Sales enablement budgets will increase by 50% within the next five years as a way to address shifting buyer preferences, boost seller effectiveness and drive revenue growth, according to Gartner, Inc.
“Sales enablement is the most critical function for navigating sales teams through the constant change that surrounds them, from economic headwinds to evolving seller roles,” said Shayne Jackson, Sr Director Analyst in the Gartner for Sales Leaders Practice.
“However, budget increases will bring heightened expectations of sales enablement results. The onus is on chief sales officers (CSOs) to prioritize demonstrating its ROI, particularly when faced with ongoing macroeconomic pressures,” Jackson continued.
Doubling down on sales enablement increases seller motivation
Sales enablement impacts seller performance, experience and ultimately, the commercial gains for an organization. Yet this becomes increasingly difficult when the seller role continues to change.
Enablement leaders can support the changing role of sellers by:
- Redesigning tools to create collaborative resources that sellers and customers can use together to improve the buying experience
- Optimizing workflow for sellers by focusing on drag reduction to improve quota attainment, engagement and retention
- Updating talent profiles to emphasize digital engagements, buying stakeholders, buying jobs, and situational awareness
- Downsizing training by implementing more effective and efficient learning methods aligned to seller learning habits like microlearning, nudges and practical learning experiences
“By investing in sales enablement as a way to maximize sellers’ engagement and productivity, enablement leaders can change the learning experience of sellers, improve retention and keep pace with the dynamic buying environment,” said Jackson.
How sales leaders can prove the ROI of sales enablement
Currently, many sales enablement functions use metrics that fail to show its true impact and are often influenced by factors beyond the function’s control, such as pipeline conversion rates.
To effectively demonstrate sales enablement ROI and, in turn, protect associated budget increases, CSOs should instead focus on:
- Drawing a stronger connection between revenue goals and enablement activities by consulting with sales leaders on the seller behaviors needed to hit their most important sales goals (e.g., better articulating competitive differentiation to win more deals).
- Building and implementing a variety of enablement activities, such as coaching, training and creating tools, to achieve the desired behaviors.
- Measuring those behaviors and gauge enablement impact by comparing changed sales behaviors and enablement activity to the baseline.
- Promoting a complete view of enablement’s impact by building a compelling narrative of the behavior change driven by enablement that ties back to the sales goals.
“Sales enablement drives change in organizations,” said Jackson. “When done well, a sales enablement function is part of the team that influences sales strategy, justifying increased investment. Enablement will evolve and expand its scope to revenue enablement, aligning deliverables to ensure consistency among all roles that interact with customers to directly impact commercial outcomes and further drive sales productivity.”
Gartner clients can read more in “The Right Way to Measure the Impact of Sales Enablement” and “Leadership Vision for 2023: Sales Enablement.” Additional information is available in the complimentary 3-Step Guide to Effectively Measure Sales Enablement.
About the Gartner CSO & Sales Leaders Conference
Sales leaders face unprecedented changes in B2B buying behaviors, customer expectations, technology and the talent needed to drive results. At the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference, taking place in Las Vegas, NV on May 16-17, 2023, sales leaders will learn from the latest research and Gartner experts covering sales talent, customer buying behavior, account-based marketing strategies and leveraging digital channels. Follow news and updates for conference on the Gartner Newsroom and on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerSales.
About Gartner for Sales Leaders
Gartner for Sales Leaders provides heads of sales and their teams with the insights, advice and tools they need to address mission-critical priorities amid mounting pressures to drive growth through new and existing customers. With extensive qualitative and quantitative research, Gartner for Sales Leaders helps sales teams combat commoditization and price-based purchasing, develop critical manager and seller skills, elevate the value of sales interactions, unlock existing growth potential, and optimize sales force enablement. Follow news and update from the Gartner Sales practice on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerSales. Members of the media can find additional information and insights in the Gartner Sales Newsroom.