Sales Enablement is the process which supports sellers with training and content to help them guide buyers through the sales funnel.
There are dozens of definitions.
Many people confuse enablement with sales training or sales readiness.
Others think enablement is simply the marketing team throwing content over the wall to the sales reps.
Still others view enablement as nothing more than another name for sales operations, focused on business tools, sales methodologies, and overall performance management.
For organizations at a high level of maturity, their Sales Enablement team is quickly evolving to Revenue Enablement, broadening the scope and the potential positive impact the team can have on the business.
Let’s begin with a very simple definition of sales enablement.
Sales Enablement is the process which supports sellers with training and content to help them guide buyers through the sales funnel.
The Sales Enablement process
While there are many examples of ad hoc sales enablement, aka random acts of enablement, we all agree that this is the wrong way to run a sales enablement program. Your sales enablement team, and those they are trying to support, will typically fail when you are at this level.
While the exact process will vary from business to business, from sales enablement organization to sales enablement organization, the end process must incorporate these elements to be successful:
- Enablement must align it’s goals, and it’s efforts, with business KPIs.
- An executive level leader must champion the Enablement program.
- Collaboration and communication across teams is central to success.
- Metrics, both qualitative and quantitative, guide our programs
Sales Enablement Charter
The sales enablement charter is an agreement between the Sales Enablement team and the rest of the business. This includes end customers like sales, customer success, and partners like marketing and finance. Each party in this relationship must be clear about the services provided, the people supported, and how success will be measured.
Sales Enablement Services
The common solutions and services provided by the Sales Enablement team include.
While Sales Enablement teams often create new content, they are also responsible for collaborating with other organizations to collect, curate, and translate the content from the sources of information to the sales teams.
As an example, engineering and product teams may write content focused on products and features. Sellers, however, need this translated into business value, positioning, discovery questions, pricing, and so forth.
Sales content can be expensive, to take time to learn a bit more about content repurposing.
Sales training, focused on educating the sales teams on topics ranging from sales skills to messaging to technologies, and beyond, is a standard deliverable for most Sales Enablement teams. This is often referred to as sales readiness.
We have covered sales coaching in more detail elsewhere on the site. However, think about sales coaching as sales training personalized and customized to the scenario the seller is entering into with a prospect, customer, reseller, or other role.
The Sales Enablement Organizational Structure
There are massive differences between the number of people involved in Enablement within a small organization as compared to an Enterprise business.
While this is true, the roles that commonly exist in these organizations are common.
Let’s examine the standard Sales Enablement Roles and Responsibilities.
Sales Enablement Roles and Responsibilities – Sales Enablement Specialist
Sales Enablement Specialist Overview
Sales Enablement Specialist are often junior level employees who act as generalist for their teams.
Sales Enablement Specialist Job Description
Here is an example job description, anonymized and generalized slightly, for the sales enablement specialist role. This example has been borrowed from an open job opening at Granicus:
The Sales Enablement Specialist supports the sales team in assessing, designing and delivering enablement – including foundational and advanced knowledge, industry expertise and sales and technical skills for direct and channel sales. In this role you will be creating and implementing a systematic approach for onboarding, curriculum development, content training, and analytics to enhance seller productivity.
The individual in this role will work with the field, business stakeholders and subject-matter experts to define enablement objectives. They will then use these insights and requirements to develop content and build learning solutions that are sales-relevant, channel-relevant, practical and scalable.
This position is an individual contributor role and will report to the Director.
What You’ll Do:
· Engage with sales management, sales representatives, sales engineers, and Product Marketing teams to identify knowledge, skills and systems enablement requirements for direct sales, channel sales and channel partners.
· Work closely with sales management to create a regional plan that enables the global sales team to have consistent, effective and engaging sales conversations with prospects and customers at each stage of the sales cycle.
· Recommend, design, develop and implement enablement and training solutions, including online learning, instructor-led training, virtual training, job aids, instructional videos, audio/video scripts and role play exercises.
· Create, deliver and support the onboarding curriculum for the sales organization, supporting the first 180 days of those new to selling into the government market as well as our solutions.
· Develop effective training content, proactively identifying additional expert resources who can address content gaps.
· Develop knowledge assessments and certification exams and programs to measure student learning and application.
· Measure and assess the effectiveness of current enablement and training solutions to inform future program requirements and identify areas where additional learning and reinforcement are required.
· Actively review and evaluate the enablement and training solutions resources to determine when content needs to be updated, replaced or retired.
· Conduct internal training pilots, as well as train-the-trainer sessions.
· Constantly seek to evolve and refine the sales enablement and training solutions strategy.
Sales Enablement Roles and Responsibilities – Sales Enablement Manager/Director/VP
Sales Enablement Manager/Director/VP Overview
Sales Enablement leaders guide the teams to deliver on business results.
Sales Enablement Manager Job Description
Here is an example job description, anonymized and generalized slightly, for the sales enablement manager role. This comes from job posting from Divvy.
The Sales Enablement Manager is responsible for accelerating the performance of our Sales, SDR, and CSM organizations by up-leveling selling skills, refining our sales playbook, taking new products and functionality to market, on-boarding a whole lot of new hires, and as a part of our Revenue Operations leadership team, contributing to the direction of the revenue engine.
What You’ll Be Doing
– Define the business requirements across segments and functions to focus the enablement cycles in the most impactful areas in line with company objectives
– Build programs that are truly world-class, pushing conventional wisdom on levels of engagement and efficacy of enablement sessions
– Craft the overall learning journey of our customer facing reps and managers from on-boarding through promotion into the next role
– Measure and monitor the impact of learning initiatives and the Enablement team holistically
– Build a world-class team of enablement professionals and inspire them to do their best work
– Work closely with Product Marketing to support new product launches, defining new features that should be added, and deploying new messaging and packaging
– Active participant in strategic decision making around the direction and execution of highest level revenue objectives
Key Objective for Sales Enablement
– Reduce ramp up time for Account Executives, SDRs, and CSMs.
– Support all key pipeline initiatives through specific programs to achieve pipeline objectives
– Support the development and drive implementation of the strategy for enablement programs and tools designed to improve Sales Executive productivity and the efficiency focused on Sales Onboarding process
– Maintain portfolio of enablement programs including role onboarding path; playbooks, and instructor/leader/facilitator led training
– Manage a blended learning model to include classroom, webinars, self-paced, and event-based training, leveraging conventional and new learning technologies
– Provide thought leadership in the domain of enablement methods and delivery systems to drive innovation, best practices, and operational excellence
– Ensure team employs systematic and rigorous qualitative and quantitative analyses to determine and prioritize enablement needs, define the quantifiable relationship between training and desired outcomes; measure program effectiveness
– Be a subject matter expert in our sales process and methodology
– Ensure team members have clarity of purpose, the tools required to meet their responsibilities, and an environment conducive to diversity of thought, innovation, and personal/career growth
– 3+ years of enablement experience
– Consistent track record of exceptional performance, delivering quantifiable impact on company revenue
– Expert in tooling and Sales Methodologies (MEDDPIC, Challenger, Sandler, Griffin Hill, etc.)
– Amazing in front of a big group and comfortable speaking at conferences and webinars
– Excellent people leader, able to hire, inspire, hold accountable, and develop an elite team
To Stand Out!
– Strong communication skills and comfort presenting to senior leadership
– Highly organized self-starter with the ability to work independently at all levels of the org
– Ability to effectively collaborate with business partners and proactively communicate across locations
– High attention to detail, strong work ethic, a can-do attitude, and an ability to meet tight deadlines
– Ability to identify areas of improvement
Sales Enablement Roles and Responsibilities -Sales Enablement Architect
Sales Enablement Architect Overview
The Sales Enablement Architect aligns technology and processes across the business.
Sales Enablement Architect Job Description
Sales Enablement Roles and Responsibilities – Sales Enablement Program Manager
Sales Enablement Program Manager Overview
Generally seen in larger Enablement organizations. The Sales Enablement Program Manager partners with the Sales Enablement Leader to run individual Enablement programs as a part of the entire Enablement initiative.
Sales Enablement Program Manager Job Description
Here is an example job description, anonymized and generalized slightly, for the sales enablement program manager role. This comes from job posting from Agiloft:
We are seeking a collaborative, enthusiastic, and professional individual to join our success-driven culture. If you are looking for an opportunity to flex your muscles in a high-energy environment where you own your career, we’d love to hear from you.
The Sales Enablement Program Manager is responsible for driving sales enablement and for working closely with sales, sales operations, product management, and marketing to ensure strategic alignment across all functions. The successful candidate will be a highly organized sales professional who has experience defining and running similar initiatives.
- Collaborate with field and customer success leadership to determine key needs and define programs that drive productivity and bookings.
- Lead the creation and deployment of foundational and continuous learning programs for sales to drive growth and enable customer success, including comprehensive onboarding and continuous development with clear deliverables, metrics, and adoption plans.
- Responsible for training content creation, creation, and deployment of on-demand courseware, instructor-led training, and resources.
- Responsible for scheduling and managing sales readiness and sales training classes, workshops, QBRs, SKOs, and other enablement activities.
- Responsible for confidently delivering training – presented as the voice of experience.
- Supports product launches by preparing and enabling the sales force to understand and sell our solutions.
- Responsible for tracking and analysis of courseware and content usage.
- Supports the buying and selling processes at all stages, from lead generation through win/loss through ongoing customer success.
- Proactively identify opportunities to improve the sales process, identify bottlenecks, and resolve inconsistencies.
- Supports frontline sales managers and sales leadership team in executing effective management disciplines and establishing a sales coaching program.
- Manages various sales enablement projects and coordinates activities.
- Bachelor’s degree or higher required.
- 3-5 years of direct experience in Sales Enablement, Sales Readiness, and/or Sales Training required.
- Experience selling B2B SaaS solutions or managing sales teams preferred.
- Extensive knowledge of technologies, processes, and best practices.
- Extensive knowledge of sales training best practices (analysis, instructional design, delivery, implementation, and evaluation).
- Extensive knowledge of modern sales methodologies and best practices, sales process, and buyer’s journey alignment.
- Expert ability to manage projects from concept to completion and multi-task, managing multiple projects simultaneously.
- Expert ability to plan and facilitate meetings.
- Strong strategic, conceptual, and analytical thinking, and decision-making skills.
- Self-motivated; highly driven to produce results.
- Superior organizational, time management, and negotiation skills.
- Excellent interpersonal, communication, persuasion, presentation, and writing skills.
- Expert ability to collaborate and generate a spirit of cooperation while coordinating diverse activities and groups within a team environment.