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June 2012
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TD Magazine

Giving Sales Training a Seat at the Table

CoP
How do salespeople become better at what they do? Usually there are professionals—sales trainers, sales coaches, or sales leaders—whose jobs it is to create better sales team members. They are called sales enablers.

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Sales enablement can mean many things to many people. And while the definition might vary, the objective is the same—to help sales teams sell better and, thus, meet organizational objectives. As ASTD's State of Sales Training research report reveals, "Sales training functions become more effective when sales training strategies, learning content, and delivery are fully integrated into a firm's wider base of learning and development activities."

Yet sales training and enablement continue to struggle to get the organizational recognition and resources needed to make that link, get a "seat at the table," and be heard and valued by corporate executives. This is a detriment to organizations' bottom lines and long-term success. ASTD established the Sales Enablement Community of Practice to meet that need.

The Sales Enablement Community of Practice exists to provide relevant content and resources to help support the professionals who work every day to meet organizational objectives by ensuring that sales teams function to their greatest potential. With the right tools and knowledge, sales enablement practitioners can overcome the challenges they face. From case studies to benchmarking, to networking opportunities, this community is designed to offer sales professionals a unique place to learn from and collaborate with peers who are facing similar challenges.

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As the Community of Practice manager, I'm here to provide sales trainers, sales coaches, and sales leaders with the content, tools, and events needed to make their salespeople successful. Leveraging our research-based World-Class Sales Competency Model as a foundation, we've written training materials to teach selling skills, developed workshops to teach competency-based sales organization improvement, and created events such as webcasts and the Sales Enablement Zone at ASTD's 2012 International Conference & Exposition.

This Community of Practice is about engagement. Sales enablement is an ever-growing profession with plenty of opportunity to share and to learn, so I encourage you to visit the community blog, follow us on Twitter, or join a lively conversation in our LinkedIn group.

Since this is a community of practitioners for practitioners, I would like to hear from you. Is there something you'd like us to cover? Are you interested in writing an article, blogging, or presenting a webcast for the community? There are endless opportunities to work together to grow this community and, most important, advance the sales enablement profession!

About the Author

Mike was ASTD’s Sales Enablement Community of Practice Manager. In this role he oversaw the development of resources, content, and solutions that help sales organizations become world-class. Prior to joining ASTD, Mike enjoyed a successful 15 year sales career with roles such as sales manager, sales operations director, and sales effectiveness program manager. Mike has coached and mentored many sales professionals, and developed and implemented industry leading sales improvement initiatives. Mike received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Shenandoah University where he graduated with honors. Formerly the president of Shenandoah’s Business Alumni Club, Mike currently serves as 2nd VP on their Alumni Board of Directors.

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