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How To Make 2018 The Year of Sales Enablement

Posted by Julia Manoukian on Oct 16, 2017 10:00:00 AM


2018-sales-enablement.jpgHow can you use sales enablement to create a flywheel of growth at your business? Ben Cotton, Senior Marketing Manager, Sales Enablement, HubSpot, sheds light on everything you need to know to enable your sales reps to succeed, from how to build a sales enablement team to key plays and strategies he learned while building HubSpot’s sales enablement team.

A working definition of sales enablement: Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 3.13.21 PM.png

The Definitive Guide to Social Selling for Leaders

What needs to be set in stone is where Sales Enablement in your organization fits in the funnel. At HubSpot, we have the Demand Generation team and their role is to get website traffic which turns to leads. We then have the Lead Nurturing and Automation team and their role is to turn those leads into Marketing Qualified Leads and eventually Sales Qualified Lead, SQLs. 

That’s when Sales gets involved. My role is to get the SQL to opportunity to customer faster and more efficiently.


The three goals we measure at HubSpot in terms of sales enablement are:

  • Quota attainment (the same one as the sales floor)
  • Revenue attainment (I provide on-demand deal support to hit this number every month)
  • Sales Enablement Net Promoter Score (Sales’ satisfaction with my efforts, which I send out at the start of every month)

Really, my role at HubSpot consist of four key plays:

  • Deal support (deal strategy, competitive intelligence)
  • Sales content (sales decks, battle cards)
  • Delivering sales training
  • Tech (evaluating, buying and rolling out technology that can help our reps sell more)

Planning for sales enablement in 2018


I’m very fortunate in my role—I get to speak with sales enablement professionals all around the world. And every time I do that, it’s clear they have a great outstanding of the WHY. They realized why they’re putting on sales and imprints. They have a company to grow. They also have a great grasp of the WHAT, and the HOW, because they realized for reps to hit quota, they often need some Sales Enablement programs. But the WHEN and the WHERE and the delivery and execution of Sales Enablement, these are an ongoing challenge.

Without the right program delivery for your Sales Enablement, it’s going to fail. People’s expectations have changed, and business has changed. But in many instances, how we deliver Sales Enablement programs has not changed.

If you’re out and you want to go home, you’re going to open your smartphone look for Uber, Lyft, or Hailo. The real value here is that this service is available on demand. People expect it to be immediately available.

If you’re staying in, and you want to watch TV, you’re going to open Netflix. The real value is that it’s accessible across any platform: your desktop, laptop and tablet.

If you’re commuting to work, and you want to listen to music, you’re listening to Spotify. The real value here is that you’re going to get these personalized music recommendations that tailor to meet your needs.

To meet the expectations of today’s sales reps, we must deliver a great experience. The way sales enablement is delivered must evolve.

Why Delivery Matters

If you provide Sales Enablement that’s available on demand, any device, and personalized, you’re going to create this flywheel effect of growth. That’s where the magic happens.

Caveat: Your sales enablement tactics, content and programme management must be great too.


If, for example, you provide Sales Enablement that’s available on demand, you’re going to increase learning opportunities for your sales reps. And if you do that, soon you get more knowledgeable sales reps. And with that, the performance is going to improve, win more deals and then you’re going to increase revenue. And then if you’re providing this Sales Enablement that is personalized, you’ll provide better quality support for sales reps. And if you do that, there’ll be greater participation. And then the cycle repeats itself.

How HubSpot Enables Sales Reps to Succeed

 1. Double down on deal support.

Insight: Sales reps need “in the moment support”. 

Deal support: On demand, one-to-one support to help sales reps close deals:

  • Competitive intelligence
  • Customer reference calls
  • Deal strategy  

Sales-enablement-2018-5.pngDeal support helps win deals. This year:

  • $1M+ influenced in annual recurring revenue
  • 100+ deals supported
  • 60%-win rate

Deal support is just another tool that reps have available to them. It’s not right for every single deal and it’s not right for every single rep, but it’s something we make available as it works extremely well when reps leverage it correctly. 

2. Make mobile learning a reality.

Insight: Sales reps want to be able to learn from anywhere.

Learning available to sales reps on any device:

  • Competitive intelligence questions
  • Low calories – 2 minutes every other day
  • Smartphone, browser, tablet, desktop and laptop

 Pilot focused on competitive intelligence increased learning and sales performance:

  • 90% engagement
  • 11% increase in knowledge retention
  • Increase in competitive win rate
3. Personalized learning.

Insight: Training is most effective when it’s tailored. 

Personalized programme designed to increase quota attainment.

  • Cohort of sales reps that averaged <95% quota attainment
  • Eight-week intensive boot camp consisting of training, deal support and coaching
  • A/B tested programme

Taking a Weak Link Approach to Sales Enablement

The basic premise of weak and strong link thinking is asking yourself, do you start at the bottom and try to improve people’s performance? Do you start at the middle? Or do you start at the top and try and get more out of your top performance?

This program targets the bottom’s weak link, and that worked well for us.


Personalized training improves sales performance:

  • 18% increase in sales rep quota attainment
  • 78% of sales reps improved
  • 76% programme attendance 
Takeaways for Your 2018 Plan 

- Evaluate how you deliver sales enablement programmes today

- Think in terms of: on demand, across any device and personalized

- Seek out opportunities to create a flywheel of growth

Setting Yourself Up for Success
  • Shared Goals Drive Alignment
  • Sales Enablement Must Have Revenue Responsibility
  • Define Your Service Offering
  • Understand Where Your Skills Skew
  • Become the Trusted Advisor

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Julia Manoukian

Julia Manoukian

About the Author

Julia is focused on creating, managing and producing everything content-related at Sales for Life. From product to content marketing, she is committed to constantly evolving the company's marketing strategy to exceed the demands of the ever-changing buyer.

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