Sales Enablement Plan: My First 90 Days in Enablement
- by Elay Cohen
- April 10, 2018
SalesHood - Sales Enablement Platform
Welcome to the world of Sales Enablement. We’re glad you found SalesHood. We’re here to help you on your career. You’re in great company.
|You may not know this, but as of July 1st, 2022 there are 45,000 enablement practitioners around the world with 16,000 in role less than one year and 15,000 in role between one and two years.|
If you’re new to the role of sales enablement or in your first ninety days in a new sales enablement role, here’s a list of fifteen activities I would do if I were you and it was my first 90 days. If you’re a veteran and looking to refresh your strategies and tactics, this is a good list for you too.
Please read on to learn more about the strategy behind how to create a 90 day sales enablement plan:
#1 Talk to as many salespeople and sales managers as you can to understand what’s really going on in their territories and deals. It’s critical to understand what’s top of mind for your stakeholders. Here’s a great example of an amazing leader, Penny Springer, sharing how she listed and learned from conversations with her stakeholders in her first thirty days. Click here to watch the reply.
#2 Listen to real sales calls with customers and prospects to hear what buyers are saying. It’s great to hear how the current pitch is received and how salespeople handle objections. Listen to calls with customer success people too. We also encourage you to talk directly with customers to understand their problems, issues, ideals, and motivations.
#3 Interview top performers to find out why and how they’re winning. Have them walk you through their winning deals too. Review their emails and other sales artifacts. They are gold.
#4 Do competitive loss reviews to understand why you’re losing deals.Don’t just do deal win reviews to find out why you’re winning. We all learn so much from our losses.
#5 Meet with leadership to understand their priorities and goals. Staying aligned with top executives is the way to stay relevant and current. Have the mindset to solve problems that are at the top of the list of your company’s priorities.
#6 Roll out a video pitch challenge or customer storytelling contest to explore team engagement, confidence, and competence. Doing this will also create a crowdsourced database of best practices. It’s a win-win and a quick organizational win for enablement professionals too. Most company cultures don’t do social learning well, so starting small is a great way to get started. Make your first one fun and short.
#7 Meet with subject matter experts like product managers, product marketing, competitive experts, marketing, and customer support to understand content strategies, product usage, and product release calendars. Inspect their content to make sure it’s sales focused and adding the right value.
#8 Set up a monthly all hands sales community calls co-hosted by you and your sales leader to set a new tone and cadence of communications. These calls are a great way to connect with remote teams and share best practices, at scale.
#9 Partner with sales operations to map out your sales process, sales metrics, and KPIs. If the sales process is already written down, even better. Check with salespeople and sales managers to sure it’s current and relevant.
#10 Crowdsource a list of winning sales assets, content and pitches to see what’s really working in the fields. These become future training and certification assets.
#11 Sit in and observe how managers coach their teams in one-on-one coaching sessions. Also try and observe how managers run their weekly team meetings. Manager enablement is key and it’s all too often not part of an overall enablement strategy. You might not get to this in your first 90 days, but don’t forget to do it as soon as you can.
#12 Evaluate the current sales technology stack to ensure the systems match the needs of the go-to-market strategy. That said, don’t spend your first ninety days working on RFPs (requests for proposals) and doing system evaluations for information gathering. Build your plan first.
#13 Build a training and content plan by role. In your first ninety days, it’s not expected that these plans are final especially one for new hire onboarding. It’s better to create draft versions that are socialized with leaders and stakeholders.
#14 Present your findings to your leadership to get buy-in and alignment for your plans and idea. Documenting what you learned and sharing with leadership to review will help secure executive buy-in for your vision and plan.
#15 Build a vision statement outlining your team’s charter. Create a plan with metrics that’s aligned with your company’s top priorities. Make your vision broadly known across your company.
With so many competing priorities and initiatives, enablement leaders in a new job can quickly enter into a phase of being overwhelmed, ineffective, and complacent.
I hope this list gives you focus and direction to be a transformational enablement leader, and a framework for you to implement your 90 day Sales enablement strategy.
Here’s a little secret:
After writing and sharing this list and collecting a lot of feedback from some very experienced enablement leaders, even some of the most experienced professionals in the business, confessed that they haven’t done what we’re recommending people do in their first ninety days on the job. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s an aspirational list. Prioritize what’s most important to you and your business.
Do what makes sense for you and your organization.
Good luck on your first 90 days in your new sales enablement role.
Let us know how we can help you.
Here’s another blog you may find useful on the “Guiding Principles of Sales Enablement.” Click to read.
Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $500M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.
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