How to Build a World-Class Enablement Function

The business world has gone crazy.

Every company is on a quest for the golden ticket to efficiency, productivity, and overall success.

Recently, the spotlight has turned to a somewhat under-appreciated hero in the corporate saga.

Code name: Enablement.

Far beyond the simple provision of resources, building a world-class enablement function is an art that combines strategy with execution.

But how do you level up your enablement game from good to truly great?

Kelly Lewis, VP of Revenue Enablement at Highspot, joined forces with Carlos Nouche and Lisa Schnare to demystify this puzzle.

Step-by-Step Guide to Build and Run a World-Class Enablement Function

1. The Secret Weapon or the Scapegoat?

The journey begins with a critical question: Is your enablement team a secret weapon or simply a scapegoat for deeper issues?

As Kelly points out, when strategically implemented, enablement goes beyond simple training as it aligns teams and fosters behavior change.

However, the road is full of pitfalls, such as enablement being misused as a scapegoat or overwhelmed by competing priorities.

“It's a problem that enablers have to solve and have to think strategically about in how we both create an enablement function at our organizations and utilize that enablement function to actually drive behavior change versus really going back to that old training mentality of training something and move on to the next thing,” as Kelly mentions.

The cornerstone of leveraging enablement as an asset lies in strategic alignment and a focused, clear direction for your enablement efforts.

2. Unlock Enablement’s Full Potential

What metrics should you look at when assessing the impact of your enablement?

Attendance and survey scores sound good but are not enough.

Instead, focus on analyzing the qualitative feedback from training sessions for deeper insights into what truly engages your team.

Take on the challenge by monitoring specific actions undertaken after training, such as business reviews.

Remember, the goal is not just to carry out this action but to do them well, contributing to positive business results like generating leads and closing sales.

Moreover, building a solid partnership with sales leadership is essential for ensuring responsibility and embracing enablement practices, laying the foundation for ongoing success and development.

“The biggest key, and if you can do this, you have unlocked the future of enablement. Can you show that the people who took your enablement did the business review well, generated a pipeline, and closed those deals? And so, I call it the "Walk to Value," and you're not going to do it all overnight. But that's a path you can take to end up showing the true value of what your enablement team is delivering to the field and the organization.”

3. Align Enablement with Go-to-Market Strategies

Note these 4 steps:

  1. Start by collecting feedback and experiences from your sales team, including both their successes and challenges.
  2. Use data analysis to pinpoint key areas of performance and barriers.
  3. Additionally, involve sales leaders and partners from marketing, finance, and operations to capture their objectives for the sales team.
  4. Then, organize a meeting with these stakeholders to sort priorities into two types: mandatory actions for sales representatives and optional resources that can help them.

4. Make AI Your Ally

Technology is everywhere nowadays.

When it comes to enablement, AI emerges as a formidable ally.

From streamlining follow-ups to offering AI-driven coaching, AI can significantly boost efficiency and accountability.

Kelly's stance is clear: “I heard a quote once that it's to make AI your companion, not your competitor. And that is what I believe. It has been game-changing for my team, our reps, and especially our sales managers.”

And yet, while AI can elevate many aspects of enablement, the human element remains irreplaceable.

That's why you must balance technology with human interaction, leveraging AI as a powerful tool to complement, not replace, human skills.

Building a world-class enablement function is no small feat.

But with strategic thinking, alignment, and the right tools, it's within reach.

You got all it takes now to succeed.

Just put in the effort and let the results speak for themselves.

Now that you know how to build and run a world-class enablement function, discover the full list of episodes at The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you enjoy the show, instructions to rate and review it are found here. Also, check out Liz Wiseman's book, "Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact."

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