Monday, 08 April 2013 16:41

Where do you stand on the SE Maturity Model? Featured

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Some say that 2013 is the year of sales enablement (SE). Having focused on sales enablement disciplines and tools for the better part of 20 years, it’s interesting to read articles suggesting that this year is the year. Don’t get me wrong, the attention is a good thing for the SE market and with more mindshare than ever, we are seeing further investments dollars, resources and innovation focused on SE. To give you a sense for the momentum, checkout our vendor list of over 60 SE focused vendors: SE Vendor List

I firmly believe the timing is perfect to capitalize on the market momentum and aligning and promoting the SE market and the best-in-class SE vendors will drive market adoption on this strategic business initiative faster and further.

That said, SE isn’t a new thing. To some degree, I would suggest that sales enablement is a strategic part of many companies go-to-market strategies today. Further, these companies don’t see SE as a one time, one person or one department thing. We have learned that sales operations, sales training, marketing, and product management all play a vital role in contributing to SE success. This is true regardless of company size or market. My experience in working with companies that have deployed SE is that organization alignment is key to truly having an impact on an organization’s success with growing its revenue. Then with additional SE disciplines baked into the culture and the right tools that provide measurements built-in, the organization will systematically get better at enabling sales success. This is true on the very first project that leverages SE in a disciplined way. I’ve had the opportunity to work with companies where sales enablement is a top initiative and in future blogs I will cover what characteristics these companies have in common, the good, bad and ugly.

So, why is the Sales Enablement Group (SEG) so passionate about SE? We believe that with some additional SE discipline and process, companies of all sizes will realize very positive business outcomes with SE. Where do you stand today? Take a minute to run the sales enablement self-assessment maturity model for your organization (link below). No maturity model is perfect, but it gives you a high-level sense of where you are today and what is possible. You may come to the conclusion that more can be done. Don’t be surprised if you find that you follow what Forrester Research calls “random acts of sales enablement”. In the end this approach requires sales heroes to pull out each quarter which has aged us all and limited the potential impact of SE. But back to why we are passionate, this exercise led us to more formally analyze what was happening in the field and define a roadmap that would lead us to a better way of selling.

Take a moment to take the SE maturity model survey

Once you have taken the survey, get into the field to observe how a rep spends their energy day-to-day as they prepare to sell. One example is to participate in a pre-sales call prep discussion, attend the sales presentation then take part in the debriefing call. Do a few either in person or by way of conference calls. You will learn a tremendous amount about how effective your SE process and technology supports sales success and it is a great start on your way to defining your SE plan based on what the field really needs.

Going forward this blog will continue to focus on the 3 key aspects of SE: process, technology and people. Part of the mission of SEG’s website is to promote SE by covering the social buzz, job opportunities and the community of service providers with deep SE domain expertise.

The SEG team looks forward to playing a part in building a virtual community of marketing and sales leaders that have insightful dialogs on sales enablement, sharing best practices, tools and resources that in the end drive Profitable Revenue Growth!


Read 2078 times Last modified on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 20:36
Craig Nelson

Craig specializes in enabling companies to more effectively market and sell. His experience is based on a variety of leadership roles including the growth of several start-ups that became successful public software companies. In 1998, Nelson's passion for enabling marketing and sales led him to register and subsequently co-found iCentera in 2003. Today, the iCentera sales enablement platform service is delivered over the internet to over 350,000 subscribers and in 2011, iCentera became part of CallidusCloud.