Is sales enablement making sales people stupid? Response!

Happy new year everyone. After a short break for holiday and family time, it is time to re-join the sales world! I hope you got to enjoy some R&R with family and friends too.

As with many of you, I didn’t entirely switch off. I have been mulling over Tamara Schenk’s blog series from late last year, discussing the topic “Is sales enablement making sales people stupid?”. The answer most definitely should be “No!”. In considering this topic I am drawn to what Isaac Newton said: “If I have seen further, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants”.

Our role in providing supporting tools, processes and technology to sales people is the opposite of dumbing down the job of the sales person. By providing the right support for the sales person, we free them to engage with the customer at a higher level, rather than being bogged down in the basics. It is crucial to get these basics right – whether it is providing background information about customers and industries; providing customised selling tools and messaging; or selling skills development. When these are seamlessly integrated, the sales person is freed to focus on the customer and make sure that we are providing value, not only in the product but also in the sales experience.

In the usual way that the universe brings things together, I was reminded of how this works while reading the fabulous book “Practice Perfect” (Doug Lemov; Erica Woolway; Katie Yezzi). One of their key observations was that consistent, focussed practice on basic skills was not, as you might think, stifling of creativity. In fact it was the exact opposite. For example, if a sports person has complete mastery of all the basics, what that actually does is free their brain up to be more creative in challenging situations. Supporting this mastery of the basics, the underlying skills and knowledge required, is exactly the role of sales enablement. And done right, it follows that our sales people are able to become smarter and more creative!

What do you think?

Tamara’s original post, first of 3.

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