After seven years of working with 350-400 customers, it recently dawned on me that there’s a fundamental flaw in the sales training industry. For context, consultants like us typically go into market and provide sales leaders with basic training on how to be a coach of modern, digital sales skills. We then train the sellers so they can execute on these plans.
Ultimately, the coach’s or the frontline sales manager’s responsibility is to be the strategic accountability coach, and then the seller executes that strategy. But as I watch most companies, the problem—or fundamental flaw—is there’s a growing role that sits on the fence. That role is sales enablement.
Sure, sales enablement gets involved in program management – they make sure programs kick off, and keep sales leaders and sellers accountable for attending learning class rooms. In a nutshell, they look at learning performance.
However, 99% of the sales enablement customers we work with are not becoming trainers or coaches themselves. The digital sales mastery framework we offer is the defacto global standard for modern pipeline creation. It is truly like the Rockefeller habits, or the Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
It’s astounding to me how few sales enablement leaders are actually learning these frameworks, understanding the strategy, and mastering the coaching, so they can own that intellectual property and deliver it autonomously – independent of the sales training company. That intellectual property has to fit into your company forever; it has to be part of the DNA of the culture and in the learning portals and shared drives of everybody for years to come. It has to sit in the minds of sales enablement so they can coach this material with every new seller that comes on board, and with every seller around their entire customer base.
So today, I plead with sales enablement leaders to focus for the next couple of years on how you’re going to develop your training skills. You need “train the trainer” models so this intellectual property will be yours. If you don’t learn this skill, I caution you that ultimately all you really are is a project manager of programs – and frankly that’s not very valuable to a company.
What is valuable is bringing unique intellectual property and perspective. That’s why they’re paying you a six-figure salary—for driving value in ways that others don’t, and being able to contextualize the best-in-class training frameworks to the environment you’re working in.