Your 2017 Booster Shot for Revenue Growth: A Sales Enablement Team

Sales Enablement.   Buzzword or breakthrough?

A few years back, sales enablement quietly rolled onto the scene and caught many of us by surprise.
Today? It’s blown well past buzzword and breakthrough status.

Sales enablement teams now operate in 60 percent of those companies surveyed by CSO Insights in its 2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, up from 19 percent in 2013, tripling its growth.

What is it and why should we care?

According to HubSpot, selling to unique buyers every day reveals “significant challenges to overcome.”

“That’s why sales enablement teams exist. These professionals spend their time trying to solve the problems salespeople face, so reps can sell better and faster,” explains HubSpot’s Mike Renahan in a recent post.

Back in the day, at least to me, sales enablement was known as sales support. However, contributors didn’t solve problems the way they do today, and it wasn’t a particularly well-aligned function between sales and marketing.

I like the way CSO Insights defines the function:

A strategic, cross-functional discipline designed to increase sales results and productivity by providing integrated content, training and coaching services for salespeople and front-line sales managers along the entire customer’s buying journey, powered by technology.”


We need to care about this function as it evolves because it can and should be the pulse of sales.

With B2B buyers taking control of the sale, with the rise in data-driven efficiencies, and with the need for content engagement, our profession has been upended and forced to look at sales with fresh eyes.

One of the biggest challenges the sales enablement team must solve is why so many deals get stuck in the sales process, some 60.2 percent says Seismic in its recent research infographic.

That’s why I must share CSO Insights 2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Study.  This study is destined to become the best document you download all year.

I know, it’s 42 pages and a one-hour investment in reading time, but so worth it.

CSO Insights presents up-to-the-minute research on who’s using sales enablement, how and why, plus it includes models, data charts, and examples. Best of all, you will discover the Sales Force Enablement Clarity Model, your how-to guide on building your sales enablement discipline step by step.

Major Conclusions

In case you put off reading this study for a few weeks, here’s a roundup of its major findings:

  • Three-quarters of sales enablement teams report to senior sales management, not marketing
  • Only one-third of respondents meet their performance objectives:
  • Increase revenues; increase margins; increase new account acquisition
  • Only one-third meet their productivity goals:
  • Increase selling time; decrease onboarding time; streamline process for opportunity management
  • Companies with a dynamic sales process linked to the buyer journey produce higher win rates
  • Dynamic sales coaching does improve performance impact and win rates by double digits

Once you delve into the report, you will be pleased to learn what you can do to upgrade your sales enablement practice. Three pillars are core to success:  1) formal collaboration; 2) integrated technology, and 3) a clear governance model. Pay close attention to insights beginning on page 31.

I can see your book of business growing now. Happy selling.

See you on the upside,


For more information, go to
Or call William L. MacDonald in San Diego at PleinAire Strategies LLC at 760.340.4277 or 213.598.4700

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