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Is Sales Enablement Getting in the Way of Selling?

There’s a noticeable trend within organisations today: the overcomplication of sales enablement. While the intention behind sales enablement is to help sales teams this often becomes an unnecessary distraction. As the adage goes; the road to hell is paved with good intention – pardon the dramatics. In the quest for perfection, many enablement strategies lose sight of the practical needs of salespeople and the true purpose of their role – to drive revenue outcomes!

The Disconnect: Sales Enablement vs. Sales Reality

We often emphasise the need for salespeople to understand their customers, yet sales enablement teams frequently fail to grasp how salespeople actually work. This disconnect can lead to a host of problems that hinder rather than help sales performance. Does this sound familiar:

  • Too much training: Overloading sales teams with excessive training sessions can overwhelm them, leaving little time for actual selling.
  • Bulky playbooks: Expecting sales reps to digest and use 200-page playbooks is unrealistic and counterproductive.
  • Lack of roadmap visibility: When sales teams have no clear view of the enablement roadmap, they can feel lost and unsupported.
  • Constant process changes: Frequent adaptations and changes to processes can create confusion and instability.
  • New systems and tools: Introducing yet another system or tool can lead to frustration and a steep learning curve, disrupting sales momentum.

The Impact on Sales Momentum

These issues can severely impact a sales rep’s ability to gain and maintain momentum. Instead of feeling empowered and supported, sales teams may find themselves bogged down by the very processes meant to help them.

Sales enablement is undoubtedly crucial within any organisation. However, there’s a growing concern that it is becoming too academic and detached from practical outcomes. The core purpose of sales enablement should be crystal clear: to set salespeople up for success.

Striking the Right Balance

To achieve this, it’s essential to strike a balance between providing necessary support and avoiding overcomplication. Here are some steps to ensure sales enablement truly empowers sales teams:

1. Simplify Training: Focus on essential, actionable insights rather than overwhelming sales reps with information.

2. Streamline Playbooks: Create concise, easy-to-digest playbooks that provide clear, practical guidance. Usable is the key word!

3. Enhance Communication: Ensure transparency and visibility of the enablement roadmap, so sales teams know what to expect and can plan accordingly.

4. Stabilise Processes: Minimise constant changes and adaptions to allow sales teams to develop a rhythm.

5. Selective Tool Integration: Introduce new systems and tools judiciously, ensuring they genuinely add value, are user-friendly and adopted.

Sales enablement should be a driving force that empowers sales teams to excel. By focusing on practical, outcome-oriented strategies and truly understanding the needs of salespeople, organisations can ensure their enablement efforts lead to success rather than hindrance. Remember, the ultimate goal of sales enablement is simple: to set salespeople up for success.

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