All related (34)
Ryan Fleisch
Head of Product Marketing, Real-Time CDP & Audience Manager, AdobeJune 23

Great question – let’s tackle it from two angles: the strategic approach and then the content within it.

1) Strategic Approach: For this side of the equation, let’s all pretend we are the sellers for a second, and that the actual account executives are our clients. If we want to “sell” them our enablement program, we need to approach it the same way as they would approach any successful sales cycle: understand the buyer’s motivations and goals, uncover what’s blocking them from achieving them, offer a solution, tie it to value, and then follow-up and measure the success. The problem I see with many sales enablement programs (and many sales cycles for that matter) is they skip right to “offer a solution” and rarely is it the right one. For a sales enablement to follow a proper process and result in a strategically valuable program, you need to start with understanding that salespeople have a constantly looming quota to hit and every minute they spend out of the field in training programs can feel like an unwanted distraction (unless you prove the value). Next, you need to understand what’s blocking them from hitting their targets. This piece requires internal conversations, sales ops, and comp intel. Frame your program against those challenges: “we know that last quarter X% of your deals were against Competitor A with only a Y% win rate. And looking ahead at this quarter, Z% of the pipeline is also against Competitor A. We want to help you win those deals more, and as such, we’ve developed a sales enablement program with insights, collateral, and talking points specifically targeted at Competitor A.” Now you’re speaking a sales language they understand. Next, track the success of this program and use those data points next time around. “The last sales enablement program we ran had an X% attendance rate. Of those X% that attended, they saw a Y% increase in their close rates.” Whatever your metrics are, make sure they come through in your next “pitch” because these are the “case studies” of the sales enablement session you’re selling. If you don’t have easy access to aggregate results, then do a one-off deal deconstruction with an AE on a win that was tied to your program. If you can follow this strategic approach by ensuring your sales enablement has a foundation of market analysis, comp intel, and sales ops data, you’ll find that salespeople will drop everything to come to your programs rather than feel like they’re a distraction.

2) The Content: Whatever sales approach your AEs/SCs use, learn it and master it. This is critical. You need to understand the way they frame their pitches/cycles if you want your enablement content to resonate and get used within it. Do they use ValueSelling? MEDDIC? Demo2Win? Whatever it is, master it. If you can build your enablement program around the framework they are already about, you’ve just up-leveled your program to strategic value in their eyes.

Daniel Kuperman
Head of Core Product Marketing & GTM, ITSM Solutions, AtlassianFebruary 18

This is where the partnership with the sales enablement team is valuable. If you don’t have a sales enablement counterpart, then I suggest the PMM team to think in terms of the Knowledge - Skills - Behavior framework. Here’s how this works:

  • Knowledge: what do sales reps need to know in order to be successful?
  • Skills: how should they apply their knowledge in sales conversations?
  • Behaviors: what activities make for a successful sales rep?

    This is a good framework to discuss with sales leadership. The common understanding of what sales reps need to know, how should they talk about it, and what specific behaviors will make them successful can help you lay down the foundations for a strategic program.

    In the end, we want to make sure that the sales team can accurately articulate the value of your product/solution and are competent in handling objections, and know how to differentiate from alternatives in the market.

    Whenever there’s a request for you to ‘create this for the sales team’, go back to the framework and think through which area this new ‘thing’ will impact and how. As requests come in you can categorize them differently and prioritize themaccording to the expected impact.
ShiQi Wu
Head of Product Marketing, Southeast Asia, TikTokDecember 9

Its important that any activation you do is aligned with sales on goal to either drive revenue or grow product adoption (usually because there is evidence it works better for clients). In general if we do sales enablement there are 3 buckets to consider. Being tactical can also be part of building up the strategy around the program. 

  • Large Product Launch – Being clear what the product is, why we’re launching it and how will this be beneficial for clients. How can you also amplify this messaging with cross-functional stakeholders. As mentioned earlier, we work very closely with marketing and this is a good time to check in on the best way to land the message in market at scale.  
  • Sales Program – What do you need to arm sales with to take to market. How can they approach clients and that the value proposition of the product or narrative makes sense to clients/market. 
  • Tactical ones to answer FAQs – We still need to address to day to day FAQs and host office hours to ensure that the message is repeated, it is clear to sales what they are selling and why they are activating on it. 

This might not be for all sales enablement programs. But for larger ones, track the progress within the timelines you have set out, give timely updates to leads and ask for support where you need to ensure consistency in messaging. At the end of any program, it would be valuable to do a “roundup”.

Axel Kirstetter
VP Product Marketing and Sales Enablement, EISMarch 29

Great question! Firstly I question the assertion here. there is NOTHING wrong with a tactical list of activties. Sales enablement owns time-to-productivity. If that means doing a preset task list, that is not necessarily a bad thing. In terms of swimming more upstream I would suggest getting more specific about the definition of time to productivty. Is it the first deal, the first 10 deals, the fist $1M booked etc. To articulate the differences you need to dig into the value each milestone provides to the business. From there you can adjust format. Online vs 1:1 vs group. frequency like bootcamp, ad-hoc, peer based etc. 

Mary Margaret
Editor in Chief, Entertainment WeeklyMarch 11

Easy: approach the effort strategically. 

Be clear on the why, what, and how. 

1. Start with the goals. 

2. Get clear on the jobs to be done. 

3. Ladder the tactics up to those. 

4. Make sure the corresponding metrics/KPIs of 2 and 3 ladder up to 1

5. Communicate your sales enablement approach holistically: start with the goals and then the strategic plan to get the team to hit them. 

Savita Kini
Director of Product Management, Speech and Video AI, CiscoJune 29

Sales enablement requires buy-in from the top sales and marketing leadership. It must have a strategic view of the business - 

1. segments 

2. regions 

3. business and technical sellers 

4. partners 

5. programs by product 

6. Communications 

7. Calendar of things that come aligned to the business - programmatically aligned to region or segment or both. 

Like every other program -- this needs Budget $$, program managers who execute well, understand the learning abilities and time constraints of who need access to the content, when. 

To do it well and do it scalable -- needs good leadership who will partner across the company to bring it to fruition.