12 Sep Why The Society for Sales Enablement?
Sales, marketing, training, and sales operations leaders and practitioners are always looking for ways to thrive in the complexity of more complicated buying-selling relationships. Did you know that sales enablement functions now exist in most of the Fortune 100? And many mid-size companies are actively seeking sales enablement professionals who are able to coordinate, manage, and execute both tactical and sales productivity improvements. Since salespeople represent the bulk of value communication in their company, it’s tough to find a CEO growth strategy that doesn’t require improved sales results. And as companies bring new solutions to market and customers continue to evolve, the sales enablement profession continues to emerge as a strategic necessity.
Against this backdrop, the society was founded to elevate the sales enablement profession and the professionals who work within that profession. As Scott Santucci points out in his blog post, the need was real, and the response was immediate. But, who are these sales enablement professionals anyway? Good question!
The Sales Enablement Society considers sales enablement professionals as marketing, product, training, and operations leaders who run sales enablement as a business-within-a-business in order to deliver coordinated productivity services to VPs of sales and their teams.
We also believe that the sales enablement professionals who run the SE function are high-caliber and talented people who understand business economics, financial strategies, products, industries, technologies. And, most importantly they understand the reality found in the complexity of buyer-seller conversations. They also understand how sales conversations have evolved to go beyond feature and function and they seek proactive ways to explore the depth and breadth of their company’s customer needs. They are highly empathic to buyers and they seek to understand the business problems that buyers have so the services they provide to sales leaders equip sellers with the right content, skills, and tools they need to be effective. Because of these trends and realities, the Society was founded in Washington DC in early 2016. (You can find out more about the society on our webpage)
Why a professional society for sales enablement?
As founders of the organization, we believe a professional society is best equipped to provide unbiased support, proven methods, and reality-based education to support those who consider themselves professionals. We also believe that sales enablement professionals should evolve their skills, knowledge, and professional competence to better serve their internal customers (sales leadership) and find ways to make a bigger impact on those who benefit from their work (customers & buyers).
While this may seem altruistic to some, or self-aggrandizing to others, one only has to think about the evolution of the finance profession (from book-keeping) or the professionalization of other high-skill professionals participating in the medical, legal, and professional services arenas to understand the implication of an unbiased organizing body. We don’t take this position lightly.
If you’re in sales, we know you don’t really have an “association” or “society” that manages your profession. That’s ok, but procurement, finance, marketing, and training do. And perhaps more importantly, the buyers your salespeople sell to probably do as well. So, you may be wondering what it means to have the society advocate for you. And perhaps you’re wondering how all this will work. An analog for the Sales Enablement Society’s vision and approach is found within the Project Management field, where the Project Management Institute (PMI) serves the same type of role that we intend to serve in the sales enablement field. In our view, here are some examples of what PMI is dedicated to managing for practitioners in the field:
- A standard of entry into the profession (such as a test and/or time requirements).
- A passion and focus by the members of the organization who work together, along with suppliers, educators, and businesses.
- A unifying body where all groups (practitioners, suppliers, and analysts) can focus on helping members of the profession become more successful by aligning to the standards of the profession (and buying into the belief that that “a rising tide lifts all boats”).
- A call for service and volunteering back to the profession (such as the education foundation and mentoring programs). Join us!
- An ethical code (a call for integrity aligned to the demands and complexities of the profession).
As the Sales Enablement Society, let us be clear. We will aggressively explore the depth and breadth of the existing professional body of knowledge available to professionals in the sales enablement field to provide structure and standards. We will also create new knowledge and share it amongst members in order to help those who consider themselves professionals continuously acquire new knowledge and skills. With this focus and intent, the Sales Enablement society is an autonomous, non-profit, membership organization dedicated to advancing the state-of-the-art in the effective and appropriate application and practice and science of the sales enablement profession. As a show of solidarity with all who consider themselves to be sales enablement professionals, membership in our board of directors will eventually be voted on by members. Our ByLaws will be also be ratified in our first ever annual meeting in November 2016 and become freely available to all members.
Additionally, the Sales Enablement Society seeks:
- To foster professionalism in the sales enablement profession.
- To contribute to the quality and scope of the sales enablement profession.
- To stimulate the appropriate global application of sales enablement professional disciplines and practices for the benefit of customers and consumers.
- To provide a recognized forum for the free exchange of ideas, applications, and solutions to the sales enablement profession issues among society members, and others interested and involved in the sales enablement profession.
- To identify and promote the fundamentals of the sales enablement profession and successfully advance the body of knowledge for sales enablement.
- To collaborate with universities, other educational institutions, and corporate entities to encourage appropriate education and career development at all levels of the sales enablement profession.
- To provide a guiding influence in academic and industrial research in the field of sales enablement.
- To foster international cooperation and contacts with other organizations, both public and private, which relate to the sales enablement profession and to collaborate in matters of common interest and benefit.
- To identify, develop, foster, and maintain professional, practice, ethical, credentialing and accreditation approaches and principles for sales enablement.
What are the Membership Requirements?
As of now (Sep 2016), membership is only open for sales enablement practitioners. The best way to get engaged with us is to find us through the linkedin groups (look for sales enablement society), or visit the Society webpage. As we grow, we will develop more sophisticated forms of administration.
If you join before our first national meeting (November 18th), you will be able to refer to yourself as a “founding member” on your linkedin profile. Think about how valuable that would be for you when three years from now our group is the leading authority on sales enablement. You’d be able to say you were on the ground floor to make that happen (making you very marketable).
We also need your help!
When someone in the society posts something on LinkedIn, please:
- Like it
- Write a description about what it means to you and share it
- Please comment and ask others to contribute to the posts
- Make connections with other people – especially if you don’t know them. REACH OUT.
Let’s face it. As Scott Santucci says;” Being the Director or VP of broken things isn’t really a great career choice is it?” If we are going to elevate the profession, we all need to work at it and get involved.
Let’s create the profession together.