Customer Core Enablement Post 4 The Case for Customer Core Enablement and Framework

Published on July 1, 2016

The Evolution of Sales Enablement; Customer Core Enablement A Different Take on Building a Customer Focused Sales Culture Post # 4. The Case for Customer Core Enablement

This is the fourth of a series of posts to explore how evolving a Customer Core Enablement strategy could support development of a customer focused sales culture, based on research drawn from Tamara Schenk, Research Director of CSO Insights and a range of publicly available CSO Insights’ studies.

In introducing this series of Posts, I asked the following questions:

  1. 1. What does it take to be a truly customer focused whilst also achieving revenue growth and the necessary profit margins to service capital and shareholders?
  2. 2. How do you shift an existing corporate structure and culture to create a shift from an internal, quarterly focused budget achiever towards a customer centric sales culture?
  3. 3. If that is possible, how do you approach current or future resource utilisation so customers benefit from the strengths of the individual and teams, without taking too much risk or threatening what the organisation has already achieved, or is capable of delivering?

A Customer Core Enablement Strategy is one way for an organisation to most effectively allocate resources for best sales and service results.  ( It involves centralised disciplines or a team to support and enable better interactions with client and prospect facing people and teams, including their managers.

In a recent Sales Performance Spotlight, Effective Collaboration Requires Prioritisation of Resources, MHI Global’s Joe Galvin said

“Where and how the sales team chooses to deploy resources has a lot to do with the discipline they have around selling, the precision with which they can determine the likelihood of an opportunity to close, and the political process of determining who gets the resources.”

Joe argued the case for a Common Sales Framework:

“Because resources come and go and often work on many opportunities, selling discipline requires that the sales team, led by the account executive, follow the defined customer-management strategies. This common framework improves collaboration by allowing each resource to understand clearly where the customer is in their buying process and the impact they have on the opportunity. It also gives the sales organization transparency into the sales funnel and a clear understanding of which opportunities warrant which resources.”
If you are going to budget for additional resources and cost to increase sales, where is the best return on investment (e.g. new salespeople?)? Salesforce enablement functions have grown from a view that investment returns are greater by centrally driving improved sales capability and effectiveness out to the sales teams and, therefore, the customer.

Here are three examples for the case of sales enablement, supported by research (Source MHI Global 2016 Sales Best Practices Study):

Deal Effectivenessimage10


Central functions enable greater “line of sight” in prioritising most productive resource allocation. In the context of large deal effectiveness, this should lead to greater return on investment, increased success in winning large or strategic accounts and, overall, enhancing an organisation’s Brand through its ability to play to its strengths.

Aligning Sales Performance Metrics with Business Objectivesimage12

Top performing sales organisations measure lead performance, not just lag, indicators. Objectives are customer driven not internally focussed. They measure what’s important. They communicate and coach effectively. Compensation is also aligned to their stated objectives and metrics.

Management Adaptability and Executionimage15


In a 2015 Sales Performance Optimisation Study (Copyright © 2015 MHI Global. All Rights Reserved), the main priorities identified, in addition to changing customer expectations (61%), were changes in the customers’ markets (49%), increasing competitive activities (47%), impact of sales organisation’s complexity (42%), the breadth of the product portfolio (40%), and the rate of new product launches (41%).Top performing sales organisations structure their businesses so that the sales professional can adapt better and faster. Resources are deployed to, rather that always expected from, the sales and client service teams

Thinking it Through

This Post argues the case for Customer Core Enablement by explaining the thinking behind recent developments in the sales world and some of the benefits that can be supported research.

I am not presenting salesforce enablement as a solution to all sales issues or opportunities.

I ultimately provide a series of take-aways for you to consider for your organisation.

Phil Hunt, MBA