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When organizations ask how to improve sales enablement, most managers respond heavily toward supporting salespeople, rather than sales leaders.
That’s a mistake that will be a drag on your sales results this year and those to come.
When brainstorming how to improve sales enablement, traditional thinking tells us to focus on sales enablement investment and resources toward salespeople because they represent the larger populations and are the front-line of the customer and prospect interactions.
However, modern sales enablement organizations are dramatically increasing investment for sales leaders, and prioritizing internal and external resources to support the effort.
Why is sales manager enablement imperative when learning how to improve sales enablement as a whole?
Sales managers and leaders are typically recruited from within
If there is not a focus on sales manager enablement, new mangers will rely heavily on how they saw their sales managers behave. In most cases, they did not have strong sales management best practices to emulate. As new under-supported sales managers, they often struggle and adopt motions and behaviors that are less effective in the age of modern selling, managing, and leadership.
They are stretched more than any other role in the company
The span of control has increased beyond the point where the manager can make enough time to spend with their direct reports, much less keep up with supporting large deals and attending to what is expected of them from the leadership, finance and sales operations teams.
Support from centralized functions
Support for marketing, sales operations, sales enablement, and training is thin. Few of the staff have relevant sales or sales management experience to understand and support what managers need to succeed.
In times of significant organizational change, sales leaders set the pace
Organizational change is constant for sales organizations, and the sales managers are the glue to keeping the sales organization functioning. During significant organizational change, sales managers need lots of help. They cannot do their job effectively in these situations without internal or external support.
It is challenging to get the right individuals into sales manager and leader roles. It’s practically impossible that they can achieve their potential without the right sales enablement support. Several studies have shown that more than half of sales managers receive limited or no sales enablement investment. How can they possibly succeed?
In essence, sales manager enablement is the linchpin for establishing and cultivating the sales leadership competencies needed to build and maintain a high-performing sales organization.
Furthermore, if your organization is like most, there’s likely room for improvement in sales leader enablement. You might be tempted to start small. We strongly recommend bold action.
To summarize, learning how to improve sales enablement through sales management takes time, and if we don’t act now, our successors might ask why we didn’t move faster.