Not Just For Sales Teams Anymore

Hayden Stafford is the President and Chief Revenue Officer of Seismic, a global enablement company, where he leads the go-to-market team.

Historically, enablement technology has been the domain of sales teams. Sellers are the primary customers for tools that equip users with the skills, content and insights they need to drive revenue, but as enablement develops and advances, so too do its use cases. Further helping this pivot is the expectation that the “pipeline is personal” and that everybody sells within a business-to-business (B2B) organization.

The market recognizes this, too. The term “sales enablement” has lost popularity; you’re more likely to hear it referred to as “GTM” (go-to-market) or “revenue” enablement these days. Even the professional network Sales Enablement Society rebranded to the Revenue Enablement Society in 2023.

Today, every function within the GTM team can benefit from—or is already using—enablement tech. A recent survey by my company of almost 2,000 sales, enablement, marketing and customer success professionals at the management level or above revealed that 89% of GTM teams are using enablement technology at work.

Let’s take a deep dive into who is actually using enablement tech, how they’re benefitting from it and what roadblocks are preventing stragglers from catching up.

Who Is Using This Tool

My company’s Generation Enablement Report found a relatively even split across teams in terms of who’s using enablement tools. Sixty-four percent of sales teams, 58% of marketing teams and 60% of customer success teams currently have enablement in their tech stack.

And when enablement is utilized across multiple departments, GTM organizations see a number of operational benefits, including greater alignment across the organization (58%), increased time for high-value activities (56%) and greater speed to market (43%). The majority of enablement tech users (90%) are embracing this combined approach at large, noting that their company strategically integrates these tools into their overall business strategy.

Conversely, efficiency suffers when enablement is siloed: 42% of those working at a company where only one department uses enablement tools have concerns about employee retention. Another 58% are worried about client retention for the same reason: When revenue teams are misaligned, everything from customer experience to individual employee growth suffers. Simply put, if organizations aren’t executing a cross-functional enablement program, their business is sub-optimized.

Reaping The Benefits

GTM professionals are using enablement tools to achieve a variety of goals, sharing that enablement technology:

• Makes them more productive (94%).

• Empowers them to drive stronger results (90%).

• Helps them build confidence at work (85%).

And a whopping 98% said it simply makes their job easier.

With enablement technology automating tasks like personalizing presentations, posting content on social media or preparing for a customer meeting, the average user saves 12 hours per week—that’s a day and a half of work! This frees up their time to focus on other priorities like nurturing relationships with customers. To be sure, happy employees are those who spend as little time on non-customer-facing motions as possible.

Meanwhile, those whose companies are not using enablement across multiple teams are longing for universal adoption. These respondents believe cross-departmental enablement would increase their company’s operational efficiency (58%), boost revenue (50%) and help improve client relationships (50%).

These expectations aren’t unfounded; our study revealed that enablement technology provides a major leg up in all three of these areas, with 89% of users agreeing it gives their team a competitive advantage.

Navigating A Lack Of Enablement

One in three panelists who don’t use enablement technology reported struggling with the amount of time wasted on administrative tasks, but operational efficiency isn’t the only perk non-users are missing out on.

Across the board, unequipped and un-enabled teams lack visibility into key areas of the business, particularly into training and onboarding (73%) and team productivity (61%). Without transparency into vital processes, managers struggle to identify roadblocks, help their direct reports achieve goals and/or serve customers and report on outcomes to other internal stakeholders.

This poses a major detriment to GTM leaders. When they are unable to track their team’s progress against goals and foster alignment among their employees, it hinders growth on multiple fronts: the professional development of individual team members, building lasting relationships with new and existing customers and overall revenue generation and business success.

Challenges And Roadblocks

So, what’s holding teams back from using enablement technology to its fullest advantage?

Organizations that don’t use these tools cite technological learning curves: 61% stated they don’t know how to effectively implement tools for their team, and 76% said no one in their department is currently responsible for implementing enablement tech.

Mixed readiness also prevents teams from even adopting across GTM functions. Forty-one percent of those who use these tools reported uneven usage, and 61% cited varying levels of technological readiness as the primary reason why.

As such, I’d like to offer the following four pieces of advice to leaders who are looking to either introduce enablement into their tech stacks for the first time or improve utilization.

1. Prioritize investing in tools that serve every arm of your revenue organization. Evaluate whether the solution in question offers holistic support to sales, marketing and customer success teams.

2. Identify an individual or group within your team who will spearhead implementation so responsibilities are clearly defined. This will mitigate confusion and allow team members to focus on onboarding and upskilling rather than the actual implementation process.

3. Champion even usage across teams. By beating a constant drum on the value of every member of the GTM team leveraging enablement technology, you’ll improve alignment and see a greater ROI.

4. Prioritize executive buy-in. Enablement leaders need a seat at the table, or they won’t be able to report back the wins driven by enablement.

Enablement isn’t just for sales teams anymore. It unifies siloed departments that operate against different key performance indicators. A sound enablement strategy anchored on the right platform acts as a Rosetta stone to help teams speak a common language.

A thoughtful and comprehensive application of this technology across the entire GTM organization can better serve your business in the long run. In turn, your team will have their own Rosetta stone to support GTM alignment.

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