Updated: May 3, 2022
Sales enablement is the process of providing sales reps with the information, content, and tools to sell more effectively. Sales operations are the process of supporting sales teams with strategic direction to sell more efficiently.
The world of the salesperson is mostly still a lonely one and the majority of salespeople are on their own. Many salespeople work in isolation and struggle with their sales target or sales quota. (I wrote about this in one of my recent blogs)
However, the emergence of complex technology-enabled systems, with increased reliance on the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, as well as changing customer buying behaviors in B2B, necessitates a new formula for achieving revenue growth. Traditional sales structures are no longer enough. The forces behind this change are fundamental.
What is needed is B2B Modern Selling with a dedicated Sales Operations and Sales Enablement team at its core, responsible for a strong and adaptable Go-to-Market Strategy and associated sales efficiency and effectiveness.
Sales Enablement is the process of providing salespeople with information, content, and tools to sell more effectively. Sales Operations is the process of supporting sales teams with strategic direction to sell more effectively.
It is important that all stakeholders contributing to revenue growth - sales, marketing, and customer support teams - are well aligned and participate in a single cross-functional business process, coordinating across management systems and platforms. Cross-functional teamwork has become a key driver of growth.
Sales Operations teams are responsible for the following, among other things: - Hiring and onboarding new sales reps - Creating a sales strategy - Managing the tech stack - Optimizing the sales process based on data quotation and contract management - KPI reports for sales - Quota management Sales enablement teams spend most of their time equipping and preparing sales reps with the latest materials so they can sell more effectively. For example, this team focuses on: - Developing content for the employee onboarding program. - Creating content for training and coaching sessions - Creating sales collateral based on insights - Collecting data for performance insights at the individual and team level
To make the shift from a traditional sales force to a new-age one, companies should now make a lion's share of growth investments in Sales Operations and Sales Enablement, ensuring that, as mentioned earlier, sales, marketing, and customer support teams are better aligned, and that there is visibility and transparency into customer engagement, salesperson performance, and the health of accounts and pipelines (keyword Accountability).
These investments are worthwhile, as incomplete management of sales processes leads to revenue and margin leakage through "air holes" and transitions in the Buyer Journey, and uncoordinated management of sales reps leads to suboptimal resource allocation, higher sales costs, customer churn, and missed opportunities.
With that in mind, keep your eye on the ball. Embrace the important task of building a world-class sales team and enable sales reps to engage with their customers efficiently and effectively at all stages of the buying process through a modern suite of collaborative tools and consistent messaging (check out my blog on thought leadership).
Best regards, Roland
PS. Building a modern B2B sales organization also requires New Leadership Demands as well as recruiting top talent and specialists (for example SDRs, BDRs, MDRs and ADRs). We will be publishing a sponsored White Paper on this in the next few weeks in collaboration with a global HR firm.