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EMEA CMOs doubling responsibility for sales enablement
Fri, 23rd Feb 2024

New research reveals that the number of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) taking responsibility for sales enablement in EMEA has doubled in the past year. This trend, indicating a greater interdepartmental collaboration and a break from operational siloes, has emerged in a study conducted collaboratively by Seismic and LXA.

The exploration uncovers that the number of CMOs accountable for sales enablement has jumped from 10% in 2022 to 19% in 2023. Winnie Palmer, Head of Marketing EMEA at Seismic, explained the implications of this shift: “With many businesses working to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency, enablement provides the necessary operational muscle to deliver on these objectives. Sales, marketing and revenue operations' skills and knowledge alignment has welcomed greater collaboration between the functions, with all teams sharing experience in tech, content, data, and coaching. This accelerates go-to-market (GTM) functionality."

In fact, evidence suggests that more EMEA CMOs taking the helm of sales enablement leads to more interactions with customers before finalising deals. On average, this equates to 12 occurrences, compared to the total respondent average of 9.8. Fundamentally, this emphasises the importance of marketing’s involvement early on in the customer journey.

Furthermore, cross-departmental collaboration is showing promising signs of beneficial outcomes as companies adapt to a GTM operating model. There has been an increase from 69% in 2022, to 75% in 2023, of respondents agreeing they have successful processes, procedures and metrics to track the impact of sales enablement and operations. Primary focus areas include sales data management and quality (17%), and CRM support (27%). As a result of their trust in sales enablement and operations, over half (52%) of organisations intend to expand this function in the next year, while only 7% expect to reduce it.

However, possessing a more collective GTM operation signifies different stages of maturation for various regions. As Palmer remarks, "in the US market, we've already experienced the trend of enablement ownership moving between marketing and sales." But she stresses that irrespective of which division takes charge, the main objective is to ensure dedicated ownership that encourages collaboration across all GTM teams.

Palmer continues, highlighting that EMEA organisations lag behind their US counterparts when it comes to enablement ownership and accountability. "Therefore, as their go-to-market function matures, we can expect this maturity curve to be replicated, whereby EMEA catches up with the US market and reaches a sweet spot in managing enablement more effectively."

This research offers invaluable insights into current marketing and sales operational trends, exploring how changing responsibility dynamics may impact each function's effectiveness. The spotlight on closer collaboration between departments may herald the end of operational siloes and a step towards more integrated working practices.