What Is Bad Sales Enablement?
- by Elay Cohen
- March 24, 2018
SalesHood - Sales Enablement Platform
There is such a thing as bad sales enablement. It happens. We see it all the time. Just because you enable your teams with training and content and you’re working 24/7, doesn’t mean it’s good and it’s working. It’s possible to do sales enablement that has a negative impact or is not well recieved by stakeholders. The goal in writing this piece is to increase awareness of the reality of bad sales enablement in our industry and to try and proactively avoid it from happening.
Bad sales enablement looks and feels like a misaligned company with silos of education and knowledge sharing. You know it’s bad when the sales enablement programs that are being created and executed are not aligned with senior leadership’s top initiatives and priorities. You know your sales enablement is not great when It looks like the wild-wild west where teams are off doing their own thing. Bad sales enablement is highly inefficient and ineffective. It’s a recipe for friction and usually a sign of a bad culture too.
All too often enablement professionals are doing enablement without really understanding their company’s go-to-market. Enablement programs aren’t mapped to key performance indicators. You know your enablement is not working if sales processes are dated and not updated with the latest thinking from sales operations. When your certification is seen as a check-box versus true skills development and contributing to revenue, then you know your enablement is not going to have the desired impact on your teams.
Look for these signs in your business. Bad sales enablement happens when sales teams and sales managers aren’t speaking highly of their enablement people and the support they receive. You’re hearing phrases like we’re not getting what we need and our enablement teams don’t understand us. You can usually tell how your sales enablement program is doing and how they’re perceived when you randomly ask one of your sales managers or salespeople what they think of their sales enablement team. Their face will light up with joy and gratitude if you’re in a good spot. They’ll wince or shy away from answering if things are not well.
Here are some questions to self-assess if you and your teams are having an impact or not at your company. These questions are great to use informally in questions or formally in a survey.
Keep the conversation and feedback loop open with your teams and be ready to adapt your program if you’re not getting the sense that you’re having the right impact. Numbers don’t lie. Don’t be defensive. The great part of finding out that your programs aren’t delivering is value is that you can change very quickly.
If you want to know what good sales enablement looks like you can read the blog on Ten Guiding Principles of Sales Enablement.
You can also listen to PodCast with SalesHood’s Kelly Frey on The Sales Training & Coaching Podcast about How to Avoid Bad Sales Enablement HERE
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