Enablement’s Responsibilities: Own, Define, Communicate!

Recent studies have shown that (Sales) Enablement is on the rise with over 60 percent of organizations having (Sales) Enablement established in their organizations. There are a lot of general definitions out there describing what Enablement actually does, but there isn’t much insight into how Enablement has defined their actual responsibilities.

I regularly connect with other Enablement professionals and often encounter two scenarios:

  1. Their company, who has never had Enablement before (therefore lack of knowledge/experience), defined the responsibilities of that team
  2. The Enablement team or the company did not define responsibilities at all, and used a “things will define themselves over time” approach

Defining Roles & Objectives

Very rarely are practitioners able to say, “Enablement at our company is responsible for 1…, 2…, 3…., and 4…”. With Enablement still being a field that is shaping itself, we have to take charge in educating our organization on the responsibilities we should have, where limits and boundaries are, and how our responsibilities align with other business teams.

A clear definition, agreement and company-wide communication about the outcome will do the following:

  • Protect the Enablement team from being the “fire department”, putting out everybody’s fires without ever having time to build a true customer-centric Enablement ecosystem
  • Strengthen their position as a true partner and connector between Sales and Marketing due to clear boundaries and the ability to better define partnerships

Of course, responsibilities will vary between organizations and it should be Enablement’s goal to understand the how and why behind it.

How we define Enablement’s responsibilities at Seismic

At Seismic we are not just enabling our Sales teams, we support everybody in our organization that is customer-facing: Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, and our Partners/Channel. This strategy has definitely impacted how we defined our Enablement responsibilities. We have defined what we do in four sections as part of our Enablement charter.

1. Enablement Services

Our team is responsible for building ongoing, repeatable, and scalable Enablement services for our entire customer-facing audience. By that we mean services that our team has designed, developed, implemented, and evaluated such as Onboarding and skill-based continuous development trainings. We ensure that we have enough time allocated each quarter to develop these services, so we have an ongoing service offering we are running on a monthly/quarterly basis. Services are built using multiple training approaches such as e-learning, ILT (instructor led trainings), VILT (virtual instructor led trainings), structured coaching and so on.

2. Enablement Tech Stack

We take full ownership and responsibility for our Enablement tech stack. That includes managing vendor relationships for tools and platforms, tracking and monitoring ROI, running regular business reviews with our vendors, enabling new hires on our entire Enablement tech stack and our entire audience on new features. Lastly, we are responsible for the implementation of new tools and drive accountability around usage with our leadership (top-down approach).

3. Storytelling

Our team is responsible for enabling our customer-facing employees in delivering a compelling buyer experience. Currently, nearly 85 percent of buyers say that the experience they have with a brand is as important as a product and services themselves. That said, less than a quarter feel like their last buyer experience was a positive one. That’s why we care that our audience understands the needs of the customer and that they are able to frame up the value proposition in a way that resonates. We are lucky to be able to use our own Storytelling Platform, Seismic, to achieve just that.

4. Processes

A big part of our responsibility is to define, design, develop, implement, and enable on new processes. This could start with a new sales process for the organization all the way to new methodologies.

This responsibility requires a lot of finesse, stakeholder management, strong communication, and the ability to drive accountability across the entire organization.


Final Thoughts: Communication

Defining your responsibilities as part of an Enablement charter is not enough.

The key should always be to communicate, communicate, communicate after gaining agreement from key stakeholders.

A lot of us are in the unique position to start Enablement from scratch for our organizations, it should be YOUR personal responsibility to educate and shape what Enablement is at your company.

Irina Soriano Photo

Irina Soriano

Head of Enablement, Seismic

Seismic is the recognized leader in sales and marketing enablement, equipping global sales teams with the knowledge, messaging, and automatically personalized content proven to be the most effective for any buyer interaction.