Whoever owns sales enablement in your organization, it’s always a cross-functional discipline. The need to collaborate to achieve better results is increasing, especially in a complex environment.
What’s the main collaboration issue? Based on a sales enablement framework with the customer’s journey at the core, the main collaboration issues are all enablement services from design to rollout. Specifically, it’s about content along the customer’s journey for different internal and external target groups and it’s about sales trainings, such as product, skill, process and tool trainings. Today, let’s focus on content councils.
Many different streams have to be orchestrated across different functions to provide those services efficiently and effectively. Councils are an approach to drive cross-functional collaboration in a structured and effective way. Let’s look at a few proven ideas, based on two definitions:
- Content is defined as all types of content, including playbooks, collateral, videos regarding “what to sell” and “how to sell” with the purpose to equip people successfully at all levels and at all stages along the customer’s journey.
- Content Council is defined as a cross-functional strategic board that makes decisions on what to do, how to do it and how to measure success whereas the execution often remains in the initial functions. Budgets should be assigned to the council, but your point of departure will often be the other way around. So, true leadership is required!
Follow these steps to initiate your content council:
- Senior Executive Sponsorship:
Ideally, both the sales leader and the marketing leader are the council’s senior executive sponsors.
- Content Council Lead:
The person, who leads the strategic sales force enablement team should lead the content council to provide strategic guidance, based on the sales enablement framework. Connecting the dots to other sales force enablement areas, e.g. sales trainings, methods, processes and tools
- Council Members:
Typical members in the council decision board are the leaders of product & solution marketing, vertical marketing, portfolio management, any kind of dedicated sales enablement content teams. Include an interface to the trainings teams.
- Council Charter: Your charter defines how council works together and it supports all internal selling issues. Mission and principles, defined outcomes for each phase, topic-specific council teams, members and sponsors and a meeting calendar should be covered in the charter.
- Content Council Teams:
- Content Management Framework team: responsible for the content management framework, which defines content types, maps them to the customer’s journey, defines internal and external target groups, as well as processes on content definition, creation and localization.
- Tool & Technology Team: The challenge is how to design technology, but also packaged content as playbooks in a way that it supports the business needs most effectively.
- Impact Team: It measures efficiency based on content analytics and effectiveness along the customer’s journey.
- Launch Team:
Prototypes of new content types are developed, challenged and piloted with dedicated sales teams – it can be the perfect role for field enablement, if you have such a function.
Have a successful kick-off and make a difference!
Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.