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6 Key Roles Sales Enablement Teams Need to Account For

sales enablement team As technology continues to permeate each industry across the board, the need for optimal data capture, storage, and interpretation has increased exponentially. In the age of the consumer, organizations are looking at a huge opportunity if they can leverage the data they have to create an enhanced buying experience for their prospects and customers.

With the potential for so much data input, how can organizations extrapolate actionable insights? One way – assemble a cross-functional team spanning key disciplines to craft markeing and sales alignment strategies and drive organizational improvement initiatives. Whether the team is created by shifting internal resources or by hiring new team members to fulfill key positions, the following six roles should be included in the department build-out:

Solution Engineer

If you want your team to be successful, it is paramount for at least one person to have a clear vision of the big picture – the typical buyer’s journey, organizational objectives, departmental challenges and pain points, and the overall tech stack. With a keen understanding of all the pieces, the team member fulfilling this role will have the information and perspective necessary to craft strategies that better connect each part to the whole.

The primary responsibility for this role: ensure that all data being collected and input is captured and stored in a way that it can be leveraged manually or through automation to enhance the buyer’s experience at every step. This often entails a recurring detailed audit of the data points, the method of collection, the triggers/actions in place, and the intelligence being piped into sales reps’ hands. A careful evaluation will likely reveal areas of data friction, lack of attribution or contribution, and missing information – a dangerous combination of factors that could lead to a subpar customer experience and wasted opportunities.

Key qualities to look for in potential candidates:

  • Ability to think synthetically – various components of a sound sales enablement system may seem unrelated, however, it is important to be able to pull the pieces together into a logical sequence; conversely, the capacity to deconstruct them down to their parts for analysis and optimization is critical.
  • Propensity for forward-thinking – it is easy for teams to default to the “we don’t need that functionality/tool/process right now because we aren’t big enough” mentality; however, a great system should be built with flexibility and scalability in mind to accommodate future circumstances.
  • Persistence – often times, the first approach to implementing a system will be met with unforeseen obstacles; success in this role could hinge on the individual’s enthusiasm for a good challenge and a certain stubbornness against giving up.

System Architect

Successful systems and strategies in today’s increasingly digital universe are typically enabled by technology, so it is imperative to have a designated technologist. The person fulfilling this key role should be fairly well-versed in the different types of platforms organizations use to deliver the services or products being offered. Not that they need to be experts in specific applications, however; it’s more important for them to understand the basic principles of common platforms, including those of the following varieties: CRM, ERP, marketing automation, content management, accounting, customer service, etc.

The primary responsibility for this role: construct the data flow system drafted and mapped by the Solution Engineer inside the tech stack. Before and during implementation, it is important to help identify and work around technological restrictions to reduce data friction and streamline organizational processes.    

Key qualities to look for in potential candidates:

  • Technical skills & knowledge of digital tools – for a sales enablement system to function properly and optimally, it is important to engage an expert that can execute API integrations, implement applications to best practice, and
  • Ability to think critically – being an “order taker” is simple, but not necessarily good for the team; instead, the System Architect should be able to interpret a strategy and make recommendations for the best approach to implementation based on their in-depth knowledge of technical capabilities.
  • Penchant for learning – it is very unlikely that you will find an individual that is familiar with all the applications you currently use or plan to use in the future; rather than wasting resources searching for that unicorn, you’ll be better served to look for someone who is motivated to dig in hard to learn new platforms inside and out.

Data Analyst

Organizational strategies should be driven by data and, given the age we live in, there is certainly no shortage. The challenge lies within our teams’ abilities to organize and interpret the data we have to provide any kind of valuable insight. Often times, we are measuring against the wrong metric, we aren’t collecting information effectively, or we misinterpret prospects’ digital body language.

The primary responsibility for this role: support the efforts of the Sales Enablement team by tracking and analyzing trends in the operational metrics to uncover opportunities for improvement. The capacity to make sound recommendations that ultimately provide direction for new initiatives, identify the need for course-correction, and measure progress toward organizational objectives is vital.

Key qualities to look for in potential candidates:

  • Statistical and predictive analysis experience – obviously, this is a bit more a technical role and as such, likely requires specific analytical knowledge; this individual should be able to identify and report on trends so that course-correction steps may be taken if necessary.
  • Quality-minded and accuracy-obsessed – it is imperative for sales enablement strategies to be founded on clean data; to drive results, data points need to be configured and captured in a way that ensures exceptional data hygiene.
  • Ability to think systematically – to report against critical objectives, the team needs to understand exactly what data needs to be captured and how best to gather that information; when it comes to reporting, the Data Analyst needs to be able to articulate exactly how data input should be structured to provide valuable output.

Content Creator

A large portion of a sound sales enablement strategy calls for the creation of new content to address gaps throughout the funnel, though much of the focus is on mid- to bottom-of-the-funnel and beyond. That means assisting the marketing team convert leads into MQLs as well as supporting sales reps throughout the sales cycle. These types of content typically include: competitor comparisons, value analyses, re-nurturing workflows, sales presentation decks, follow-up email templates, product demo videos, and retention sequences.

The primary responsibility for this role: craft content that serves to answer prospects’ questions throughout the buyer’s journey, make sales reps more effective in their selling activity, and kickstart stale opportunities. The content strategy should be focused on improving the customer experience and driven primarily by data.

Key qualities to look for in potential candidates:

  • Ability to tell a product’s/service’s story – today’s consumer does not want to be marketed or sold to, so it’s important for an organization to be able to communicate how their solution will solve for a need in a way that other options will not.
  • Aptitude for thinking outside of the box – in a digital environment saturated with content, it is important for a content creator to identify how they can cut through the clutter without compromising the message; new publishing platforms and new communication channels contribute to shifts in content consumption that should be leveraged.

Sales Specialist

To be effective, it’s important to avoid building sales enablement systems inside a vacuum. Careful consideration for actual sales team processes, structure, and challenges should be made to ensure the team is solving for true needs rather than creating more work to meet unrealistic ideals. Having direct access to a sales expert will increase the likelihood that processes are founded in reality and content is created to address legitimate prospect objections.

The primary responsibility for this role: serve as a liaison to the Sales team to draw out key insights and generate real buy-in on new initiatives. An added bonus? This person has been in the trenches before and understands the challenges firsthand.

Key qualities to look for in potential candidates:

  • Consultative experience – as a direct connection between two teams, the ability to consult bi-directionally will be important in achieving overall alignment.
  • Desire to adapt and adopt quickly – it’s not uncommon for sales teams to become comfortable in their processes, even to a point of detriment; a person in this role should possess a certain kind of contagious enthusiasm toward change.
  • Foundational understanding of sales practices – most marketers have never sold anything, so the language and metrics around pipelines, forecasting, opportunity stages, and activity can be somewhat foreign; a translator of sorts can take your sales enablement initiatives to the next level.­

Training & Development Coach

Part of increasing sales rep effectiveness relies on a thorough employee onboarding experience that teaches new team members the organizational methodology, processes, and tools they’ll be using in their role. It is also important to make sure that existing sales teams receive ongoing training and development opportunities as internal systems and expectations evolve. For all the pieces to function properly from a data flow perspective, it is essential for the input to be consistent.

The primary responsibility for this role: design a training program that specifically gets new hires up to speed quickly and effectively in addition to an ongoing system training and development cadence that focuses on adoption and execution.

Key qualities to look for in potential candidates:

  • Initiative – the more an individual understands the inner workings of a system, the better they will be able to accurately convey the importance of adherence and consistent execution; even if they aren’t using the system directly, their in-depth understanding will make them more effective in their role.
  • Ability to think objectively – to develop a course and materials that will resonate with and compel trainees, it is imperative to think outside of oneself to understand their skill sets, personal objectives, and professional challenges.
  • Process-oriented – as a training specialist, various processes will need to be documented in a step-by-step fashion; the ability to objectively understand a system, deconstruct it into its parts, and then detail each piece in sequential order is crucial.

Assembling a Top Notch Sales Enablement Team

If you already have some of these resources, but would like to supplement your team with additional roles, that’s easy to do. If you have all of these resources, but lack the experience, it’s easy to build on that too. We’ve worked with a number of clients in different methodologies and systems, so our team has a unique perspective as far as what we’ve seen that works and what doesn’t seem to work. If you’d like to discuss your ideas and challenges, we’d be happy to help you!


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