Type “definition of sales enablement” into the Google Search bar and you’ll get 63,900 results. That’s rather astonishing. Clearly, it’s a popular topic. But equally obvious, is that people want to understand what the heck it means.

12 3 2013 7 43 22 AM 7 ways to Uncover the Real Meaning (and Proper Execution) of Sales Enablement

The short answer as to why the definition is so cloudy is that it means different things to different people.

If you’re a sales trainer, sales enablement means giving your sales team the knowledge and tools to sell effectively(so they can sell more).

If you’ve got a sales coaching business, sales enablement means having the knowledge and tools to coach your sales team effectively (so they can sell more).

If you’re a sales leader, sales enablement means any product or service that will give your team the knowledge and tools to hit or exceed quota (i.e. sell more).

Sales enablement should then be seen as anything that gives salespeople the knowledge and tools they need to be more effective and efficient throughout the entire continuum of their work-flow so they can sell more.

At Smart Selling Tools, we’ve identified nearly 50 tools we consider to be the top tools for B2B sales organizations. You could rightly think of each one of them as sales enablement tools. However, SAVOQvidian, and Revegy have the functionality normally associated with a sales enablement tool. That is, they have best practice workflows built-into their systems so salespeople know where to focus, what to say, and what to send to each prospect based on where they are in the sales process.

Relative new-comers are WittyParrotKnowledgeTree, MobilePaks, and Seismic which also offer reps easy access to best practice sales content. Each of these solutions is different in ways that can’t be explained in this short blog post.[1]

BrightTalk, a free online source of invaluable live, recorded and interactive business insights from top thought leaders is hosting a free Sales Enablement webinar series on December 11th. Starting at 6:00 a.m. pacific, there will be 7 back-to-back webinars on different aspects of sales enablement.

I’ll host a panel on how to quantify the return on sales enablement at 11:00 pacific, joined by Joanne Black and Babette Ten Haken.

Mike Schmidtmann, of 4-Profit and Dean Gilchrist of Cisco Systems will be talking about the processes, preparation, and strategies needed to land large accounts, what they refer to as “harpooning whales.”

Jim Moliski, SVP Strategic Services, Launch International will talk about how to turn sellers into stars with great content

And Deb Calvert, President, People First Productivity Solutions is going to present a not-to-miss discussion called “Is What I’m Doing Enabling or Disabling the Sales Team?” Gotta love that title!

You’ll also get to hear from representatives of SAVOInsideView and Xactly on the following topics, respectively; “Smarter Sales Execution to Guide the Buyer Journey,” “How to Make Social Selling Work for You ,” and “Avoiding the Seven Deadly Sins of Incentive Compensation.” Yes, even sales compensation plans can be counted as “sales enablement” because a properly designed compensation plan will reinforce the right behaviors that lead to better sales outcomes.

To break it down, in this one, 1-day webinar series you’ll learn about sales enablement from the following perspectives:

  1. What’s needed to land big accounts
  2. How to leverage great content throughout the sales process
  3. How to know if you’re enabling or disabling your sales team
  4. Smarter Sales execution
  5. Leveraging Social Selling
  6. Making sure compensation plans support rather than under-cut sales enablement
  7. How to quantify the ROI

What I like most about the concept of sales enablement is that it puts the focus on what managers can do to help salespeople achieve objectives. Instead of admonishing salespeople to do more/sell more, it puts the imperative to offer the knowledge and the tools for that to happen squarely onto the shoulders of managers. If you want to enable your salespeople to sell more, start by attending this webinar.

p.s. What does the term “Sales Enablement” mean to you?


[1] If you want to learn more about these or any of the Top B2B Sales Tools, check out our interactive ebook.