New Year, New Job!
Brennan Parrott was searching YouTube for informative videos demonstrating how to be a sales enablement manager as a content marketer. Then, somehow, he stumbled to my channel. After watching several of my videos, he set up a call with me. He had one question: What could he do to be a successful sales enablement manager?
He’d started a new job as a sales enablement manager on January 4th, 2022. During the holidays, he had been doing research to prepare himself for his new role. You go, Brennan! I told him that his success would come from how he planned to approach the first 90 days, as well as his mental attitude.
If you prefer to watch a video instead, feel free to scroll down and check out the video.
If you’re starting a new job, the essence of this roadmap still applies by simply changing the word “sales” to the group that you’ll support.
First things first:
Be very open-minded! Make an effort not to have preconceived notions of how things work in the new company.
Just listen and learn for the first 3 months. And learn as much as you can on who is who and who is doing what.
For the first 30-day period:
- Set up 1:1s with as many people as possible: This is especially vital if you’re joining a big enterprise. In a big company, roles and responsibilities are defined more clearly. You’ll need to work with many people to get one thing completed or approved. To facilitate, learn who does what. Sometimes, it’s not that clear when you have your first 1:1. Tell them to be specific about what they do. A potential list of people you should meet could include subject matter experts, sales reps, sales directors, sales ops, various marketing function leads, research, product managers, and more.
- Interview with sales to understand their needs and desires: Talk to as many salespeople as possible. When you talk to them, ask them how you can help them and what their challenges are. You don’t need to solve world hunger, but you need to know the most pressing issues.
- Build an allyship with the sales team: Discover which sales reps gel with you. Start building rapport with them. They may be your advocates in the future.
- Understand what content is used by sales the most: Then, review the current content list (especially with the most engagement) by products, by industry verticals, by personas, by purchase funnel, etc.
- Understand sales organization, sales methodology, and processes: It’s essential to understand how sales are organized. Are they organized by territories, by verticals, or by products? The way they organize will impact how you plan to support them.
- Discover who the high performers are: Understand how they sell and how they win. Have them walk you through their deal-making process.
Extra tips: Your first 30 days is to understand the lay of the land. Try to have at least 3-4 1:1s every day. Get yourself out there, introduce yourself to others, and have others know who you are. Know who is who and who is doing what.
For the second 30-day period:
- Sit in on sales calls: Attend weekly sales huddle meetings and understand what topics are discussed, what issues they encounter, and what accounts they try to tackle. Then, pay attention to where you can help.
- Review dashboards: Focus on both deals lost and won to understand the causes for each. You learn as much (if not more) from losing as you do from winning.
- Identify and prioritize gaps after talking to many sales reps: First, you should start seeing different gaps and areas you can provide value-add. Next, you need to begin prioritizing specific actions that you will take.
- Identify quick wins/low-hanging fruit: Occasionally you can discover ways to swiftly make an impact, like creating a couple of content pieces that sales need.
- Learn to use existing processes and platforms: If marketing automation and CRM tools are in place, learn to use them. Each company has its communication processes and sales/marketing platforms, so find out what they are and how they are used.
- Identify technological gaps: For example, many companies still don’t have a sales content management library. Find out what’s lacking and assess how you can implement solutions.
Extra tips: In the 2nd month, you should start showing up at some regular calls and have some level of understanding on who’s who, how to use tools, and processes.
For the 3rd 30-day period:
- Build out your initial plan for the next 3-6 months: Have some ideas about what you want to accomplish when you are 6-9 months into the job. Identify 3-5 small initiatives that you plan to implement.
- Get buy-in: Review your initial plans with sales and your direct manager. Let them know what you will do and how you will help sales.
- Implement and modify: Now it’s the phase of getting things done. Continue to learn by using tools and platforms.
- Build your own routine: Your weekly schedule will be starting to crystalize. There are regular meetings that you go to, people you meet regularly, etc., so take note.
- Track results: Based on your plan and implementation, you’ll start noticing what works and what doesn’t. Monitoring your progress and performance is essential to be able to quantify your contributions. It’s even better to map your own KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) against the existing sales processes and sales metrics.
Extra tips: In the 3rd month, you should have a preliminary plan on what you will do. The plan may change over time due to new information you receive or business priority changes. You need to be agile and nimble, ready to roll with the punches and make them work to your advantage.
So, here are some key takeaways for the first 90 days:
- Know who’s who, what is what, and who is doing what (this is very important.)
- Learn to use tools and platforms as needed
- Get to know as many salespeople as possible
- Build rapport with direct and functional team members
- Understand sales processes, methodology, and dashboard
- Have an agenda for each 1:1 meeting
- Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions
- And ask for help when you need it, including asking for a budget. Don’t be shy about asking for money!
I was so happy to talk to Brennan about his new job, and I hope you’ve found some insight from what we covered here if you’re in a similar position.
Best luck with your new job, Brennan, and best of luck to any of you reading this as you embark on your sales enablement journey!
What else would you suggest to prepare yourself for the first 90 days as a new sales enablement job? Let me know!