Sales Enablement Guide

What is Sales Enablement?

What components make up a successful and scalable sales enablement strategy? How do you even effectively explain what enablement is? Join us as we embark on a deep dive into all things sales enablement. You’ll come away from this guide with insights, actionable takeaways, and just maybe a refreshing take on the function of enablement as a whole. ‍
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Guru's complete guide to sales enablement

If you’ve ever Googled “Sales Enablement” to find out what it actually is, your results were likely an array of vendor-specific definitions, all framing sales enablement in an eerily complementary light to their own tools or products. We’ll admit it: Guru was probably among the brands that surfaced in those searches. So we took a step back and created this guide to give you a wide-scope understanding of what sales enablement means, how to make it work, and why you should even care. 

In this guide, we’ll tell you what sales enablement means to us here at Guru. Plus, we’ll share some of the best knowledge we’ve learned from customers who use our technology to power industry-leading sales enablement programs. 

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be a sales enablement expert (or at least you’ll be able to explain what it really is). You’ll come away with the key ingredients for a strong sales enablement strategy in your back pocket — the right team, the right process, and the right technology — aka the recipe for success. 

So, join us as we embark on this deep-dive into enablement. Jump on in…the water's fine! 

Let’s start here…

What is sales enablement?

Sales enablement is the process of enabling customer-facing teams to perform in their jobs and effectively drive revenue. Still, there are a myriad of explanations out there, and it’s easy to get lost in the jargon jungle, but this definition covers the bottom line. 

Pretty broad, huh? Exactly. It’s a broad and diverse discipline, cross-functional and difficult to define. Here are some definitions from other industry thought leaders that we find most clarifying:

“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” -Forrester
“Sales enablement focuses on building scalable, replicable programs vs. one-time training events, delivering the right help to the right salesperson at the right time.” -TOPO Group  

Why is sales enablement important?

Here at Guru, we think of sales enablement as a means to drive revenue by empowering all customer-facing teams to be the best that they can be at their jobs. Successful sales enablement strategies center around instilling confidence in teams and equipping them with the tools and knowledge that they need to effectively engage with customers through every stage of the customer’s journey.

Effective engagement can only happen if your teams are armed with the knowledge that they need to have valuable conversations with prospects. We're firm believers that it’s conversations, not content, that closes deals. 

Regardless of which definition you subscribe to, the foundation of sales enablement remains consistent and clear: to empower people to be the best that they can be at their jobs. Sales enablement empowers teams, cross-functionally, to drive revenue and, at the end of the day, equips them with the tools and knowledge that they need to be confident in their jobs. 

Of course, instilling confidence in others is not a simple task and it takes a special and dynamic person or program to fit the bill. With only 54.3% of sales reps actually hitting their quota as of 2019, the need is there. So what are the ingredients of an effective enablement strategy? 

How do you create an effective sales enablement process?

Before we delve into each facet of a successful process, it’s critical to establish what sales enablement means to you. The reality is that sales enablement looks different at every company. Its role and function is entirely dependent on the organization and the specific pain points they’re looking to address. 

In the next section of this guide will help you establish and curate what enablement will look like for you.

Key areas that a sales enablement strategy can enhance:

  • Learning and development
  • Cross-company communication
  • Knowledge management
  • Onboardings and trainings 

Best practices for creating a sales enablement strategy

Already know which key areas you're looking for your strategy to touch? Read ahead to the how to development section of the guide to learn how to design, implement, and scale a best-in-class sales enablement strategy.

Five clear steps to better sales enablement:

  1. Establish clear structure
  2. Define sales enablement for all roles 
  3. Empower valuable conversations
  4. Build out an intentional tech stack 
  5. Measure outputs

Continue reading to get more information on the complexities of sales enablement, why it matters, and how to scale a strategy to fit your company's specific needs.

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