sales enablement challenges and solutions

Sales enablement improves processes and strategies to help sales reps close more deals, and increase their efficiencies. In 2015, over $66 billion was spent on sales enablement and training, and the numbers have only increased since then.

Even though more industry leaders are turning to sales enablement, we’re exploring common challenges organizations face and how to overcome them.

Top Sales Enablement Challenges and Solutions

Sales and Marketing Disconnect

Challenge

Sales enablement requires buy in from several key areas and roles within your organization, and marketing is critical. Sales enablement professionals provide content and resources to help sales improve, and marketing is typically involved in the creation of this collateral.

The two teams often suffer from a disconnect in communication, lack of understanding for roles and responsibilities, animosity surrounding different compensation and reward packages, and poor collaboration.

Solution

Prior to launching a new sales enablement initiative take note of the current state of your sales and marketing teams relationship. Confusion starts at the top, so get leaders to set the tone, and work through any miscommunications. Improve a negative situation by clearly defining roles and responsibilities, encourage collaboration, and explain how and why each team contributes towards the same overall goals.

Role Confusion

Challenge

As if the challenges between sales and marketing weren’t enough, there is also confusion about sales enablement in general. Sales enablement is often mistaken for sales coaching, or a role that works with individual team members to develop their skills. They are most often confused with the role of a sales manager.

While sales enablement is focused on improving the performance of your sales organization as a whole, they are not sales managers.

Sales managers work with their teams on a daily basis to develop talent and drive individual performance, and sales enablement works at a system-wide level to improve your sales organization as a whole. Contrary to popular belief, sales enablement doesn’t replace sales managers, they actually rely on them. However, because both roles are working towards sales improvement, there is often confusion that leads to overlap in work, frustration, and inefficiencies.

Solution

Setting clear expectations and role definitions before your program launches will help prevent this challenge from ever appearing. Coach your sales enablement leaders to partner and collaborate with sales managers so they have support in their initiatives, and help your managers stay open to suggestions for leading their teams more effectively. In the beginning, it could be helpful to hold weekly meetings with both enablement and managers to foster a collaborative environment.

Lack of Technology Innovation

Challenge

Many organizations struggle with sales enablement because they’re still doing things the hard way. Trying to improve any performance without embracing technology is nearly impossible, and sales enablement is no different. Sales enablement roles need to leverage new solutions to keep their organizations competitive.

Solution

Help your sales enablement initiative get off the ground successfully by doing your research up front on how you can use technology to win. Your sales enablement leader may want to try:

  • Implementing an online learning software partner so they can deliver new content and messaging strategies faster
  • Using video recording software like LearnCore’s Pitch IQ to enable sales managers to give direct feedback to reps on actual pitch practice runs
  • Leveraging data and online reporting features to build and customize reports that help sales managers get better insights on sales performance more efficiently

Sales enablement initiatives can make or break your organization. Implement them well and your team will start closing more deals, exceeding quota expectations, and operating more efficiently. Plan ahead to avoid each of the common sales enablement challenges above, so your team can avoid detours and head straight for success.

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