May 20, 2019
*Editor’s Note: In this blog post, guest author and Global Sales Enablement Leader, Abby Vietor shares the three skills sales enablement leaders should look for when hiring.
Whether you’re operating within a growing business or trying to improve sales performance at a large organization, at some point shared tribal sales knowledge is no longer scalable, detailed, or accurate enough. Organizations seeking to outperform their market require the “next level” thinking that a strong sales enablement team can bring.
To build out a team dedicated to enabling and readying a sales team to drive more revenue and brand value, you need to ensure you’re looking for and hiring candidates with the right set of skills.
Broadly speaking, a solid sales enablement candidate will have a strong background in making sales teams efficient and effective, which directly affects a company’s growth and success. But for organizations seeking a “next level” enablement team, the ideal candidate possesses skill sets that are often not recruited for, but provide a tremendous benefit to your field. We can break these skill sets into three distinct, yet connected, personas: the psychologist, the social butterfly and the filmmaker.
The psychologist persona incorporates skills that go beyond curriculum design. All too often, large volumes of content are created without keeping in mind the audience — the seller — and how the seller feels about the type and frequency of enablement content they are consuming. We know that poorly designed curriculums reduce engagement by sellers, as does asking sellers to do too many things, too often. A candidate with a background in psychology, when networked close to the field, will be well-positioned to provide perspective beyond what a seller empathy map can provide. Enablement needs to be marketed to the field in the same way your product does. A candidate that asks “how does this make you feel?” will be more likely to create compelling and interesting content that will be absorbed and understood.
For more information about how high-performing organizations are approaching their sales knowledge transfer strategy, check out this webinar with SiriusDecisions: Sales Enablement in Real Time: How to Deliver Sales Knowledge When it Matters.
The social butterfly
The social butterfly persona speaks to the ideal candidate’s ability to interact with and earn the trust of sellers in a meaningful way, and subsequently pull valuable information about their day to day. The social butterfly collects intelligence about a seller’s cadence, whether they feel overwhelmed or poorly managed, what’s transpiring in their world in terms of a deal — deeper feelings that can be leveraged to drive enablement that suits that level of need. It’s important that this information be gathered in social interactions, rather than through surveys. Impromptu, casual conversations yield more transparent and honest insights; carefully crafted surveys and interviews yield carefully crafted responses.
Finally, the filmmaker persona is important for teams that want to incorporate more video-based enablement, which has been proven to drive strong engagement. Many organizations lack the budget, talent, or bandwidth to produce any videos, let alone world-class training videos. As a result, companies either produce sub-par, uninteresting, and unpolished video content; or miss out entirely on producing any kind of compelling visual content at all. Of course, companies can contract with professionals, but this typically comes at a steep price. (Then again, sales readiness and enablement platforms like Mindtickle can make anyone a video whiz.) The ideal candidate will have the skills to produce compelling video content that will drive engagement and help to market enablement to sellers.
You’ll notice that each of these personas leverages the same two elements to connect with the seller: feelings and emotions. The psychologist is concerned with what kind of content will best resonate with the seller’s psyche. The social butterfly takes an active interest in how the seller is operating. The filmmaker creates quality video programming that emotionally engages sellers.
To see research from the Sales Management Association which explores the sales enablement function and its impact on the organization, check out: Research Brief: Sales Enablement Best Practices.
Given these requirements, your search for the perfect sales enablement hire might take more time. But don’t give up. Finding the right people is a key component to supporting your company’s growth, and will enable your sellers to be as effective and successful as possible.