Sales Enablement Talent: What You Need As A Sales Enablement Leader

Sales Enablement Talent: What You Need As A Sales Enablement Leader

Sales enablement talent is not discussed very often. Usually, the discussions are about the sales talent that’s required in the digital age of the customer. But there is almost no discussion about the necessary talent, sales enablement leaders need to have to be successful.

The challenge with sales enablement: only a minority moves the needle

Only about one-quarter to one-third of sales enablement teams are effective and tangibly move the sales performance needle. In other words, most organizations invest in sales enablement, but don’t move the needle. No wonder that the current crisis hit sales enablement hard. Sales enablement is at the crossroads. A situation that offers excellent opportunities to understand successful SE teams and leaders better. First, they are good at these two critical success factors:

  • Critical success factor #1 is implementing a strategic, formal, and charter-based approach to sales enablement.
  • Critical success factor #2 is meeting your senior executives’ goals and expectations.

Second, their leaders share some of the following talents.

The famous five talent facets of effective sales enablement leaders

As we go through these five specific talents and skills, you will see that these talent facets are required to successfully implement the above-mentioned critical success factors.

Sales talent and love for sales

This is critical, and I know many heads of sales enablement don’t have a sales background. Imagine, you coach one of the favorite NBA teams, and you have never played basketball. You will have a hard time would be an understatement. You wouldn’t even be able to land the job. For sales enablement, you don’t need a long and super successful sales career. Still, it would help if you had worked in a sales role, that you understand salespeople’s daily pressure, requirements, behaviors, and challenges. You have to FEEL how they FEEL. And you need a sales background to be able to engage with your senior executive leaders successfully. That’s a key barrier why many sales enablement initiatives are not positioned and set up as they should.

Business acumen talent

Sales enablement is a support discipline or function, no doubt. You can only design sales enablement in a way that drives business results if you fully understand the business strategy, the sales strategy, and other strategic initiatives. Therefore, I’m always advising clients to hire for a business leader to lead sales enablement and not for a program manager. Not that you don’t need program managers (yes, you do need them), but to lead sales enablement, you need a business leader with the talents listed here. People with business acumen tackle challenges from a business perspective and the related business goals and KPIs to be met, rather than from a program perspective and related program KPIs.

Customer-centricity talent

For sales enablement, customer-centricity is a two-step approach, a B2B2C, or a B2B2B approach. Your sales enablement customers are the customer-facing professionals you are providing services for, either in your organization or in channel organizations. Your senior executive stakeholders are either sponsors or stakeholders or both, but they are never your sales enablement customers. Now, why is this customer-centricity DNA so important? Because SE leaders require to think, design, and execute with two customer layers in mind. As discussed here, the primary customers are the customer-facing pros and their managers. However, enabling them to be as successful as possible with your target buyer roles requires to provide sales enablement services that ultimately resonate with your target buyers. For example, if you implement a new value messaging approach, you do this with the targeted buyer roles in mind to ensure that the messaging resonates with them. Then, you want to provide updated content and training sessions for your salespeople to become fluent with the new messaging, followed by regular coaching sessions to drive reinforcement and adoption.

Holistic, system-thinking talent

That’s a consequence of the cross-functional nature of sales enablement that covers, in addition to sales and marketing, more functions, such as sales management, sales ops, product management, IT, or L&D. That given complexity requires a SE leader who can think across various dimensions, see the bigger picture while dealing with issues in each of these areas. The ability to quickly see how multiple streams are connected with each other is essential. The big danger here is that everyone will tell you to “simplify” things. However, the successful sales enablement leader knows that it’s not “simple” at all to “simplify” sales enablement for their salespeople and their managers. The “simpler” it appears at the end of the day, the more work was involved beforehand.

Orchestrating and collaboration talent

The ability to effectively orchestrate complex issues and collaborate with various functions is crucial to enablement success. It’s a two-fold talent. It’s about the skill to see the broader picture and to orchestrate all required streams of activities, it’s about setting up effective collaboration models, and then it’s about executing based on these models and processes. The orchestrator talent may sound new, whereas the collaboration talent may sound “normal.” However, both are often underestimated. Crucial to understand is that the orchestrating talent includes stopping doing things that don’t create any value. It requires the system-thinking talent and the business acumen talent to have the staying power and the time it takes to set up enablement as an orchestrating and collaborative discipline. Only if all roles are clearly defined per sales enablement service, the sales enablement efforts are scalable.

Ambitions senior executives know that their sales enablement leader plays a pivotal role to achieve their shared goals.

Is Sales Enablement Part of Your Digital Transformation Initiative? When —If Not NOW?

Is Sales Enablement Part of Your Digital Transformation Initiative? When —If Not NOW?

Did you ever imagine that a virus would be the ultimate trigger for organizations to focus on digital transformation? Probably not. Here we are, in the middle of a global COVID-19 pandemic that will forever change the way we live, the way we do business, and also the way we run sales enablement.

Observations on sales enablement after being silent for a few weeks

As I transitioned from one professional role to another over the last few weeks, I focused on observing, rather than actively participating in, the sales and sales enablement space. Here is what I found:

  • The approach is understood, but execution suffers.

There is no lack of research, data, expertise, and best practices on WHAT should be done to make sales enablement a powerful driving engine for sales transformation. Sales enablement leaders struggle with HOW to approach this. Even if they theoretically know about the need for a strategic, formalized, integrated and targeted approach to meet their stakeholders’ expectations and KPIs, they struggle with getting access to their senior executives in the first place.

  • Talent is discussed one-way only.

The usual focus with regard to talent in a sales enablement context is the talent to be enabled. What’s ignored most of the time is the talent that’s required in a sales enablement role, especially in a sales enablement leadership role. We see many sales enablement program managers who are excellent at what they do—managing programs—but only a few business leaders who have the expertise and the business acumen to set up this business function as an engine for digital sales transformation.

  • Sales enablement and sales are only partly digitalized.

This is, especially now in times of COVID-19, a severe problem. With working from home policies in place, more sales forces than expected are struggling to engage their prospects and customers digitally. It was never just an option. Now it’s mandatory. It’s the same with sales enablement. Some enablement teams started with sales enablement content technology but did not digitalize their processes behind the platform. Other organizations already tackle sales enablement in more areas, such as content, training, and coaching. However, lots of training is still on-site, and only certain training services are available in a digital way, not to mention sales coaching services. Imagine, you have to onboard people digitally, and you are not prepared to do that. And imagine the tremendous competitive advantage of organizations that are doing this already.

How to integrate sales enablement into your digital transformation strategy

Ideally, there should be an organization-wide digital strategy in place. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. And in some cases, the strategy only says, “digitalize your processes.” Of course, that’s not an effective way, because a) such an approach doesn’t begin with the customer in mind, and b) it doesn’t optimize the processes before digitalizing them.

Whatever your situation is, here are four practices that help you to not only digitalize sales enablement but to make it even more effective.

#1: Key principle for how to approach digitalization: 

Technology is a great SERVANT, and with artificial intelligence even more so, if we carefully MASTER technology and clearly define what technology should do, and where human interaction is required and desired. Humans have to remain the MASTERS of digitalization and the MASTERS of the technology they implement to drive CX in the age of the customer which is more and more about customer convenience.

#2: All “safe havens” are now subject to digital disruption

The digital disruption started in different industries at different times. Think about the music and photography industry in the last century, then print media, travel, or television beginning about 2010, followed by retail, healthcare, automotive, education, telco, food, banking, and insurance around 2015. Now, in 2020, due to COVID19 and other factors, there are no safe havens any longer. Going digital is mandatory; it’s no longer an option.

#3: Design in an integrated way with the customer experience in mind

The age of the customer and the age of technology come together. It’s more than sales; it’s the entire process of how you engage potential customers, from demand and lead generation, followed by their first experience with sales professionals, through to their buying decision, customer success, and customer service experience. As more and more B2C and B2B customers prefer buying products and well-defined and categorized services online, make sure that their customer experience is seamless, smooth, and just-in-time, across your marketing, sales, and service and support functions, processes, and technologies. Now, the real focus where sales professionals will create a huge impact is in complex, enterprise selling scenarios. Here, business problems that impact several functions must be solved, and the buying team’s desired business outcomes are complex in nature and require an integrated, business-driven, differentiating engagement strategy.

#4: Be consistent, align, and integrate. Communicate, communicate, communicate

With these principles in mind, make sure the core areas of your sales enablement initiative, such as value messaging, content, training, and coaching are all aligned to the customer’s path, stage by stage, consistent with each other, and technically integrated. Here, an overarching value messaging approach is crucial, which ensures that all content assets and training services are consistent, telling the same story. Now, make sure that you leverage integrated digital sales enablement solutions that ensure that you can provide all these services using one platform, connected to the CRM or integrated into your CRM.

This article was initially written for Top Sales Magazine, April 2020 edition.

Image source: Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Sales Enablement Grows Up. But Not Fast Enough.

Sales Enablement Grows Up. But Not Fast Enough.

Sales enablement is on the rise, no doubt. At CSO Insights, we have seen a very fast growing discipline over the last six years. In 2013, only 19.3% of organizations reported having sales enablement established in their organization. This “enablement rate” increased to 32.7% in 2016 and to 59.2% in 2017. Now, in 2018, the data of our 4th Annual Sales Enablement Study (requires membership) shows a leveling off in growth, with 61.0% of organizations having a sales enablement team.

This 2018 number, 61.0%, is less than we expected because in 2017, 8.4% of organizations said that they planned to implement sales enablement within the next twelve months. That was apparently not the case. Instead, sales enablement seems to have arrived at a certain plateau. It is now maturing and thriving in particular niches.

Sales enablement is more relevant in larger organizations; it is found in up to 89.3% of organizations > $1B in annual revenues

The nature of sales enablement is to design, orchestrate, implement, and measure enablement services (content, training, tools, and coaching) across various functions to keep them consistent and effective for the sales force. That is one of the reasons why sales enablement is more established in larger organizations.

In organizations with annual revenues between $50M-$250M, over two-thirds (71.6%) of our study participants had sales enablement. This number increased up to 89.3% for organizations larger than $1B.

Organizations with sales enablement reported two-digit improvements for quota attainment and win rates compared to those organizations without enablement.

Yes, there is a business case for sales enablement. We compared key sales performance metrics, such as the percentage of salespeople achieving quota and win rates for forecasted deals, with the presence and absence of sales enablement:

  • The percentage of salespeople achieving quota improved by 10.6 percentage points, which is an actual improvement of 22.7%.
  • The win rates for forecast deals improved by 6.6 percentage points, which is an actual improvement of 14.5%.

Are all enablement teams equally successful? No. Only 34.4% of those with sales enablement met all or the majority of their expectations and achieved significantly better results.

The problem is the big group of enablement teams (61.2%) that met some of their expectations but ended up with only average performance results. That’s a difficult situation.

Almost two-thirds (61.2%) of organizations invest in sales enablement without seeing significantly better results. This could lead senior leadership to question the need for a dedicated enablement function.

In our Sales Enablement Grows Up: The 4th Annual Sales Enablement Report, we analyzed the research findings to show how to set up your sales enablement function for sustainable success. These foundational practices make a huge difference:

  • Follow a formal approach with a charter:
    This is the most critical practice, but too often ignored. It makes a huge difference if you run sales enablement as just another program, or if you have a strategic sales enablement approach that’s aligned to the business and the sales strategy, and connected to the strategic initiatives and goals of your senior executive sponsors. Only 9.2% do that, but this small group of organizations achieved 19.2% better win rates compared to all study respondents. To put that into perspective, the group with a formal approach but no charter could improve their win rates only by 3.4%. And those with informal and ad hoc approaches couldn’t even achieve average performance. So, a charter really matters. Check out my blog post series over at for details.
  • Make the customers and their customer’s path your primary design point for sales enablement:
    Sales enablement services cannot exist in a vacuum. A solid process framework, powered by technology, is essential. In the age of the customer, your internal selling process must reflect all steps and gates your buyers go through to make decisions. That’s what we call aligning your internal selling processes to the customer’s path, ideally in a dynamic way that allows you to make necessary adjustments as fast as possible. Only 20.7% of organizations do that, but this one-fifth improved quota attainment by 8.9%.
  • Align your enablement services to the different phases of the customer’s path:
    Some skills and methodologies are relevant throughout the customer’s path, such as value messaging. Others are more relevant in specific areas, such as prospecting or negotiation skills. It’s even more important with content. Content that helps to co-create a shared vision of success with a prospect is very different from content that supports detailed conversations with different buyer roles at the end of the buying phase. Interestingly, 42.0% of organizations reported that they do that, and they saw much better win rates: 53.5% vs. 42.0% for those that reported not applying this practice.
  • Build your enablement backbone: Implement a production process and mechanisms to measure enablement success:
    Only 25.0% have an enablement production process in place, but this one-quarter saw 5% better win rates. Only with a process can you provide scalable, consistent and effective enablement services. Less than 20% know how to measure sales enablement success, but those that follow a dashboard approach with leading and lagging indicators and ROI models achieved 5 percentage points better win rates compared to all. Measurement provides evidence of what works.

Sales enablement grows up; that’s good news. But not fast enough. Enablement leaders should take the time and focus on HOW they approach their enablement efforts before simply adding new “stuff” for the sales force.

This article was initially written for Top Sales Magazine, the December edition.

Photograph: Shutterstock 299846063

Customer Engagement: Bridging the Gap between Buyer Preferences and Seller Behaviors

Customer Engagement: Bridging the Gap between Buyer Preferences and Seller Behaviors

Modern buyers are changing faster and to a greater degree than sales organizations. Buyers are also consumers, and their experiences as consumers influence their B2B buying behavior. They’ve rapidly come to expect personalization, transparency and immediate fulfillment. They take their B2C shopping experiences, consciously or unconsciously, with them when they go to work, and their expectations change as rapidly as their consumer options change.

A recent CSO Insights study found that more than 70% of buyers usually engage with salespeople only after their needs are already clarified.

And 44 % of these buyers also identify their solutions on their own before they engage salespeople. One-fifth only want to lock down the details with salespeople just before making a buying decision.

However, 90% of the buyers said that they would be open to engaging with salespeople earlier along their customer’s path in specific buying situations.

There was more interest in early engagement when a business challenge was new for the buyers (34.1%), perceived as risky for the organization (21.1%), or as risky for the buyers themselves (19.1%) or complex in nature and likely to impact several departments (16.2%). At least one of these criteria will apply to many opportunities. If buyers are, in general, willing to engage sellers earlier, why are they not doing it more often? But the majority of buyers prefers other resources when it comes to solving a business problem.

The study participants were approximately 500 executive buyers from around the world. Only 23% of them selected salespeople as a top three resource when it comes to solving business problems.

What does that mean? It means that buyers turn to other resources first; resources they perceive to be more relevant and valuable to them. These resources are SMEs, third parties, vendor websites, industry events, peers, colleagues, social networks, industry publications, or web searches. Buyers ranked salespeople ninth as a resource they turn to for help with a business problem. If salespeople are perceived as vendors rather than problem solvers, today’s sales organizations have a serious challenge to overcome.

Buyers shared their preferences: They prefer salespeople who understand their business and their role, who demonstrate excellent communication skills, who focus on post-sale and who provide insights and perspective.

That’s the set of requirements for any effective customer engagement approach. What is customer engagement? What does it mean to you? Is it a marketing issue, a sales issue, a service issue? Buyer data shows that customer engagement should seamlessly cover the entire customer’s path.

Customer engagement covers the way organizations and their customer-facing professionals get in touch with their prospects and customers (buyers) along their entire customer’s path. Customer engagement’s main goal is that prospects and customers perceive every interaction, regardless of with or without human interaction, as relevant, valuable and differentiating.

As regular readers of our CSO Insights sales enablement research know, we always recommend making the customers and specifically the customer’s path the primary design point of sales enablement.

Yes, it’s more than being valuable. What valuable is does not only depend on the buyers’ perspective but also on the buyer’s current stage along their customer’s path. And that’s what we mean by relevant. And differentiating means that the messaging, the engagement approach, and the provided expertise and perspective should always be differentiating, and not perceived as a competitor’s copy.

Effective customer engagement is the result of aligning all enablement services to the customer’s path, not only creating the required content and messaging but also ensuring that the related training and coaching takes place to drive reinforcement and adoption of the desired behaviors.

Let’s look at some data. We asked the more than 500 global participants of our brand new 2018 Sales Enablement Optimization Study some questions about the prerequisites for driving customer engagement. The first question was about effectively aligning their enablement services to the customer’s path to improve customer engagement and customer experience: 42.0% agreed, and 58.0% answered neutral or disagreed. Does customer engagement matter? Yes, it pays off.

The 42% that align their enablement services effectively to the customer’s path experienced 8.1% better win rates compared to the study’s average. Not doing it at all led to win rates way below average.

Then, we looked at how enablement teams do this. It requires providing content and messaging that is tailored to buyer roles, content that speaks in the target industry’s language, and a dynamic value messaging approach that tailors different value messaging types to the different phases of the customer’s path. It requires social selling skills to take advantage of sharing relevant and valuable content and drive engagement this way, too. And looking at these detailed practices, we saw a difference.

While 42.0% of organizations reported having their enablement services effectively aligned to the customer’s path, only one-quarter is actually applying all the necessary steps to get there.

Having all the prerequisites in place is important, but it’s only half the battle. Providing content and messaging is not enough; salespeople have to learn and practice how to use and apply these things successfully. So, training is key to success and sales coaching is even more important.

Implementing effective customer engagement means making changes. It requires an integrated set of enablement services, a compelling change story that explains the WHY, and lots of change leadership across the organization to make the changes the new standard.

This article was initially written for Top Sales Magazine, October edition.
Photograph: Unsplash, donna-410624

Check out Sales Enablement A Master Framework to Engage, Equip and Empower a World-Class Sales Force!

Sales Enablement: A Master Framework to Engage, Equip, and Empower A World-Class Sales Force

A few weeks ago, Jonathan Farrington, CEO Top Sales World, interviewed Byron Matthews and me for the July edition of Top Sales Magazine to discuss the launch of our new book Sales Enablement: A Master Framework to Engage, Equip, and Empower A World-Class Sales Force.

JF: Your book Sales Enablement: A Master Framework to Engage, Equip, and Empower A World-Class Sales Force seems to be the first strategic, holistic, and research-based book on sales enablement in the market. What was your motivation for writing this book now?

BM: In a nutshell, it’s because buyers are getting better at buying than sellers are getting better at selling. That gap has increased so much now that it’s an inflection point and caused sales enablement to be born. Our selling models have to change fundamentally, from information to inspiration. And that’s why sales enablement exists, to engage, equip and empower our sales force to engage differently with the modern buyers. We work with a few thousands of clients a year all over the world. We see a tremendous amount of investments in sales organizations of all shapes and sizes. The one thing that is just so pervasive right now is this sales enablement function. As we are researching sales enablement at CSO Insights for many years, we had to go out in the market to show what successful looks like in enablement because there was no blueprint, no playbook out there.

TS: Sales enablement is all over the place, it’s the fastest growing movement in sales, from 19% of organizations with sales enablement in 2013 up to 59% in 2017. In parallel, the confusion about sales enablement was growing at the same speed because so many people got into new enablement roles, influenced by the functional bias of their executives but without a clear concept how to approach it successfully. In the age of the customer, traditional how-to-sell approaches, centered around what a product IS and what it DOES, are no longer valuable, relevant and differentiating for modern buyers. Instead, buyers want to learn how a product or service can help them to solve a business problem and to achieve their goals, and that’s all about what a product or service MEANS in THEIR context. And that requires a very different way to engage buyers, an inspirational approach, as Byron said. And that requires different skills, different conversations, different content, different value messages, and different coaching. Building an enablement function to provide all these services in a consistent and effective way to transform sales forces in the age of the customer, that’s what our book is all about.

JF: Whilst, as you suggest, Tamara, enablement seems to be a fast-growing movement, my understanding is that only one-third of organizations are successful with enablement implementation according to your research. Can we talk about the challenges organizations are running into at the implementation stage?

TS: The main challenge we see in our research and with our clients is how enablement is set up in an organization. Running enablement as a tactical program, in an ad-hoc or project manner without senior executive sponsorship and with no clear vision of what it should help to achieve is a recipe for failure.

The successful one-third run sales enablement based on a formal vision of success and a formal enablement charter. Such a charter defines how sales enablement helps to support the strategy, how selling challenges are addressed with different enablement services, for what roles and how success is measured. Organizations that run sales enablement this way see up to 27.6% better quota attainment rates. That’s a lot!
Another key challenge is that enablement services are created around products instead of aligning them to the different phases of the customer’s path, relevant buyer roles, and business challenges. We spend an entire chapter on the role of value messaging as the glue that holds, for instance, product training and value messaging guidelines and customer-facing content and internal playbooks together. If all these assets are inconsistent to each other they are neither used nor are they effective in any way. And the third key challenge is not to enable sales managers to become excellent coaches to drive adoption and reinforcement. Sales coaching is actually the most impactful enablement service, improving win rates and quota attainment up to 28%.

JF: All of that makes perfect sense. Byron, may I ask you what’s the role of technology, especially CRM, when it comes to effective sales enablement?

BM: Technology plays a huge role. In general, sales and sales enablement technologies are promising to reduce the tedium, which means all the non-selling activities salespeople do (65%) and increase ingenuity (creating value in buyer interactions, 35%). The problem is that there are more than 500 technology companies out there that are dedicated to improving sales performance. Just a few years ago, there were a hundred. Let me focus on CRM because it’s the foundation for all other sales technologies. This explosion of vendors won’t continue like this. Let me share with you our perspective on this.

Initially, the idea of CRM was based on salespeople’s personal Rolodex, let’s call it CRM 1.0. In the nineties, Tom Siebel built a packaged CRM solution, an on-premise service that provided visibility into pipeline and opportunities. CRM 2.0. Then, Salesforce wiped out Siebel almost overnight, put the CRM in the cloud and made it much cheaper. And hundreds of companies started to provide various cloud-based point solutions for sales challenges. Technology drove this evolution, not salespeople. CRM still is very often about manager benefits, not about seller benefits. Guess what? Tedium increased, it didn’t decrease. Now, there is CRM 4.0 on the horizon to fix what’s broken by focusing on what drives sales results. And that’s seller behavior. CRM 4.0 will be AI-based, insight led, and it will be powered by methodology, an ally in helping sellers to improve sales performance.

JF: I fully appreciate that the book is structured by the sales enablement clarity model, in fact, a diamond with different facets that has to be cut and polished based on an organization’s context and challenges: Byron, what advice would you give sales leaders looking to create and sustain an enablement function?

BM: First and foremost, sales leaders have to understand why sales enablement was born, that it’s not another word for training, content, technology or sales excellence, etc. In fact, sales enablement takes all this to a new level. And therefore, sales leaders have to fully understand the transformation needs of their sales forces. They have to understand that sales organizations have to speed up very quickly, have to become a lot more agile to transform their selling models so that the sales force can be valuable, relevant and differentiating for today’s modern buyers. And a transformation requires their senior executive sponsorship, their priority, and commitment, to work with the enablement leader to develop a clear vision of success and a strategic set-up of the enablement function. Only then, as Tamara said, a solid approach based on a charter can be successfully implemented.

JF: Tamara, what advice would you give sales enablement leaders looking to evolve their function to even greater levels?

TS: If we want to get better at something, we should first assess where we are at right now. Even if an organization does not have any formal enablement initiative or function right now, enablement happens, usually in many different functions and in an inconsistent way. That’s what you can call a rough diamond that needs to be cut and polished to be valuable and effective. Wherever you are in your organization, maybe having a rough diamond or a partially cut and polished one, our enablement maturity assessment model and the related tool on our book expert page would be the first step. Based on knowing their maturity level, enablement leaders should discuss the current state with their sponsors, map against the current business strategy and the state of sales strategy implementation to adjust and hone their enablement strategy.
General recommendations are implementing an enablement charter if that’s not already done (we have a process and a template in the book!), ensuring a solid foundation of a sales process that is well aligned to the customer’s path (together with sales operations), aligning the enablement services to each other along the customer’s path to ensure consistency and effectiveness. And then, addressing sales managers, enabling them to become frontline coaches is key to success and should always be an element of a mature and scalable sales enablement approach.

JF: What are the main ideas and principles sales leaders should take from the book? 

BM: The key message for sales leaders is to understand sales enablement as its core, as the engine to transform your sales force to engage in a different way, inspiring instead of informing, to meet the needs of the modern buyer. Sales enablement is all about sophisticating a salesperson to meet the needs of professional selling today, which is being valuable, relevant and differentiating in every interaction. Sales transformation was always a scary word for many sales leaders, now it’s about time to change. Sales enablement is the engine to drive this transformation. As this is a massive undertaking, sales leaders have to understand the bigger picture, so that they can provide the resources and the budget needed for sales enablement leaders to actually implement enablement successfully.

JF: Tamara, may I ask you the same question, specifically, regarding how sales enablement leaders should leverage the clarity model?

TS: The main idea for sales enablement leaders is to get from sales enablement confusion to clarity and strategy, leveraging real-world enablement expertise, experience, and research. We support this idea in our book with a research-based sales enablement framework, the clarity model that allows enablement leaders to achieve different things: One is to assess their current enablement maturity stage to understand where they are at. Two is to leverage the framework to evolve and sharpen their enablement strategy, using the data we provide so that enablement leaders can get an idea what their outcomes could look like and why. Three is to use the related checklists, processes and practical templates in the book to actually implement enablement successfully. And four is to get inspired by the case studies, quotes, and examples we have featured in the book.

JF: Finally, Byron, what can we expect from Miller Heiman Group next?

BM: We are working on a couple of exciting things. We are proud to launch Scout! Scout is our new sales analytics platform that helps drive seller actions, change deal outcomes and replicate winning. With Scout, you will always “see the move that moves the deal.” Additionally, we are proud to launch Strategic Selling with Perspective which is our contribution to evolve our services to the ever-changing buyers in the digital age.

JF: And Tamara, what’s next in the world of research?

TS: We just launched our first ever Buyer Preferences Study. We are working on our Sales Effectiveness Study and, most important for me, we are already recruiting participants for our 2018 Sales Enablement Optimization Study.