As we enter the second part of 2020, almost all sales teams have made the transition into a remote setting - with work from home the most popular method to give employees the flexibility to achieve quota without needing to gather in a public place.
Fuelled by these rapid changes - the role of sales enablement during this time has been reactive; immediately responding to changing needs as best as time and resources permit. However if long term enablement efforts are to be fruitful, this stance needs to be shifted from reactive to a proactive, considered approach.
The best way to ensure this is to implement a structured plan for sales enablement professionals and their teams which reflects the new demands on a remote sales team.
Below we have covered five of the main areas where sales enablement can provide the most value during this critical remote sales phase:
- Maintenance of certification and recertification standards
Given employees can no longer be trained on-site and the majority of sales materials are consumed piecemeal online - it is very difficult for sales enablement teams to ascertain how effectively these are being absorbed and adopted. We would argue that standards not only need to be maintained but in most circumstances increased to account for the loss of key learning development opportunities through in person training and events
- Auditing & development of a new remote sales centric curriculum
Many of the materials produced prior to 2020 may no longer be relevant and thus sales enablement teams will be required to take inventory on which course modules can continue to be used and which of those need to be developed. After a list of ideas is developed, it can help to introduce a three tiered approach to prioritize which material to create first i.e. Red - needed within 30 days, orange - need within next 3 months, green - optional changes.
- Purchasing new sales enablement software & tools for remote sales teams
In partnership with sales operations, sales enablement should take the lead on acquiring new technology to assist in the promotion and adoption of sales best practices in the organization. For a list of tools and their relevant categories see this comprehensive list.
- Setting up an organization temperature for sales enablement efficacy (Sales enablement score)
Sales enablement teams often struggle to provide quantitative feedback to management as to the success of their efforts to enable sellers. One way to overcome this is to introduce a SES - sale enablement score similar to a NPS score (net promoter score) to highly sales enablement efficacy. Reps should be able to submit feedback continuously each month to highlight from 1-10 how well they are being supported by the organization from an enablement perspective. Not only can this provide opportunities to improve business processes but strong enablement teams should be able to show a gradual improvement as teams adjust to remote sales practices.
- Development of a mentoring program to combat remote sales fatigue
As individuals lack opportunities to interact at an office location - the reduced amount of peer based & managerial feedback can lead to decreased productivity & workplace happiness. Sales enablement leaders can offset this side effect of a remote sales strategy by supervising a program wherein employees can meet new mentors internally on a regular basis (outside their direct management) complemented by peers in similar roles who share the same pain points.