How to create a culture of sales enablement


Share on LinkedIn

Photo by Betsy Weber. Used under Creative Commons License.
Photo by Betsy Weber. Used under Creative Commons License.

“Sales enablement” is a term that is on everybody’s lips right now. Data from SiriusDecisions points to a 69% increase in spending in this area in the past two years – why? Because effective sales enablement strategy has a major revenue impact.

What is sales enablement?

Sales enablement refers to the process of “aligning marketing processes and goals, and then arming sales with tools to improve sales execution and drive revenue.” (The Pedowitz Group).

Whilst this is hardly the most complete explanation out there, the fact that it starts out with a sales-marketing alignment message shouldn’t be overlooked. Keeping that line of communication open and healthy between marketing and sales teams is a key component of sales enablement. Not only does it help reps become better informed on the company’s products, customers and overall brand messages, but it also helps ensure that the content generated by marketing is relevant to reps and aligned with their sales conversations.

How to create a sales enablement culture

Audit your sales team performance

The first step to creating a better sales enablement culture is to take stock of the culture you have currently. Your demand generation function and Sales heads will have an accurate hold on the numbers, but when it comes to the intangibles that powers these numbers – personal motivators, interpersonal relationships, communication, etc – these requires more than a simple data export. A helpful checklist to auditing your sales team can be found here.

Decide measurement criteria for successful sales enablement

Successful sales enablement looks different in each company’s unique context. Metrics of success could include (but are not limited to) content usage: content is one of the most useful weapons in a salesperson’s toolkit for reengaging cold leads, nurturing conversations, and handling objections. Successful sales enablement will lead to marketing content being used; sales efficiency: the more time salespeople spend looking for leads, creating sales presentations and doing research, the less time they have for sales calls, and the less likely they’ll achieve their sales quota. Successful sales enablement should lead to demonstrably more time spent selling; revenue: whether it’s through larger deal orders, shortened sales cycles or a higher deal ‘win’ rate, successful sales enablement will increase revenues, .

Get Marketing speaking to Sales

One of the simplest ways to create a sales enablement culture is to simply ‘ask’ what can be done as an organization to make the sales team’s life easier. Marketing should lead the way with this; research by Aberdeen Group showed that 72% of top performing sales organizations report have ‘strong’ or ‘outstanding’ teamwork with their colleagues in marketing.

Create more shared customer context

Divided dashboards often lead to divided departments.This fragmentation is upheld by marketing teams that keep their eyes on their marketing automation software, rather than also taking a look at what Sales see from their CRM-centric view.

Laura Ramos of Forrester joined us recently on our B2B CMO’s New Role in Sales Enablement webinar where she explained that Marketing’s responsibility was to create a “shared customer context”. Since Sales will not learn about the buyer and the specifics of his/her situation until late in the game, marketers need to think about how they can provide Sales with as much useful and actionable information as possible so that less resources are wasted on prospect research.


We enable this by making sure that the interest data garnered from each lead’s content consumption is available to our sales team in their Salesforce dashboard; that way both Sales and Marketing have a single-view of every lead’s emerging interests and context.

Get the technology right

According to a 2014 CSO Insights study on sales performance optimization, salespeople spend a majority of their day performing administrative and account management duties and only 37% of their time actually selling. The most effective way to improve sales performance is to free-up time spent on non-sales activities and instead focus more on engaging with prospects.

Our sales team uses idio for Salesforce which learns from buyer reading patterns and suggests to the rep which piece of content they should pass on to each of their lead. This has been a boon for our sales team who often find themselves in the middle of an ever-expanding ecosystem of potentially useful business content and a swathe of prospects whose interests are changing all the time.

Jonny Rose
Idio makes buyer-centric marketing possible for global B2B enterprises. Idio’s Demand Orchestration platform uses Content Intelligence to predict the interests of every individual, and automatically deliver relevant 1:1 experiences across digital channels. Global leaders including Intel, Fitch Ratings, and AllianceBernstein trust Idio’s AI to maximize buyer engagement and pipeline, whilst automating marketing complexity.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here