3 Key Areas For Sales Enablement To Focus On In 2023

As organizations move from pandemic mode to the “next normal,” there is a lot of momentum in sales. There are many challenges for sales enablement professionals. One of the challenges is finding and keeping top talent. Another is sorting through the flood of sales enablement technology. Sales enablement leaders must have a clear plan to capitalize on this energy and navigate the turbulent market waters. This plan will tap the right technology and build the right culture. It will also motivate sales teams heading into the new year.

Forrester’s new Planning Guide 2023 – Sales Enablement will assist leaders in creating a solid plan for the coming budgeting season. The guide offers investment recommendations for sales enablement professionals. It covers content and sales readiness, staffing to support these platforms, and best practices like sales advisory councils or creative compensation approaches.

Here are a few key points to guide you start your 2023 sales enablement planning.

Best-Of-Breed Sales Teams Focus On Seller Competencies

  • What to do in 2023? This is a quick win for both sales and functional leaders. Decide which competencies you will buy, develop, and promote for each role. Discovery is vital to this process: Who are your top sellers? What characteristics, competencies, and behavior make up the gold standard? Forrester offers a variety of sales competency map templates that can be used to help you get started. You may have completed this step before, but you should consider changing your mindset from “once and done,” which says, “We did our sales competencies last year, so we’re all set,” to one that includes a regular review and updating of the competency maps. It is best to do this every year, with additional resources available for any significant changes in your company’s offerings, markets or buyers, or selling actions that may require a new “what looks good like.”
  • What to Avoid in 2023: Many get-rich-quick offers claim to instantly mitigate seller competency gaps, increase sales enablement, and ultimately increase revenue by purchasing software licenses. Be skeptical of the marketing claims, primarily if they are dominated by lagging indicators (more sales, faster sales cycles, and more significant deals) that are affected by non-enablement factors. Technology will not solve all enablement problems. It can only scale and automate difficult-to-gain process improvements, such as improved sales competency strategies. Gamification is one example. It claims to make learning more fun and increase seller skills through a sense of competition. However, Forrester research has consistently shown it to be a poor proxy for adult learning best practices.

B2B Representatives sell more when the culture around them feels right

  • What to Plan for 2023? Does your company have a chartered customer advisory board to receive objective insights from the most crucial enterprise constituency? If so, can your sales enablement department simulate this exercise by listening in to its customers via a sales advisory committee? A simple message from sales leadership that “we listen to you” is a great way to build strong sales cultures. It provides a refreshing alternative for traditional B2B sales teams and gives voice to an ever-growing employee base. SACs can offer additional perspectives to help company executives make crucial decisions.
  • Avoiding culture in 2023. Culture is not something you can buy, order, or deliver through a short-term project. It’s much easier to make them worse than to improve them, especially if cultural advances aren’t authentic. Do not mistakenly consider “we stand with” temporary changes to company logos as enough expressions of cultural awareness. Avoid symbolic actions such as sending the CRO to the field to support deals. This will only make it more intimidating for sellers who have never dealt with them.

Reps for both what they sell & who they are

  • What to Plan for 2023? Reward non-selling behavior in a small group of sellers. Then, measure the impact on engagement, retention, & productivity. For anyone who receives a average bonus on top of their base/commission/accelerator income, change a slice from quantitative to qualitative — e.g., their manager (sales enablement) objectively evaluates their “un-selfish” contribution to the greater good of the team. Serving on the sales advisory council is a great example. Other rewarding options include mentoring other sellers and participating in high-level learning exercises. Although the stakes are not high, the policy communicates to participants that their participation in the community is essential to the culture and is recognized by the organization. This will help to increase seller retention.
  • What to avoid for 2023: It doesn’t matter if ” The great resignation” is valid. However, finding and maintaining great B2B salespeople has been a major challenge before, during, and after the pandemic. Many companies react quickly and consider raising seller pay as a temporary fix. However, most B2B organizations do not have the resources to support profitable sales talent management if they experience an increase in cost-of-sale without a concurrent growth in seller output. Moreover, the most skilled sellers will find a job in which they are paid more than their previous one.
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Samatha Vale
Samatha a senior writer for HC's entertainment team. She is an entreprenuer, mother and an excellent writer. She's also an avid reader, music enthusiast and all around inquisitive person - which is just a nice way of saying she's nosy.

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