“Winning managers and individual performers at all levels know that effectiveness means building your own network and creating your own authority.”

~ Tom Peters

Companies invest in all sorts of functions, programs and initiatives under the auspice of sales force enablement. But, without a solid foundation to support them, many of these investments achieve less than expected results. In the second post on the three pillars of sales force enablement, we’ll take a closer look at the importance of the enablement charter.

If you missed Pillar #1, you can find it here: Alignment to the Customer’s Journey.

Pillar #2: Create an enablement charter to improve revenue attainment

Creating an enablement charter is about more than just planning. The enablement charter’s ultimate purpose is to equip the enablement leader to sell enablement internally, whether that means selling the discipline itself to senior executives or stand-alone initiatives to a variety of stakeholders. Without buy-in to an enablement charter, sales enablement leaders are left with the responsibility of enabling the sales force but without the authority to do what is necessary.

For more detail on how to define a charter, refer to: Do you need an enablement charter?

Our CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study shows that formality matters to both revenue attainment and win rates.

  • Revenue attainment — Respondents reported an average revenue attainment of 90.1 percent. However, in those organizations that treated enablement as a series of one-off projects, revenue attainment fell to 84.2 percent. That’s a difference of 5.9 percentage points or an actual decline of 6.5 percent. Conversely, in those organizations with a formal enablement charter, revenue attainment rose to 98.8 percent, a difference of 8.7 percentage points and an actual improvement of 9.6 percent.
  • Win rate — The average reported win rate in our study was 46.2 percent, but among those without an enablement charter, the win rate was only 45 percent. With a formal enablement charter, win rates climbed to 53.6 percent for a difference of 7.4 percentage points or an actual improvement of 16 percent.

These kinds of performance improvements are too powerful to ignore, and creating an enablement charter needs to be the first step for many organizations. In our study, 49.1 percent of all respondents said they still treat enablement as either a one-off project (9.6 percent) or on an informal basis only (39.5 percent). Only 35.7 percent reported having a formal enablement vision in place, and only 15.3 percent have created a formal enablement charter that covers vital areas such as vision, mission, purpose, target groups, enablement services, programs, road-maps, and success metrics.

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