Sales Enablement: The Pathway to Better Sales Performance

We recently re-established our position as a Sales Enablement Consultancy in Aberdeen, Scotland. You may be wondering what “sales enablement” is. So, in this blog, our directors, Sarah and Yekemi, answer popular questions about sales enablement and its role in driving performance.

But what is Sales Enablement?

Sarah Downs:

There are a few definitions of Sales Enablement. But after extensive discussions with senior executives and vendors, Forrester defined Sales Enablement in a nutshell.

“Sales Enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle to optimise the return of investment of the selling system”.

What does sales enablement mean as a sales leader?

Sarah Downs:

Sales leaders design and put in place strategies to grow sales increase the productivity and performance of their sellers. For sellers to be motivated and perform consistently, they need proper support, even more so in an ever-changing world of buyer behaviours and expectations. At this point, Sales Enablement comes into an organisation and is a key to its ongoing success.

When sales leaders consider Sales Enablement, they will discuss many different objectives. These objectives can include sales recruitment, coaching, process, technology, aligned content and more.

Increasing sales is essential. But, the Sales Enablement’s role is to increase sales velocity, that is, how fast your sales team moves deals from an opportunity to close.

Even though there are specific ‘leads’ and ‘managers’ of Sales Enablement within some organisations, it’s everyone’s job.

If we can create an ecosystem that crosses all disciplines, we can ensure that sellers get all the support they need.

What is the role of marketing in sales enablement?

Yekemi Otaru:

We’ve agreed that there are several definitions of Sales Enablement. Yet, one of the most precise and straightforward definitions is from Gartner. “Sales Enablement is a process of providing the sales organisation with the information, content and tools that help salespeople sell more effectively.”

"Sales Enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer's problem-solving life cycle to optimise the return of investment of the selling system."

Forrester

Forrester’s definition focuses on the customer’s journey and the conversations throughout their buying journey. It captures the practicality of what it entails to fulfil a successful customer journey from a marketing perspective. It’s no surprise that I’m partial to the pragmatic. After all, marketing has to gather the required information from the whole organisation. Marketing leads the engagement with subject matter experts to understand the value proposition, buyer personas, and competitors. With the relevant information comes content creation. But first, we need answers to these questions:

  • What does the sales team need to speed up conversations across multiple touchpoints?
  • Where is the customer on the buyer journey?
  • What’s the best way to present essential information?

These are all questions that marketing must answer to drive Sales Enablement. Marketing designs content and tools that the sales team can use. The effect of the content should be easy to measure.

So, usability, measurement and relevance are vital for marketing teams supporting sales enablement.

Who handles Sales Enablement? 

Yekemi Otaru:

Sales Enablement is a role and not a task; it is a function. It is a role that can change company to company and from industry to industry.

In some organisations, the sales and marketing functions own Sales Enablement. Both parts must partner in delivering tools, resources, and systems to support performance. For example, a few companies have a multidisciplinary Sales Enablement team. For example, the team might report to operations or the function responsible for operationalising sales information by turning it into data for predicting organisational performance.

Corporate culture plays a vital role in the success of Sales Enablement. If the results of Sales Enablement are promising, it makes sense that the entire organisation benefits from its ongoing success.

We are even more convinced that Sales Enablement is everyone’s job!

Want to find out more? 

Connect with us on LinkedIn for more insights on Sales Enablement. You can also follow our directors Sarah Downs and Yekemi Otaru on LinkedIn for inspiration and business stories.

If you would like to discuss how Sales Enablement can drive growth in your business, please email us at insights@doqaru.com to book a non-obligatory call.