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  • Writer's pictureBrian Shea

Revolutionizing Sales Enablement: A Strategic Shift towards Behavior Change


In the dynamic landscape of sales enablement, where commercial success hinges on the agility and proficiency of sales teams, a fundamental shift is underway. Sales/revenue enablement’s traditional focus on training and skills development is being challenged as organizations strive to position themselves as strategic partners to Chief Sales Officers (CSOs). This evolution demands a paradigm shift: from mere order-takers to proactive catalysts of seller action.


Overview

#Gartner for Sales Leaders recent release is titled "Driving Seller Behavior Change". It identifies a new mandate for #GTM teams to focus on strategic alignment, behavior change, and robust measurement.

Chief Sales Officers (CSOs) often turn to enablement when faced with seller skills gaps or execution challenges. However, enablement leaders frequently find themselves in a reactionary role, responding to immediate needs rather than shaping long-term strategies. Many aspire to transcend this role, aiming to become true strategic partners to CSOs, driving initiatives that shape commercial success.

Unfortunately, current enablement strategies often fall short of this ambition. With a predominant focus on functional planning, formal content development, and training initiatives, enablement struggles to demonstrate its strategic value. The inability to link initiatives to commercial impact undermines its potential as a proactive partner.

Enablement leaders must collaborate with sales leadership to redefine their mandate, placing behavior change at the forefront. By aligning enablement goals with sales strategy and prioritizing initiatives that drive tangible behavior change, enablement can position itself as a strategic asset.


Key Findings

  • Skills Gap: Eighty-three percent of CSOs and senior sales leaders acknowledge that sellers struggle to adapt to customer needs and expectations. This highlights a disconnect between enablement efforts and commercial imperatives.

  • Lack of Formalization: Nearly 60% of sales/revenue enablement functions lack a formalized charter or annual planning process, relegating them to reactive roles and hindering strategic alignment with CSOs.

  • Overemphasis on Training: Enablement often focuses excessively on formal training and communication, neglecting the ultimate objective of changing seller behaviors necessary for sales success.

  • Measurement Challenges: Metrics used for enablement often fail to capture its true impact, relying on superficial indicators like training attendance or satisfaction. This leaves enablement in the dark about the effectiveness of its initiatives.


A New Focus for Enablement

To break free from this cycle, enablement leaders must redefine their mandate in collaboration with CSOs. Behavior change should become the central focus, bridging the gap between sales strategy and enablement activity. Rather than merely imparting skills, enablement must identify and scale behaviors correlated with commercial success.


Conclusion

This change management required is hard. We can help. The future of sales/revenue enablement lies in its ability to catalyze behavior change at scale. By shifting from a reactive stance to a proactive, strategic partner, enablement can unlock new levels of commercial success. It’s time for enablement leaders to embrace this evolution and lead the charge towards a more impactful, strategically aligned future. Connect with us at #LucrumPartners and see the operational model that brings the new enablement mandate to life.






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