Plumbing, and Electric: also known as your consistent reinforcement and coaching
- Wifi: also known as your analytics, the tools you use to measure or improve implementation and team performance
Developing an effective sales enablement ecosystem requires investments of time, talent, and resources from across the organization to ensure your salespeople are equipped with the emotional intelligence, sales agility, and the business acumen required even before the trouble winds blow.
By designing a sales enablement ecosystem like the third pig – built to thrive during even the most unexpected of events – salespeople gain emotional intelligence, sales agility, and practical know-how to help your organization thrive.