How do you build and maintain a strong sales enablement culture within the sales organization?
I think the easy answer here is "buy-in" from your leadership. But what does this actually mean? They can say it, but that doesn't always mean that they'll prioritize or even fund it for growth. The approach of top-down is 100% the way to go in my experience but here are a few tactics I and my peers have used to reinforce this:
- Get DRI's from leadership to support key initiatives and ask from top-leads who they would recommend to be assigned to them (frame it as "career growth opportunities"). Collaboration on top projects means that they have a vested interest in seeing it succeed as they're also putting hours into them. I wouldn't depend on them for building the initiative content per se, but they can certainly give good feedback and support on comms and accountability.
- Communication! Do you have the right, centralized channels where all enablement content is available? But, do you have these paired with something they need daily such as product launches or process updates?
- Speaking of communication, share your results with leads and cross-functional partners. Proving effectiveness (both objective and subjective) creates the belief that it's worthwhile to invest in, even if it's just giving attention. This could include weekly updates of quarterly business reviews.
- Make it fun! I know that budgets are somewhat strapped, but prizes for participation work well. I often hear competitions are also good, but unless it's tied to making them something that helps them close deals faster or get some kind of reward (like a spot in annual President's Club-type incentives), I usually find it ends in just fun.
I enjoy companies that operate from a set of core values & principles. Step one is to call out learning as core to the business's success.
Next, you should consider:
- Praising knowledge sharing
- Driving a learning culture from the top-down
- Offering easy ways for people to share their learnings
- Embedding learning where sellers & leaders need it most