13 June 2023 |

Enablement Is Your Responsibility

By Alex Alleyne

We are in a new era of enablement, rife with sales enablement platforms that promise to be the answer to team productivity challenges.

Well-funded companies take this a step further by investing in Sales Enablement functions. In other words, enablement becomes the responsibility of a new team or software solution, allowing you to focus on more strategic elements of being a sales leader.

This is where most sales leaders go wrong.

Enablement is your responsibility. 

Sales enablement teams and platforms can, and absolutely should, be leveraged to compliment a development programme for your team. But ultimately, it remains your responsibility to coach, develop and enable your team to outperform themselves each and every day.

Make 2 1:1’s Your New Norm

Last week we unpacked the importance of delivering an effective weekly 1:1, focused around your direct report’s priorities and aspirations.

As a sales leader, you should have a 2nd 1:1 each and every week, solely focused on enablement and hands-on coaching.

This should start with a tailored development plan focusing on your direct report’s biggest gaps in the sales process.

For example, week one may be based on Discovery best practices, week two on Negotiation Skills and beyond. The objective here is to get your team in  a weekly, skill-building rhythm so they can make tangible progress in core areas.

Tip: Be data driven in your approach to development planning. Don’t rely on gut instinct to unpack where your sales team are having challenges. Leverage the data within your CRM or revenue intelligence platform to understand where you see the most deal drop-off and tailor your enablement planning to those areas.

Emotional Intelligence Wins Deals

Most of the transformational deals I ever closed throughout my career were underpinned by my ability to read the room. Not only the room but the key stakeholders with influence and power at a customer account. 

Almost all enablement plans I see from sales functions have a strong emphasis on how a sales cycle is run. I have seen almost none of them provide equal attention to the importance of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is responsible for over 60% of people’s personal and professional achievements, yet it is often overlooked.

You need to work with your sales team to learn how to understand and read people more effectively. A large part of what we do is psychological, being able to lean into body language, tonality and word choice to understand where a customer is mentally and adjust accordingly. 

Within your enablement plans, ensure that within any given 4 week period, you have at least 1 week dedicated to topics related to emotional intelligence.

In the course of the year, be sure to cover:

  • Active listening
  • Buyer psychology
  • Body language
  • Tonality
  • Pacing
  • Empathy

When your seller is able to combine top tier emotional intelligence alongside best in class sales acumen, you have a winning formula.

Next Week: Handling Pressure

As we close this week talking through emotional intelligence, it leads up nicely into a conversation around how to effectively manage the pressure and associated stress being a sales leader is often connected to. 

We will walk through tactical approaches to mitigate the risk of burnout whilst being able to remain focused on the task at hand.