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What is Sales Enablement?

In Search of Technology that Enables Sales Success

Sales enablement is on the rise – but what is it, exactly?

The definition of sales enablement is a bit of a moving target. Ask ten different marketing people what it means to them and you might get ten different answers!

Each company has its own perspective, and rightfully so. How you enable a sales team with technology will vary based on what you sell, how you sell it, and who does the selling. For any given sales organization, then, examples of sales enablement could include:

  • Presentation-building software
  • Sales and marketing document libraries
  • Product comparison feature sets
  • Product visualization and configuration tools
  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and other types of calculators

In this overview, we’ll take a look at how the term is variously defined to see where we might find some common ground, and ultimately come to a simple understanding of what is meant by “sales enablement.”

Perspectives on Sales Enablement

  • Hubspot: “1. Processes, practices, technologies and tools that improve the performance and productivity of the sales organization. 2. Enhances ability of sales team to increase revenue via sales. 3. Drives revenue by directly impacting sales teams’ ability to close more deals.”
  • IDC: “Getting the right information into the hands of the right sellers at the right time and place, and in the right format, to move a sales opportunity forward.”
  • Pedowitz Group: “Aligning marketing processes and goals, and then arming sales with tools to improve sales execution and drive revenue.”
  • Forrester: “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 optimize the return of investment of the selling system.”
  • Accent: “Sales enablement is the act of implementing strategies, tools and processes that continually increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales ecosystem.”  

How do Sales Tools and Technology Create Value?

From these five definitions, some common themes appear that help us better understand sales enablement.

  • The ultimate purpose of sales enablement is to increase sales revenue.
  • Sales revenue is increased by improving sales team performance.
  • Sales team performance is improved in multiple ways:
    • Better alignment between sales & marketing
    • Better tools to facilitate sales activities
    • Better sales processes

Building Value for Your Sales Teams

As you can imagine, there are many different ways to accomplish the last three subpoints – hence why sales enablement can take such different forms under the same name. Training tools, analytics enhancements, CRMs, chat modules – as long as it meets the above criteria, it can still be considered sales enablement. This is why it’s so frequently said that everyone should be investing in sales enablement – it’s more about the ends than the means. Who doesn’t want more sales revenue?

Resources:

If you would like to learn more about our experience and perspective on mobile marketing and sales tools, please check out some of the resources below, or reach out on our contact page. We would be more than happy to share best practices that would help your sales teams to be more effective.

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