Over the past few years, the underlying structure of sales organizations is being re-architect-ed.

Sales Enablement Content

New job titles are taking hold and the division of responsibilities is shifting right along with it. BDR[1], SDR[2], LDR[3], Client Success Manager, Account Rep, Inside Sales rep… converting a suspect into a lead then into a satisfied buyer requires many more levers and switches than it used to in the form of specialized sales talent.

Seems only logical, that the way we equip our Sales talent needs to evolve along with the changing roles. What that looks like, and how it’s achieved is the responsibility of yet another role, that of the Sales Enablement Director.

Doing a quick search of the phrase “Sales Enablement” on LinkedIn Sales Navigator, I discovered 192,623 results[4]

What does Sales Enablement mean and what do Sales Enablement professionals do? I’d recommend taking a look at the recent “2015 State of Sales Enablement” report.

In the study, conducted jointly by Highspot and Heinz Marketing, Sales enablement practitioners where asked what activities were included as part of their function. 90% of the respondents claimed “Identifying/implementing sales productivity tools” while 80% claimed “Making sure sales teams can find content” as part of their responsibilities.

Content is the lubrication that moves deals through the funnel.

Think of content as the ball bearings of the sales engine. Don’t believe me? Think about what happens in a sales process. It’s basically a series of conversations in between which, content (whether it’s a pdf, a video, an email, an ebook, a voicemail message) keeps the lines of communication open. When the lines of communication close, you lose a deal. Therefore, content can help you win deals and keep you from losing deals.

Leading organizations are forming Sales Enablement teams and the market for Sales Enablement technology solutions has exploded.

As reported in the “2015 State of Sales Enablement” study, and according to Aberdeen research[5], these leading organizations are seeing incredible results such as:

  • 99% overall team attainment of sales quota
  • 9% advantage in year-to-year revenue growth over average companies
  • 7.4% year over year growth in average deal size (ASP)

Furthermore, 57% of respondents from organizations that have a sales enablement team ranked their sales efforts as effective or very effective versus only 35% for those that don’t have a sales enablement team.

Think about that for a second. For those companies that have a sales enablement team, 57% ranked their sales efforts as effective. The percentage isn’t higher, most likely because they can see what’s still left to be done. It’s the other side of the coin that’s scary to me and proves the point that sales enablement is critical to sales effectiveness. For those without a sales enablement team, 65% feel their sales efforts are in-effective. Wow! Clearly, the first step to solving the problem is to form a sales enablement team.

Get your hands on a copy of the “2015 State of Sales Enablement” report here.

The changing nature of sales and the customer landscape will be the focus of next week’s CEB Sales and Marketing Summit being held at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. The event is focused on what sellers need to do to sell effectively given changes going on in the buying process. Since so few survey respondents felt their sales efforts are effective, the conference’s focus will likely hit home. I’ll be there to hear the sessions and to meet with many of our clients including Highspot. If you’re going to the conference click here if you’d like to meet.

To learn more about sales enablement, getting started and best practices, as well as a complete list of Sales Enablement tools and software vendors, check out the Definitive Guide to Sales Enablement.

[1] Business Development Rep
[2] Sales Development Rep
[3] Lead Development Rep
[4] “Sales Enablement” was either in the title or company description.
[5] “Making Sales Enablement Work: Nine Must-Haves for the Modern Sales Ops Leader,” Aberdeen Group, March 2015