There are a lot of definitions of sales enablement, all crafted by experts—such as notable analyst firms. The dilemma is that their definitions are more alike than different. In fact, it’s very easy to read a half dozen or more and nod in agreement with every one of them.

So, what if there was a list of key ingredients or components for sales enablement? Ingredients that without which you just wouldn’t have sales enablement at all?

That’s the approach that one authority took, and it’s worth sharing.

The single definition of sales enablement

Of course, the effort begins with yet another definition, and—again—it seems like a very good one. One that would set a lot of heads to nodding affirmatively.

Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales organization with the information, content, and tools that help salespeople sell more effectively.

What sets this one apart, though, is the language surrounding it that gives it context and texture:

“The foundation of sales enablement is to provide salespeople with what they need to successfully engage the buyer throughout the buying process. A big part of sales enablement involves equipping sales people with information they can use in sales cycles. This information might take the form of customer-facing content, sales best practices, and tools to name just a few examples. Regardless of the form the information takes, it needs to be easy to consume and reusable across the sales organization.”

The 7 defining attributes of sales enablement

Next comes an exploded view in the form of seven defining attributes.

1. The objective of sales enablement

It’s all about delievering salespeople what they need to sell more effectively. Period.

2. The essence of want

Reps need to focus less about sales and more about what the buyer wants. Because the endgame is about getting into the hands of salespeople what they need to more readily engage their target buyers. In other words, gives reps the resources the buyer wants.

3. The what of sales enablement

What you provide to your salespeople defines your program. This is usually information, mostly in two forms:

  • Information your sales reps give to buyers
  • Information that sales will use internally—best practices, research, and tools

4. Understanding the product or service

It may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure sales knows how to use what you give them. In other words, training.

5. Sales enablement = means resources that are easy to find and use

Focus on high quality materials that are easy to use and easy to apply so they will be used over and over again. Most salespeople don’t use resources simply because they’re hard to find.

6. Usefulness of sales resources

Track what’s being used and how. It’s the key to optimizing new sales materials.

7. Measure and record the sales enablement data

Establish metrics that give you a window into sales reality. Track meaningful data like:

  • Average sales cycle length
  • Number of reps achieving quota
  • Average deal size

Summing it up

Yes, it’s true that the author of every definition could come up with a similar list. But the real takeaway here? They haven’t. And until they do, this one is a practical tool for gauging what’s truly sales enablement—and what isn’t.

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