What Is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is a hot topic in the business forte. According to Brain Shark, companies with sales enablement have a 15% edge over those without it.

But what’s the precise sales enablement definition?

Many sources on the internet have explained sales enablement. But the majority of them are just too complex.

And that’s where we come in. Today, we will cover what does exactly sales enablement means in a simple and digestible way.

Let’s get started and cover everything related to sales enablement. Starting with…

Sales Enablement–The Basics

According to CSO Insights, “Sales enablement is a strategic, cross-functional discipline designed to increase sales results and productivity by providing integrated content, training and coaching services for salespeople and front-line sales managers along the entire customer’s buying journey, powered by technology.”

For a layman, sales enablement is the process of supporting the sales organization with the information, tools, content, and beyond to sell more effectively.

Sales enablement provides everything required by the sales front line to engage the buyer’s journey throughout the buying process successfully.

Just like a football club provides the player with training, equipment, environment, and everything in between to be a better player– the same concept applies to sales enablement and sales enablement tools.

Sales enablement supports or enables the salespeople to excel in their jobs and benefit the company.

Sales enablement has many sides. This brings us to one of the most asked questions in sales enablement. And that’s, who owns sales enablement? More on that in the upcoming section.

Who Owns Sales Enablement?

At the majority of the companies, the sales enablement process is owned by the sales and marketing teams.

On one side, marketing people provide sales reps with the resources they need to aid buyer’s journey. Then, the sales reps use the resources to build leads and customers.

Additionally, the sales depart can communicate with the marketing department about the missing resources. This way, both sides get to create, share, collaborate and communicate to help a business sell more and attract customers.

Now that you have grasped the core knowledge of who owns sales enablement, let’s dive in a bit deep.

Understanding Sales Enablement Ownership With RACI

RACI framework is one of the common and simple approaches to allocate team roles, responsibilities, and expectations.

RACI is divided into the people who are responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed.

For instance, a sales enablement manager would be responsible for leading a company’s sales enablement charge. VP of Sales enablement or VP of marketing will be responsible.

Content creators, sales cycle operators will be consulted. And lastly, sales reps and other senior marketers will be informed about the duties.

With the RACI framework, roles and expectations get clear for people who’ll be part of the sales enablement strategy and ongoing process.

Till now, we have covered a few topics on sales enablement. But how does sales enablement differ from sales operations? That’s up next.

Sales Enablement Vs. Sales Operations

At a high level, the concept of sales enablement and sales operations can mix up. But in reality, they both are quite different things.

Sales enablement focuses on the activities earlier in the buyer’s journey. And sales operations are all about aiding the later stages of the buying cycle.

Discovery, solution mapping, prove/concept, solution proposal, and negotiation fall into sales enablement. In contrast, negotiation and closing fall in sales operations.

Territory planning, deal routing, account assignment, team design are a part of sales rep operations. On the flip side, sales training, including content, process, and training events (SKOs), is a part of the sales enablement process.

In the administration space, sales operations deal with Proposal and contract management, contract governance, etc. Whereas, content planning, mapping, management, and analysis are part of the sales enablement program.

According to SiriusDecisons, “Generally, sales enablement focuses on onboarding and certification, sales asset management, sales communications, and coaching and training skills. Sales operations, on the other hand, handles planning, territory optimization, compensation, sales analytics, and technology.

Now that you understand that sales enablement and sales operations are two different concepts. Let’s see how they complement each other.

Connecting Sales Enablement & Sales Operations

At the end of the day, both sales enablement and sales operations work to cut down inefficiency and drive process improvement.

And that’s why businesses must bring the leaders of sales enablement and sales operations together.

By bringing both leaders close, they can discuss common goals and expectations. And eliminate duplications that are being carried out in their respective departments.

Open and honest dialogue between the leaders of sales operations and sales enablement will help create a better road for the company.

By connecting sales enablement and sales operations departments, the company will be able to prepare for the ever-evolving sales content, sales cycle, and everything in between.

Working together will help both departments to optimize marketing and sales teams to do their best.

Now let’s move forward and dive in a bit deeper to understand the six underlying attributes of sales enablement.

Six Attributes of Sales Enablement

The Core Objective

As mentioned above, the core object of sales enablement is to support salespeople with the resources they need to sell more effectively.

From conducting seminars to teaching new tools, motivating employees, and implementing never-heard sales strategies, sales enablement is all about enabling salespeople to do their job competently.

Sales Enablement Is More About The Buyer

Indeed, sales enablement provides salespeople with the helping hand they need to increase sales.

But the field is more about targeting the resources that are required by the buyer to tap out. It’s essential to understand the mentality of the buyer and then to use the resources to engage the buyer accordingly.

Resources Provided By Sales Enablement

Success or failure of the project or initiative depends on the resources provided by the sales enablement department.

A sales enablement depart must be aware of the resources provided to its salespeople as they are going to decide the future of the company.

Training & Development

No matter how good your resources are, if your salespeople aren’t educated about it, they’ll not be able to make it to the likes of a high-performing sales team.

That’s why one of the most essential attributes of sales enablement is to conduct training and development programs. By integrating such programs in sales enablement, the front-line salespeople will be able to make the most of the resources.

Easy To Use Resources

Sales enablement teams don’t just target a group of people in the sales, but the whole sales department.

And that’s why sales enablement teams must choose easy-to-use resources that the majority find easy to apply.

As the resources will be used repeatedly, all the salespeople must not be reluctant to use them in the long run. And that’s only going to happen when the sales enablement teams will pick user-friendly resources.

Tracking & Monitoring

Tracking and monitoring the use of resources is another key attribute of sales enablement.

It’s essential to keep a strict check on whether the provided resources are being used or not and how they are performing.

With the right tracking and monitoring of resources, the sales enablement teams will have detailed insight to optimize the future of the company’s sales department.

Why Sales Enablement?

With sales enablement, the sales department doesn’t have to rely on a handful of over-achievers.

Run by the right people, sales enablement enables all the salespeople to equally and successfully contribute to the company’s success.

Sales enablement scales the sales organization by providing the right content at the right time in order to keep the buyers engaged.

It works as a supervisor for the people who are on the front foot to guide them 24/7 on how to win buyers and stay above the competition effectively.

Still not convinced? Here are some benefits of sales enablement.

Increase In Revenue

According to CSO Insights’ data, “Organizations with sales enablement achieve a 49% win rate on forecasted deals, compared to 42.5% for those without.

Practiced right, sales enablement can play a vital role in ENABLING your business to win and close more deals.

Attracts New Clients

According to Spotio, “42% of sales reps feel they don’t have enough information before making a call.

When sales reps don’t have enough information, they lose out on potential customers. With sales enablement, sales reps have access to the right content at the right time; hence they automatically attract new clients.

Keep Sales Reps Up-To-Date

According to G2, 84% of sales training is forgotten in the first three months. And that’s why many sales reps fail to provide value in the long run.

With sales enablement training and coaching tools in place, your sales reps stay up-to-date on the latest sales best practices, tools, and everything in between.

Before we conclude, we would like to present the most common terms in the sales enablement space—more on that in the next section.

Common Sales Enablement Terms

Whether you have been in the sales enablement stream for a while or you are totally new to it, we have rounded up the common terms that are worth knowing.

Sales Training

Sales training refers to hiring new employees and aiding the continuous learning process of current employees.

With sales training, you help sales reps to build new skills, knowledge, experience, and behaviors vital to surviving in sales.

Sales training also offers best practices of the field, and it comes in a variety of formats like eLearning, live sessions, online simulation games, etc.

An in-house sales expert from sales enablement usually leads sales training.

Sales Coaching

Unlike sales training, sales coaching refers to evaluating sales reps. From skills to their market knowledge and readiness, everything is evaluated and rated by sales enablement managers in charge.

The majority of companies rely on managers creating virtual environments for reps and then seeing how they handle them. Video coaching activities are also increasing as they consume less time and give more transparent evaluation results.

Sales Enablement Tools

Sales enablement tools refer to any piece of technology that supports the marketing and sales staff to make the sales cycle effective and efficient.

With sales enablement tools, the life of sales reps and marketing people get easy. Why? Because they make every stage in the sales funnel digital and smart.

Today, you can find various sales enablement tools on the market like coaching tools, sales intelligence, marketing intelligence, content management, etc.

Without using sales enablement software, a business can’t indeed prosper as they provide functionalities that are far more superior than manual human effort.

Sales Effectiveness

What happens when the best sales enablement strategy starts showing results? That’s what we refer to as sales effectiveness.

An effective sales force is created when the sales reps are equipped with the best resources at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Large companies that are serious about sales enablement have a special sales effectiveness function. The function is responsible for data and coaching-related sales manager enablement.

With sales effectiveness, a company seeks the ability to win at each sales stage and ultimately earn the business on the right terms at the right time.

Sales Content

Sales content refers to any asset or material that’s used by a rep to close a new deal.

A sales content can be a product sheet, case study, demographics, messaging guides, etc., to keep a sales rep prepared.

Anything that’s customer-centric, which helps a sales rep to understand the customer better or close a deal, is known as sales content.

Final Words

Sales enablement has been helping companies inject a whole new life into their sales department.

However, sales enablement isn’t the only thing helping the sales team. Our gamification software solution, Spinify, is the world’s leading tool that’s supporting sales teams to engage and drive motivation.

By using our tool, you can experience the true benefits of gamification in your sales department.

Make sure to give us a follow at LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up-to-date on everything related to sales and beyond.

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About the Author:

Serial entrepreneur who loves a deep dive into technology and applying it to solve business problems. Matt recognized that gamification of business activity processes would lead to greater staff engagement, increase productivity and motivate the team to do more, so that businesses sell more and grow more.