Building a B2B Sales Enablement Strategy
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This episode is all about building a sales enablement strategy and deploying it across your business! I'm joined by Lisa Neff, who is the sales enablement manager for Porex. Lisa shares a wealth of information about how to get started building your strategy, where to begin with deployment, and how to manage KPIs for success.
[00:01:15] Introduction: Lisa Neff, Sales Enablement Manager at Porex
Lisa Neff is with Porex, a company based out of Atlanta. They are a global leader in advanced porous solutions and are a member company of the Filtration Group. She has been with them for a little over a year, but has about 16 years of experience in sales enablement.
[00:02:00] How did Porex begin on their sales enablement journey? What were some of the drivers inside the business? How did that strategy begin to evolve inside of your company?
Porex is a 61-year-old company that grew very quickly and expanded globally. There was a separation in the sales teams as they had different ways of handling their content and customers. Without a centralized location for sharing, we noticed problems and inefficiencies and it was the sales team that was carrying the burden. The sales leaders came together to come up with a plan regarding how they envisioned sales operations working.
[00:04:40] How did your organization begin to look at structure? When did something click within sales operations? Who was able to help champion this concept of moving toward a formal sales enablement function?
A critical step was defining what sales enablement meant to our company and then defining our mission statement. Ours is to be sure that we are developing our sales reps with actionable information to grow revenue. A major component for Porex is training – no matter where a rep lives, they have the same information across the globe. The biggest problem was that there wasn’t an easily accessible and centralized location for content. We needed that so reps could have meaningful conversations with their customers. Sales enablement was a fantastic solution to that problem.
[00:09:25] How did you address sales and marketing alignment and what were some of the things that led to your success of being tightly integrated?
Marketing finds the need in the market or whatever niche they’re focusing on and create content they’re passionate about and then they bring that to the sales reps. The sales team has answers to questions and they’re confident because all the content is right there.
[00:13:25] How do you set metrics and KPIs around the success of the team?
One thing we started looking at was what the expectation was for how often we expected a rep to be in front of a customer. Another thing we thought about was if the rep was in front of the customer, did we expect them to present material. We had an expectation that reps should be sharing a certain number of pieces of content with a client in a 30-day window. Our adoption in March was only about 40% and by the 1st of July, we were hitting that 85 to 90% mark. Now a year later, we at a 100% adoption and continue to see that month over month which is a testament to the software. It works.
[00:18:30] How have you approached sales enablement as a function vs sales enablement as a software?
As a function, it is building those partnerships across the other functions of your company - marketing and customer service operations, for example. Sales enablement acts as a liaison. It’s really about communication. One of the key things is building trust with your teams and not working in a silo. You have to do what you say and say what you're going to do to form a trusting relationship.
[00:21:55] What have you found to be the biggest challenges for deploying your sales enablement strategy and what have you done to avoid roadblocks?
One of the challenges we faced was simply reminding the reps that the tool was there and how to use it. Sales enablement was the baby department and it was still brand new. We had to be very flexible and willing to adapt to change. Klyck gave us a structure that really helped guide us in setting a foundation of what an application package that's ready to go to market looked like. There was also confidence in the sales team. Just knowing sales enablement was part of the process and that when we’re doing a new product release or taking some strategy to go to market, allowed our sales team to get comfortable with knowing that the resources they needed were available in the sales enablement tool.
[00:31:00] What did you attribute to be your biggest factors of success? And what advice would you give to others who are going to get ready to take the plunge?
We started with a rep council. We took a couple of reps from each region (some high performers and some low performers) to give feedback. We wanted a true adoption experience from different perspectives. Throughout that first month, everybody got a little homework assignment where they needed to go in and demonstrate a feature of Klyck. Not only did it create muscle memory, but also drove home the idea that sales enablement was a part of the fundamental sales skills in the company. We wanted our reps to go in and play with it for a little bit. That was a big thing - go in and play to see you can't break it. And that's the great thing about Klyck, you can't. We wanted to take that fear away.
- Have a mission statement
- Build trust with your team - deliver what you say you're going to
- Sales enablement can create an atmosphere that provides the fundamental skills for how a person reacts to problem and the tools they'll use to conquer it