The Enablement Supply Chain & the Path to Readiness

By Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy Officer

September 21, 2016


GE Digital was founded on the premise that it’s time to move from selling things to selling outcomes—and they knew that getting there would require a transformation in their sales enablement supply chain. Barbara Mazziotti, senior global sales enablement leader at GE, said that previously, the company’s sales enablement efforts relied on intense roadshows and product management-led customer stories. Not anymore. The company now leverages e-learning solutions and consistent sales-led stories.

A big part of transforming their path to sales readiness depended on developing a differentiated message and a distinct point of view they could take to the market. GE Digital’s Brandon Perkins called the message development component a structured process, noting that one of the most important factors for having a great cross-functional workshop is making sure you have a well-balanced cross-section of people in the room. That means having a good combination of technical people, commercial people and leadership.

Then, taking the message from the ideation phase to your sales force involves four steps:

  • Pre-planning – Set the stage by selecting the cross-functional team and having a framework call with Corporate Visions strategists.
  • Build the story – This is the two-day workshop itself where the differentiated message and points of view come together. Be sure to clear your calendars, commit to the exercise, and assign a “decider” who can resolve impasses if they occur
  • Refine the story – Stay the course during the post-workshop debrief, where the editorial process gets underway with your internal review team and Corporate Visions.
  • Packaging – Don’t celebrate yet! It’s time to cement final deliverables and develop a sales enablement rollout plan.

Some final pointers to make the path to sales readiness as smooth as possible: Announce expectations of mastery for all sellers, and have them watch an internal expert deliver the whiteboard point of view live. For further education and reinforcement, have reps watch e-learning coaching videos, practice in groups at kickoff, and have a stand-and-deliver contest.