A Sales Enablement Charter, or a Revenue Enablement Charter for teams that are further along the maturity model, provides a summary to the business about what the Enablement team does, who they support, and how they will measure results. – John Moore, The Collaborator
Your charter is your team’s mission statement.
It provides guidelines for your sales enablement efforts and shapes your overall sales enablement strategy.
This is a critical element for any Sales Enablement organization. Without it, your efforts in Sales or Revenue Enablement will likely fail.
Why is a Sales Enablement Charter important?
When experienced people discuss Sales Enablement best practices, a Sales Enablement Charter is high on the list.
For many Sales Enablement Managers, building a formal sales enablement charter, which helps define the role of sales enablement within your business, is the first step they take upon joining a company. It is a fundamental building block for any successful sales enablement program.
The charter is an agreement between the Sales Enablement team and the go-to-market team (i.e., sales reps, sales leaders, marketing, customer success, and so on). This document defines what services reps can expect from the Enablement team, the data, the sales enablement platforms, the services, that will and will not be provided.
This shared understanding leads to better collaboration, clearer expectations, and a smoother running Enablement machine.
And ultimately, a successful program will lead to higher sales productivity and a measurable, positive impact to your business.
What does the Charter look like?
The specifics of a great Enablement charter can vary from business to business, but the following key components must be present.
What services are supported?
What core services are provided as part of your sales enablement initiatives? Are you:
- Collaborating with sales operations to streamline sales processes
- Delivering continuous learning to the customer-facing organization on critical core competencies including sales skills, your value proposition, your company’s products, etc?
- Delivering coaching services?
- Providing content management, creating relevant content and/or curating the right content it from around the organization?
- Developing and/or managing tools?
- Facilitating sales and marketing alignment through regular-scheduled meetings?
There is no one right answer to the services you are providing. Enablement’s role is to help the customer-facing organization overcome challenges, amplifying what they are good at, and reducing risk where they lack the ability to completely remove it. The mix of services you provide should align with your priorities in these areas.
Remember that your buyer is the ultimate customer of your services.
And, recognize that the buyer’s journey is not the same as your sales cycle.
If you focus exclusively on making the lives of your sales and marketing team easier, without taking into account the downstream impact to the buyers, you are failing. The same holds true if you create amazing buyer experiences while making the lives of your employees miserable. You must find the balance.
Who is being supported?
If you are running a traditional Sales Enablement program, the answer may be as simple as your sales team.
Are you looking to support any or all of the following roles?
- The entire sales organization and all sales professionals contained within it (inside, outside)?
- Are sales managers a specifically supported group?
- Presales Engineers
- and so forth.
Are you including all customer-facing roles and looking to provide a broader approach (aka Revenue Enablement)?
Consider these customer facing roles:
- Customer Support
- Customer Success
- and so forth
And, as if that’s not enough, as you evolve your Enablement program across the maturity model from Chaos through Harmonious, you will find yourself collaborating across the front and back of the business and you may both a consumer of, and supporter of, services from teams such as:
- Product Marketing
- and so forth
There is a lot to consider, and you cannot afford to walk before you run. However, you must understand what you are capable of doing today as well as have a picture in your head of where you are going.
Where does the budget come from?
Your sales enablement charter needs to call this out.
Ultimately, you want to control your own budget, but the reality is that most Enablement teams do not control their own budgets today. Who is funding your efforts?
- Product Management?
- HR or L&D?
What metrics will be used to measure impact?
How will you measure success?
You need to be thoughtful here and use a mix of lagging and leading indicators to guide how well your Enablement organization is meeting its business goals.
I would recommend reviewing the article on how to measure Sales Enablement to get a better sense of the broad number of KPIs you should consider, but, in the meantime, here are a few key Enablement metrics of each type for you to consider:
These are indicators that are visible immediately. Consider metrics like these:
- Percentage of individuals attending a training session.
- Time to complete onboarding of new hires.
- Percentage of content sellers are accessing.
- Hours customer facing teammates are spending directly with customers.
This is a very small percentage of the leading indicators you can consider. As you can see, you directly influence these outcomes, but they are not metrics an executive will be concerned with.
These indicators occur as an effect, or side-effect, of your efforts and those of others in your organization. These are often, however, the ones your executives and key leaders will most care about. Consider:
- Revenue from new business
- Win rates
- Churn rate
- Average discount given
- Deal velocity
As you can see, you do not directly influence these metrics, but your actions should always relate to, and influence, lagging metrics.
How often should you update the sales enablement charter?
Your sales enablement charter must be a living document that evolves as the needs of your business changes. Are you seeing meaningful improvement in one area but struggling to deliver results elsewhere?
You may need more training and onboarding if you are in the midst of a hiring spree.
You may need much more content developed if your go-to-market strategy is changing.
Review the sales enablement charter with key stakeholders, at least quarterly, and ensure that it is aligned with the needs of the business you support.
Remember, the charter is a critical component for your business as you are building the foundations of a great Sales Enablement function — have you created one yet?
Living Enablement as a practitioner and as a leader. I’ve seen the confusion and frustration that many practitioners live. From working in other areas of the business, I’ve also seen the genuine need for the capabilities that enablement provides.