What is a Sales Enablement Manager?
A Sales Enablement Manager’s primary responsibility is to make sure their sales teams have the necessary resources to carry out their job as effectively and efficiently as possible.A Sales Enablement Manager's primary responsibility is to make sure their sales teams have the necessary resources to carry out their job as effectively and efficiently as possible. Click To Tweet
But, it’s more than that; this is a management role. And part of being a manager is doing everything possible to help your team succeed. This responsibility involves hiring and training other Sales Enablers, training and coaching the Enablement team, and ensuring they have access to software tools to improve effectiveness.
And even more. You must be a cooperative and collaborative partner across the entire business. You must work closely with sales operations, sales leaders, product teams, product marketing, and other key stakeholders to understand their needs in the context of the overall business goals.
What does a Sales Enablement Manager do?
A Sales Enablement Manager is the one who puts together a strategy combining communication and sales efforts in a way that will best connect with customers. As a result, they train salespeople on best-practice techniques, including what the product or service does and how they can best benefit the customer.
Sales Enablement Managers focus on how to best reach and support their sales teams. Sales productivity, sales effectiveness, sales efficiency, are all critical important for a well-run sales enablement function.
To communicate, collaborate, engage, and ultimately, help them support the end-buyers in their journey to buy your products and solutions.
Standard Job Responsibilities of a Sales Enablement Manager
The standard job responsibilities of this role include:
- Defining clear expectations for the sales enablement program by setting goals and KPIs.
- Be the liaison between sales and marketing.
- Educate sales reps on the organization’s products and services.
- Teaching best-practice sales techniques and closing skill gaps through both onboarding and ongoing training
- Delivering sales tools, a sales enablement platform, and providing ongoing training to help save time and improve efficiencies
- Identify the most valuable and effective channels and content formats for sales collateral to support customers, sellers, and sales management
- Structure cross-functional collaboration, with clear feedback loops, between all customer facing teams (not just marketing and salespeople)
What does a typical Sales Enablement Manager need to have in terms of job experience?
There are two categories for what job experience a Sales Enablement Manager needs:
The successful candidate should have most of these skills. If not, they probably aren’t going to be the best fit for this sales enablement leader role:
- Five or more years experience in content marketing, sales enablement, sales ops, or sales development
- Excellent content management, content creation, content development, and copywriting skills
- Experience building learning materials and training programs, especially with training and coaching sellers or other customer-facing teams
- Deep experience with at least one Sales Enablement tool and the CRM solution you are usingAbility to interpret insights from data, having strong analytical skills, and an ability to balance data driven and user-provided feedback
Good-to-have (but not required) skills
If a candidate has most of the required skills and one or more of these, they will be able to do even more in the role:
- Previous experience in a sales enablement manager role (or at least in other senior sales enablement roles)
- Experience with, and understanding of, best practices around sales cycles, methodologies, and processes
- An understanding of strategies for business growth, as well as standard KPIs
- Knowledge of how to unravel the buyer and customer journey
- Familiarity with partnering with a marketing team
- Previous experience in a similar industry
These skills and experiences are important, of course, but what about the elephant in the room?
Should the Sales Enablement Manager have sales experience?
I would argue that sales experience, in either sales leadership or carrying a bag, is a big plus for success in Enablement. Having experience living the struggle of the day to day sales challenges provides credibility to your work.
However, while sales experience is a big plus, it is not a requirement. A deep understanding of sales processes, methodologies, and the go-to-market motion used by your organization can take you far. However, you must work twice as hard to earn the respect of the sales team.
Sales Enablement Professionals at all levels must remain focused on building credibility and delivering results if their enablement function is going to go from simply delivering good sales enablement to great enablement results.
What is the typical Sales Enablement Manager salary?
The typical Sales Enablement Manager salary varies depending on country, industry, and company size.
Other factors that can contribute to salary include experience and credentials (like certifications or tertiary education degrees). In fact, this Experience can be an essential factor in determining compensation.
Sales enablement is still in its growth stage. Due to this fact, those who have a lot of experience are in high demand and can command a higher salary than most.
What is the average salary of a Sales Enablement Manager?
In the U.S., according to Glassdoor the salary can start as low as $63,000 and go as high as $147,000.
In the U.S., according to Glassdoor the salary for a Sales Enablement Manager can start as low as $63,000 and go as high as $147,000 Click To Tweet
Of course, salaries vary across the globe. As the time of this writing, per Glassdoor, here are the average base salaries for several locations across the globe.
- Canada: CA$100K per year.
- Argentina: No report.
- United Kingdom: £59,387 per year.
- Spain: €78,908 per year.
- Germany: No report.
- South Africa: No report.
- India: ₹1,642K per year.
- Australia: A$127K per year.
3 Tips for Succeeding as a Sales Enablement Manager
To succeed as a Sales Enablement Manager, you need to deliver at least the following:
- Communication and cross functional collaboration
- Training and coaching
- The right sales enablement technology stack
Communication and collaboration
Communication and collaboration in and across departments are vital. If you’re not in constant contact with your salespeople, how can you support them?
However, communication needs to be bi-directional to be of value; one-way communication will lead to failure. To ensure success, you need to create a feedback system.
Why do you need a feedback system?
A well-functioning feedback system will allow the team to provide feedback on training, sales content, and other services.
The Enablement team must continuously improve, to leverage these ideas and areas where improvement is necessary.
Encouraging communication and an environment where information-sharing is the norm will lift a sales team’s performance. It will also help inform in which areas your team will benefit the most from on-going training.
Consistent training and coaching
The Sales Enablement Manager’s role includes ensuring all salespeople—old and new—perform at their best using a combination of techniques.
As a result, training should not be limited to the initial onboarding process. On-going training is critical for sales success, and the success of the sales enablement team, as onboarding.Sales training should not be limited to the initial onboarding process. On-going training is as critical for sales success, and the success of the sales enablement team, as onboarding. Click To Tweet
When you discover a technique or approach that is working, train the team on how to replicate it. Your goal is to help all sellers to improve their craft, training is one of the tools in your arsenal.
Now, add coaching to the mix. Focused, custom-tailored coaching, based upon training, leads to the best results, putting the training into context for each seller supported.
The best use for modern technology is automating what can be automated so humans can do what they’re best at; engaging with other humans.
This rule applies well, especially with tools like CRM, project management software, sales enablement software, and so on. Because these tools simplify many tasks, your salespeople can automate at scale those time-consuming tasks that take precious time away from selling.
Investing in the right technology will help a manager more closely monitor and analyze sales, and enablement, efforts. Through this technology, the goal is to help the whole team be more efficient and effective in a scalable manner.
The Sales Enablement Manager Job Description
Now that you have that information, are you looking for an example of a Sales Enablement Manager job description?
How to approach your first 120 days
It is tempting to dive right in.
Don’t fall prey to the desire to instantly start solving problems and getting to work.
Avoid coming into the new role with preconceived notions of priorities, action plans, and so forth.
The first 30 days
As you begin to work with this new sales organization, take time to rest your communication skills and focus on your listening skills.
During the first thirty days in a new Sales Enablement Manager role, go on a listening tour and interview every single member of the go-to-market team.
Yes, every single person in the team — from the new SDR to the SVP, sit down with them and seek to understand their needs.
What do you ask during the listening tour?
- Share your your goals for the next 30/60/90/180 days
- Explain what you see as the biggest challenges in hitting your goals and those of the business
- Describe what you like about your job
- Tell me about the training and content you have to do your job
- Describe the level of cross functional collaboration
As you perform your listening tour, listen.
Don’t propose solutions.
Don’t form opinions.
Simply listen and take notes.
As you come to the end of the first thirty days, create your plan for the next 90 days.
What do days 30 to 120 look like
The short answer is that no two of us share the same exact day 30-120 plan.
However, you should now have a good sense for:
- The largest roadblocks for achieving objectives
- A list of quick wins you want to knock down
- People, process, and technology needs
You MUST use this time to establish the credibility of you and your program.
You should spend 25-75% of your time delivering quick wins, depending on what you learned in the first 30 days.
However, don’t fall into the trap of just knocking out quick wins.
You need a sales enablement strategy. One that demonstrates measurable, positive business outcomes.
- Read our article on sales enablement metrics
- Select a mix of leading and lagging indicators
- Work your plan backwards and forwards to identify how you will achieve these outcomes
And have some fun. This is stressful work for all involved, so keep it light and create an environment where people love coming to work every single day.
Living Enablement as a practitioner and as a leader. I’ve seen the confusion and frustration that many practitioners live. From working in other areas of the business, I’ve also seen the genuine need for the capabilities that enablement provides.