Hiring a Sales Enablement Manager

November 4, 2019

As more businesses implement a Sales enablement strategy, they are finding that simply instituting a program alone doesn’t ensure its success. As such, these organizations have grown to appreciate the importance of the Sales enablement manager.

The role of a Sales enablement manager is one that has grown in prominence alongside the broader trend of Sales enablement. While not a radically new position, the Sales enablement manager is focused on making certain that Sales teams have adequate support, the onboarding process is smooth, and Sales and Marketing work together. 

Those may all seem like traditional duties of a Sales manager, but what differentiates the Sales enablement manager is working within the greater structure of a Sales enablement strategy: being laser-focused on making content available, providing training, and analyzing data collected from Sales enablement tools.

Keep reading to discover the skills needed and what a day in the life of a Sales enablement manager might look like.

Who is the Sales enablement manager?

A rough sketch of the Sales enablement manager depicts a professional primarily tasked with leading Sales teams, ensuring access to resources, providing coaching and training, coordinating with Marketing, and spearheading onboarding initiatives. While there are more on-the-job duties involved, these are the five core areas of concentration for the Sales enablement manager. Let’s explore them a bit more:

  • Leadership: The Sales team will automatically look to its manager for leadership, and the expectations for Sales enablement managers in this arena are no different. Providing enablement leadership means assuming accountability for Sales team support, performance, and processes throughout the Sales cycle. Leading by example is an axiom enablement managers must take to heart.
  • Sales enablement content: Sales reps lose valuable time when they have to organize content or search for marketing collateral. Sales enablement managers are there to take that task off their reps’ plate, quickening the Sales process. By handling the organization and dissemination of Sales enablement content, managers allow their teams to do what they do best: sell. Whether product one-sheets, ebooks, or blogs, the Sales enablement manager ensures every rep has access to all relevant materials.
  • Coaching and training: A successful Sales team is one that is skilled and knowledgeable. But without prior experience, that level of competency doesn’t appear overnight; it’s continually fostered and built by Sales enablement managers who provide ongoing coaching and training. Such personal and professional development across the Sales force is a key function of a Sales enablement program.
  • Marketing department alignment: Sales and Marketing have to work in unison to achieve organizational goals and provide a seamless and memorable buyer experience. It’s up to the Sales enablement manager to represent and convey the needs and thoughts of the Sales team to Marketing stakeholders so the two departments coordinate effectively.
  • Ownership of Sales onboarding: Designing and optimizing the onboarding process is the responsibility of the enablement manager. This means sequencing training modules and providing one-on-one coaching to bring reps up to speed on your organization’s go-to-market strategy, policies, content, and sales tools.

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What skills does a Sales enablement manager need?

Looking at the core competencies of the Sales enablement manager hints at what skills, knowledge and experience is needed to succeed in this role. While previous work in Sales is preferred, if not required, the growing field of Sales enablement can allow managers to forge their own path ahead, making level of experience less of a dealbreaker.

The deciding factors will come down to the interpersonal and managerial skills candidates can bring to the table. Qualities like the following are often valued in Sales enablement managers:

  • A drive for efficiency: Improving sales productivity means identifying and seizing  opportunities for efficiency. If a manager sees a gap or obstacle in the Sales cycle, it’s their prerogative to address it and help Sales teams perform.
  • A collaborative mindset: Coordinating with Marketing isn’t a “nice to have” in this role, it’s an absolute must. The best Sales enablement managers are those who proactively engage with Marketing and advocate for the needs of the Sales team.
  • A passion for helping others: The quality of the training is decided by the Sales enablement manager and their attitude. If viewed as a chore, the entire department and Sales enablement program will suffer. Organizations need managers who are natural coaches and eager to pursue training that builds or refines skill. They have to be interested and invested in the performance and growth of their Sales reps. This theme of supporting the Sales team in different capacities — from content to training — folds effortlessly into the mission of the overarching enablement strategy.
  • A born communicator: It can be difficult to demonstrate new Sales enablement tools to a new hire who’s ramping up. The Sales enablement manager is adept at doing so, however, because they are well-versed in interpersonal communication and relationship-building. Training and marketing coordination, as well as a slew of other mission-critical responsibilities, depend on effective communication.

What does a Sales enablement manager do daily?

Sales enablement managers need a diverse set of skills to carry out their day-to-day responsibilities. The enablement manager is a central conduit through which success of the Sales enablement program is decided. 

On any given day, a Sales enablement manager may:

  • Develop a new training module and oversee its rollout to the Sales force.
  • Provide coaching to new hires on how to use proprietary tools.
  • Consult with the Sales team on how certain content pieces have performed with clients.
  • Coordinate with Marketing by relaying feedback from the Sales team, and vice versa.
  • Audit the Sales process to find areas of improvement to enhance the buyer experience.
  • Track various Sales enablement metrics that help inform personalized training and/or more relevant sales content.

Managers will also be highly involved with the management and use of the organization’s Sales enablement platform. Sales enablement managers must become masters of such tools in order to ensure reps can use the solution and realize its value without hassle. This means managers may also be a stakeholder in the IT implementation of a new Sales enablement platform. 

Talk to Showpad today about Sales enablement solutions

To fully realize the potential of highly-skilled Sales enablement managers, organizations have to have the right tools in place. True empowerment of the Sales team and managers is decided by the quality of the solution — and organizations have to be sure they have the most capable and intuitive Sales enablement platform to power Sales productivity.

Reach out to Showpad today to learn more about how our all-in-one platform can be used to drive Sales enablement manager-and team-performance.