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We Build It, and They Don’t Use It: Ten Steps to Improve Enablement Program or Tech Adoption – Part 1

By Doug Bushée | June 21, 2022 | 0 Comments

SalesSales Effectiveness and Enablement

Introduction

It’s a familiar story. Enablement leaders launch new tech, offer training, and provide new content or support, only to see low adoption among the sellers. How can they change behavior if no one takes advantage of the enablement programs or tech built for the sellers? Enablement leaders design these programs to increase sales productivity and effectiveness. So why don’t sellers or revenue team members take advantage of what enablement offers? The truth is, enablement tech, tools, content, and training compete with everything we ask sellers to do. As a result, leaders need a formal change management strategy to ensure high adoption and change selling behavior. I’ll divide this post into three parts, with the first part covering the first four of ten steps you can take to improve the adoption of your enablement efforts.

Identify an Executive Sponsor

As you begin your enablement effort, it’s critical to identify an executive sponsor and ensure that they are committed to the success of your effort. The role of an executive sponsor is twofold: first, to provide leadership and direction in their area of expertise; second, to help you understand how your enablement efforts will fit into their current priorities.

An executive sponsor should be capable of rallying others around your cause and have enough influence within the organization to get things done. In addition, they’ll need to be willing and able to communicate what’s critical about your enablement effort (including its outcomes), provide ongoing feedback on progress toward those outcomes, and advocate for resources to help achieve them.

Establish a Working Team and Focus on the Business Problem

Once you have executive sponsorship, it’s time to establish a working team that includes representatives from key stakeholders such as sellers, sales managers, sales operations, marketing, and IT team members. The first focus of this working team should be on the business problem the enablement program or tech will solve, not possible solutions. For example, often enablement leaders respond to a particular request – we need more training, we require that piece of technology or content, and then they put a team together to procure or build the requested learning solutions, tech, support, or content. But will the training, tech, support, or content solve the problem?

Only after the working team agrees on the problem the enablement program will solve does it make sense for the team to move forward with building the solution.

Collect Data and Requirements from Key Stakeholders

Once you have your team and agree on the problem, it’s time to gather data and requirements to inform the design of the enablement effort.

The data and requirements include understanding what the sellers are doing now. How are they addressing the problem today? What are high performers doing to work around the issue?

Asking the key stakeholders about their experience with the current tech, training, or process and looking at the associated data will help uncover pain points that the enablement effort can improve.

Integrate Enablement Effort into the Sales Process

The biggest mistake I see enablement, ops, and sales leaders make is that they offer the tech, training, support, or content to solve a particular problem without considering how it integrates into the daily seller workflow. This tech will help you find more prospects! Just login to this platform, do these three steps, then export the results, import them into your CRM – or worse, call the list and manually add them to your CRM. You get the idea. If enablement leaders want program adoption, they must fully understand their users’ day-in-the-life, week-in-the-life, and quarter-in-the- life. Here are some questions to consider at this step:

  • What is the seller doing now?
  • If the seller was creating the content, tool, or training, how would they design it? (This is an excellent hackathon opportunity).
  • What does success look like for critical stakeholders?
  • What behavior do we want to change?

Conclusion

These first four steps don’t have to take months, but they do need to be done to ensure the long-term success of your enablement effort. In Part 2, I’ll talk about the importance of design thinking, the communication plan, and the importance of gaining user manager support.

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