Revenue Enablement


Revenue Enablement supports prospects and customers along their journey by arming all customer-facing roles to deliver consistently great information and experiences to ensure these groups identify and overcome their business challenges in a positive and measurable manner. -John Moore, The Collaborator

Revenue Operations and Revenue Enablement are peer-level functions and they each must support the other to drive outstanding customer experiences that ultimately benefit the business with new sales, increased retention rates, and more up-sell and cross sell opportunities.  Ultimately these functions will merge as businesses evolve towards a more collaborative model, but we are years away from this taking place.

I’ve been writing about, talking about, and driving the industry forward towards Revenue Enablement for a long time and it is good to see it beginning to gain traction.  The importance of supporting sales is unchanged, but the importance of including marketing, customer success, finance, other service organizations, content teams, and your executive leadership team, is now much better understood. 

Revenue Enablement is here and those that are not jumping on board are simply falling behind.

In my work at Bigtincan, and through the hundreds of conversations I have had with Enablement professionals through the podcast, with Bigtincan customers and their teams (sales, marketing, etc…), and with others earlier in my career, I reached the conclusion that Revenue Enablement was the appropriate next step in the Enablement journey. 

Revenue Enablement is the appropriate next step in the Enablement journey. It broadens Enablement across the entire buyer and customer journey, maximizing the value to customers and the business.Tweet

Why is Revenue Enablement important versus Sales Enablement?

The critical points to keep in mind are as follows and these points both show how Revenue Enablement relates to, and differs from, Sales Enablement.

  • Supports all customer-facing teams, individual contributors of all levels, and management from front-line through executive.
  • Both strategic and tactical and must be data-oriented to identify focal areas and to demonstrate the business impact of efforts.  Providing insights and delivering measurable outcomes is a must.
  • Uses tactics such as content creation and curation, training, coaching, communications, and process improvement.

The term Sales Enablement has two major flaws:

  • Sales implies you are either focused on delivering sales or, possibly, that you are only focused on the sales team.
  • Enablement is a terrible word that means everything and nothing, causing confusion, misinterpretation, and inconsistent results.

In many cases, Sales Enablement teams focus on sales, and the relationship, processes, and alignment between sales and marketing.  This strategy fails to drive the growth businesses expect, much less to achieve the corporate goals.

Ultimately I would like to replace both words with something more descriptive of the function. However, let’s start with Revenue vs. Sales.

  • Revenue Enablement was the term SiriusDecisions put forth and, instead of further muddying the waters, I jumped on board with it.
  • Revenue, in part, is a nod to the fact that we must support the entire revenue team including sales, customer success, marketing, presales, partners, etc…
  • Revenue, in part, recognizes that we must focus not just on new sales, but upsell/cross-sell, and retention. To accomplish this, we must support far more than the sales teams.  The entire growth engine must be explored and the customer experience must be put front and center.

Ultimately, we must streamline the business front to back, back to front, vertically and horizontally. My long term vision is The Collaborative Business, one in which the entire business (i., sales, marketing, customer care, content, and so forth) share a common set of objectives, KPIs, and they collaborate to achieve outcomes that improve the lives of their customers and employees and one where shareholders are ecstatic about the growth of the business overall..

What are some of the key aspects of Revenue Enablement?

The Pillars of Revenue Enablement

​​​​​These pillars are not new — I have written about them elsewhere on multiple occasions.

Pillars of Revenue Enablement
The Pillars of Revenue Enablement

The customer is our focus

Deliver great experience and provide value at every single touchpoint with or business.

Process Driven

One of the methods used to drive better customer, and employee, experiences, is to focus on process optimization.  Give a listen to this show for an example of this optimization in action.

Process Optimization – An Important Revenue Enablement Focus

Formalized Change Management

Enablement, whether we discuss Sales Enablement or Revenue Enablement, is a form of change management.  You must have a change strategy, supported by executive leadership, with adoption of change being a focus.

Collaboration and Alignment across front and back of business

Collaboration is one of the critical methods for aligning groups, reducing surprises and duplication of efforts.

Metrics-Oriented vs. Data-Driven

Metrics must guide your efforts but so must user feedback.  Use both.

What does the Revenue Enablement Process look like?

We are not building a rocket ship to the moon.

We are not performing brain surgery.

We are simply seeking to use the best practices that other organizations have used before us to successfully deliver positive, and measurable, change for our businesses.

What does this process look like?

Analyze business needs

What problems do you need to solve?  

Collaborate and communicate to build alignment

Collaboration is key, as we already noted.  Pull groups together to align on the challenges you need to solve and find solutions that all can embrace.  The goal, as always, is to improve life for your end customer and employees while driving increased revenue and business growth.

Prioritize based upon business impact

Focus and executve on the work that will have the biggest impact.

Execute to meet strategic and tactical needs

While focused on the critical strategic projects, you must still make time for your Enablement group to deal with one-off requests.

Facilitate cross-team efforts

As work progresses, continue to bring groups together.

Drive Adoption

Any change, not fully adopted, will have a reduced impact.  Drive adoption of changes across sales, marketing, customer success, and all other organizations.

Measure business Impact

Are your changes creating the outcomes you are looking for?

Refine approaches based upon data and user feedback

Learn from the data, the end-user feedback, and adjust your strategy and tactics as required.

How do you balance your Enablement work?

Revenue Enablement - The types of work
Revenue Enablement – The types of work

Simple, right?

Staffing. your Revenue Enablement Team

Are you struggling to understand how to best schedule the types of work Enablement teams deal with?

Revenue Enablement - Organizational Ratios
Revenue Enablement – Organizational Ratios