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April 27, 2016

What Exactly Is Sales Enablement?

What is sales enablement? Simply put, it’s a role that helps sales teams to be more productive. Gartner defines it as, “The activities, systems, processes and information that support and promote knowledge-based sales interactions with client and prospects.” The role of sales enablement is not a traditional sales role—but instead a hybrid of sales and marketing. This hybrid allows the sales enablement person (or team) to better relate to the experiences of the salespeople, thereby making it easier for them to provide the sales team with relevant, engaging content for each stage of the sales process.

Since the sales enablement role is a relatively new one, let’s outline some of the responsibilities it comprises. Based on research by SiriusDecisions, sales enablement duties include:

  • Providing guidelines for using sales assets
  • Sharing best practices
  • Building sales assets
  • Developing product training

This role may look slightly different for each organization, but at its core it’s designed to provide salespeople with all the tools they need in order to be more effective and close more leads as a result.

There’s also some debate about whether this role reports into sales or marketing. According to the previously mentioned SiriusDecisions report, about 46 percent of the companies in their database reported the role as part of sales, 32 percent reported it as part of marketing and 18 percent reported that it belonged to one or more business units. Sirius believes that more and more sales enablement will report into the sales organization but where it fits in the organization is less relevant than how impactful the role is.

So if the sales enablement role is designed to make sales teams more effective, how do we make sales enablement itself more effective? An essential component seems to be how connected to the sales team sales enablement is. Some companies say their sales enablement is most successful when that person or team works very closely with the sales team, even participating in sales calls and meetings. It’s also important for this role to be connected to the marketing department to help determine the direction of future content and strategies. When sales enablement bridges the gap between sales and marketing, the content being delivered will be ultra-relevant and, as a result, more effective.

Just as there’s no cut-and-dried way to provide sales enablement, there’s no standardized way for sales enablement to deliver content to the sales team. If delivered in an ineffective way, sales enablement fails to accomplish its goal of supporting the needs of the sales team. Salespeople need mobility, so sales enablement must reach them on the devices that are with them most often, like tablets and smartphones. In-person training needs to be followed up with materials to help reinforce learning, and progress needs to be measured not only by what content is being viewed, but by how it is being implemented. This means that sales enablement not only needs to create strategies and content—but also monitor their effectiveness by tracking the success of the sales team.

Allego provides the perfect platform to make your organization’s sales enablement extremely successful. If your team is creating strong content to enable your salespeople, but it’s just not getting through to them, the sales enablement team needs to deliver that content in a more relevant and accessible way. Allego improves sales enablement by facilitating the delivery of the most useful content at the right time and in the right place.

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