Perspectives on Sales Enablement: Takeaways from the BMA Colorado May Keynote


As marketers, we are increasingly aware that our #1 priority is helping sales drive revenue.

In today’s world, sales enablement is a necessity for building a strong business—and a healthy career. That driving need leads to a common question: What does a well-developed sales enablement program look like for your organization?

To answer that question (and quite a few others), Refactored hosted the BMA Colorado May Keynote What Marketing Can Start Doing TODAY to Drive Higher Revenue. For this event, we brought together a panel of sales and marketing leaders with diverse experience and perspectives on building real-world collaboration between sales and marketing teams.

  • Brian Vail, Vice President of Marketing Operations at Maxar Technologies

  • Paul Bickford, President/CEO of Transformative Sales Solutions, LLC

  • Jim Dawkins, US Channel Sales Manager, Elecosoft plc

Looking at Sales Enablement from Many Angles

Starting with information we learned from the Refactored 2018 Sales Enablement Benchmarking Survey, these dynamic leaders engaged with attendees to explore insights on some of the most pressing sales enablement questions we wrestle with today. From their combined perspectives emerged insights that marketers need to consider as we pursue sales enablement initiatives.

The Sales Enablement Perspective

“If it’s an impediment to revenue, it’s a sales enablement conversation.”

In the broadest sense, sales enablement extends across the organization, not just in the marketing and sales teams. It includes examination of hiring and promotion practices, training, mentoring, and professional development as well as everyday implementation of sales enablement initiatives.

The Marketing Perspective

“Sales enablement is all about the customer.”

Marketing is continually striving to align the buyer journey with the sales process in order to help bring customers to the sale and keep them engaged with the company.

The Sales Perspective

“Sales enablement is all about closing deals.”

What makes us successful is when we’re aligned on why we’re closing deals. Sales expects that the messaging and story from both marketing and sales will give customers a consistent understanding of the value of what we’re offering.

Where do you start?

To develop an approach to sales enablement that works for your organization, it’s important to start where you are. (You can evaluate how effective your current sales enablement efforts are by completing Refactored’s short Sales Enablement Readiness Assessment.)

Then, plan an intervention in which you approach sales with opportunities to support their efforts. Frame your proposed collaboration in positive terms and let them know you are interested in:

  • Supporting their efforts to meet their individual and team goals

  • Finding and closing gaps in training, process, content, and visibility

  • Planning combined efforts that produce wins for both teams

Here are some questions to think about as you start your journey:

  1. What does it mean for marketing to treat sales as its primary customer?

  2. How can marketing initiate regular communication with sales?

  3. What type of content does sales really need—and how does that need change the content that marketing is producing now?

  4. How can marketing create a feedback loop from sales to determine what activities are working?

  5. How can marketers get executive support for sales and marketing collaboration?

Stay Engaged with the Conversation

Throughout the BMA Keynote discussion, it was clear that marketers and sales people across organizations and industries face similar challenges in engaging productively to support revenue. Although different organizations will find different ways to accomplish sales enablement, they start with one ultimate truth: the most important thing marketers can do is initiate the contact—now.

Fortunately, conversations with peers and industry leaders are a great way to generate momentum. Get your conversation started by taking tips from our Sales Enablement Readiness Assessment.

Have further questions?

Contact us for assistance in creating your strategy for Marketing and Sales Alignment, Sales and Channel Empowerment, and Demand Generation.