As far as the state of sales enablement is concerned, I think it's fair to say (and I hope that sales enablement professionals won't mind me saying this) that many observers feel that it's largely been a case of promise unfulfilled.
So I hope you'll enjoy hearing what Scott Santucci, Skip Miller, Steve Crepeau and I had to say on the subject as we got together for a recent "Inside Sales Enablement" podcast to explore what the function now needs to do if it is to achieve its full potential...
Scott is known to many as the Godfather of the sales enablement movement, although there will always be some who wonder whether this should be interpreted from a parenting or a Mafia perspective.
Scott, Skip, Steve and I had the chance to discuss and debate the latest ground-breaking research by Scott’s Growth Enablement organisation into what sales enablement professionals think of themselves and their profession. You can listen to the podcast here.
The research uncovered a wide range of perspectives and revealed continuing ambiguity about what the profession does or should entail. It was clear to me and - I believe - the other panel members that introspectively searching for the perfect definition was less important than delivering valuable outcomes to their customers. Perhaps inevitably, there wasn’t even consensus amongst the 75+ survey participants about who their primary customer was.
I felt that the survey revealed a profession that appeared to struggle to balance strategic perspective with tactical execution, often applying an Elastoplast (Band-Aid to my US readers) when a surgical procedure was what was really required.
But I felt that our discussion also offered hope. If the sales enablement function can earn the respect and confidence of the sales organisation, if it can develop a clear sense of purpose and priority, and if it can focus on doing a few of the right things well, then it has the potential to make the impact it was always intended to.
However - as my fellow panel members concluded - there remains a lot of progress that needs to be made. I hope our discussions will prove useful to both sales enablement professionals and their customers - that is to say salespeople, sales managers, sales leaders and all the other members of an organisation who could benefit from consistently effective sales enablement.
And if you've got a comment on any of the opinions shared in the podcast, please add your comment below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bob Apollo is a Fellow of the Association of Professional Sales, a founding contributor to the International Journal of Sales Transformation, an active member of the Sales Experts Channel and the Sales Enablement Society, and the driving force behind Inflexion-Point Strategy Partners, the leading proponents of outcome-centric selling.
Following a successful corporate career spanning start-ups, scale-ups and market leaders, Bob now works as a strategic advisor, mentor, trainer and coach to ambitious B2B sales organisations - teaching them how to differentiate themselves through their provably superior approach to achieving their customer's desired outcomes.