Sales Enablement Summer School: Rules of Engagement for Sales Enablement

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All good things must come to an end, and our LevelJump Sales Enablement Summer School is drawing to a close.

So far, we’ve covered:

This final section provides something every enablement program needs: rules of engagement and service-level agreements.

ROEs and SLAs help keep enablers sane. Enablement is usually complicated, with lots of moving parts and details that can cause a lot of conflict and stress. 

You have to deal with many different departments, and each department has several levels: top leadership, management, frontline personnel, and related third-party vendors and partners. 

You also have to juggle priorities with resources and act as a translator between all the diverse stakeholders you serve, while still delivering business outcomes that keep the lights on.

That’s a lot. But, there’s a way forward, and it begins with setting the rules.

Rules of Engagement: What and Why

For enablers, putting a method to the madness can only be done with deliberate structure. Otherwise, chaos reigns, and organization and processes - and people - break down and become unproductive.

Rules of engagement provide that structure. They form a tactical layer on the priorities your organization laid out (like we talked about in the first session) to help you put your resources to work in the most optimal way.

This tactical layer is how you handle both pre-planned issues and ones that pop up. Every day, enablers are bombarded with requests from all directions. You need a way to handle them, especially when you don’t have control (or the answers).

For example, take sales tech. You may not be the person managing sales tech tools, like CRM, revenue intelligence, etc.. That could be operations, IT, or someone else altogether. And even if you’re involved, you may not be the main person.

So when a tech-related issue comes up and workers look to your team for solutions, you may not have the answers – and it might not even be your mandate to find them.

Employees expecting enablers to take care of things they can’t control is a recipe for stress and underperformance.

Another dimension of meeting needs is finding different ways to deal with different types of requests. For, say, a training ask from a sales manager, you may not have the answer and have to go to a third party, while you may have the answer yourself for a tech request from an SDR.

Creating a process helps with each of these issues and more. ROEs cover anything from how people come to you about requests and what they need to include to how you route certain requests to different parts of your team and engage other parties if necessary.

But ROEs are only part of it. You need to set proper expectations for your stakeholders, and that means creating service-level agreements.

Service-Level Agreements: What and Why

If you’ve ever bought anything pricey or valuable enough to need ongoing service, like a home or a car, you’ve probably encountered service-level agreements.

The main purpose of an SLA is simple: for the provider to tell the customer, “This is how we will talk to you and do our jobs to support you. This is what we do, and the parameters that need to be met in order for us to do so.”

One goal is to set proper expectations not just so that you don’t get overwhelmed or put into difficult or impossible situations, but so that the business itself runs smoothly and efficiently.

Another goal is to keep lines of communication open and transparent so that you can be responsive and efficient with prioritization and execution. Sometimes, you’ll have to say no, or push back on requirements; for both SLAs are very useful.

Finally, SLAs create timelines and areas of responsibility not just for regular communication, like weekly meetings or updates, but also how you’ll deliver service.

These boundaries are as important for your internal customers as they are for you, and your customers need to understand that. SLAs help the revenue engine that is a sales team run smoothly and profitably, which is in every rep’s best interests. You’re just helping them realize that key fact.

(Note that we’re not talking about a sales enablement charter, or another strategy-level concept. This is about the ground-level, day-to-day execution of the mission, which no strategy can live without.)

ROEs and SLAs are a busy sales enablement professional’s best friends. They are invaluable not just for your own sanity, but for the health of the organization as a whole. And the more you and your customers embrace them, the happier you’ll all be.

For more information on this vital topic, including examples of how it’s been done before you can use in your own environment, you can check out Adriana’s AMA session. If you want to dive into how LevelJump provides outcome-based enablement that is fueling sales org growth all over, check out a demo.