Fairy tales have knights in shining armor and fairy godmothers who protect the protagonists from evil stepmothers and big bad wolves. You run into your share of big bad wolves through your sales process – they appear as competitors who steal your leads and prospects who reject you so brutally that you might want to cry. But is there a fairy godmother flying to your rescue at your sales job?
There is – or there can be – a fairy godmother of sorts whose core responsibility is to make your job easier and more effective.
Help you get to a place where you have fewer phones/ doors slammed in your face.
Help you battle competitor mentions better.
Help you reduce the number of rejections you need to suffer.
And best of all, help you win more deals.
This fairy godmother is…
The sales enablement manager.
What is a sales enablement manager?
A sales enablement manager supports the sales team and thereby increases sales effectiveness and win rates. They ensure that sales team members have access to the resources that make selling easier, and also facilitate cross-department communication. For example, the sales enablement manager ensures that marketing teams disseminate sales content, like blog posts, that can draw more leads.
Sales enablement managers also ensure that you and your reps are supported by training programs, demos and how-to videos, customer reviews, and testimonials that allow them to battle customer objections more effectively.
They ensure that crucial information gets passed from sales to product and marketing teams – this includes sales call recordings that might inform marketing on more focused messaging linked to pain points and goals actually vocalized on sales calls. Sales enablement teams will similarly distribute these recordings as a means to deliver feedback on product or customer service experiences from existing customers who salespeople are re-pitching or reselling to.
There’s technically no fixed job set for a sales enablement manager. Their role is dynamic and has to evolve along with the sales team’s needs linked to the market landscape.
Bottomline: The sales enablement manager’s goal is to do whatever it takes to ensure that the sales team has all the sales enablement tools and enablement content that can help the organization win in the market.
If you and your sales reps need the Philosopher’s Stone from Hogwarts in order to close a deal, your sales enablement manager should make it happen.
Well, to be fair, there’s such a thing as going too far. But you get the idea.
What are the responsibilities of a sales enablement manager?
Although there’s no set list of deliverables that you can expect out of your sales enablement manager, here are some sales enablement efforts that represent the very basics of what they should do for you.
Onboarding and sales training
Sales enablement managers should help sales leaders and human resources to recruit the most talented salespeople out there. This means that they should be able to spot and evaluate sales reps.
Once onboard, sales enablement managers should deliver onboarding processes that help newly hired sales rep sail into their role, company dynamics, and the market.
An ideal scenario would have sales managers sit in on every interview. However, sales managers are needed far more urgently on sales teams, helping reps overcome especially challenging objections and at-risk deals. You can’t be sitting in on countless interviews. That’s why you need a sales enablement manager who evaluates job applicants at the same granular level as you would. You need only sit in at the last stage of interviews, to be sure that the organization is investing in a sales rep who will really be an asset to your team.
A good sales enablement manager might come with some sales experience to be able to spot promising characteristics in job applicants.
Sales enablement managers are also responsible for keeping your sales reps in good shape and ensuring sales productivity. Alongside delivering foundational training to new reps, sales enablement managers should arrange for intermittent sales training programs that can help sharpen the team’s sales skills. These skill development initiatives should include sales representatives’ communication skills, persuasion and negotiation competencies, time management skills and so on. If there are new sales methodologies doing the rounds, the sales enablement manager must introduce the team to them.
A key competence here is attaining a fine balance when it comes to the regularity of training programs – you want to optimize your team’s performance not interfere with it.
Managing sales enablement content
Sales enablement content should be readily available and accessible to the sales team. A good sales enablement manager must be proactive about content creation. They should ensure that the content is structured, engaging, and customer-focused. As you can imagine, this means that the excellent communication is absolutely crucial to a sales enablement manager role.
Sales enablement content straddles several categories.
- Internal enablement content:
You and your sales team are too busy selling to be able to put aside time to create sales essentials like a sales playbook, buyer personas, and sales scripts. This is best assigned to a sales enablement manager who isn’t running around for sales meetings and sales calls.
Of course, the sales enablement manager should touch base with you and your team for pointers or notes from your sales pitches. You should welcome the opportunity to provide input but leave the rest of the legwork to the sales enablement manager.
- Customer-facing content for sales and marketing teams:
Marketing will plan and disseminate blogs, and advertisements, maybe even podcasts and videos that stir interest in the target audience, making it ripe for selling.
Sales need testimonials, customer reviews, case studies, and product demo videos.
Content also needs to be streamlined across sales and marketing teams so that content aligns with the brand’s voice and customer sentiments.
- Public content:
There’s the content that goes on your website and information that is shared with media. For example, if a B2B magazine sends in a questionnaire, you can’t expect a sales manager to take time off overseeing sales calls in order to pen answers. At the same time, you wouldn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to be seen and heard about by your target audience.
- Cross-departmental intelligence:
Sales enablement managers need to facilitate the flow of data and crucial information between sales, marketing, and product teams. For example, sales teams get direct access to customer pain points and goals. Sales enablement managers must ensure that these insights are delivered to marketing teams and reflected in the brand’s messaging.
The same information might help the product team when they’re designing new features. Or maybe the product team designed a specific feature based on pain points cited in customer research. The sales team can use that data to frame a more on-point pitch.
Sales process definition and deployment
Enabling sales means laying the foundation for efficient selling, and that involves defining and deploying an efficient sales process. “But a sales process is a ready thing,” you say, “consisting of stages like prospecting, qualifying and presenting, negotiation, closing the deal and nuturing.”
You’re right, of course, but a sales enablement manager will help you to chart a course of action for these stages. For example, your sales enablement manager might come up with ideas to reduce the research load on the sales team during the prospecting stage. They might split lead qualification between sales and marketing so that marketing passes on more thoroughly qualified leads to sales.
A sales enablement manager should not only define the process but also help you to set it in motion. They can join you in a meeting with your sales force to announce the new process and remain available to the sales reps in case they need questions or support as they embark on the sales process.
Providing the right sales tools and technology
Sales enablement tools and technology are some of the most important resources that a sales enablement manager has to provide to the salesforce. Here are some examples of the tools that a sales enablement manager uses:
- A content management system for easy access to content.
- A customer relationship management tool that allows for the centralization of all customer relationship data.
- A conversation intelligence tool that can eliminate tedious note-taking, support sales reps with live, in-call cues, and alert managers when team members need help with an at-risk deal. Conversation intelligence also delivers the call recordings we spoke about earlier that can help departments align themselves with one another and with customer sentiments.
- Market intelligence when it can be handy in devising new ways to sell.
Sales enablement managers are responsible for tracking and monitoring the performance of their strategies, initiatives, and team members. To achieve this, they must:
- Monitor all training programs, content, and coursework usage
- Evaluate the effectiveness of sales initiatives using relevant metrics and KPIs
- Analyze the performance data and make improvements where necessary
Performance analysis helps the organization understand the ROI of the enablement process and the ROI delivered by the enablement manager and team.
Wingman – an AI-enabled sales enabler every sales team needs
Sales enablement managers and sales leaders agree that Wingman is an essential sales enablement tool – one that makes a tangible difference to sales performance.
Wingman is an AI-powered sales intelligence tool that supports sales reps with live, in-call cues on battling sales objections and competitor mentions. It helps sales leaders and sales enablement managers to track every sales team member’s performance with call success dashboards and metrics. It also enables sales success with at-risk deal alerts that can help managers fly to a rep’s rescue in time to save, nurture and retain the lead.
Wingman delivers automatic call notes, summaries, recordings, and transcripts that can help sales, marketing, and product teams to align with customer pain points and goals. It highlights and annotates your sales call so that you can use it to generate more focused, customer-centric enablement content.
In addition, Wingman integrates effortlessly with your CRM, video conferencing tools, messaging apps like Slack, and more.
Wingman is a whole lot of sales enablement in just one tool. Let Wingman speak for itself. Book a free demo and watch Wingman help you win.