Number of CMOs responsible for sales enablement has doubled over the past year 

Number of CMOs responsible for sales enablement has doubled over the past year  Duncan is an award-winning researcher, with 20 years experience of analysing the technology industry, specialising in cloud computing, edge computing, blockchain, cybersecurity and marketing technology.


Seismic, a specialist in enablement, has found that the number of CMOs responsible for sales enablement in EMEA has doubled over the past year, jumping from 10% in 2022 to 19% in 2023.  

The research, conducted in collaboration with the martech and sales enablement educator LXA, identifies a trend concerning a shift in sales enablement accountability as more organisations assign ownership to the marketing function. This presents a promising sign for overcoming operational siloes between business functions as they align their goals and unlock data-driven decision-making in a digital-first world. 

Winnie Palmer, head of marketing EMEA at Seismic, said: “With many businesses working to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency, enablement provides the necessary operational muscle to deliver on these objectives.

“The alignment in the skill sets and knowledge between marketing, sales, and revenue operations 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. This research proves that the process of building a connected GTM operation, driven in a dual effort by both sales and marketing, is firmly underway for more businesses in the region.” 

Shifting to the go-to-market model 

As more EMEA CMOs own sales enablement, they reported more interactions with customers before closing the deal than other respondents, with an average of 12 interactions compared to the total respondent average of 9.8. This underscores the critical role of marketing in the buying journey as they build and nurture relationships earlier in the buying process.  

With marketing and sales working hand-in-hand, the research shows that more organisations are beginning to reap the benefits of a GTM operating model, which allows better:  

  • Measurement: 75% of respondents agree that they have the processes, procedures, and metrics in place to measure the impact of sales enablement and operations, an increase from 69% in 2022. 
  • Data quality: Sales data management and quality (17%), closely followed by CRM support (27%), is considered to have the highest focus and importance according to respondents.  
  • Confidence in enablement: 52% of organisations are planning to increase the size of their sales enablement and sales operations function over the next 12 months, as they recognise its direct contribution to business performance. Just 7% expect team size to reduce. 

Achieving go-to-market maturity 

While the research indicates that EMEA organisations are making good headway towards a more cohesive GTM operation, it also signals that the region is behind on the maturity curve. 

Winnie added: “In the US market, we’ve already experienced the trend of enablement ownership moving between marketing and sales. In certain organisations building highly connected go-to-market operations, enablement ownership even falls to revenue operations. However, the most important thing is that enablement has a dedicated ownership to ensure collaboration across the GTM teams.” 

This research reveals that EMEA organisations may be behind the US on 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.” 

The State of Sales Enablement, Operations & Technology report surveyed over 200 full-time employees from B2B organisations in EMEA on their experiences and opinions of sales enablement. An online survey of 204 respondents was conducted during August 2023. 90% of respondents were Sales Directors, Chief Growth Officers (CGO) or Chief Revenue Officers (CRO) while 10% were Chief Marketing Officers (CMO). All were from B2B organisations of 1000+ employees based in the UK (73%), France (11%) and Germany (13%). 

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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