What Is Sales Enablement? Definition, Jobs, and Strategy

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Discover sales enablement as a business approach and career path and begin building your sales enablement strategy.

[Featured image] A sales enablement professional meets with a member of her company's sales team.

What is sales enablement?

A sales enablement strategy provides salespeople with the resources they need to engage customers throughout the buying process. Sales enablement resources vary across organizations and industries. Here are some general types of sales enablement resources:

  • Marketing content that salespeople can use to inspire and educate customers 

  • Data from market and industry research to inform salespeople on the latest trends 

  • Training to empower salespeople with the right skills 

  • Access to technology solutions, such as a customer relationship management (CRM) system to streamline sales processes 

Some of the principles that guide sales enablement include:

  • Usability: making sure resources are easy to find and apply to sales situations 

  • Measurability: making sure that teams track meaningful metrics such as the average sales cycle length, average deal size, and total revenue

  • Customer focus: designing sales enablement resources to deliver what customers want

Why is sales enablement important? 

Along with a clear sales enablement definition, it’s important to know how having a clear sales enablement strategy can benefit your business or sales team. 

Today's customers are more empowered and hold companies to higher standards than in the past. In fact, according to Salesforce’s 2022 survey of over 13,000 consumers, 88 percent of respondents said that trusting companies is a priority for them, especially in times of change such as the COVID-19 pandemic [1]. The study says that consumers want companies to be honest, transparent, interested in customers’ well-being, and committed to making the world more just and sustainable. 

This is where sales enablement can help. Sales teams can engage customers more effectively when they have the tools they need to educate customers on a company’s products, services, and values, and communicate how the company contributes to a better world.

Industry expert Sales Enablement PRO’s 2022 State of Sales Enablement Report revealed that a consistent sales enablement practice for at least two years increases the likelihood of high buyer engagement by 48 percent [2].

Sales enablement also streamlines content, so salespeople can avoid time-consuming searches for materials or creating content from scratch. It provides visibility for multiple teams within an organization, including sales, marketing, content creation, and customer service, allowing teams to coordinate their strategies and tactics around the organization’s sales goals. 

A sales enablement strategy can help companies attract top sales talent. 

Sales enablement jobs

In general, sales enablement professionals enter this field with experience in sales or sales operations, marketing, business, or human resources and are responsible for enhancing the relationship between sales and marketing teams, training sales staff, and furnishing marketing content for sales staff. 

Educational requirements may vary from one position to another. A bachelor’s degree is a common requirement or preferred credential. Some employers may be more interested in specific skills and experience.  

While you may already have an idea of the industry or role you want, it’s a good idea to explore the range of possibilities in sales enablement to make an informed career decision. 

A July 2022 search on LinkedIn for “sales enablement” yields over 20,000 job listings at companies such as Yahoo, Zoom, FedEx, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google, WeWork, and Apple. Job titles include: 

 

  • Sales enablement content writer

  • Sales content copywriter/sales enablement 

  • Sales enablement content designer 

  • Sales enablement specialist 

  • Sales enablement lead

  • Sales enablement program and training specialist

  • Sales enablement advisor 

LinkedIn also lists jobs that don’t include “sales enablement” in the job title but that list sales enablement in the job description as a task, responsibility, or required skill set. These jobs include: 

  • Content specialist 

  • Partnership development specialist 

  • Global product education content strategist

  • Revenue enablement content manager

  • Sales trainer

  • Lead editor/copywriter 

  • Lead product marketing manager 

You may find that you can draw upon prior experience in areas such as business leadership, content writing, or customer support to pursue a career in sales enablement.  

As you review job openings in sales enablement, highlight roles that align with your career goals. Then, search for general career information on these roles, including the average salary, common tasks, and the skills and qualifications required, and compare them with job listings.   

Below we’ve put together two examples of sales enablement jobs, using information from Glassdoor, which you can use to guide your research process. 

Sales enablement manager

  • The average sales enablement manager salary in the US with 1-3 years of experience is $99,126

  • Professionals in this role recruit, train, and lead sales teams, help drive sales targets, provide sales forecasts, and manage team performance.  

  • Skills and qualifications for this role include sales experience; a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications, or related field; an understanding of CRM systems; oral and written communication skills

Sales trainer

  • The average sales trainer salary in the US with 1-3 years of experience is $90,841.

  • Professionals in this role develop sales training programs based on an organization’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals; create educational content to support the sales training program; and build relationships with customers, stakeholders, and other teams. 

  • Skills and qualifications for this role include a bachelor’s degree, sales background, experience creating educational material, and leadership and communication skills. 

Steps to build your sales enablement strategy

Devising a sales enablement strategy is a good practice and an important skill for anyone in sales, whether you’re a business owner looking to empower your team or a job seeker looking for a sales enablement position. Use the steps below to build a sales enablement strategy. 

1. Gather feedback from your sales team. 

Gathering feedback is an important step for your sales enablement strategy. Doing so empowers your sales team to reflect on their firsthand interactions with customers and share important insights that can guide the strategy.  What do salespeople experience? What challenges do they face? What resources would help them engage customers more effectively?  

2. Set sales enablement goals. 

Ground your strategy in clear, data-driven sales enablement goals. Work with your team to establish what to accomplish in a specific time period. Here are two examples: 

  • Close 25 percent more sales every month.

  • Acquire 30 percent more new accounts In Q3 than in Q2.  

3. Define sales enablement for all roles. 

Your next step is to list all the roles that comprise your sales team, such as sales enablement manager, inside sales representative, sales associate, and sales development representative, and define what sales enablement looks like for each role. What is each role responsible for? What resources, skills, and training does each need to succeed? 

For example, a sales representative on your team may benefit from buyer persona profiles, effective selling courses, and resources for selling on different social media platforms. 

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4. Update your sales playbook. 

A sales playbook is a written document, often a combination of text and graphics, that an organization’s sales team uses to determine its unique sales approaches. A good sales playbook will determine what team members should do in different situations.  

Compose an updated version of your sales playbook using the feedback you’ve gathered, the goals you’ve identified, and the description of what sales enablement looks like for each team member. Distribute to everyone on the team. 

5. Choose sales enablement software.

The right sales enablement software can help to streamline processes, including managing a library of marketing content, guiding reps through new strategies, and analyzing sales performance. 

Here are two sales enablement tools to investigate:

 

6. Measure results and customer impact. 

Measuring sales enablement efforts regularly helps keep your sales playbook updated and ensures your sales team is meeting goals. 

Use your sales enablement software to track such results as:

  • Content that best engages customers

  • Specific tactics reps are using to close sales

  • Biggest revenue drivers 

To learn more about developing a sales enablement strategy, watch this video from the HubSpot Sales Representative Professional Certificate.

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A good sales enablement strategy has three key elements a clear goal, a target buyer and a content strategy. Let's look at each of these one at a time.

Sales enablement best practices and key takeaways 

Remember: Benefits of a robust sales enablement strategy include streamlined content, skilled and prepared sales teams, and effective buyer engagement.  

Follow these best practices to get the most out of your sales development strategy: 

  • Tailor sales processes to the buyer’s journey. 

  • Create different content for different stages of the buyer’s journey.

  • House all sales enablement resources in a central location for easy access. 

  • Design your sales enablement strategy with the end goals in mind.  

Build sales skills with Coursera.

Online courses can be a great way to learn more about sales enablement and discover career opportunities. Explore sales enablement, lead generation, sales reporting, and more in the HubSpot Sales Representative Professional Certificate.

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Lead Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sales Process Engineering, Inbound Sales, Sales Enablement, Content Creation, Customer Success, Sales, Outreach Sequence, Social Selling, Customer Experience, Inside Sales, Sales Presentation, Data Analysis, Data Management, Data Visualization (DataViz), Sales Team Management, Onboarding

Related articles 

Article sources

1. Salesforce. “State of the Connected Customer: Fifth Edition, https://www.salesforce.com/content/dam/web/en_us/www/documents/research/salesforce-state-of-the-connected-customer-fifth-ed.pdf.” Accessed July 20, 2022. 

2. Sales Enablement PRO. “State of Sales Enablement Report 2022, https://salesenablement.pro/assets/2022/06/State-of-Sales-Enablement-Report-2022-SE-PRO.pdf.” Accessed July 22, 2022.

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