In our Sales Enablement Summer School, we’re sharing a proven process that leads to creating a powerful and effective enablement playbook. The first lesson covered a hugely important concept: the foundation of your playbook on which everything else builds.
It’s not an overstatement to say that getting this first stage right is crucial. Just like building a home, a playbook with a weak foundation is no playbook at all.
Since your job as a sales enablement professional is to help the sales team achieve success by hitting their KPIs and quotas, you need to understand what your organization’s stakeholders care about. That’s why we start with their point of view.
Enablers have a certain number of stakeholders across four buckets:
Each of these groups of stakeholders care about their priorities, metrics, and vision.
What you have to lay out is their perspective, expectations, and needs. That involves answering three groups of questions:
Sketching out this plan gives you the framework that lays out - in no uncertain terms - the target you’re looking to hit on behalf of the sales team as a whole. But it’s only one part of the foundation.
The second essential framework you have to develop is from your perspective as an enablement leader.
You’ll answer three groups of questions:
If you put both of these concepts together - the stakeholder framework and the enabler framework - you’ll have a foundation for your sales enablement playbook. If you’re a single practitioner, this foundation is enough to get started. If you have a larger enablement group, or a collection of different groups/enablers, then you’ll need to outline the “how” for each of those groups, based on their responsibilities.
Once the playbook has been put together, it’s time to have important conversations with your key stakeholders.
The main goal of these conversations is to fully understand the stakeholder perspective. It’s very important at this point to understand why this priority is important to them. You can’t get the right how without really getting the why.
After these conversations, you can share your enablement playbook with the stakeholder. This shows the stakeholder how enablement will get the job done, what metric you’re hitting, and how that impacts your priority.
This is where we marry two concepts: the stakeholder’s vision for what sales enablement will do, and your plan for getting it done. These need to match up well to make sure enablement is achieving success. If not, then there will be painful friction between the sales team and the enablement team - and that isn’t something anyone wants.
Planning and building a playbook is essential to success, but it isn’t success. It’s just the beginning.
Moving forward, as sales enablement puts the plan into place, leaders need to be flexible and adaptive. You need to measure progress each week so you can see how well the enablement program is coming along, and any gaps that may be emerging.
Communication between enablement sales is also key so that you - through your playbook - can be not only responsive to needs, but forward-looking and proactive.
Throughout the Sales Enablement Summer School, we’ll hit on these concepts and more. With the framework down, you’ll be off to a great start.
Spencer is the product marketing manager at LevelJump. He comes from the world of content and loves helping B2B SaaS companies find exactly the right people who love a product, and figuring out exactly how to tell that product story so it resonates and compels action. You can find him on LinkedIn.