My Sales Ops team has been growing rapidly over the past year or so. With that growth, we’ve also added a Sales Enablement team. But the problem is, I feel like our two teams just aren’t on the same page lately. There seems to be a lot of confusion about which team is responsible for what and things aren’t getting done.
How can I turn this around and make sure everyone is collaborating smoothly again?
I’m happy to hear about your company’s recent growth! It’s always exciting when things are looking up and I want to congratulate you and your team on this success.
But with growth comes, well, growing pains. What works for smaller teams won’t necessarily work as you scale up your organization. Things can break along the way. So how do we prevent this from happening? Here are a few key points that will help.
As your teams grow, it’s important that at all stages of expansion (whether you have a sales team of 3, 30, or 300), there is a clearly defined vertical hierarchy or chain of command.
Of course, it is essential for teams to collaborate cohesively and support each other, as you know. But if your company lacks this vertical structure and the hierarchy is “flatter”, there will often be problems where team members don’t know whose job it is to do a certain task.
I’d also recommend the use of stakeholder maps to help all team members gain a clearer understanding of who is depending on them and what they’re accountable for. Stakeholder maps are not only very practical for refining and communicating the responsibilities of everyone involved in each project, but they’re also a great tool for guiding new hires on who can offer them support, who to approach with queries, and who can approve decisions to keep projects moving forward.
Clearly Define Roles & Responsibilities
There can be a lot of confusion in a company – especially a growing one like yours – between Sales Ops and Sales Enablement. Many members may not fully understand the difference: Where does Sales Ops end and where does Sales Enablement begin?
This is common in my experience so don’t worry, you’re not alone. The two teams are closely related, but they differ in important ways. I would start by laying out a clear definition of the roles, responsibilities, and parameters of the Sales Enablement team in comparison to Sales Ops. If everyone can agree on this, you’re already halfway there!
One way I like to communicate this is to look at Sales Enablement as the “execution arm” of Sales Ops.
Here’s a quick example to illustrate what I mean by this:
Let’s say Sales Enablement realizes many leads become closed lost during the middle of the funnel. The buyer had the initial introduction and pitch, but then the proposal is sent a few days later and things fall through. Sales Ops receives this information and takes a closer look at the operational level – where they discover their sales reps don’t have enough content (case studies, whitepapers, etc.) to send proposals sooner.
This is where Sales Enablement comes back in and goes about producing that needed content (which could mean acquiring collateral from marketing, content creation, etc.). They are effectively enabling the execution of Sales Ops by making sure the buyer experience is everything that it can be – hence the “execution arm”.
Once everyone in Sales Ops and Sales Enablement is on the same page about their roles and responsibilities, it is crucial to set up continuous points of communication between the two teams to calibrate expectations.
At all times: Sales Ops must know what data they’re expected to report to Sales Enablement, and Sales Enablement must know the type of support they’re expected to provide so Sales Ops can execute at their highest potential.
At first, it might take some time for members to fit into their new teams, and that’s okay. With clear roles, responsibilities, and expectations defined through active communication, I’m confident that you and your teams will be more productive together than ever.
You’ve got this,