I’m headed back from another great event by SiriusDecisions. This year’s Sales Leadership Exchange (SLE) focused on optimization of sales teams: getting the right talent and resources, and learning to optimize communication within teams and across an organization. It was great to hear from peers that have reached “optimization stage” but, as we all know, many organizations are still in the early stages of that journey.

Wherever you are on your own optimization journey, sales enablement is taking on greater importance in getting there. According to SiriusDecisions, 74 percent of organizations with a sales enablement function are planning to increase their investment in enablement over the next year. So, how should organizations prioritize those investments to ensure they have the impact that’s needed?

Sales leaders are continuously looking to drive productivity, and the sales enablement function – along with sales operations – is guiding that effort. Better talent, better onboarding, better training, better tools, better measurement – there’s a long list of things that companies can improve to move the productivity needle.

As always, SiriusDecisions events are packed with ideas, concepts, insights and lessons, learned and shared by practitioners like you and me. What resonated most at this year’s SLE were the stories about how organizations are “going deep” to understand the day in the life of sales: how salespeople are spending their time, the interactions they have with internal teams, the tools they use. Companies must understand their current state for processes, systems and skills gaps. And gaining that understanding is critical to setting priorities for investment in resources, technology and talent. Sirius shared that, on average, reps are spending 35 percent of their time on non-selling activities. For a team of 10 sellers, that equivalent of 3 reps spending zero time on core selling activities. Think about that.

I was also encouraged to hear that sales leaders are aggressively seeking out ways to remove administrative burden from sellers and give them time back to focus on the important stuff: working opportunities and making the number.

This nicely underscores the value that Octiv brings to the equation and what we’re seeing from our clients: taking on tough (and sometimes unglamorous) challenges like process inefficiencies. We take that challenge head-on as well: the more complex, the better.

This year’s SiriusDecisions SLE revealed how sales leaders must proceed this year to make their numbers and boost efficiency. How are you prioritizing your sales enablement initiatives this year and giving time back to your sales team? To learn more about how Octiv helps companies streamline workflows for sales documents, get our latest whitepaper, Unified Document Workflows for Sales, now.