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Introduction

I applaud my colleagues at the Sales Enablement Society for having a working group whose task is to define sales enablement.  

Over the past 20+ years I have seen many sales enablement endeavors succeed and fail.  When I look back, I would have to say that the ones that succeeded had all the ingredients in the definition that follows.  Conversely, when I look back at those that failed they had one or more of the shortcomings.  So here’s the best definition that I’ve seen:

Sales Enablement is a strategic, cross-functional discipline designed to increase sales results and productivity by providing integrated content, training and coaching services for salespeople and frontline sales managers along the entire customer’s journey, powered by technology.

CSO Insights

There are many reasons I like this definition.  To a share a couple:

  • “Strategic” is very important.  In fact, I believe sales enablement  should be executive-driven.  And not just approving a budget.  Driven by executives is key and there are a number of ways to do this.
  • “Sales managers” are critical.  If you want to change and/or improve seller performance it must be done through frontline managers who must consistently do the right things to support sales enablement efforts.  For example, they must conduct opportunity assessments, which are their direct and most effective means of “seeing” what happened (or did not happen) during sales calls and therefore if the sales process, combined with SE content, was understood and applied.

In the coming weeks I will be writing extensively about sales enablement.  I’ll come back to this definition many times along the way and discuss the significance of it.  And we’ll be making some updates along the way too!

Sales Enablement projects that were missing 1 or more of these factors failed. Conversely, when all the factors were present the projects succeeded.