Elay Cohen earned his reputation as a sales executive in one of the most successful organizations of the past 50 years – Salesforce. Here, he explains the “sales enablement” function, what it means, how to build it and how its smooth functioning helps organizations succeed and sustain their success. Cohen’s information-rich and highly detailed how-to guide gives executives, managers and salespeople a blueprint for implementing a more rigorous sales process based on enablement. He suggests taking a top-down and bottom-up approach to sales, emphasizing learning and peer-to-peer knowledge, and leveraging appreciation and rewards. Though he may bounce a bit from topic to topic and sometimes repeat himself, sales managers and salespeople will benefit from his insight.
“Sales enablement” requires taking a top-down and bottom-up approach to improving sales.
Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff believes in sales enablement. He places it front and center by personally leading his marketing, communications and sales executives through their corporate presentations. In these sessions, Salesforce department heads work toward agreement on a corporate sales message. The approved presentation then goes to the company’s head of enablement who makes sure that every manager and every sales and customer-facing person in the company worldwide – thousands of people – gets “certified” in presenting it to a customer correctly and on message.
Sales enablers work across a company. They know how things get done and how to motivate people. They coach, mentor and take an enterprisewide view of “people, processes and priorities” to help others do their work and achieve better outcomes.
Enablers assemble micro content in various formats that salespeople can access in the flow of their work, just when they need it. Enablers tell stories...
Elay Cohen led sales productivity and enablement at Salesforce, where he was honored as its top executive in 2011. He is co-founder and CEO of SalesHood, a sales improvement consulting and technology firm.