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A Guide to Understanding Sales Enablement

Sales enablement makes it much easier for revenue teams to achieve their goals. Here’s a look at how to build sales enablement in your organization.



Chapter 1


Chapter 2

What is Sales Enablement?

Chapter 3

What Goes Into a Sales Enablement Strategy?

Chapter 4

The Need for Sales Enablement Today

Chapter 5

Sales Enablement Tools

Chapter 6

Sales Enablement vs. Sales Operations

Table of Contents

Chapter 1


When you manage a sales team, you want people who are willing to run through a wall to get a deal done. But a person can only run through so many walls before they wear themselves out.

As a sales leader, you want to make your team’s jobs easier so they can get more deals done, be happy with their job and compensation, and keep their Kool-Aid Man activities to a minimum.

To empower your revenue team to deliver top-notch performance, you need to equip them with tools that enable efficient and effective task management. You need to knock down as many walls for them as you can.

This is the concept behind sales enablement.

Chapter 2

What is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is the process of providing your sales team with resources, tools, and systems that sets them up to land more deals.

Sales Enablement has multiple facets, and requires coordination between marketing, sales, and customer success. But having so many teams involved begs the question, “who is expected to take ownership of sales enablement?”

Who Owns Sales Enablement?

Sales Enablement needs to be owned by marketing and sales equally, handling different aspects of enablement.

Sales Responsibilities

Sales leaders should make sure reps have tools and resources to

  • Efficiently close deals
  • Onboard and train new reps, and
  • Reduce the length of the sales cycle

Sales leaders and managers must identify the resources needed to achieve this — and connect with the teams that can provide them.

Marketing Responsibilities

The marketing team is responsible for producing resources like

  • Instructional videos
  • Blogs
  • Product guides
  • Testimonials, case studies, and
  • Other industry-specific content sales representatives can use to educate prospects and persuade them to sign

Both marketing and sales have some responsibility for content management, customer engagement through campaigns, and training and refresher content. Which brings us to the next question:

What Does a Sales Enablement Team Look Like?

Here are the roles commonly seen on a sales enablement team:

Sales enablement manager: This person drives the goals, tactics, and performance of your program, and makes sure all the other members work together.

Sales and marketing managers: Effective sales enablement requires significant coordination between marketing and sales. Managers from both teams can make sure that processes are aligned cross-departmentally to facilitate long-term goals.

Customer success manager: The primary aim of the customer success team is to help clients achieve their desired outcomes from using your product. The customer success manager can help the sales enablement team understand customer pain points and what collateral could be created and shared to make the onboarding or upselling easier.

Now that we know who will be a part of the team, let’s explore how to form and implement an effective sales enablement strategy.

Chapter 3

What Goes Into a Sales Enablement Strategy?

Here are the common elements of a sales enablement strategy:

Creating Buyer Personas

Revenue teams are most effective when they know your customers’ interests, characteristics, pain points, and business needs. This helps you craft messages that are more likely to resonate with your buyers.

Some ways to find your ideal buyer persona are:

  • Studying customers and finding common patterns, such as background, industry, company size, or job titles
  • Determining factors that influence your prospects to buy
  • Understanding common pain points

Goal Setting

What do you want to achieve from your sales enablement initiative? Objectives build the foundation for the entire program.

Here’s an example: You are a SaaS startup with an average customer value of $15,000 dollars. You are typically selling your product at around $5,000, and start losing deals once you quote your price above $10,000. This could be because of low pricing set by competitors or limited perceived value from customers.

If your main goal is to increase your average customer value while keeping your customer acquisition costs the same, you could look for ways to:

  • Increase cross-selling and upselling
  • Increase initial deal price
  • Reduce churn to increase lifetime customer value

Your sales enablement team needs to decide which goals are the most important then form an action plan for achieving them.

Auditing Resources

Just because you’re implementing a new strategy doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch.  Determine what has worked for you historically, and look at what resources and processes you can reuse and repurpose. If you don’t have any collateral yet, this is your chance to start creating it.

The right resources can help your sales team win more customers and close deals faster. Uncover your sales team’s needs by asking questions like:

  • What is the one type of tool that could make selling easier, were there no limitations?
  • What kinds of content do prospects need the most?
  • What types of content or outreach tactics have been most successful?
  • How can current content or processes be improved?

Once you find answers to these questions, you’ll identify the following:

  • Existing content, tools, and processes that work well as-is, or need only minor adjustments
  • Resources that have useful elements that can be recycled and repurposed
  • Tools, processes, and collateral that can be scrapped entirely
  • Gaps in tool functionality, processes, or collateral.

Equipping Your Team

A toolkit that never gets used is just a waste of money. Building resources isn’t enough. Your team needs to know:

  • Where content can be found
  • Who content can be shared with
  • Which stage of the sales process a piece of content is meant to serve
  • How the efficacy of content will be measured
  • The process by which content will be updated

Chapter 4

The Need for Sales Enablement Today

Sales enablement accelerates revenue growth. Providing client-facing teams with access to resources like a robust content library that educates and influences prospects or revenue platforms that eliminate or minimize manual processes has the following benefits:

  • Shorter sales cycles
  • Larger deal sizes
  • More predictable pipeline
  • Higher rates of customer satisfaction, renewals, and upsells
  • Productivity gains

Empowering Reps

Access to collateral and tools gives all sales reps the opportunity to succeed and accelerates the speed at which newer reps are onboarded.

With adequate training material and quality content, the disparity between the sales of junior level sales reps and veteran account executives can be bridged faster. Senior reps do have the experience needed to use the collateral to their best advantage, but junior reps learn quickly when they have access to the same resource library.

All members of the sales team are best empowered when they have access to the following:

Reporting Systems

Teams need to make sense of the data that is available to them, and being able to do so at a glance helps revenue teams know if their activities are on the mark, or if they need to make a quick pivot.

Standard reports include:

  • Leads generated and worked
  • Deals won, lost, and in the pipeline
  • Discovery calls completed
  • Product demos landed
  • CRM activity for the sales team

Reviewing Sales Processes

Sales enablement is an ongoing process. Pipeline reports should detail when prospects tend to advance or fall from the pipeline. Examining these reports will show you where there may be weaknesses or gaps in your sales process.

For example, let’s say you see that there are enough leads from marketing going to the sales team, but only 3-5% of them are going to the next stage and/or converting. After examining the data, the sales enablement team:

  • Determines that prospects are dropping off at the demo stage
  • Arranges to sit on demo calls to see what needs improving, and
  • Sets up training with reps to improve the quality of demo calls

Sales Collateral

Building and maintaining a library of sales collateral is a necessity of sales enablement. Content creation is often seen as a responsibility that belongs solely to marketing, but many sales teams produce their own content, such as personalized and targeted messages for different types of outreach.

These are the different ways that sales enablement manages sales collateral:

Organizing Existing Sales Content

Doing a complete content audit is essential, as it provides a clear picture of what you currently possess. This can include anything, from:

  • Case studies
  • Whitepapers
  • Ebooks
  • Blogs
  • Product demo presentations
  • Competitive advantage briefings
  • Pricing information

Creating a content repository gives sales reps and leadership one point of reference for all the materials they require. Organizing existing content will also expose gaps the team needs to fill and inform what content they should prioritize creating.

Creating Case Studies

Case studies demonstrate for customers how your product can be beneficial to their specific needs. Testimonials from industry peers also instill confidence in customers. Whether these stories are about a feature of your product or overall customer success, this is one of the most effective ways to build trust.

Creating Competitor Analysis Reports

Another way to help your sales team is to offer an at-a-glance reference that highlights the competitive advantages of your product. It doesn’t need to be exhaustive — just a simple sheet showing the different areas in which your product performs better or has an advantage over the competition.

These reports are useful since your prospects are likely considering your competitors as well. Letting your prospects know from the get-go how your solution stacks up helps them with their buying decision and helps them understand why your solution may be the strongest fit for their particular need.


Sales reps are responsible for carrying out a lot of tasks, some of which can be time-consuming and tedious and steal time that would be better spent on customer outreach. Tasks like email nurturing, sending simple replies to completed web forms, and updating contact information are just a few of many that can be automated.

Email Outreach

Email outreach is important for gaining and keeping the attention of lower-intent prospects, but it can be a time-consuming process. Creating email templates can help your reps craft messages for a variety of circumstances, like announcements for events, information on new features, and reminders that keep your solution top of mind.

Automated emails can be personalized based on customer characteristics like industry, region, role, and much more, and can be triggered to be sent when certain criteria are met. Setting up automated emails can save reps hours that are better spent engaging high-intent accounts.

Direct Messaging

There is no better time to reach out to your prospects than when they are engaged with your website and learning about your solutions. A chatbot enables reps to do exactly that by initiating conversations immediately and advancing hot prospects to next steps.

Chapter 5

Sales Enablement Tools

What Do Sales Enablement Tools Do?

There is a broad spectrum of tools that can help you achieve your enablement strategy. Here’s a quick look at some tools and the challenges they solve:

Sales Content Management

Sales content management technology (also known as sales asset management) helps companies organize, find, and promote the right sales assets.

Example: Highspot

Highspot lets you manage all the content that the sales team needs to engage with customers, and is organized in a way that reps can easily find what they need. Highspots empowers sales teams to:

  • Publish a wide range of content
  • Organize items into categories
  • Easily change how content is organized
  • Update items with new versions
  • Curate relevant news items
  • Support multiple editors

Video Coaching and Practice

Video coaching tools allow sales teams to reinforce skills taught during training, and then evaluate sellers’ proficiency using video-based practice and coaching assessments.

Example: Wingman

Wingman is like a real time sales coach. The software analyzes conversations as they are happening and displays live cue cards while sales reps make their pitch. Calls are recorded — which is great for later coaching — and Wingman also calculates metrics such as time spent listening vs. speaking during the call.

Productive Sales Outreach

Sales engagement tools help streamline all the ways reps communicate with prospects — email, phone, social, etc. — as well as providing actionable data that highlights which outreach methods are most effective.

Example: Outplay

Outplay is a platform that helps sales teams book more meetings.  It helps your sales team follow and reach buyers via email, phone, text/SMS, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Sales Intelligence

Sales intelligence tools help revenue teams capture and target customers based on data such as firmographic, technographic, and psychographic data. The best tools also spot intent signals that indicate which accounts are ready to buy. This helps your team prioritize their outreach so they focus on accounts that are most likely to bring in revenue.

Example: 6sense

6sense uncovers hidden buyer behavior and helps revenue teams hone in on the best path to revenue wins. 6sense evaluates and analyzes factors such as buyer journeys, technology adoption patterns, and other digital footprints to deliver market and sales intelligence.

The 6sense platform has built-in tools for the entire revenue team, including AI-powered predictive analytics, automations for orchestration and workflows, conversational email capabilities, and much more.

Sales Management

Sales management tools help sales leaders better direct the teams they manage by tracking KPIs and activity levels and improving sales pipeline forecast accuracy.

Example: HubSpot Sales

HubSpot is marketing and sales management software that serves multiple functions: CRM, marketing and sales automation, content management, and more. It also provides detailed reports on sales activity, productivity, and individual performance.

Chapter 6

Sales Enablement vs. Sales Operations

Sales enablement is a tough role to define, as it takes some functions from marketing and sales, but its main goal is to enable reps to do their best work.

It is also often confused with sales operations, but there are some key differences:

Sales operations handles the setup and management of platforms and processes, and makes sure that they are optimized and running efficiently. They work behind the scenes and aren’t usually involved directly with the activities of the sales team, but their work impacts the productivity and efficiency of sales.

Sales enablement makes sure that the tools and processes implemented by operations are put to use by making sure revenue teams are trained on how to use them and make the most of their capabilities.

Content, training, resources, and data can act as powerful tools to improve your sales team’s win rate. Having a well-defined sales enablement team is an absolute necessity for modern sales teams to succeed.

Ready to see 6sense in action?

Chapter 1

What is Sales Intelligence

The 6sense Team

The 6sense Team