Sales Tips: The Challenge with Sales Enablement

Commonly used terms can take on lives of their own. A Google search for “sales enablement” yielded 1.17 million hits. Despite its wide acceptance or maybe because of it, the term means dramatically different things to different people. Many of the Google hits apply the adjective “evolving” because nobody seems to want to get cornered into a firm definition.

Like aspirin, sales enablement can be used to relieve almost any malady. It can be invoked by senior executives when:

  • Old sales and marketing approaches aren’t delivering results as they once were
  • The power in making purchases has shifted to empowered buyers
  • The sales organization is on a remote island while all other major business disciplines are on the mainland
  • Traditional sales approaches make improving buyer experiences a fleeting hope

Telling a concerned board or investors that a VP of Sales Enablement position has been created is a way of limiting what might be ugly discussions and buying time.

Despite the dramatic changes in buying behavior in the last 15 years, one measure of sales has been a constant over several decades: Only about 50% of salespeople achieve quota each year. It begs the question: In what other departments would CEO’s tolerate having half their employees fail to meet expectations?

Ironically Sales is the most easily measurable profession. You can exactly calculate a seller’s, manager’s or CSO’s percentage of quota attainment. That said, Sales is different than other departments. It’s a sink or swim proposition in companies that have not meaningfully broken sales down into a repeatable process, provided a common set of skills to execute the process and consistent messaging for specific titles and desired business outcomes.

Absent sales process, sales enablement efforts are limited in empowering sellers to make better calls so a higher percentage can achieve quota. Isn’t that the ultimate measure of sales enablement?

Frank Visgatis

As co-founder, President & Chief Operating Officer of CustomerCentric Systems®, LLC and co-author of the CustomerCentric Selling® sales methodology, Frank Visgatis drives the overall direction and strategy for CustomerCentric Systems®, LLC, leveraging 20 years of leadership experience. Visgatis knows how to conceptualize and execute a new business strategy into a winning company. He has done it numerous times - from co-founding a thriving commercial and residential real estate holding company to transforming a private consulting practice into one of the most successful sales training providers in the country. His ability to identify trends and changes in the sales ecosystem has helped improve the dynamic of interaction between sellers and buyers through the development of CustomerCentric Selling® and Sales Ready Messaging®. Visgatis' vision has propelled CustomerCentric Systems®, LLC as one of the industry's top providers of sales process consulting, sales training and Sales Ready Messaging®.

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