Marketing leaders understand that enablement drives better business outcomes, yet companies are spending only about 10% of what they spend to enable sales on marketing enablement, based on our benchmark studies and Forrester’s Q1 2022 Sales Learning And Development Professionals Survey.
A large part of the challenge is that marketing leaders struggle to clearly establish and communicate the value of marketing enablement efforts. No experienced senior manager would argue against systematically equipping marketing teams with the required skills, knowledge, processes, and tools needed to optimally perform their roles. Yet without a clear sense of the value these efforts produce, marketing enablement is relegated to a “nice to have” or simply subsumed into a standard company training program.
To address this, marketing leaders need to be able to articulate to the business a holistic view of the impact of enablement efforts. These efforts require establishing value to the organization as well as to the individual and showing how the two parts, when combined, are greater than the sum.
Ensuring that appropriate marketing enablement investment is made on an ongoing basis requires a few things, including:
Personal readiness and operational excellence
By personal readiness, we mean the ability and willingness to do a job well. Effective enablement reduces employees’ time to knowledge and equips them to contribute more quickly. Good enablement also provides clarity on how to get things done within the context of the company, along with structured processes for doing the work. By strengthening employees’ understanding of the organization, good enablement also fosters a sense of belonging.
Personal readiness feeds directly into operational excellence. It helps reduce time to productivity, which results in cost savings (via realizing the full value of employees sooner). It also supports consistency and efficiency through ensuring common processes and a shared nomenclature to work from.
Personal engagement and business excellence
Enablement investments help employees feel valued and can significantly improve job satisfaction. They can set off a virtuous cycle: As employees build their skills, they have more opportunities for recognition, which further strengthens engagement and loyalty. And in mastering skills and processes, employees contribute to a culture of excellence.
Data from Forrester’s State Of Customer Obsession Survey, 2022, suggests that employee engagement has flattened at a majority of marketing organizations, so investing in enablement programs may help to lift engagement and productivity.
Career growth and leadership excellence
By strengthening employees’ competencies and confidence, enablement equips employees to advance within the organization. It also fosters a mindset of continuous learning and improvement and allows for skills to evolve as needs change.
This strengthens the company from within by establishing a pipeline of capable and loyal employees. Along with supporting retention, opportunities for continual learning help to bolster employer brand, which helps attract top talent from outside the company, as well.
With these three paired types of value, underpinned by a well-organized and resourced, engaging, and monitored set of enablement deliverables, businesses will optimize their marketing enablement efforts. Learn more about what’s required for a high-performance marketing organization, and to continue the conversation, reach out to us.