A Top-down/Bottom-up approach is all about balance. Just like the duck, ensuring balance is crucial to success. Two-way communication is absolutely essential for an enablement strategy to work effectively.
It is rare for extraordinary things happen without a leader articulating a simple vision, plotting a course of action and enlisting support. Your sales teams want direction and guidance. They want to understand the vision and believe in what they are offering to their customers. A compelling vision, clearly communicated is essential to arming your sales teams for success.
Equally important is bottom-up communication. Not only do your sales teams provide real time market intelligence, but soliciting their feedback is essential to gaining their buy-in. An effective sales enablement program should tap into this knowledge-source. If you do, you are on your way to becoming an adaptive learning organization that is responsive to the marketplace.
While this seems straightforward enough, it is all too rare in organizations. We’ve all lived through failed initiatives that lacked (or seemed to) genuine executive support and backing. Similarly teams are routinely frustrated by edicts delivered from an ivory tower with no apparent attention paid to input or feedback from the field. This leads to the perception that management is out-of-touch, or worse yet isn’t committed to the success of the sales team. If their voice isn’t heard, sales (and partner) teams are likely to become disengaged like the 71% of workers who are not engaged or actively disengaged from their work environment (Gallup).
Sales enablement won’t be successful if it is driven by haphazard messages driven by email. It will fail if classroom training is not reinforced in the field. You will struggle if your message is not reinforced by your content or your message is lost in a sea of content.
As you put in place youyour sales enablement strategy, remember the duck. Make sure your communications are both Top-down and Bottom-up. Strive for balance, and you will feed well. Quack!