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How to Solve For Sales Enablement, Once and For All

Michelle Markelz

Christine Crandell has been showing businesses the way to sales enablement for two decades. She explains the new partnership between sales and marketing as they pursue the empowered consumer.

Sales enablement is one of the most complex and common challenges facing businesses, and without a plan to achieve it, it can be a roadblock to revenue growth. Tech-based solutions and CRM systems make claims of solving for sales and marketing misalignment, but seasoned consultant Christine Crandell, president of New Business Strategies (NBS), says enablement starts from the top down, with both an acknowledgement that the customer is in control of their journey and a willingness to accommodate that path.

Her methodology, which she refers to as the “Seller’s Compass,” grew out of necessity. As a CMO at technology company Ariba during the company’s customer-focused turnaround in 2007, she found it difficult to promise to her CFO that the marketing team could deliver in revenue what it was allotted in the budget. Four years spent unraveling that Gordian knot, as she calls it, and she emerged with a process for customer alignment that works for every sector from higher education to B-to-B. Marketing News caught up with Crandell to learn how sales and marketing teams can find their true north. 

Q: You’ve been with NBS for 20 years, helping companies improve customer retention by focusing on expectations. How have you seen the challenge of sales enablement evolve over that time period alongside the evolution of customer expectations?

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Michelle Markelz

Michelle Markelz is managing editor for the AMA's publications.