“Who should own sales enablement efforts in your organization?” Earlier this month we started a discussion thread on this topic in the LinkedIn Sales Enablement Leader Exchange group. The response from our peers in the industry was overwhelming! While the discussion is still ongoing in this social networking group, we wanted to share some common conclusions about which everyone seems to agree.

Sales enablement should be lead by BOTH sales and marketing. Industry leaders and analysts alike agree on this point and see sales enablement as a shared responsibility between sales and marketing. In fact, according to IDC research, 74% of companies believe sales enablement should be lead by both sales and marketing departments. When sales provides good data to marketing, marketing can really enhance the value of its content development, lead generation, and nurturing activities. Greater transparency in the sales process increases the ability to analyze lead performance by stage of the cycle. This helps marketing identify what resources and campaigns are most successful at developing the best sales opportunities with shortest sales cycles and largest deal sizes, while sales gets content that is more effective for their selling activities.

Partnership is essential: success can’t be achieved in a silo. Participants in the discussion agree that for sales enablement to be a shared endeavor, a strong partnership must be established and collaboration must be cultivated by leaders in both disciplines. This partnership is the bridge connecting both disciplines, creating increased alignment and a very impactful sales enablement source within any organization. However, for a partnership to work it requires buy-in from all stakeholders. If one function is resistant to the transparency required, true sales enablement will not be achieved. Additionally, it is important to establish metrics for both sales and marketing to foster accountability and measure performance.

Both departments must work toward achieving a common objective. Leaders in the LinkedIn group also agree that once sales enablement is a shared effort in the company, success materializes when both departments work toward achieving the same goal. Is the objective better content organization? Is it to tie content effectiveness to close rates? Is it improving win rates? Increasing deal sizes? Shortening the sales cycle? Ramping up new reps faster? Whatever the top objective is for your organization, sales enablement efforts should be centered around achieving that goal.

Having the right technology tools in place can help align sales and marketing, making sales enablement easier for both departments. RO|Enablement, our sales enablement solution, is designed for use by both sales and marketing as a tool set to enable sales. Since it is easy to use, and integrates with existing sales tools like Salesforce.com, the level of buy-in from stakeholders is typically high. Marketing can use data provided from the RO|Enablement system to measure and improve the performance of content, while sales gets the collateral they need plus real-time prospect intelligence to know when to follow up and what to talk about. Contact a sales enablement expert at RO Innovation today, or join in the conversation on LinkedIn.

Jim Mooney
Jim Mooney is the Founder & CEO of RO Innovation. His passion for helping salespeople excel in all aspects of B2B selling, especially where customer references are involved, was the reason he started the company. His desire for helping others succeed flows through in the expert thought leadership he provides the industry, his customers and his employees.