April 1, 2023

Sales are currently strong as organizations of all types emerge from pandemic mode and into the “next normal” phase of their business. But for sales enablement leaders, there are some obvious challenges. Finding and retaining top talent is one of them, as is sifting through tons of new sales enablement technology. In order for sales enablement leaders to harness this energy and navigate the dark market waters, they need to develop a clear plan to build the right culture, leverage the right technology, and give the sales team the right momentum heading into the new year.

Forrester’s new 2023 Planning Guide: Sales Enablement will help leaders create solid plans for the upcoming budget season. For sales enablement leaders, the guide provides investment advice around: sales readiness, content, and conversational intelligence solutions; staffing to support these platforms; and best practices, such as sales advisory boards and creative compensation approaches.

Take a look at some of the key takeaways from this guide as you start developing your 2023 sales enablement plan.

The best sales teams focus on seller capabilities

  • Plans for 2023: If your sales enablement organization does not communicate the skills, knowledge, and process competencies required for salespeople to be hired, onboarded, and considered fully trained, this is a quick win that will keep sales and other functional leaders alike benefit. Determine which abilities you buy, build, and boost for each enabled character. A key component of this process is discovery: What are your bestsellers like? Which traits, abilities and behaviors represent the gold standard? Forrester has a number of existing sales capability map templates to help you get started. If you’ve made it this far, consider moving from a “set it and forget it” mentality (“We completed sales capacity last year, so we’re all set”) to a cadence of regularly reviewing and updating them. This is ideally an annual effort and provides additional resources to address any significant changes in your organization’s product, market, buyer, competition, or sales initiative that require a new “good look.”
  • What to avoid in 2023: The sales tech space is flooded with B2B equivalents of get-rich-quick products designed to instantly close seller capability gaps, drive better adoption of sales enablement programs, and ultimately increase revenue simply by acquiring software licenses. Don’t be fooled by marketing, especially if advertising results are mostly lagging metrics (more revenue, faster sales cycles, bigger deals) that are clearly influenced by non-enabled programs and factors. Technology alone can solve few support challenges; it can only scale and automate hard-won process improvements, such as enhanced sales capability strategies.One example is the gamified solutions space, which claims to “make learning fun” and drive instant seller skills up through their competitive awareness, but consistently Proven by Forrester Research A poor substitute for effective adult learning best practices.

B2B reps sell more when the culture around them feels right

  • Plans for 2023: If your organization has a customer advisory board that listens to objective insights from the most important business champions, does your sales enablement function simulate this exercise by listening to internal customers with a sales advisory board? A very valuable initiative to build a strong sales culture is a simple message from sales leadership that “we hear you”, providing a refreshing take on the traditional top-down nature of B2B sales teams Alternatives and provide a voice for an increasingly needy workforce to be heard. SAC can also provide important perspective For company executives who contribute to key decisions.
  • What to avoid in 2023: Culture is not something you can buy, empower or deliver with short-term projects.In fact, it’s much easier make things worse If cultural advancements are not real, instead of improving them. Avoid the temptation to view “we support” press releases or temporary changes to the company logo as adequate expressions of cultural awareness. On the sales team, avoid symbolic moves like suddenly sending a CRO on-site to support a deal, if their presence will only intimidate sellers who have never interacted with them before.

Compensate sales reps for the products they sell and who they are

  • Plans for 2023: Consider rewarding a sample group of sellers for their non-selling behavior and measure the impact on their engagement, retention, and productivity levels. For anyone earning variable bonuses on top of base/commission/accelerator income, convert some of it from quantity to quality – for example, their manager (or sales enablement) objectively assesses their “altruism for the greater good” “Contribute to the team. A good example is serving on the aforementioned sales advisory committee. Other valuable options include participating in high-level learning exercises and mentoring other sellers. The digital stakes here are not necessarily high, but the policy sends a clear message to participants that their membership in the community is important to the culture in which they work and is recognized and rewarded by the organization. This will also help improve seller retention.
  • What to avoid in 2023: No matter if”great resignation” is a legitimate phenomenon, and no one would argue that finding and retaining good B2B salespeople was a major challenge before, during, and after the pandemic. Many companies reacted knee-jerk and immediately considered adding Seller salaries as a stopgap, but most B2B organizations lack the resources of Microsoft to maintain profitable sales talent management if their cost of sales rises without synchronizing. Seller output. Plus, most talented sellers Job after job can easily be found—regardless of the cultural advantages described above—that will initially pay more than the last.

These points should give your 2023 sales enablement plan a good start. explore

Forrester’s 2023 Planning Guide, providing data-driven insights on where to invest, where to retreat, and where to persevere here.

This article was written by VP and Research Director Peter Ostrow and originally appeared on here.

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