Many people who set out on the quest to evolve from being the steward of broken things to a more strategic role of a sales enablement leader often ask me, “What should our bill of materials look like?” or “What kinds of deliverables should we be producing?” That’s the kind of thinking that begets more “broken things.” The question I tell our clients they should be asking is: “What are the kinds of ongoing services you can define jointly with sales leadership, develop and continually improve, and that you can demonstrate the business value by producing measureable results that matter to leadership?"
Given that backdrop, I am delighted to have Daniel West, vice president of Informatica University and Enablement speaking at our Sales Enablement Forum. Daniel and his team at Informatica have made some outstanding progress to elevate the function from an afterthought to a critical and strategic function within their company. One of their focal points have been to move away from creating many different training programs or toolkits measured by the number of people who took the course or the number of tool downloads to something far more impactful. They focus on creating and delivering a few services that are measured by an agreed upon metric of success defined jointly by Daniel and their executive leadership. This is the kind of game changing approach that makes Daniel a HERO. We recently had the chance to ask him some questions and share his thoughts as he evolves his role.
How has your leadership’s view of Sales Enablement changed over the last year or so?
The sales enablement profession is evolving from stewards of "broken things” into a more strategic function that helps CEO’s bridge the gap between the business strategy and field execution. Our upcoming Sales Enablement Forum is dedicated to these emerging HEROes and sharing the path forward to a more efficient and adaptive selling system. Having said that, I am excited to share an interview we had with Carol Sustala, senior director of Global Sales Enablement at Symantec and one of our keynote speakers. I have the privilege of getting to work with her hands on a lot over the past year and am excited for the rest of you to hear her story.
So, enough about me - here is Carol in her own words:
(1) Sales Enablement is a big, cross-functional role; what did it take to motivate your peers to team with you on some challenges?
The function of Sales Enablement requires tremendous cross-functional alignment and collaboration, and that's not something that happens overnight. One of the key elements to success in driving an aligned sales enablement effort is not really motivation so much, as it is relationships and shared commitments to success. Invest in building strong relationships built on mutual respect for unique talents, expertise and experience across the key stakeholder organizations responsible for some aspect of Sales Enablement, and the motivation to team up on challenges will follow close behind.
(2) Sales Enablement is an emerging role and discipline; where do you see the Sales Enablement role headed at Symantec?