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Today, we profile Amber Watts on the Leaderboard and discuss how sales enablement is essential to keeping reps at the top of their game and hitting our revenue goals.
Let's open with our chart of the week:
HubSpot's Global Sales Enablement Survey from October 2020 shows us 65% of companies that outperform revenue goals have dedicated sales enablement teams. The number drops to 24% without sales enablement.
No wonder the percentage of organizations with sales enablement functions has grown 3x over the last few years.
So what does sales enablement do precisely? Think all things optimization with our sales process, tech stack, workflows, training, and customer and product collateral and information.
With a sales enablement team, sales leaders can expect one critical metric to rise – Productivity Per Rep. The purpose of sales enablement is to increase productivity, make it easier for reps to sell, and drive more revenue per seller.
We profiled Gia DeRose two months ago, star "Senior Director of Sales Productivity" at Hootsuite. Today, we highlight another rising star in sales enablement.
Amber Watts is an expert collaborator in her role, and she's got insights that'll have you fully rooting for Team Sales Enablement.
As a manager in sales enablement, Amber has taken on the responsibility of empowering and equipping sellers with skills they need to, well, sell.
Amber started getting her hands dirty in the medical recruiting world at C&A Industries, designing, facilitating, and coaching sales professionals. She's since made her way to the SaaS world and finds herself building and defining the sales enablement function at Fourth.
Headquartered in London, Fourth has 800 employees and provides restaurant and hospitality management software. They serve companies like Buffalo Wild Wings and TopGolf.
As Amber finds agile ways that help Sales and Customer Success at Fourth better understand their customer, check out what she's learned along the way:
Tell us more about what you do.
Currently, I am building and defining this function of the organization, which includes bringing on new employees in never-held Sales Enablement roles who support my "seller-led" enablement vision.
From defining a sales process to creating a 12-month onboarding journey, my team focuses on growing and scaling the enablement function. Each month we are working toward executing comprehensive certifications for our products (current and upcoming) with the help of our internal experts. SaaS requires a much more agile and less traditional design approach because customer needs can change quickly.
What metrics are a priority for you?
I'm focused on connecting competency to performance. For example, because of this re-certification in X, sellers saw a % increase in total sales.
What can sellers work on to impact those metrics?
Often we launch a certification within a company process or product and deem that seller "certified to sell," but there's no reinforcement. Much of what they learned is forgotten in the coming days and certainly weeks.
That sounds familiar.
A re-certification layers on new information, WHILE recalling previously learned information. Don't WAIT for the product or process to change to implement a re-certification. Reinforce the current state to increase your seller readiness.
What's most challenging in your role?
The most challenging part in a role where you're the bridge is keeping that bridge intact. You need to remain a go-to and know about team training, hiring, and any communications. And being a go-to isn't just for the sales teams. It's best to go beyond your initial circle. Sales Enablement, Product Marketing, Sales, and Marketing all need to be so aligned that we know what we all had for lunch today.
Not an easy task for a brand new team to an organization, so we must continue to communicate our sales enablement team's charter to provide clarity and gain alignment.
What's most rewarding in your role?
The most rewarding part of my role is the same everywhere I go, having an impact. Everything I do affects the quarterbacks of the company (the sellers) and the MVPs (our customers).
When you think about it, many roles have the same influence and impact. Still, sales enablement differs in a significant way – you're there for the entire employee journey and the entire customer lifecycle, not just a window.
Quick Bits of Inspiration from Amber
FranklinCovey On Leadership with Scott Miller - if you haven't seen this podcast promoted on LinkedIn, then you haven't been on LinkedIn! With almost 200 episodes, you're guaranteed to find one leadership interview that is worth listening to.
Go-To Sales Enablement Book
"The Building Blocks of Sales Enablement" by Mike Kunkle. This is a great way to re-assess, or define your sales enablement practices in your organization and more importantly, ALIGN them with your partnering teams (product, marketing, operations).
Go-To Development Book
I recently enjoyed "Dare to Lead" by Brene Brown. There were many great recommendations around employee learning, but the core message is around the importance of honoring your values. It's up to you as a leader to encourage this behavior in your employees as well.
Connect with Amber!
Connect with her on LinkedIn to stay in touch to see sales-related insights and opportunities to join her team at Fourth! Amber is also the President of the Board for ATD.
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