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Sales Enablement: A Shift In The Paradigm

May 6, 2014

Sales Enablement: A Shift In The Paradigm

Sales enablement has become a trendy phrase in the industry, but as is the case with most trendy phrases, the definition isn’t always clear.

According to its study “Sales Enablement: Best Practices, Case Studies and Insights,” Demand Metric Research characterizes sales enablement as “the processes, practices, technologies and tools that improve the performance and productivity of the sales organization.” In short, enablement helps with companies because it directly correlates to how a team can effectively close more sales and drive bottom line revenue.

Per the report, a chronological timeline of the ideology is as follows:

  • 1998: “Sales enablement” appears in the commercial sector with formal marketing promotion.
  • 1992: The term appears as a holistic approach, first-generation sales enablement product launched.
  • 1999: Product has successful initial public offering, demonstrates possible business scalability
  • 2003: Software-as-a-solution version of product is released to commercial market, third generation of SE software products are released.
  • 2008: Sales enablement becomes popular and vendors, analysts and tech industry personnel focus attention to its possibilities.
  • 2014: Enablement is prevalent in nearly every market vertical and industry.

New age thinking The capacity in which businesses and organizations use sales enablement techniques may vary, but as the principal becomes more clear, companies are clearly beginning to realize its importance. Successful sales techniques are now focusing on partnering with the customer as opposed to bundling a number of products and services into one. Sales reps armed with customer relationship management and marketing automation software are now able to provide more quantifiable and tangible results to a client – whom they new view as a business partner in helping to drive company growth. 

In taking a more planned approach, businesses are starting to benefit from sales enablement. While operational views of sales enablement can yield certain results, Demand Metric found that those who took a strategic stance were typically achieving better outcomes. According to Demand Metric research, 75 percent of survey respondents felt that sales enablement was making a moderate to significant contribution to their businesses – a particularly telling statistic considering 72 percent reported that their enablement strategies were in place for less than five years.

Since it’s an all-encompassing concept, ambitious companies are taking enablement’s sales strategy and applying it to other departments. By cross-pollinating objectives, a business can grow as a more cohesive unit when most of its goals are tied to company sales targets, Business 2 Community says.