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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistWed, Feb 14, 2018 9 min read

Are You Making These Sales Enablement Mistakes?

{}Sales enablement is of interest to most business owners and sales team managers these days. You want your reps to perform to the very best of their abilities. Sales enablement will help them get there and deliver the results you want.

There are about as many ways to do sales enablement as there are advocates of the approach. Not every approach is a good one, though, and almost everyone makes at least a few mistakes when it comes to enabling their sales teams.

Here are a few of the most common mistakes teams make. If you’re doing any of the following, don’t worry. It’s often easy to switch gears and do something more effective!

Focusing on Content Alone

Sales enablement is focused on providing your sales reps with the tools they need to attract new clients and close the deal. One of the most important tools you can provide is great content. Content attracts the attention of new potential clients and often gets them talking.

Focusing on content alone ignores the human component of sales, however. Content might pique your lead’s interest. It might even convince them they need to investigate your solution. It could educate them about all the great features you offer.

Content won’t close a deal though. Your sales people will. Your sales people won’t use every piece of content you produce either. Worry less about the quantity of content you have. Focus on a few useful pieces. Then turn your attention to the other tools your team really needs to close those deals.

Thinking Technology Will Solve Everything

Technology is great. If there’s something it can’t do, you can rest assured someone somewhere is working on a solution to overcome the challenge. In the meantime, you shouldn’t rely on technology to solve all of your problems.

Your sales reps do need great tools to do their jobs effectively. But sales enablement is about more than just giving your sales people some flashy new apps or a shiny new tablet. Combine the futuristic tech tools with training and coaching opportunities to truly give your sales people the advantage they need in the field.

Refusing to Invest in People

Take a good, hard look at your sales enablement budget. How much have you set aside for training your sales people? If the answer is nothing or a very small percentage of the budget, you need to re-evaluate your priorities.

Technology and good content are excellent tools. Tools are only as good as the people using them! If your sales team members aren’t up to date with the latest selling techniques or they’re unsure of how to use that new app you provided, you’re not truly enabling them.

Be sure you set aside a good portion of your budget to invest in the people actually doing the heavy lifting here. Remember, content and technology won’t close deals, and products don’t sell themselves. Your sales people are still your number-one asset.

Tracking the Wrong Metrics

At the end of the day, you want to see how much sales enablement has improved your sales team’s performance. You want to see your return on investment. The best way to do that is to measure performance.

There are quite a few different metrics for measuring the performance of a sales team, but not all metrics are created equal. If you’re measuring the wrong things, you could easily be led astray. Some metrics will tell you everything is peachy keen, even if your team members are telling a different story. Other metrics will paint a quite different picture.

Using the right metrics will ensure you have an accurate picture of how your sales enablement efforts are working.

Ignoring Integration

What tools are you using in your sales department already? If you’re using Microsoft Office 365 or you’ve just implemented G-Suite, you’re probably not eager to switch away from these products and adopt a new solution. You may be using a CRM such as HubSpot.

When you’re thinking about sales enablement, you want to be sure the solutions you select work with the tools your team is already using and comfortable working with. You’re not looking to overhaul the entire department or reinvent the wheel.

If you think a new tool will help your sales team be more effective, consider how well it works with other tools you’re already working with. If you’ll need to dump your new CRM and start over again, chances are you can probably find a different tool to adopt!

Many businesses will adopt a particular tool because they’ve heard it’s “the best.” They ignore the integration side of things, which actually hinders the sales team’s efforts. Smooth and effortless integration is the key to making tools more effective!

Tightening the Leash

Any sales manager knows the stress of having a sales team member “go rogue.” This person uses dated information or collects content from an untrustworthy source. Maybe they’re retweeting things from controversial accounts or they’re just ignoring the great content marketing is providing.

You may want to use sales enablement as a way of keeping your sales people on a tighter leash. After all, it’s important to keep things on brand, and you can’t do that when someone insists on adopting off-brand content into their demos and pitches on a regular basis.

Enabling your sales people means empowering them! In fact, one of your goals should be quite the opposite of keeping your sales people on a tighter leash. You want to give them more freedom to fully leverage the best-performing content. Deeper insights into your sales decks will allow sales people to make better choices.

Best practices can also easily be adopted. You’ll also be able to spot outdated information more quickly. When someone knows content will resonate with their audience (and you have the stats to back it up), they’ll be less tempted to pick up off-brand messaging.

Focusing Too Much on Time

Many sales managers want to help their sales people become more efficient sellers. You know your sales team members spend the majority of their time doing something other than selling. They might be researching or searching for content.

The idea of saving your team members time through sales enablement is a good one! The problem arises when you focus too much on this goal. If your only purpose in enabling your sales team is to save them time, you’re missing out on the other advantages of sales enablement.

Remember to keep a balanced perspective of what this strategy can do for you and your team. Yes, it can save you time and make your salespeople more efficient sellers. It can also make them more proficient sellers, align sales and marketing, and more.

Are You Making These Mistakes?

If you are, don’t worry! While these missteps are very common, they’re all very easily corrected. If you want better results from your sales enablement efforts, you just need to tweak your approach to eliminate these mistakes.

Sales enablement is still an amazing tool for your business. Get some help with implementation and avoid making any of these mistakes.


Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.