AMD blogs on Sales Enablement

David Kenyon, VP of WW Channel Marketing for AMD says “making channel & sales enablement a critical priority” & “just combined three disparate groups into one enablement team that is metric- and objective-driven, tasked with improving the content and training experience for […] sales teams and channel customers.”

At http://blogs.amd.com/channel/ David posted ‘Sales Enablement: Finding what you are looking for in sales and marketing content’:

[…] “Have you ever looked for something you knew that you needed, but couldn’t find it?” Of course we all have those experiences – some more than others, depending on your organization skills. What about when that happens to you electronically? What about those times when you are looking for content, training materials, or have a question that you know is answered in some obscure presentation that you’ve stored somewhere, but you just can’t find it?

In the channel partner community, I imagine that this happens even more often.  Today’s channel partners participate in multiple vendor programs, are barraged by content everyday from over-eager marketing product managers, and likely have terabytes of storage taken up with stale presentations that are never opened once they hit the spinning platters. Sales enablement of channel partners through well-placed and designed content, training and knowledge management, is not just a critical competitive advantage for manufacturers, it’s an experience as rare as a hole-in-one in my lackluster golf game.

How do you make it easy for partners to get information, training, and answers without them having to call tons of 800 numbers or salespeople, or search Web sites for what  seems like hours? It is a question that perplexes most companies, and I believe few actually address. At a recent channel conference I attended, a speaker asked the audience of 300 or so channels executives: “Who believes your intranet or company site is easier to navigate and find things than the global Internet?” Only two people raised their hands. The speaker then made the point that companies devote teams of IT individuals and professionals to design these properties to no productive avail, it seems.

The question then becomes:  how can a company enable its sales team via private portals and electronic communications to provide the easiest possible experience for its partners and customers? It’s a question we are facing at AMD alongside the other hundreds companies represented at that channel conference, and thousands of others around the world. In fact, we are making channel and sales enablement a critical priority.

We have just combined three disparate groups into one enablement team that is metric- and objective-driven, tasked with improving the content and training experience for our sales teams and channel customers. As we transition into a single, integrated sales enablement team, our online resources are front and center in our line of sight. Looking at successful models across industries, a few key attributes stand out: global integration; one interface to partners for all types of interaction; simplified and consistent timing and communications.  And, most importantly: simplify, simplify, simplify web interfaces to external audiences.

In short, it’s time to get serious about improving sales and channel enablement.  At AMD, we want to make this not just a good experience, but also an advantage to doing business with us.  We’d love your feedback as we work through the plans over the upcoming weeks and months. Just like you, we don’t have the time or the patience to spend hours looking for things that should take us seconds to find and activate. Who does? […]”

Sales people are Just In Time Learners

Chuck Carey, CEO of compendian.com left a great comment on Gerhard Gschwandtner’s (@gerhard20) post ‘Is Sales Enablement just lipstick on a knowledge management pig?’ on July 31, 2009:

“[…] a lot of organizations today […] are attempting to in some way capture and deliver information to their people. They may use SharePoint or Groove or other methods of doing so, most of these solutions are not easy to use and don’t provide a very good search engine to allow the person to get what they want.

I believe that sales people are what I call ‘Just in time learners’, in other words they learn what they need to know when they need to know it. If you put them through sales or product training they lose what they learned quickly, unless they can use it and reeinforce it. That is why organizations are attempting to provide information in a way that sales people need it. So the delivery of Just in time Knowledge makes sense to me.

Most sales people are overwhelmed with too much information. So, if they could get the specific information they need, the way they need it, when they need it, it would help them move the sale along. Plus if sales people can tap into knowledge that has been gained from similar experiences that would be of value as well. The problem has been, as you identified, capturing that knowledge from people who have it. That is why people need to be trained with the right questions to ask so they can be transcribed in a way that will provide value to others. […]”