As a leader of Sales Operations or Sales Enablement, how many times have you heard your sales teams say:
“You all have no clue what we go through in the field!”
This is a common theme in any company that sells a product or service. Sales representatives and sales managers often feel disconnected from their support staff. This is especially the case for larger organizations. The staff spends the majority of its time interfacing with the executive team on enabling achievement of the company’s strategic direction. They sometimes feel they cannot get bogged down by the day-to-day activities of sales teams.
That is a mistake.
Leverage a Ride-along DILO Form to evaluate sales reps as you shadow them. Evaluate different areas such as planning, performance, and execution. You can also utilize this form for your training and onboarding program.
Don’t Wait to Take Action
If you see this in your organization then immediately take action to change this behavior. Being disconnected is not a forgivable sin for the revenue operations and enablement teams. These teams need to the front-line of defense to all issues that confront the sales organization. The operations and enablement teams need to be the connective tissue from front-line sellers to the executive team.
One feature of companies that outperform their peer group in terms of revenue growth goals is that they specifically require their revenue operation and enablement team members to get into the field. These teams are in sales manager meetings, go on ride-alongs with sales reps, and conduct win/loss calls. These are only a few of the ways your support teams should get into the field.
In fact, in this podcast, Todd Jones the VP of Sales Ops and Enablement for Renaissance Learning provides insight about making operations and enablement more efficient and effective.
This quote helps to understand why this is so:
“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand” -Confucius
Individuals learn better when they do things. Or, at a minimum, seeing them being done. Better that than to throw thunderbolts from the mountain-top without getting into the weeds where the work gets done. This is why revenue operations and enablement personnel must get into the field to bubble-up any issues to the organization.
Here are the top three methods to help operations and enablement teams avoid getting disconnected from the sales organization:
#1 – Join their calls
Operations and enablement leaders need to be in the weekly sales team meetings. You will hear from the sales teams what are the top issues and blockers. You can then better understand the underlying issues and communicate this up to the executive team.
Are the teams targeting the right prospects? Are they forecasting correctly? Do they understand the sale process or just pushing deals through without exit criteria?
#2 – Go ‘See’ and ‘Do’
You will get a crash course of the issues when you shadow sales reps. At SBI we call ours a DILO (Day in the Life of). Riding with sales reps to sales calls will be vital for your training and onboarding program. Enablement leaders will see firsthand what reps are saying to clients.
Are they speaking about value? Do they understand the product and features? Are they listening to the client’s questions?
#3 – Determine why deals are getting won and lost
Win/loss calls are critical to understand why you win and lose deals. These calls can be a difference maker in helping you make your number. Yet many companies are clueless to why they are winning or losing deals.
Common questions to ask in win/loss calls are:
- Are we speaking to the right buyer?
- What were the trigger events that put them into the market?
- Who did we compete against?
- What were the evaluation criteria they used to compare providers?
- Why did you select or not select us?
Revenue operations and enablement play essential roles in the success of any organization. Revenue Operations is focused on improving the efficiency of the sales organization. Revenue Enablement is focused on getting the right sales content, in the hands of the right sellers, at the right time, to move a sales opportunity forward.
Neither the operations nor enablement teams will be successful without getting into the field. Great change-agents cannot make changes or communicate effectively without firsthand knowledge or data.
Leverage a Ride-along DILO Form to evaluate sales reps as you shadow them. Evaluate different areas such as planning, performance, and execution. You can also utilize this form for your training and on-boarding program.