Unlocking Your Enablement Potential: Must-Have Skills for Success

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In the current landscape, numerous professionals are diligently working to establish a significant presence and lay the groundwork for sales enablement in startups and scale-ups. The average ratio of sales enablement practitioners to sales personnel in scale-ups ranges from approximately one in 30 to one in 50.

A sales enablement professional serves as the vital link, gathering valuable insights from organizational leaders and various departments and transforming them into powerful resources that empower the sales team and set them up for success. With such a pivotal responsibility, honing a specific skill set becomes essential to streamline the intricate enablement processes.

While enablement is still emerging as a formal business function, aspiring enablers can learn key skills and best practices to develop those skills by turning to established leaders and online resources. Read below to understand the must-have skills for enablement success and recommended resources to enhance one’s overall expertise in enabling sales teams.

Essential Enablement Skills

Here are six crucial skills that are essential for a sales enabler. Newcomers in the field can concentrate on developing these individual skills to enhance their overall capabilities and establish a stronger presence in the dynamic landscape of sales enablement:

1. Communication and Influence

In the realm of sales enablement, the significance of effective communication and strong leadership skills cannot be overstated. Proficient communication empowers sales enablers to articulate intricate ideas, sway stakeholders, and establish meaningful connections with internal teams and external clients alike. Meanwhile, honed leadership abilities enable them to inspire and motivate colleagues, foster collaboration, and steer the sales team toward accomplishing objectives.

2. Sales and Industry Knowledge

Sales enablement professionals must possess a deep understanding of both their company’s landscape and the broader enablement industry. Staying up to date with the latest technologies and effective methodologies is essential to support sales teams effectively. By being well-informed, practitioners can proactively drive success and equip their teams with the most valuable strategies and resources.

  • Sales Processes and Methodologies: Today’s working environment encompasses various sales methodologies, including MEDDIC, MEDDPIC, the Challenger Sale, and Value-based Selling, among others.
  • Sales Tools: Additionally, numerous tools are available to optimize sales performance, and it is crucial for enablers to be knowledgeable about them.
    • To assist with this, a comprehensive directory of tools is provided by Sales Enablement PRO, allowing individuals to easily navigate and familiarize themselves with the tools based on the specific problems they aim to solve.
  • Industry Dynamics: In addition to understanding the industry in which your company operates, it is equally crucial to delve into the realm of sales enablement. This involves exploring the practices employed by enablers in other organizations, understanding how they measure their efforts, and discerning the reasons behind their preference for one enablement tool over another. Fortunately, there are numerous groups and communities comprising talented professionals who are eager to share their knowledge and assist others in navigating through any uncertainties or challenges they may encounter, including Women in Sales Enablement and Sales Enablement PRO, among others.

3. Content and Learning Strategy

Proficiency in creating and managing sales enablement content is vital, encompassing various materials such as sales collateral, training resources, playbooks, and presentations. It is essential for aspiring enablers to enhance their content skills and leverage appropriate tools to develop compelling sales collateral that aligns with their company’s branding requirements. For example, emerging generative AI tools such as ChatGPT and Notion can help practitioners get started with the content creation process. When crafting content, consider two distinct audiences:

  • The Sales Team: For this audience, the focus lies on creating certifications, e-learning courses, onboarding materials, playbooks, and resources for continuous training. Adopting a pedagogical approach and employing creative adult learning formats are key considerations in this context. The following resources can provide a strong foundation to get started:
  • The Prospects: When targeting prospects, the aim is to create impactful materials to help sellers better engage buyers, such as one-pagers, presentations, and product pitches. Communicating concisely and effectively is paramount, with attention given to design elements that play a significant role in capturing attention and conveying information.
    • Some popular content creation tools include Canva, PowerPoint, Google Slides, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Prezi.

4. Project Management

Project management is a critical competency for sales enablers. They are responsible for effectively coordinating complex initiatives, collaborating across departments, meeting deadlines, optimizing resources, managing risks, and measuring success. By mastering project management, sales enablers can ensure streamlined operations, maximize efficiency, and drive the success of sales enablement initiatives. Strengthening their knowledge in project management equips them to proactively address challenges, engage stakeholders, and ensure the smooth implementation of sales enablement strategies.

Effective project execution plays a pivotal role in achieving project success, as poor execution remains a significant cause of failures. Therefore, developing and refining project management skills is vital for sales enablers to facilitate positive change within the sales organization and achieve successful outcomes. Many courses and certifications for project management are available online, such as the below:

5. Change Management

Change management expertise equips enablers with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complexities of organizational transformations and successfully drive sales enablement initiatives. This helps practitioners gain insights into:

  • Effectively managing resistance
  • Facilitating smooth transitions
  • Promoting the adoption of new processes and technologies

Every initiative and learning program curated by a sales enabler carries an inherent element of change. This may involve introducing new sales processes, tools, or product releases. It is natural for the sales team to exhibit resistance to these initiatives.

However, if these changes are introduced and planned in an organized manner, with the understanding that every project represents a change for the sales team, and by incorporating a robust change management process, the resistance can be significantly reduced. By proactively addressing the challenges associated with change and focusing on how to best support the sales team, sales enablers can navigate the path to successful adoption and minimize resistance. Leverage the following resources to learn more:

6. Data Analysis and Measurement

In every sales enablement initiative, the question of performance evaluation arises. Enablers constantly seek ways to measure their efforts and demonstrate the substantial improvements achieved. It is of utmost importance to showcase the significance of the enablement team within an organization and how their contributions directly impact the overall success of the company.

This necessitates thorough data analysis and the establishment of key performance indicators (KPIs). To effectively measure and evaluate enablement efforts, it is essential to begin by aligning each metric with the quarterly or yearly goals of the company. By demonstrating the direct correlation between enablement metrics and the company’s overarching objectives, sales enablers can effectively illustrate their value and contribute to the continued growth and prosperity of the organization. In the below resources, learn best practices for data-driven enablement:

As the enablement field continues to develop, it is crucial for aspiring enablers to take advantage of these resources to upgrade their skills and champion enablement in their organizations. However, the journey doesn’t end there. To truly succeed in enablement, it is important to maintain a curious mindset and foster a supportive community that helps each other climb the ladder of success. By continuously learning and collaborating, practitioners can collectively elevate the practice of sales enablement and drive greater outcomes for their organizations.

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