“Everyone agrees on the need to collaborate, but rarely do teams stop to apply any structure or formal processes to that collaboration. Instead, the focus is on short-term projects, such as producing a piece of collateral, selecting an enablement technology tool or delivering training services.”

— “Sales Enablement: A Master Framework to Engage, Equip and Empower a World-Class Sales Force”

In our last post, we defined sales enablement service and discussed a few of the holes that exist in many current sales enablement efforts. If you read that post, you probably came away with a fairly long list of enablement services that can have a positive impact on sales performance. However, taking action on that list presents a problem for many: In enablement, ideas always seem to outstrip our capacity to act on them. Tweet this.

In this post, we’re going to look at how collaboration can help you get more done faster and more effectively. Remember, our new book, Sales Enablement: A Master Framework to Engage, Equip, and Empower a World-Class Sales Force, releases May 1, 2018. The ideas we cover here are also covered in the book but in a fuller and more holistic fashion.

What is Enablement Collaboration, and Why Does It Matter?

Enablement collaboration means working with cross-functional teams to design, create and deliver enablement services (content, training and coaching) all along the customer’s journey. Enablement collaboration is important for a couple of reasons. As we already mentioned, there are always more ideas than time. But just as importantly, in many organizations, functional teams, such as marketing, L&D and product management, are already creating resources to enable sales. Incorporating their efforts into your overall enablement strategy can accelerate your enablement services delivery.

Enablement’s role needs to be that of orchestrator, coordinating resources so that the cross-functional team is putting their efforts into the services that will have the greatest positive impact and ensuring the services created have the consistency sales needs. We discussed the importance of consistency in our last post as well.

According to our 2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, fewer than 20% of organizations have a defined, formal approach to enablement collaboration. These organizations aren’t fully realizing the positive impact of their enablement investment because the study also correlates a formal approach with a 21% improvement in quota attainment. Tweet this.

7 Characteristics of Dynamic Collaboration

A dynamic collaboration model with clear, outlined responsibilities has the greatest impact on enablement productivity and scalability. Here’s are the seven characteristics of dynamic collaboration that we cover in Sales Enablement:

  • Enablement collaboration is part of the job description for common roles such as product management, product marketing and L&D professionals.
  • The process of collaboration is predictable, repeatable and proven to lead to successful outcomes.
  • There is a regular cadence to meetings, both at a high level (strategic discussions with department leads, as an example) and when working on specific services.
  • Meeting attendance is prioritized, and individual contributors take their obligations seriously.
  • Department managers ensure their people have the bandwidth to devote to enablement projects. If there are obstacles, they work to address them.
  • Everyone understands the role of enablement and how it contributes to organizational performance.
  • When changes happen, such as an organizational strategy change or a market-impacting event, collaborators proactively consider how enablement needs to respond.

Stop a moment to consider how well these characteristics are represented in your organization. If they aren’t, you might also consider whether the problem lies with the enablement team or whether it’s more of an organizational challenge. One of the greatest obstacles to creating a dynamic collaboration model is the lack of top-down support. Remove that limitation, and watch your enablement discipline reach a whole new level.

For more insights on sales enablement collaboration and tips to formalizing your organization’s approach, pre-order Sales Enablement: A Master Framework to Engage, Equip and Empower a World-Class Sales Force today.

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