Despite recessionary fears, organizations are maintaining or increasing investments in sales growth and efficiency. At the same time, today’s customer life cycle spans an array of interactions with disparate company functions, risking misaligned sales messaging and increased friction in the customer experience.
The pressure is on to ensure all customer-facing, revenue generating roles receive the development, tools and information they need to succeed. This approach is known as revenue enablement, a strategy that evolved from sales enablement to reflect the broader needs, skills and capabilities of revenue functions.
During the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference, which is taking place this week in Las Vegas, we sat down with Nate McCullough, Director, Advisory in the Gartner Sales Practice, to discuss how sales leaders can evolve their sales enablement function to one of revenue enablement.
Journalists who would like to speak with Nate regarding this topic can contact Matt.LoDolce@Gartner.com. Members of the media can reference this material in articles with proper attribution to Gartner.
Q: What exactly is revenue enablement, and how does it fit into the evolution of sales?
A: Gartner defines revenue enablement as the act of bringing traditional, siloed enablement functions together to ensure that all customer-facing roles have the technology, content and competencies needed to create a frictionless and consistent customer experience throughout the buying journey.
In other words, it's the evolution of sales enablement that aligns all roles responsible for generating revenue – marketing, sales, as well as customer service and support – into an enablement ecosystem.
Sellers have moved from being the primary buyer channel to one of many, prompting the need for customer-facing roles to pivot to coordinated commercial efforts between each associated function. In doing so, revenue enablement aims to close the large gap of B2B buyers who report receiving conflicting information from supplier sources, such as websites and reps.
Unlike sales enablement that typically puts the seller at the center of its focus, revenue enablement focuses on the customer as its bullseye.
Gartner’s Chief Sales Officer Strategy Survey, which polled over 200 sales leaders in November and December 2022, shows that more than two-thirds of sales enablement leaders are already on the path to revenue enablement – and are already seeing enhanced commercial performance because of it.
By 2026, Gartner expects 60% of enablement functions to be tasked with enabling all client-facing, revenue-generating roles.
Q: Why should sales leaders look to shift their function to accommodate it?
A: Information consistency as part of revenue enablement has a huge commercial upside: Gartner data shows that buyers who encounter consistent information from supplier sources are 2.89 times more likely to complete a high-quality, low-regret deal.
The same Gartner sales survey found that organizations focused on revenue enablement were more likely to exceed performance targets compared to those overfocused on enabling buyers. They were at least 75% more likely to exceed performance targets such as seller revenue, cross-sell/upsell and revenue growth.
If a sales leader is looking to drive results and truly surpass KPIs, revenue enablement should be a top-of-mind consideration.
Q: How can sales leaders make the shift from sales to revenue enablement?
A: Evolving from sales to revenue enablement is no easy feat – it’s a multiyear transformation that requires more than swapping out the word “sales” for “revenue.” As sales leaders look to undertake this transformation, they should focus on achieving a set of strategic objectives:
- Align and tailor training and onboarding efforts across sales, marketing and customer success functions.
- Define and streamline revenue-generating team member activity workflows across the customer life cycle.
- Integrate functional technology and data into a technology stack that supports the end-to-end revenue-generating process.
Because these objectives may take years to fully achieve, Gartner recommends sales leaders scale down their revenue enablement roadmap into more tangible and attainable milestones depending on the current state of their organization.
Follow along on the Sales Newsroom for more highlights from the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference, taking place May 16-17, 2023 in Las Vegas. Additional information is available in the complimentary Gartner webinar, “CSOs, Break Through Commercial Silos With Revenue Enablement.”
If you are a member of the media who would like to speak further on these topics with Nate, please contact Matt.LoDolce@Gartner.com. Members of the media can reference this material in their articles with proper attribution to Gartner.