This is an excerpt from our 17 Top Sales Trends for 2017.

As selling methods change, so must the way sales leaders teach their teams to be successful. From onboarding and basic sales techniques to driving best practices, forward-thinking companies are beginning to recognize how sales enablement can play an integral role in the overall success of an organization.

But for thought leaders like Roderick Jefferson, Head of Global Enablement at Oracle Marketing Cloud, sales enablement isn’t just an important element of sales; it’s the central hub from which all sales activities must radiate. Because of its critical importance, Jefferson believes it’s time for a renaissance of sales enablement: “Millennials will drive a significant change in sales enablement and the way we approach it,” he said. He’s working to transform sales enablement from being seen as “training” or a cost center to being valued as a vehicle that drives incremental value.

headshot “Sales enablement will also become a deeper partner with sales — by increasing productivity, decreasing ramp-up time and providing ROI value with metric tracking and reporting.”
Roderick Jefferson
Head of Global Enablement at Oracle Marketing Cloud

That seems like a tall order for a relatively new field, but Jefferson has more than 20 years of sales and sales enablement leader experience at Fortune 500 companies to back him up. As technology becomes the foundation of sales, sales enablement will serve to unify teams across an organization. Sales enablement must also shift to accommodate its incoming workforce. Day-long training sessions with hour-long training modules aren’t just tough to get through; they’re also ineffective for millennials choosing sales as a profession.

What next?

So, how does sales enablement modernize itself, both to appeal to millennial sales professionals and to center itself in companies focused on growth? The answer can be found in the tools millennials use to communicate: sharing shorter content that’s easy to engage with on mobile devices.

“Going from that 30-minute or hour-long presentation that you sit folks through in onboarding down to five to seven minute chunks of knowledge bites,” according to Jefferson, allows salespeople to consume the same amount of information in more easily digestible bites. “It also allows salespeople to be mobile and take that content with them,” he adds, “which is why I believe they will put more time and focus on and get a deeper understanding of the content.”

The other half the equation requires sales enablement to take the lead in organization-wide alignment. “Organizations like the Sales Enablement Society will help drive global standards around sales enablement practice,” Jefferson said. “Sales enablement has to be seen as a sales partner. You’ve got to talk marketing, product management, engineering — all in a day’s work. We are their advocates and megaphone — we are the sales partners that are going to help you drive incremental revenue because we speak all these languages.”

Want more? Get our guide to all the 17 top sales trends for 2017 here.

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