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Three Takeaways from Day 1 of the Sales Enablement Society Annual Conference

| September 17, 2018 | Sarah Rector

The Sales Enablement Society’s annual conference is happening this week in Denver, CO. Sales enablement practitioners, solution providers, consultants and analysts from around the world have congregated to share ideas about the challenges and solutions that exist within the growing and maturing world of sales enablement.

Today was the first full day of sessions and below we pull out just three of what could be many top takeaways from today’s sessions.

C-Level Executive Buy-in is Critical for Sales Enablement Success
One of the first sessions today was presented by Hang Black, the senior director of worldwide sales enablement for 8×8. With a couple decades of experience in defining and implementing sales enablement, Black said, “The hardest part of my job is managing C-suite expectations. Make sure everyone knows what ‘sales enablement’ is and the very specific goals.”

Later in the day Sheevaun Thatcher, a recognized leader in sales enablement from RingCentral, reiterated Black’s point. She outlined her advice for sales enablement practitioners, and at the top of her list: Get buy-in from executive leadership. It was a common theme today.

Sheevaun had a couple other suggestions: Have empathy for the sales team, have confidence, and when you get a seat at the table, take full advantage of that seat. Which leads to the next top takeaway…

Sales Enablement Leaders Must Get a “Seat at the Table”
I would put money on this being one of the most-used phrases and most often mentioned sentiments throughout today’s sessions. Getting a “seat at the table” means becoming part of the team that makes the biggest decisions for an organization. Sales enablement is so critical to a company’s success that enablement leaders must be represented on executive teams making strategic decisions.

Because the sales enablement function is nascent, especially compared to other functions under the CEO, CMO and CSO, it’s important that sales enablement practitioners earn their way up the ladder by showing where sales enablement creates revenue and operational efficiencies.

The Future of Sales Enablement is Now
In a final panel today sales enablement practitioners, academics and analysts were asked about the future of sales enablement. The consensus seemed to be that the future of sales enablement is happening now – everyday, around the world, as professionals seek out, create, and implement solutions that help sales people sell. It was noted that the title “sales enablement” didn’t even exist 5-10 years ago and may not even exist in your organization now.

One of the experts described the industry as being on a second march – one where sales enablement will become a strategic function and recognized as a means for growing brand and revenue. All of the experts agreed to this and to the fact that there is more work to do, more education required, and more maturation of the category to come.

Which is why we all are meeting today! Looking forward to tomorrow where the sessions here at the Sales Enablement Society annual conference will continue.

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