Confusing Statistics about Sales Enablement

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Man with a Question Face 2

Jim Dickie and Barry Trailer of CSO Insights are, without a doubt, the best team of sales research analysts in the business. Every year they provide an analysis of their findings of over 1,200 organizations that they survey. Then, they post their findings for their subscribers to read.  In reading through this year’s latest statistics, one thing really caught my eye around their findings for Sales Enablement/Effectiveness.

The second highest objective of what the top sales objectives were for 2014 was to increase sales effectiveness.  Yet, further down in the survey, they polled those organizations to find out which ones actually had a dedicated Sales Enablement/Effectiveness staff, and the results were only 27%.

So, that immediately sent up a red flag for me because it was a contradiction of what people said they wanted, and then what they were willing to do to obtain it. If increasing sales effectiveness is a top priority for most organizations, then why aren’t those organizations willing and committed to dedicate the staff needed to accomplish that goal?  It’s a quandary for me. It almost rings of “put your money where your mouth is.”

Yet, I think the reason they don’t have a dedicated staff is that many of those organizations probably think that they are already addressing that need, with the staff and tools they already have in place. So, why create a new position for something that may already be addressed? If, on the other hand, a new sales effectiveness/enablement position is felt to be needed, then you have the age old argument of who should be responsible for staffing it?  Should it be Sales, or should it be Marketing?

In the meantime, while the indecision continues, a better means of increasing the effectiveness of the salesforce remains unclear and ineffective. So, where does the answer to this conundrum lie?  I believe that it lies with the manager who has the desire and need to see their sales people be more effective and, therefore, drive in more revenue. That person could be the VP of Sales, VP of Marketing, the COO or perhaps even the President of the organization. That individual would be the one who says “the buck stops here” and then moves forward to do the things necessary to get their sales teams on track and more effective.

Talk is cheap. You can say that sales effectiveness is a top priority, but if you aren’t willing to address it properly and dedicate resources to making it happen, then it will continue to be an objective and target that never gets met.

At least that’s the way I see it, what say you?

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