Effective management of a sales enablement implementation

By Anders Björklund

Effective management of a sales enablement implementation

Regarding sales enablement, the focus shifts from selling to external buyers to selling internally within the organisation. Sales enablement professionals must build strong relationships with external and internal stakeholders, thoroughly understand their needs and challenges, and effectively demonstrate the value and impact of sales enablement. This selling approach is crucial for gaining the organisation's trust, support, and alignment.

When it comes to securing buy-in for sales enablement, it is not solely about obtaining support from executive leaders. While their support is crucial, various stakeholders within and outside the sales organisation play a vital role in deepening the impact of sales enablement. These stakeholders include individuals from human resources, legal services, marketing, customer support, and after-sales, among others.

However, securing buy-in within the sales organisation is especially critical, starting from the top down. Engaging executives, sales managers, and sales representatives is essential to transforming them into champions of sales enablement. To effectively sell the concept of sales enablement to each group, please look at the following tips on what they need to know and how to gain their trust.

By addressing each stakeholder group's specific needs and concerns and demonstrating the value of sales enablement, you can build a strong foundation of support and advocacy throughout the organisation. This multi-faceted approach ensures that sales enablement becomes a shared goal embraced by all, leading to its successful implementation and long-term success.


Data becomes essential when presenting sales enablement initiatives to executives and decision-makers. Demonstrating evidence and providing proof is crucial to help them understand the value and worth of investing in sales enablement and the necessary organisational changes.

You must outline the potential return on investment (ROI) when seeking resources or support. Requesting resources without relevant data to support your case will likely be met with scepticism from the CEO or decision-makers. Therefore, it is crucial to present compelling proof that clearly illustrates how sales enablement initiatives will achieve the desired results, even when deviating from the normal process and budget.

To earn trust and secure support, sales enablement practitioners must showcase the business impact and demonstrate value rather than merely seeking attention. This can be achieved by understanding the executives' vision for the organisation and mapping the impact of sales enablement initiatives to that vision.

Meeting them where they are and speaking in their language is essential to engage with executives effectively. By fully understanding their long-term vision and what they aim to achieve in the one--, two-, and five-year timeframes, you can strategically align sales enablement programs to support those goals. This ensures that your efforts and resources are invested in initiatives that directly contribute to the executives' vision and overall organisational success.

Sales managers

To champion the cause of sales enablement, it is crucial to have sales managers fully on board and actively enforcing the initiatives. However, sales managers often need help to juggle their sales quotas alongside their managerial responsibilities, leaving them stretched thin and hesitant about taking on additional tasks. To effectively capture their attention, it is essential to demonstrate that sales enablement will not be just another burden on their to-do list but a time-saving solution that helps them close deals.

Understanding the seasonality of their time is paramount. You must know which weeks or months are off-limits due to heavy workload or other priorities and identify when you are more likely to get their attention. By being sensitive to their time constraints, you can ensure that your engagement is effective and well-received.

Furthermore, it is crucial to comprehend the specific aspects of the business that sales managers aim to impact, such as increased revenue, decreased ramp time, or larger deal sizes. Understand the activities they expect from their sales reps to achieve these objectives.

While micro-skills that drive activity are often emphasised, designing a program requires a commitment from sales leaders and managers to hold their teams accountable for those activities. Sales enablement must engage with sales leaders to align on the desired results and design programs that can demonstrate a tangible impact, ultimately earning their support.

It is a symbiotic relationship: sales managers need to hold their sales reps accountable for specific revenue-driving activities, and in turn, enablement takes responsibility for developing the skills that lead to productivity spikes.

By actively engaging with sales managers, understanding their expectations, and aligning sales enablement programs with desired outcomes, you can create a collaborative environment where accountability and results are prioritised, leading to the success of sales enablement initiatives.

Sales reps

Sales reps are crucial as the direct users and customers of sales enablement. Most sales enablement programs need their support and buy-in to gain traction. Therefore, sales enablement practitioners must prioritise consistently understanding sales reps' needs.

To build trust and rapport, it is essential to take the time to listen and be transparent with sales reps. Understand what motivates them, their common challenges, and the aspects of their job tasks they do not enjoy. By actively seeking their opinions and feedback, you demonstrate that their voices are valued and their input is important.

Engage in open discussions to identify areas for improvement and explore ways to enhance their experience. Sales reps often possess valuable insights into the problems that sales enablement seeks to address as they engage with enablement programs and processes daily.

I want you to know that spending time with your field organisation is crucial to better understand their receptivity to major enablement initiatives. By creating an environment where sales reps feel empowered to share their efforts and achievements, you can better comprehend the barriers they face and design programs that effectively address them. This also fosters a positive perception of sales enablement within the field organisation, ensuring that enablement activities are seen as valuable and impactful.

By collaborating closely with sales reps, actively seeking their input, and creating a culture of open communication, sales enablement practitioners can build stronger relationships, gain valuable insights, and ultimately design enablement programs that align with the needs and expectations of the sales team.

Steps to build and maintain organisational support

To effectively garner support for sales enablement, it is crucial to understand that each stakeholder has unique needs and varying expectations. Setting clear expectations and regularly reporting on progress is essential to establish and maintain buy-in for sales enablement. With the stakeholders in mind, follow these steps to achieve their support:

Crafting a purposeful mission and plan for guidance

To ensure consistency in the design of sales enablement programs, it is crucial to establish your own goals and expectations for your team. Before seeking support from stakeholders and decision-makers, it is essential to have a clear understanding of your definition of success.

Defining your goals and expectations provides a solid foundation for designing effective sales enablement initiatives. This clarity lets you align your programs with desired outcomes and ensure a consistent organisational approach.

A well-defined mission and strategic plan helps guide your actions, decision-making, and resource allocation. It enables you to communicate your vision effectively, making garnering support from stakeholders and decision-makers easier. When you clearly understand your definition of success, you can confidently articulate your objectives, metrics, and anticipated impact.

Establishing your goals and expectations early on sets the stage for a focused and consistent approach to sales enablement program design. This clarity empowers you to create initiatives that drive results, gain support from stakeholders, and effectively contribute to the success of your organisation.

Understand priorities

To effectively implement sales enablement initiatives, it is crucial to seek input from stakeholders. You can craft proposals and design initiatives that address stakeholders' needs by engaging and understanding their unique challenges.

By actively involving stakeholders, you gain valuable insights into their pain points, goals, and requirements. This input allows you to develop proposals that directly tackle their challenges, align with their priorities, and offer solutions that resonate with their circumstances.

Engaging stakeholders in meaningful discussions helps build consensus and ensures sales enablement initiatives are tailored to their expectations and requirements. Incorporating their input demonstrates a commitment to addressing their concerns and establishing a collaborative environment.

When stakeholders feel heard and see their challenges reflected in the proposed solutions, they are likelier to support and champion the sales enablement initiatives. This collaborative approach enhances the initiatives' effectiveness and fosters a sense of stakeholder ownership and engagement.

By actively seeking stakeholder input and crafting proposals around their identified challenges, you create a stronger foundation for successful sales enablement initiatives that are well-aligned with the needs of the organisation and its stakeholders.

Begin with small steps and expand gradually.

To earn trust and support for sales enablement initiatives that require significant time and resources, it is crucial to first showcase the impact of sales enablement on a smaller scale. By starting with smaller, manageable projects, you can demonstrate tangible results and build stakeholder confidence.

Implementing smaller-scale sales enablement initiatives allows you to showcase the effectiveness and benefits of the approach without overwhelming resources or causing disruption. This approach provides a solid foundation for earning trust and credibility among stakeholders, as they can witness the positive outcomes firsthand.

By focusing on specific, achievable objectives within a limited scope, you can effectively measure the impact of sales enablement initiatives. This data-driven approach enables you to provide evidence of success, highlighting sales enablement's value to the organisation.

Once trust and confidence have been established through these smaller-scale initiatives, stakeholders are more likely to be receptive to larger and more ambitious sales enablement projects. Building upon the initial successes, you can gradually expand the scope and complexity of initiatives, leveraging the trust and credibility gained from the earlier efforts.

In summary, by demonstrating the impact of sales enablement through small-scale projects, you can earn the trust of stakeholders and pave the way for larger initiatives that require additional time and resources. This incremental approach allows for a smoother transition and increases the likelihood of success for ambitious sales enablement endeavours.

Maintaining regular communication

Considering all stakeholders as customers means you must apply the same level of service as marketing, sales, or customer service for external customers.

Measuring the sales enablement impact

It's a massive advantage if you point to the tangible value sales enablement creates to keep trust. You should know the metrics to show each stakeholder and track them consistently.

If you'd like to learn more about sales enablement, please look at our detailed guide and subscribe to The Onlinification Hub for regular updates on digital sales and how your company should adapt.

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Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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