The Importance of Aligning IT Goals with Sales Enablement (And How to Do It)
When you think about enterprise sales enablement efforts, the first department that comes to mind is probably going to be sales (go figure) or perhaps marketing. It’s considered a success if you manage to get both sales and marketing departments in full agreement about an enablement purchase. However, if your upcoming sales enablement initiative encompasses a software tool of some sort, then it’s important not to forget the department that is going to play a huge role in approving and implementing that software: IT.
If you get nothing else from reading this article, here is the advice we want you to take away: your enablement effort will go far more smoothly and effectively if you have the buy-in of the IT department. So let’s talk a little bit about how you can achieve that full buy-in.
The Point You Need to Get Across: IT and Sales Departments Have the Same Goal.
The IT team does not want the sales team using cumbersome, slow technology that’s difficult to use and maintain. It’s not in their best interest to spend a good portion of their time walking reps through how to use a tool or fixing glitches in a software program. And we all know that a sales rep who can’t access their prospect information or put together a proposal easily isn’t going to be happy either. Your job is to communicate to the IT team exactly how this solution will benefit them.
The Point You Need to Understand: IT Has Needs that Sales Probably Hasn’t Thought Of.
If you’re trying to get approval for a sales enablement purchase, especially one that is software-driven, you don’t want to have the purchase blocked at the last minute by the IT department. What are you going to do if, after months of researching solutions, narrowing down the options, and finalizing your decision, the IT department steps in and says “no, this tool won’t work with our system”? It happens more often than you might think.
The good news is that this problem is easily avoidable by bringing in the IT department much earlier in the process. In fact, we’ll go out on a limb here and say that the IT team needs to be involved from the very beginning.
Any enablement effort should begin with this question: what are the problems in my organization, and how can we fix them? Perhaps the answer to that question for your business is that reps aren’t spending enough time in front of prospects, and sales are hurting as a result. The answer to that question might be to cut down on meetings, automate CRM data logging, and streamline the sales process by centralizing resources and tools.
However, there’s a follow-up question to the first one: what are our limitations in fixing these problems? Those limits might be budget, time, and in IT’s case: system restrictions. If there are certain things that IT needs, it’s best to know those features or capabilities upfront so that you can focus on the solutions you know will work, right from the start.
The Good News: Enterprise Software Gets Enterprise Support
If you are investing in enterprise-level sales enablement tools, the odds are likely that the sales enablement vendor will be able to accommodate the IT departments’ needs. We recommend having someone from your IT department speak with a software expert at the vendor’s company. That way, you can ensure your company’s needs for a solution are communicated effectively and clearly – no middleman required.