Good Morning from Portland! It has been super chilly lately, and RAINY. It’s cold! My husband was like, does it matter to you? You are always inside working anyway. True! But…who doesn’t like a ray of sunshine shining through the window, right?
Question: What if you could define your own sales enablement role?
I received an email from Kate. In her email, she mentioned that she’s been an account manager for several companies. She started as a Sr. Account Manager with a new company a year ago. From her perspective in this role, she’s identified a large gap in marketing and sales collaboration; so her manager asked her to create a new role to address these gaps. She read my book and loved it. Thank you, Kate! She wanted to have a chat to discuss how to define her new job better.
If you can define your own role, that’s GREAT news!!
Kate. Congrats. It’s wonderful that your manager asked you to define your own role. It’s an endorsement that says you’ve been doing a fantastic job. And you earned enough of his/her trust so that you can write your own job description! Kudos to you, Kate!!
Here is the approach I told Kate to take so that she can create a win-win job description not just for her, but also for her group.
Create your own version of the job description first.
Given that Kate’s been with the company for over a year as an account manager, she knows where she is having trouble getting support from Marketing and what she can do to guide marketing and other internal stakeholders to address these gaps better. I suggested that she do a quick 30 minutes exercise on her own. She needs to answer one question: In a perfect world, if she could wave a magic wand to get any support from Marketing that she needs, what would that look like? I told her to write non-stop for 15 minutes about anything that comes to mind.
Then, spend the remaining 15 minutes reading the list out loud. Edit and refine the list to identify the areas that she will own, that marketing will own and others that they will need to work together on. Now, she has a rough description of the sales enablement job. Next, set that aside.
Interview internal stakeholders to get their perspectives
Step 2 is to interview stakeholders such as Marketing, Inside Sales, Outside Sales, and even Product Development. Ask them, if there were a sales enablement role within the company, what do they think that role should do? It’s better to talk to them rather than have an e-mail exchange. With Zoom, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, and Microsoft Teams, it’s easy to do virtual conferencing. Put your headset on, turn on the camera and have a great chat with them.
The reality is that they’ll give her a laundry list which will need to be pared down. Therefore, it’s important, at the end of the conversation to ask the internal stakeholders to prioritize and give her a top 3. Just 3. What are the top 3 things that they would like to see a Sales Enablement manager do. The benefit of talking to stakeholders is so that the job description is not created in a silo. Plus, they may identify some things that Kate didn’t even think about.
Compare and review the job description with internal stakeholder’s feedback
Now, Kate can compare her list with internal team’s priorities. This will help her write a 2nd draft of the job description. Out of this draft, she can also identify what she won’t do, to set expectations upfront and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
One more tip: Focus on one big win and many small wins
In addition to getting the job description right, I told Kate, for a new role like this, she needs to identify one big initiative and several quick wins from the start. Quick wins are low-hanging fruit that she can achieve to show success and build traction. A big initiative is likely to take several months or a year to complete and involve stakeholder collaboration. Most importantly, she can use the big initiative to request budget and headcount and start building her own team.
If you ever had a chance to write your own job description, try this approach and see if it works for you.
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Be well and talk to you next week.