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Building Sales Enablement on to CRM

There is a lot of great information about sales enablement and how CRM vendors are now making it an integral part of their solution.  They understand the importance of it to successfully close deals while maximizing profits.   It certainly offers great benefits to improving the sales team's productivity and being able to respond to the customer's requirements quickly and easily.  And, with our prospects being busier than ever, we need to make sure that we can respond at the right time with the right information.

My concern is that companies will fall into the proverbial pit of excitement and anticipation thinking that now there is a complete tool to make them more successful.  A solution that will generate more sales at lower costs.  One that will solve all of their problems.  CRM already has a failure rate of ~50% (depending on which report you read).  How many of these companies that are struggling with CRM are thinking, "Here is a way that I can get us over the hump.  Our user adoption will improve and we will see the ROI that we expected."

There are so many great tools available for customer-focused businesses and these applications can, when implemented at the right time and for the right reasons, can be extremely beneficial.  Those promises made by the vendors will then come to fruition and all will be happy in the world.

Sales enablement will have great success with the right companies that have got all of their "ducks in a row".  What do I mean?  Those companies now looking at sales enablement must first ask themselves the following questions:

  1. Are my sales processes understood and aligned to my CRM? 
  2. Do I have all of the other fundamentals in place such as successful user adoption, great analytics and a well oiled CRM machine that keeps on chugging merrily along? 
  3. Have I achieved my objectives to the fullest with what I have in place?"
  4. Am I really ready to take the next step to improving my ROI?

If you can answer yes to the above questions, then sales enablement may offer you all of the benefits that the research reports and vendors are publishing.  But, we all know putting a bandaid on a problem does not get rid of it.  So, doesn't it make sense to make sure you have a good foundation first before building on that extension?