How mature is your organization’s sales enablement structure? If you don’t know how to answer that question, don’t stress. We’re here to help you figure it out.
Sales enablement is the process of providing your company’s sales team with the resources they need to be successful. Common sales enablement resources include tools, automation, content, and information that prepares your reps to close new business. While sales enablement is still picking up traction for many companies, the returns of investing in sales enablement are in your favor. Over 75% of companies that implement sales enablement strategies see an increase in sales between 6% to 20%.
It’s tempting to provide some basic resources and call it good, but an effective sales enablement strategy needs intentional, phased implementation to set your sales reps up for success.
The more effective your sales enablement strategy is, the higher the level of sales maturity your organization is capable of reaching. Sales maturity is achieved through the implementation of repeatable processes that expedite sales growth, and it’s measured by the sales maturity model.
What is the sales maturity model?
The sales maturity model refers to the five defined maturity stages of sales enablement. These stages include chaos, defined, progressive, mature, and optimized. Understanding your current stage of sales maturity helps your team identify where they can improve to scale success and support your company’s objectives.
Knowing where your team currently is on the sales maturity model will give you a starting point from which to improve your sales enablement efforts from.
Below, we created a quick assessment you can take to see where your team lands on the model, and steps you can take to reach the next level of sales maturity.
1. All sales groups at my company follow the same sales process with predictable outcomes and common measures for success.
A. Strongly Disagree; each team has its own way of doing things.
B. Disagree; there are some small similarities regarding how we work, but each team largely follows its own process.
C. Somewhat Agree; we all follow the same core processes, but have some small variation across how we measure success.
D. Agree; all sales teams follow the same core processes, and have the same standards for measuring success.
E. Strongly Agree; all sales teams are following the same processes which have predictable outcomes. We have standard measures of success that are directly related to the company’s overall objectives.
2. Our sales reps’ performance is regularly measured in alignment with our sales process.
A. Strongly Disagree; sales rep performance is measured solely on amount of goods or services sold, and is not tied to any greater goals or sales processes.
B. Disagree; sales reps are occasionally measured on adherence to process, but not consistently.
C. Somewhat Agree; sales rep performance is measured based on a common set of priorities.
D. Agree; sales rep performance is measured based on a common set of priorities and adherence to the greater sales process.
E. Strongly Agree; sales rep performance is measured in alignment with our sales process, and directly correlates to our company’s objective related to customer experience.
3. My company’s business objectives are clearly tied to sales performance.
A. Strongly Disagree; there is no clear alignment between sales performance and business objectives.
B. Disagree; the intention to align sales performance and business objectives is understood but not implemented.
C. Somewhat Agree; sales performance is loosely aligned with business objectives.
D. Agree; sales performance is aligned with business objectives, but not reported to our team.
E. Strongly Agree; sales performance is aligned to business objectives and is measured and reported on regularly.
4. When followed correctly, my company’s sales process leads to stable or predictable results.
A. Strongly Disagree; my company’s sales organization doesn’t have any processes in place.
B. Disagree; my sales organization is beginning to document some processes, but they have not yet been implemented.
C. Somewhat Agree; my sales organization has some stable processes, but they are not fully repeatable.
D. Agree; my sales organization has stable sales processes that are repeatable.
E. Strongly Agree; my sales organization has stable, repeatable sales processes that lead to predictable outcomes.
5. My sales team has robust training resources available that help sales reps improve their skills.
A. Strongly Disagree; my sales organization doesn’t have sales-specific training available to reps.
B. Disagree; my sales organization recognizes a need for sales rep training, but doesn’t yet have structured offerings.
C. Somewhat Agree; my sales organization has some sales rep training options.
D. Agree; my sales organization has robust, well-documented training resources available for sales reps.
E. Strongly Agree; my sales organization has robust, well-documented training resources that have been deployed across the organization and proven successful.
6. When deploying new campaigns, common collateral is shared among the sales team for deployment.
A. Strongly Disagree; when deploying new campaigns, my sales reps are responsible for creating their own collateral, and there is no standard practice in place.
B. Disagree; my sales team recognizes the need for common collateral, but it has not yet been created.
C. Somewhat Agree; when deploying new campaigns, common collateral is created but is not easily accessible to everyone in my organization.
D. Agree; when deploying new campaigns, common collateral is created and is stored in a central, easily accessible location.
E. Strongly Agree; when deploying new campaigns, common collateral is created or signed off on by our marketing team, and is stored in a central, easily accessible location.
7. Sales enablement is a strategic business objective for my sales team and company.
A. Strongly Disagree; neither my sales team or company recognize sales enablement as a strategic business objective.
B. Disagree; sales enablement is something my company and sales organization are interested in improving but is not a priority.
C. Somewhat Agree; my sales organization sees sales enablement as a priority, but other organizations are not yet on board.
D. Agree; my sales organization has implemented sales enablement as a strategic business objective, and is socializing the concept with other teams.
E. Strongly Agree; sales enablement has been fully implemented and is recognized as a strategic business objective for my company.
Mostly A’s - Chaos
If you answered mostly A’s, your team is likely in the “chaos” stage of sales maturity. During this stage, your sales team doesn’t have any sales enablement tools such as automation, standard metrics, shared sales collateral, or structured training plans in place. This likely results in heavy manual work for your reps, and a lack of consistency for efforts such as call cadence, prospecting email drips, or film reviews due to lack of process.
Next Steps: To progress from this stage, we recommend beginning with an audit of your team’s current work state. Have your sales reps track how much time they’re averaging each week on tasks related to their job. You can also survey your reps to ask them if there are any tasks that are especially tedious for them, or have them identify tools or trainings they’re lacking to be successful in their roles.
Once you have this information, you should be able to pinpoint areas where a sales enablement strategy can be implemented, one process at a time.
Mostly B’s - Defined
If you answered mostly B’s, your team is likely in the “defined” stage of sales maturity. In the defined stage, your team has started socializing the idea of sales enablement. You have some basic tools and processes in place to streamline tasks for your sales reps. However, your team has not fully adopted sales enablement.
Next Steps: To move towards the progressive stage of sales maturity, your enablement efforts should be understood and implemented across your organization. We recommend documenting what processes are in place to support your sales enablement efforts and adopting core systems and tools to help scale your approach. If you haven’t already, this is the stage where your team should adopt a CRM to manage contact information and streamline all processes related to communicating with your prospects and customers.
Mostly C’s - Progressive
If most of your answers were C’s, your team is likely in the “progressive” stage of sales maturity. During this stage, your team has an organized sales enablement initiative in place and recognizes it as a priority. In the progressive stage, a CRM platform is widely adopted and metrics can connect sales objectives to business outcomes.
Next Steps: By now, your team has documented key processes supporting sales enablement and adopted helpful tools to streamline their approach. As your team prepares to move to the mature stage, it’s time to gain alignment across your organization.
Incorporate documented processes and sales enablement strategies into your team’s training regimen to drive adoption of common language and tools throughout the organization. Ensure your team knows how to use the sales enablement tools that have been implemented, and have all processes documented and centrally located so your team can easily reference materials as needed.
Mostly D’s - Mature
If you answered mostly D’s your team is likely in the “mature” stage of their sales enablement journey. At the mature stage, your team has fully adopted sales enablement across the organization, has shared definitions of common terms, and have streamlined processes. You should also have effective training strategies in place to develop sales reps and help them build much-needed skills.
Next Steps: Now that your sales enablement strategy has been implemented and widely adopted, you want to ensure your processes are as predictable as possible to reach the optimization stage. Perform an audit measuring how long it takes sales reps to perform common tasks to track your organization’s progress. Compare these results to your company’s overall KPI’s to ensure these efforts are helping your company reach its broader objectives.
Mostly E’s - Optimized
If you answered mostly E’s, your team is likely in the “optimized” sales maturity stage. During this stage, sales enablement has become standard practice for the entire organization. Your sales enablement efforts are aligned with your company’s overall strategic objectives and effectively measured with KPI’s.
Next Steps: Even in an optimal state, continuous improvement should always be a priority. On a semi-annual basis, review your sales enablement processes to understand how they are performing. Take time to make improvements as needed for continued success.
Implementing a well thought out sales enablement strategy is one of the best ways to help your team land more sales and fuel business growth. If you’re looking for recommendations on tools that can help your team automate and scale, check out this round-up of 30 growth hacking tools your sales team will thank you for.