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Sales Enablement with Sales Training

Sales Enablement – Does every learning and education professionals know what this is or what it means? Sales training is getting popular in most organizations but is that same as sales enablement? Not every learning professional knows that sales training is just one component of the enablement and there is lot more to enablement than just training. There are still lot of organizations where ‘Sales Enablement’ function doesn’t even exist and enablement of sales is carried out by other functions such as sales operations, go-to-market (GTM) operations, marketing operations, or even HR.

What is Sales Enablement though? The short way to describe it is… “Activities or efforts carried out to ensure that sales professions are competent and ready to sell.” It is not a onetime effort, it is a continuous and ongoing process to optimize and fine tune revenue generation capabilities.

Where sales enablement and sales training overlap and is same or different? Sales training is one key component of sales enablement. Sales training focus is on onboarding training, providing product/solutions training, process training, soft-skill training and compliance training. Whereas sales enablement goes way beyond training and also encompasses processes and tools for continuous field communication (this is especially critical since most of the sales force is in field), cross-functional collaboration (e.g. collaboration with marketing and engineering for pre-sales), ongoing learning (continuous on-demand and just-in-time content delivery for the sales reps in the field covering topics from policies/procedures to howto’s to new product features) and post sales engagement with customers for customer loyalty and cross-sell/up-sell opportunities.

The most common tools used for both sales enablement and sales training (which sometimes blurs the line between enablement and training) are quality video content with its on-demand delivery and collaboration tools for buddy learning. Video content technology has become quite advanced and there are many vendors providing advanced services in this area. Organizations can build quality content/videos once for different aspects of their business including Product/Solutions features and installation, Compliance training certifications, Policies and procedures, Selling strategies, etc. and deliver as just-in-time methods. This enables the field to access what they need and when they need it. Similarly enterprise collaboration tools allow sales force to stay connected with their peers or with other functions and learn from each other when they need and how they need.

Do you still think sales enablement and sales training are same thing?