Making the pain worth the gain in sales enablement

Sales enablement is a critical role in organisations today—growing at a staggering 69 percent over the last few years. But two-thirds of companies have failed to achieve success. This failure is due in part from the lack of a clear definition, strategy and focus—and partly from failing to follow best practices. With the disconnect between those with high expectations for the role and those performing the function, the whole process has become extremely painful.

To make sales enablement more effective, you must identify and overcome common problems that derail successful enablement and learn how to place the customer at the centre of your efforts. That’s why we’re introducing the Sales Enablement Clarity Model—an approach unlike any other in the industry. It starts with your customer first, not your sales team. Because the needs of your customer should drive your business, not the other way around. After all, isn’t that what business is all about?

Sales Enablement: A Master Framework to Engage, Equip and Empower a World-Class Sales Force

Today’s prevailing sales strategies are often based on decades-old practices for bringing products and services to customers. In the age of technology, buyers come fully informed about what you have to offer, how you stack up against the competition and the different options for solving their business challenges. Successful selling demands a new approach to differentiating your offering, engaging customers, and driving profits.

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“Sales Enablement: A Master Framework to Engage, Equip and Empower a World-Class Sales Force” is the turnkey roadmap for sales leaders and sales enablement professionals who are serious about building a state-of-the-art sales force. This comprehensive guide shows you how to orchestrate a sustainable system of content, training, coaching, and technology along with proven best practices for equipping your sales teams with everything they need to succeed in today’s competitive sales environments.

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Why success falters — according to you

Our research team has studied sales enablement extensively—and provided the best insight in the industry. But we also wanted to know what you think first-hand. So we asked. And here is what you told us:

We asked: Only 30% of sales enablement efforts meet expectations, why is this?

You responded:

Expectations vary drastically across leadership and departments 12

Too much tactical thinking, not enough strategy involved 22

A lack of openness to new ideas and new technology 10

Too focused on sales and not enough on the customer 31

Too focused on sales and not enough on cross-organization efforts that impact Sales Enablement 23

Lack of industry standards 2

To sell more, you have to enable better.

The need for sales enablement isn’t going away. In fact, it’s only getting stronger. Successful sales enablement requires a best practice approach that considers the whole picture. One that can address the most common derailers that companies encounter. And it’s why we’ve developed the Sales Enablement Clarity Model.

Our intent is to give you complete clarity on how to achieve success in your own sales enablement efforts. Because that’s what makes our approach very rare in the industry and it’s how sales enablement can become highly valuable in your own organisation.

Sales Enablement Clarity Model


Ensure executive sponsorship and participation—if your executive team is a central part of your sales enablement initiatives, it raises the importance and value of the process to your entire sales team, and makes your efforts more successful.

Strategy and Charter

Organisations that have a formal strategy achieve more successful outcomes than those with an informal approach. Understand what you are trying to accomplish and whom you want to enable. Know the purpose, vision and mission of your efforts. Define what you are trying to accomplish in the short- and long-term. And identify what success looks like—make it formal and commit to it. Then ensure your Strategy and Charter nurtures the four key pillars of the model and the four pillars tie back to your Strategy and Charter. Both should work in tandem.

Customer Focus

Placing the customer at the centre of your sales enablement efforts is essential to your success. It’s about building loyal customers and compelled prospects, and making their voices front and centre in your initiatives. Your sales efforts start with the voice of your customer. So the way we see it, so should your sales enablement efforts.

Sales and Service Professionals, Managers and Leaders

These two teams are direct conduits to the voice of the customer—making them pivotal to the four pillars and the pinnacle of the Sales Enablement Clarity Model. Enabled managers and leaders need to coach, reinforce and drive change with enabled sales and service professionals—who guide the customer journey and interact directly with customers.

Dynamic Process

Understanding the customer journey and how it fits into your sales process is crucial to a dynamic process. How do customers want to buy? What is their communication preference? What experiences do they want to have—and expect—from you? And what are the most critical touch points? By ensuring customer analytics shape the customer journey and, in turn, lay the foundation for your sales process, you can be more adaptable to respond to changes in the market.

Formalised Collaboration

Make it formal. Collaboration for your sales enablement initiatives should be formalised across teams and departments—with clearly defined ownership and accountability. From sales operations to marketing to HR, your efforts should be integrated and intertwined—not just touch points here and there. Think about product knowledge, assets and collateral, hiring and assessments, compensation and CRM technology. Because platforms, information and tools for sales live across the organisation—and so must your sales enablement efforts.

Enablement Services

Design, create, align. Each part of your sales enablement content, training and coaching should reflect a holistic approach that supports the broader initiative. Create content, build integrated curriculum and ensure coaching is a cohesive part of your efforts. After all, coaching makes a big impact on your win rate and differentiates world-class organisations from the rest.

Integrated Infrastructure

Many solutions are available for sales teams today—but you need to make a decision on which of those are the most critical to your organisation’s success. And determine the best way to operationalise and govern them. Uncover where technologies already sit within your company so you can borrow or tap into the most pivotal solutions for you to invest in as a sales organisation.

Effective sales enablement starts by understanding the pitfalls

In a changing market, it’s easy to overlook the common derailers that interfere with creating an effective sales enablement function in your own organisation. From ignoring the customer perspective to thinking tactically to sticking to what you’ve always done. You can sabotage your own efforts easier than you think. Make yourself aware of the most common derailers so you can identify and avoid them in your own organisation.

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Right now, sales enablement isn’t looking so great.

Over the last few years, the percentage of companies that have a sales enablement function has grown by 69%. But only 1/3 of organisations have met or exceeded their outcomes. And just over half of all sellers are meeting or exceeding their quotas. With changing buyer behaviour, growing pressure on the cost of sales and growth targets, expanding product portfolios, and the tension between sales leaders, enablement teams and marketing departments, sales organisations have a long way to go to turn things around.

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Get more insight from the latest resources

You need to learn more—and fast. We’ve got the cutting-edge resources and insights you need to overcome the common challenges of sales enablement—and secure the future of your sales performance.

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