Navigating the Challenges of Sales Enablement in 2023

Sales enablement is a fast-evolving business unit that has gained significant traction in the past few years. As the new year rolls in, we asked a few sales enablement professionals about their thoughts on the industry’s current state and where it’s heading in 2023. Here’s what they had to say:

“Resources have always been a challenge for sales enablement, especially for newer business units like ours,” says Natosha McIntyre, Global Sales Enablement Director at Infor. She adds that while sales enablement is a business unit that companies should invest in, it’s often viewed as an expense rather than an investment.

“Sales enablement is the worst of both worlds,” says Paul Bickford, Sr. Director, Global Sales Training & Revenue Enablement at Treasure Data. “If sales do not go up, people blame you. If sales do go up, it’s not because of you”. Said a bit differently, Success has a thousand parents, but failure is an orphan. If something goes well, everyone wants to claim how they contributed; but if an initiative fails, suddenly, no one wants to admit why it may have had anything to do with that. So, alignment on who should do what/when is crucial PRIOR to the launch of any program.

As we look ahead to 2023, many companies are downsizing their tools and mapping their impact on sales efficiency, according to Mike Macchiarelli, Head of revenue enablement at Modus.

Shweta Kohli, another Enablement Director, has seen many companies make the mistake of investing in the wrong areas. “Companies are raising so much money, but then they are not investing in the right place,” she says. “They think: ‘I have money, now I can hire all of these new people,’ but those people can be useless if you do not train and coach them.” Kohli takes a proactive approach by making sales enablement a key part of her leadership role, even in companies where it was previously non-existent.

For Joe DeSapio, GTM enablement leader at Vercel, sales enablement is all about organizational alignment and value. “You cannot teach somebody how to have a value-based conversation via an e-learning course,” he explains. “People have to contextualize it and work through it together.”

Jason Grant, Sales enablement leader at Cisco, has found success by focusing on back-to-basics training sessions. “We run back-to-basics training sessions, and our sellers love it,” he says. By honing in on the basics, sellers can master the fundamentals and be better equipped to handle more complex sales situations in the future.

In conclusion, sales enablement will continue to be a challenging yet rewarding field in 2023. Companies that invest in the right resources, tools, and training will see the benefits of a well-aligned and efficient sales team.

Written by Petr Zelenka

Petr grew a startup with over 100% annual growth (3 years in a row), as a Chief Revenue Officer. Obsessed by building great teams, he’s run business transformations for Philip Morris International or HomeCredit and worked for some big brands across 12 countries: Merck, IKEA, Philips, Lime, IBM, T-Mobile, AXA, etc. Petr has become a Partner of Hackerly at PwC (Big4 joint business relationship) consulting around organizational growth, culture, and new ways of leading. As a Google Mentor, he advised high-growth startups and acted as an inspirational speaker at Grow With Google while co-founding the largest P2P coaching program for women in CEE. Having coached and trained over 5 000 leaders himself, Petr developed a globally unique sales coaching method that enables employees to coach each other and build strong connections. His mission today is “to make top sales leadership development accessible to everyone”.

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