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Enablement grew up in sales operations and it grew up because sales leaders said, ‘I’ve got all these insights about my business, I’ll just put some resources over there.’ And what you’re seeing at large organizations now is that enablement is like the sister or brother to operations…So, why do I see a trend when thinking about reporting structure? Even our VPs of sales operations are thinking, ‘how do I give them all the data?’ I’m thinking about how to give them the personal trainer and coach that can help transform them to the ideal fitness shape they want to be at. Sales operations is still investing four times more in giving them data and a quarter of that in giving them a personal trainer that can help them hit their goal. That’s something I think we’re still handicapped on because a lot of companies are thinking, ‘give sales leaders more insights’ rather than personal trainers.


In its early years, sales enablement either emerged as a subset of the broader field of sales operations or as a function performed singularly or collectively by other business units (sales, marketing, customer service, etc.) in support of revenue-oriented goals. As sales enablement matures, some companies which originally structured it within their sales operations unit have run the two units as co-equal branches within the sales organization.