The best of the best companies who do sales enablement exceptionally well don’t like to talk about it. They actually consider their sales enablement mastery to be a competitive advantage. They use their sales enablement expertise as part of their recruiting process to attract and hire the most talented sales people out there. Top performing sales reps want to know how the company invests in their sales reps and helps them ramp up expeditiously with an efficient onboarding process.
I’ve worked with a company that considered their custom designed sales playbook to be so valuable that they watermarked each printed version that was handed out to their sales team and Board of Directors. The sales team had to sign an NDA that they would return the sales playbook if they ever left the company (voluntarily or involuntarily). The NDA further stated that no one could make a copy, share or distribute the contents of the sales playbook with anyone outside the company. There were harsh penalties for any violation of this NDA.
This company considered their sales enablement content to be their sales intellectual property (IP). In essence, it was their recipe for how to compete and win. They worked on it for 2.5 years and constantly refined it based on lessons learned from the field. They referred to it as their Field Sales Bible as it was their blueprint for how to win enterprise deals. They guarded this blueprint for success with the utmost security and confidentiality. They never wanted this to get in to their competitor’s hands. They considered it their Opus piece of sales enablement content.
The platinum standard for sales enablement excellence is a company that I’ve been working with for the past 1.5 years. They have created a continuous sales learning culture and built an internal sales academy. Everyone in the field sales organization goes through a well structured ninety (90) day onboarding program. There are multiple checkpoints and proficiency tests that must be passed in order to be deemed “certified” to sell their complex technology solution to large enterprise customers.
This culminates in a two (2) day new hire sales bootcamp where teams compete against each other in a simulated sales process selling to a mock customer panel. Each team is given a mock customer scenario with incomplete information and some inaccurate information. The sales teams need to conduct discovery and find out the missing and inaccurate information. And then they need to piece it all together in a coherent sales strategy and present a solution proposal to the customer. The entire exec team participates in the 2 day sales bootcamp.
Now that’s an example of a real strategic commitment of resources and time to sales enablement. As mentioned earlier, you’ll never hear anyone from this company talk about the amazing sales enablement work they are doing and the results. Why? Because they are laser like focused on growing their sales on a rocket ship like trajectory and fully exploiting the financial opportunity that they have in front of them. They understand the best way to optimize the value of your company is through flawless sales execution. They don’t need or look for external recognition or accolades. Their eyes are solely focused on the huge financial prize that awaits them at the end of their sales rainbow.