Practice 4Enable Others to Act

Sales enablement is all the rage. It's a sweeping term that encompasses all the technology, systems, practices, processes, training, and tools that help sellers produce results faster. Buyer enablement is another matter; it's far less common and a concept many sales organizations resist, reject, or simply ignore. Sharing control of the sale with the buyer and trusting buyers to make informed decisions without sellers seems risky. But buyer enablement is critical to sales success.

Buyers desperately want to be involved in collaborative idea generation and decision making. B2B buyers in our study rated Enable Others to Act as the most essential of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. For a majority of sellers, this comes as a surprise, because it's the one they ranked as least important: They don't see how this leadership practice relates to selling.

But leaders know they cannot do extraordinary things alone. That's why they invest in creating trustworthy relationships. They build spirited and cohesive teams, actively involving others in planning and providing sufficient latitude to make their own decisions. Leaders develop collaborative goals and cooperative relationships. They are attuned to the needs and interests of others. Leaders bring individuals together, creating an atmosphere in which people understand that they have a shared future. Leaders make sure that everyone wins; and that no one wins at the expense of another.

Mutual respect ...

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