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Posted by Scott Santucci on June 23, 2011
During the first week of June, we had one of our quarterly Sales Enablement Leadership Council meetings in Barcelona, Spain. (A leadership council is comprised of executives from leading companies who work with us to set the direction for the near-term and long-term role of sales enablement.) For an entire day, we discussed the application of Forrester’s SIMPLE framework, which is a model designed to help combat the random acts of sales support that persist within most B2B companies, to common sales enablement leadership challenges.
The sheer volume of insight, ideas, new research topics, and techniques shared during that session was tremendous – far too much to share in one blog post. So, I am going to pick two issues that came up.
First off, Tamara, I hear you. I was told point blank that I need to participate in the social community more. I’m going to make a more dedicated effort to do this moving forward, but I need your help. Please tell me what you’d like me to share and how. Honestly, I get a little caught up around the axle about the many deliverable formats I’m responsible for (research reports, teleconferences, conference presentations, facilitating council meetings, client deliverables, etc.) so I would love the coaching from the community on what would be the most useful.
Secondly, at the beginning of our council meeting, we had a good discussion about where the sales enablement profession is heading. I’ve written a very detailed document defining the scope and role of sales enablement strategically, but there is an easier way to summarize the trends based on how you define the word “sales.”
The majority of our clients were given sales enablement functions to house a variety of “broken things.” Our clients have been coalescing these various activities into well-functioning organizations and the more successful ones are asked to do more and more. To help understand what’s going on with the maturation of sales enablement functions within organizations – I suggest we take a step back and really think about how you (and your organization) are defining the word “sales.” Having the opportunity to speak with so many sales enablement professionals in so many different companies, I have the unique opportunity to distill hundreds of data points into patterns and trends. So, why are some sales enablement functions more successful and strategic than others?
It started with how those leaders define – and then get internal buy in to – what they mean by “sales.”
Here are three common ways sales enablement gets defined (unconsciously) within our client base:
Bottom line: As a sales enablement professional, you should think deeply about how you define “sales” when thinking about your function. Once you center on that, determine if how you define “sales” is similar to the other stakeholders in your organization. In order to move out of the chaotic, highly reactive state that most of our clients are in – you need to invest the time to work on giving your function a very clear identity. But, you have to remember, just because it’s clear to you – a lot of people can have very different perspectives about what to expect when you put those two words “sales” and “enablement” together.
On July 13, I will be hosting a teleconference to share these findings and others techniques other client are using the SIMPLE framework to move forward on their sales enablement efforts. Please click on the link for more information. http://www.forrester.com/rb/teleconference/using_forresters_simple_framework_to_gain_traction/q/id/7952/t/1
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