You’ve just been hired as a new sales enablement leader to help accelerate your team’s sales cycles. Congrats! But how do you ensure you hit the ground running and immediately add value to your team within the first 30 days?
There’s no doubt that you will be flooded with things to do and pulled around in all directions. That’s not unexpected as sales enablement sits at the middle of sales, marketing, and product teams. So in order to be successful and establish the foundation of your enablement strategy you must ruthlessly prioritize your growing list of tasks. In our experience, the quickest way to add value to your sales team’s day-to-day activities is by focusing on ensuring reps are well-armed with the knowledge they need to sell effectively.
Here are our 5 tasks that you need to accomplish within your first month on the job that will get you well on your way to being a sales enablement guru.
Understanding what your KPI’s are and what the key revenue goals of the sales team are from your sales leader is step one. Equally important is ensuring you are aligned with other key stakeholders as well, such as your marketing, customer success and product teams. At the core of sales enablement is the content and knowledge you provide to allow your reps to focus on what they do best, selling your product. Most of that will be created with the help of your marketing, customer success, and product teams. So during the early days, it’s important to talk with each respective leader to understand how things have been done previously and so they understand their role in supporting you and the sales team.
Some key questions to ask your Product, Customer Success & Marketing leaders are:
- What have been the primary channels of communication to update the sales team on key product, messaging, and positioning changes?
- Where are these documents, decks, and knowledge stored?
- Is there a formal process in place for when and how these documents get updated and who is in charge of updating them?
- Where and how should I be communicating key feedback I receive from the sales team relevant to each of your teams?
- When sales reps have product questions where do they ask them?
- Has excessive shoulder tapping and one-off messages become a problem that distracts your team from their work?
- Are customers expectations in terms of what our product can do consistent or wildly different?
- Are customers expectations in terms of the level of support your team provides consistent or wildly different?
- Are their features new customers consistently don’t understand or don’t know about that is hindering their ability to get the most value out of our product?
- What are the biggest challenges your team has faced in supporting customers? How can the sales team play a role in alleviating them?
- Are our reps consistently using the most up-to-date decks and marketing collateral in calls and emails?
- What are the key blockers in getting our marketing and sales teams aligned?
- How does marketing currently learn about the trends, competitors and industry updates that sales reps are hearing in the field?
While ensuring alignment between sales and the broader organization is important, equally so is the alignment within the sales organization itself. Sales leadership, middle management, and reps must be working towards the same goals which will allow you to prioritize your time correctly. As the sales enablement leader, your key stakeholder is the reps on the frontline who are on the phone everyday. Sit down one-on-one with each rep to listen to each of their own, unfiltered opinions about the current state of the sales team.
Here are some key questions to ask:
- Where are the key gaps in your understanding of our product, sales processes, key messaging points, etc?
- What competitors are you hearing most about?
- What are the most common objections?
- When you need to ask someone a question, where do you go and how long does it take for them to get back to you?
- How do you communicate feedback you gather from prospects to other teams like marketing, product, and customer success?
It was no accident that the two tasks we suggested were all about listening to others. After speaking with your sales leaders, reps, and other stakeholder teams you should have a good lay of the land and be able to turn the insights you gathered into actionable items. First of which is a content audit.
Review your current sales and marketing content that has been created. Have you sufficiently covered the buyer’s journey? You need to provide your sales team with content in each step which will help prospect’s move down the funnel.
Here are some examples of the types of content that should be created for each step:
- Unaware: Content about your pain points from other vendor- neutral sources (ie- industry analysts or industry thought leaders), relevant press mentions
- Aware: Industry white papers and analyst reports
- Interest: Short product overview videos, introductory webinars, thought leadership blog posts that highlight your company’s unique view on your industry.
- Evaluation: Product use Case guides, knowledge from your sales playbook (demo scripts, product FAQ’s, competitive positioning, email templates, objection handling, and more)
- Decision: Industry-relevant case studies, customer testimonials, customer reference calls
- Purchase: Getting started guides, Product roll-out and adoption guides, Best practice guides
Crucial to the sales enablement role is ensuring your reps have a single source of truth to find relevant sales assets and knowledge. Now that you’re running the show Google drive, dropbox, an internal wiki, and Slack are often not enough or too noisy to support your team’s enablement needs. You need to find a sales enablement solution that your team will adopt and allow them to have quick and easy access to relevant sales knowledge wherever they work.
Here are some key considerations you should be aware of when evaluating sales enablement solutions:
- Is the solution easy to adopt and native to my team’s workflow?
- Does this solution provide analytics on actionable business outcomes? Can I tie use of this solution to faster sales cycles? Faster onboarding ramp time?
- Can my reps trust that the content is up-to-date? (so they don’t shoulder tap experts on your team)
- Can I organize knowledge in a way that’s intuitive to my team?
Need some more inspiration? Download our sales enablement evaluation checklist that further breaks down important questions to ask yourself as you are evaluating different solutions.
You won’t know the true impact of your new shiny sales enablement solution unless you’ve been properly tracking key metrics before you implement it. You must have a baseline to compare to, so review your internal data on key metrics like onboarding ramp time, sales cycle time, competitive win rates, etc. If you don’t have any historical data, there’s no better time to get started than now!
If you can accomplish these 5 tasks in your first month on the job, the foundation will be set for your sales enablement program to have an immediate impact on your sales team’s efficiency.