Five Ways Revenue Enablement Teams Can Survive & Thrive During a Downturn

Voices of Enablement Summaries

What is Voices of Enablement?

Voices of Enablement is an interview series with practitioners and thought leaders in revenue enablement. We pick their brains for insights and advice on how enablement teams overcome their most pressing challenges.

In our inaugural season, we  talked about  securing executive support and hitting revenue targets during a volatile economic climate.

From a dozen interviews, we've compiled five practical tips on how to elevate the role of enablement function and make a bigger impact on the organization.

Tip #1

Take a proactive, data-driven approach to enablement

Leadership teams often see enablement as a reactive function, constantly accommodating the sales team's demands. That’s why enablers should use technology and insights to proactively identify and resolve issues, and pay close attention to the data that shows the real impact of enablement efforts.

Enablement feels like a series of random acts when you are constantly on your heels. There needs to be a structure where you are consistently coaching, reviewing, and seeing how the data is affected.
Braxton Carr
Director of Revenue Enablement
You can have a huge impact by managing up. Executives might only have worked with passive enablement teams. Do not be afraid to ask your leaders tough questions if you feel the enablement function is more reactive than proactive.
Whitney Sieck
Vice President of Revenue Enablement
Tip #2

Align enablement initiatives with organizational goals

If you want your enablement initiatives to shine, they must be in sync with your organization's business objectives. Aligning your enablement initiatives with business priorities is a must. You also need to keep a keen eye on the KPIs that each initiative influences. Numbers are your best buds when it comes to proving impact.

When putting together programs and initiatives, ensure they are tied to a business objective. Make sure you've hard-hitting data because that's what executives care about more than anything else. That's where enablement can start elevating.
Stephanie Middaugh
Head of Enablement
Enablement cannot go on its own rogue missions. Our best chance of getting executive support is to develop charters aligned with organizational goals. Make sure your objectives align with the company's priorities. If enablement has its own roadmap, you're in a silo that isn't truly in line with the broader corporate strategy.
Stephanie White
Vice President of Revenue Enablement
Tip #3

Enable Sellers in their moment of need

The forgetting curve poses a significant challenge for enablers. Simply relying on one-time onboarding programs won't suffice. Enablers need to:

  • Embrace everboarding and prioritize continuous learning to keep knowledge fresh and relevant

  • Provide support and enablement when it's most crucial for reps

  • Integrate enablement into the rep’s workflow

All the elements that go into onboarding need to be continually reinforced with your sales team. If and when onboarding stalls, take your current onboarding program and create a sort of everboarding program to train existing members of the team instead of new hires.
Stephanie Middaugh
Head of Enablement
Sellers don't want to learn something they may need three or five months later. They want to learn things in the moment. Always think about how you can provide relevant information to reps in their workflow.
Krati Seth
Associate Director, Sales Enablement
Tip #4

Make cross-functional interlocks work

Sales enablement is a team sport. Alignment, clarity, and trust are essential ingredients for successful cross-functional partnerships that deliver organizational impact.

Often, there is not enough communication or collaboration between teams. In the case of enablement and product marketing, the customer is the sales rep. RevOps is also integral to enablement because they provide you with the systems, the data, and the analysis of what's happening.
Stephanie Benavidez
Former Head of Sales Enablement
Enablement should be the ultimate connector. It will make an enormous impact if you're connected and working on multiple projects outside of sales. When cuts are being made, the more that you have shown you're the connected cog in the wheel, the tougher it will be to make the decision to let you or your team go.
Ashley Philipps
Vice President, Commercial Effectiveness
Tip #5

Measure the right KPIs

There are many misconceptions about how revenue enablement should be measured. Enablers must carefully navigate these murky waters and identify the leading and lagging indicators that correlate enablement initiatives with revenue outcomes. 

To demonstrate the value of enablement, it is necessary to articulate what is happening differently now from before. Monitoring the usage of training and content, while a good leading indicator, isn't strategic enough. So, it is essential to tie training and content to more strategic goals such as revenue growth.
Tom George
Principal Consultant
Enablement cannot just be about, “I had 20 people to train, and they got 90% on their LMS scores.” While that's fantastic, the CRO, CEO, or higher-level executive leadership will check if you increased sales velocity across the pipeline. Did you improve the win rates? Are you getting more qualified leads?
Stephanie Middaugh
Head of Enablement
Bonus Tip

Find ways to get more out of existing customers

With economic uncertainty on the rise, enabling customer success teams is gaining importance. And rightly so. It’s crucial to strengthen your partnership with customer success leadership so you can assess how enablement can provide valuable support to their efforts and work together to drive revenue growth.

Spend most of your resources and bandwidth on the current customer base and try to expand and retain. While getting new logos is enticing, increasing the bottom line is excellent, regardless of how you do it. Dig into where are you doing business today and how can you get a little bit more to get you through to the next year.
Ashley Philipps
Vice President, Commercial Effectiveness
When it is challenging to get new customers, go back to the drawing board, look at the current customers, and analyze how you can help them get more out of your product.
Salil Mishra
Sales Enablement Lead

The Way Forward

The current economic downturn has brought into sharp focus the need for revenue enablement to evolve from a support function to a strategic role.

Unless enablement teams are aligned with organizational goals, ensure tight integration with other functions, and have a clear understanding of the right KPIs, they cannot succeed. Enablement teams also need to be more proactive and data-driven if they want to move from the sidelines to earn a seat at the leadership table.

Watch all episodes of

Voices of Enablement