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A Day in the life of a Revenue Enablement Leader

Have you heard of Revenue Enablement but not sure what someone in that role does? I am thrilled to share a recent conversation I had with my friend Quyen, who has worked in Revenue Enablement for over a decade now and now leads a team in a large global technology organization.


If you are looking to learn more about Revenue Enablement, here is your opportunity to hear from Quyen directly!


1) How would you describe what Revenue Enablement is to someone who is not familiar with it?


In the past, Enablement solely pertained to sales training. However, in recent years, it has evolved beyond that narrow scope and is now called Revenue Enablement. This shift is connected to the team's emphasis on facilitating all external-facing individuals responsible for generating revenue. Our focus involves identifying the necessary support for sales, customer service, and support teams, encompassing training, materials, email templates, and talk scripts for customer interactions. Revenue Enablement now extends its reach to various revenue-generating teams, including sales development reps, account executives, and those in customer support or success roles. Our goal is to help these individuals in performing their roles effectively, ensuring successful sales and maintaining customer satisfaction.


2) What does a typical day to day look like for you?


Typically my day is full of meetings. Here are the different buckets :


  1. Gathering feedback- I spend time meeting with internal teams to get their feedback on what is or is not working. From there, my team and I would look at different tools and resources needed for the business and spend time looking at various options to consider.

  2. Business Analysis- I look at things such as, is the business not doing well because people don’t know how to position the product. I am looking at trends and how people are strategizing to get sales and how successfully they are keeping the customer happy. I also look at if a sales person is spending too much time on customer issue resolution instead of passing it over to a customer support colleague.

  3. Internal collaboration- We are the connection point between sales, marketing and product teams. A lot of my role is meeting with other team leaders to figure out how we can support their teams and where to connect the dots.

  4. Procurement- my team is responsible for procurement of systems and tools that support sales and customer facing roles. This is not always the case for other Revenue Enablement leaders, as in other companies, the sales operations team will own this. 

3) What do you like about your job?


I love working in groups and with various groups of people. I love seeing people go through training or use a tool we created and the aha moment for that person when they connect the value of a resource we provided and their job success. 


I also love solving complex problems but this can be a challenge which brings us to your question around challenges in the role.


4) What are some of the biggest challenges you face?


Addressing intricate problems poses a significant challenge, particularly when collaboration is lacking. The absence of a cooperative environment makes problem-solving difficult. To navigate this, I've adopted a strategy of relying on data to prove value on business cases that are required to help with business growth and efficiency.


For instance, I conducted focus group interviews to assess how individuals were allocating their time, exploring potential adjustments. At one company, amidst the pandemic, analysis revealed that the sales team spent 40% of their time addressing customer issues. Implementing short-term solutions alleviated the customer support strain, resulting in a 20% reduction in time spent by the sales teams on resolving customer issues.


Another obstacle lies in internal influence, where I invest time in persuading individuals to contribute to my projects or negotiating with other team leaders for their support. Utilizing data is a common practice to illustrate the overall organizational and inter-team benefits of taking action or prioritizing our teams initiatives.


This challenge isn't unique to my organization but spans my entire career. Corporate politics can be demanding as I strive to reconcile differing visions among internal stakeholders. For instance, if one leader envisions X while my leader envisions Y, I engage in extensive discussions, presenting options to harmonize conflicting perspectives. Building relationships is crucial; I cultivate connections to bring in other leaders when their influence is needed to advocate for our goals.


5) What does it take to be successful in this role?


I consistently emphasize that success in this role requires a thorough understanding of people's tasks and resource requirements. I frequently shadow teams to understand what is needed to be successful.  For example, there is often a focus on the customer journey and how our teams are helping their customers be successful. The products, services and revenue teams play a pivotal role.


Effective internal collaboration and relationship-building skills are crucial. Securing internal support holds significant weight, and establishing strong relationships with other internal teams is integral to success. Our reliance on other teams for effective execution underscores the substantial time invested in fostering connections with them.


In addition, strategic thinking is essential to transcend the role of mere order-takers. It involves a more thoughtful approach to understanding needs and effectively communicating internally. Part of this strategic thinking involves identifying key collaborators to gain support for specific initiatives and crafting a compelling narrative. For example, when introducing a new sales software, I identified key stakeholders early on to influence other teams in adopting new process or tools. Anticipating potential concerns among the teams, my team carefully develops the messaging to secure their buy in to effectively use whatever is planned to be rolled out. 


6) What do you wish you knew before getting into this type of work?


A significant portion of my time is dedicated to showing the value of my team's work. Unlike revenue teams with clear revenue outputs, our team is measured more on efficiency of the teams and the strategy support. 


To address this challenge, I invest considerable time in over-communicating our contributions. Our team often develops our metrics of success, providing a basis to showcase the value the team brings to those we support.


7) If someone were to pivot into this work, what steps, training or education would be recommended?


Everyone used to call this training. It’s more than that though. It’s the tools, resources and time. 

My advice to someone trying to come into this role is to look at how you can use your previous experience and embed it into your future experience. Think about tangible skill sets you have around strategic thinking, data analysis, presentations and storytelling skills.


This work is very complicated. You need to be confident in your self worth and abilities. You also need to be good at gathering the data to back up your ideas to effectively sell it internally, especially for things that will require a large budgetary spend.


Being good at mapping out what steps you need to gain buy-in is also an important skill. Don’t assume that something that seems like common sense to you will be the same for others. You may need to explain things clearly and create an effective storyline to gain buy-in. I've had my team undergo this exercise to identify and address any gaps, proving to be beneficial. I wish more leaders intentionally built relationships. It would help a lot to create more collaboration cross functionally and help break down silos. 


Lastly if you are looking for specific training, I would focus on effective communication, program/project management, storytelling and influencing skills courses.


8) Anything else to add: 


I love what I do. 


I would also love to share some overall advice for people in their career. Identify activities that bring you joy and make a note of things you dislike. Delegate responsibilities you don't enjoy by seeking support from others. I've structured my team with diverse skill sets, with a focus on aligning team members with tasks they find fulfilling. While acknowledging that everyone may encounter tasks they dislike, I strive to create a balance within the team, leveraging complementary skill sets among members. Leading in this way could result in more effective teams overall. Personally, my passion lies in developing people, and I believe leaders should recognize when individual contributor roles are a better fit for someone, fostering pathways for success in those roles.


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