Leading Through Change: Strategies for Enablement Leaders Beyond 2024 with Lissa Songpitak & Marit Parten
December 18, 2023
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In the dynamic realm of sales and revenue growth, the driving principles of adaptability and innovation take center stage.
But how can enablement leaders motivate their teams, lead through change, and prepare for an unknown future?
Lissa Songpitak, Head of Revenue Enablement, Enable, and Marit Parten, Head of Revenue Productivity, Sales Enablement, Narvar, share how they’ve adjusted their strategies to meet the changing market expectations in 2023 and offer a glimpse into their priorities and thoughts on future trends in revenue enablement.
In this post:
Work efficiently and effectively
Doing more with less may have been a cliche in 2023, but teams everywhere felt the need to maintain performance and exceed expectations despite fewer resources. Lissa and Marit share how they shifted priorities in their organizations.
As budgets tightened, Lissa’s team prioritized tactical projects to deliver a minimum viable product (MVP) and clear success indicators for their training and programs. This approach focused on improving the sales pipeline by providing enablement to Account Executives (AEs) and sales managers.
AEs were trained to identify compelling events and manufacture a sense of urgency, while sales managers provided situational leadership and coaching. Their programs covered themes like objection handling and product pitch workshops.
“We prioritized ongoing enablement programs and developed things like objection handling, dojos, and product pitch workshops that help people lead with value, and a project that can help transform how we engage with our prospects today,” Lissa says. “A lot of this coaching is based on programs that foster learning. So that improves connection at our hybrid company. We’ve got in-office and remote teams.”
Marit highlighted the importance of implementing a tried-and-true sales methodology, such as , to align their go-to-market (GTM) teams and improve pipeline growth.
Motivation was a significant challenge for her team, so they worked within the sales organization to balance high expectations with creating a learning culture. Certifications, messaging alignment, and constant check-ins with sales teams were key components of this approach.
“I’ve spent quite a bit of time creating certifications for go-to-market teams, aligning our messaging, making sure we’re all assessing where there are holes, and then I pivot, make sure to check for understanding and retrain as needed,” Marit says. “We, too, are a hybrid, mostly virtual organization, so constant check-ins with the sales team are needed. I’m always trying to find new and creative ways to receive feedback so the dance moves on, but motivation is at the forefront, keeping everybody excited and willing to make changes as needed.”
Read more: What is Sales Coaching and Why is it Vital for Success?
Lead through communication
Evolving buyer behaviors, economic shifts, and market fluctuations forced enablement teams to navigate uncharted waters in 2023. Marit and Lissa shared their strategies to lead teams through constant changes.
Marit shared the concept of the three Cs: communication, collaboration, and commitment, with communication being the most important.
Communication is crucial to avoid assumptions and foster collaboration, particularly in rapidly changing environments. Marit encourages leaders to ensure people feel like they’re heard, part of the plan, and their feedback is valued.
“Overly communicating is key, especially in these uncertain times,” She says. “Job insecurity is heightened. We’re in a virtual world; teams are spread out globally. We’re often just moving so fast and working in a silo. I don’t ever want to lead with fear and anxiety. So, I definitely communicate to the teams when changes are being made or even considered.”
Lissa underlined overcommunication and shared three essential elements for navigating change: planning, operational alignment, and communication.
Planning involves understanding the big picture, while operational alignment emphasizes collaboration with key teams.
“If you think about water, it can be in a liquid or solid state,” She says. “So how do we keep people slushy so they’re ready to adapt and rally, especially in our hypergrowth environment? So, there are three things that we focus on. The first is planning, the second is operational alignment, and the third is exactly what Marit said: communication first in planning.
“Sometimes change seems scary because there’s not enough thought behind the planning. When you change one thing, other things can change. So, leaders need to keep all of the big rocks in mind. What big rocks are we prioritizing to fit all the other small rocks around that?”
Top priorities for enablement leaders in 2024 and beyond
While the future is unpredictable, Marit and Lissa shared their insights on the key areas revenue teams should focus on in the coming years.
Marit emphasized the importance of revenue growth, retention, and ensuring teams have the right resources for an efficient sales process. Her team launched pods at the beginning of the year for better communication and internal alignment. She also urges teams to focus on coaching sales reps, analyzing processes, using the right tools, and enhancing productivity.
“I’m working on coaching the sales rep, so I spend a lot of time analyzing the AEs processes, selling the MEDDPICC way, using our tools correctly, and the rep’s ability to know when to bring the right people in on a call,” Marit says. “I do a lot of deep dives as far as their deals and processes. I also want to make sure we’re following the right paper process to get these deals closed faster. So for me and Narvar, it’s all about productivity and efficiency.”
Lissa echoed this focus on revenue growth and retention, emphasizing the need for training to equip teams with the necessary skills and resources.
“As we mature as a company, there will be more emphasis on planning systems process with cross-collaboration, like visibility and control as we race towards our goals,” she says. “So, for us, this means investing our precious time and dollars into programs, trainings, and tools to enable and better support our front- and second-line managers.”
Sell with empathy and going back to the basics
While the buzz around AI continues to grow and new enablement trends will come and go, Marit and Lissa recommend that teams focus on developing reps’ skills and finding ways to connect with customers and prospects.
“I’m not very cool at following the latest, greatest trends, but I would say always choosing empathy and selling through storytelling,” Marit says. “As a sales professional, being able to be in the shoes of your prospect or customer is invaluable. AI will change things, but let’s just keep empathetic and real and see what [our customers’] needs are. It’s absolutely invaluable to follow that customer journey and identify where we can truly help.”
Lissa sees the opportunity for teams to go back to the basics and do the things that work to build revenue, like creating a culture that sustains and motivates people to perform.
“Moving into next year, we’re seeing hiring and onboarding pickup,” she says. “There’s more movements in the job markets, availabilities, job postings, recruiter activity. So, reducing rep ramp time, time to productivity, and revenue per rep will still be a focus for many revenue enablement teams. Increasing employee retention through people development and coaching will still be a priority for a lot of managers and enablement teams so we can grow our people and retain them.”
Future-proof your org through enablement
Revenue enablement is more than a strategy; it’s a commitment to excellence and a sustainable future. Teams must take a forward-looking approach without abandoning tried-and-true tactics like communication, coaching, and training.
Get more actionable tips and expert insights from Lissa and Marit. Check out the on-demand replay: This is the Way: Future-Proofing Your Org Through Enablement.
Complete the form for a custom demo.
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Maile TimonContent Strategist, WorkRamp
Maile Timon is WorkRamp’s Content Strategist. She has over 10 years of experience in content marketing and SEO and has written for several publications and industries, including B2B, marketing, lifestyle, health, and more. When she’s not writing or developing content strategies, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her family.
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