June 3, 2020
Updated: December 19, 2020

The sales enablement career path

While sales enablement has increasingly become a staple in today’s businesses, it remains a relatively new practice. Organizations are finding out that simply implementing a sales enablement program into their strategy isn’t quite enough; a team of professionals is needed to facilitate the process and ensure sales leaders and reps are following it properly.

Thus has been born the sales enablement professional, an individual dedicated to the formation, optimization and modification of an enablement program. This means aiding in sales onboarding and training, creation and use of marketing content and adoption of sales enablement tools and technologies that support strategic goals.

Continue reading to learn more about what a sales enablement professional does, what skills and experience are needed and how to advance in the field.

What does a sales enablement professional do?

Since a sales enablement strategy touches various departments, those entering the enablement field may start their careers in sales or sales operations, learning and development, marketing or even human resources. Regardless of where a person started, they will be tasked with a number of activities, from sales operations to marketing strategy.

A typical sales enablement job description will include the following responsibilities:   

  • Facilitate and support the marketing and sales relationship
  • Implement a sales enablement platform to support the program
  • Work with sales leadership to create and optimize sales enablement program
  • Work with sales operations to enhance the buyer journey and experience
  • Work with marketing to produce content for buyers across the journey
  • Establish sales enablement goals 
  • Develop and execute training and onboarding process
  • Analyze performance data to ensure strategy is improving sales productivity

There is no one-size-fits-all salary for those working in sales enablement; as with any department, a person’s level of experience, specific role and responsibilities will factor into their pay. For instance, a sales enablement manager with five to 10 years of experience in the sales profession will make more than an entry-level enablement representative. 

Education needed for a sales enablement career

The required education for a sales enablement candidate will vary from one organization to the next. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree is preferred, but skills and experience will likely be more significant deciding factors for whether a candidate is considered for the position. 

There are various online sales enablement certifications available for those already in the field and others who want to enter it that offer education regarding creating and using sales processes, analyzing performance of the sales organization and assessing and integrating content and technology solutions. 

Sales organizations can also offer certification to assist enablement professionals in building their skills, including:

  • Customers: Understanding buyer personas and the buyer journey
  • Marketing: Realizing the role of the marketing team in supporting sales activities
  • Sales Enablement Content: Creating content that appeals to leads at every phase in the journey
  • Sales Process: Optimizing internal sales workflows and systems  
  • Sales Skills: Learning what sales reps need to build buyer relationships and close deals
  • Sales Onboarding: Developing and distributing onboarding programs, as well as ongoing training
  • Sales Enablement Tools: Using platforms for training and content management

Skills needed for a sales enablement career

As mentioned, a person’s knowledge, skills and background often speak more to whether a candidate is qualified for a sales enablement position than their education and degree. As part of the enablement team, most will be working with marketing and sales teams to set up onboarding and training programs, develop a content strategy and configure a sales enablement platform to streamline processes.

Important skills for effective sales enablement include:

  • Project management
  • Ability to collaborate with different teams and departments
  • Listening and communication
  • Familiarity with training content 
  • Knowledge of sales cycle, methodologies and best practices 

While some skills come naturally, others can be learned and developed over time. 

How to progress in your sales enablement career

With any career path, more experience helps for professional development and growth. The same goes for a sales enablement career. Over time, you gain more skills and knowledge that push you further toward reaching manager, director, VP status and beyond. 

To supplement progression within your organization, there are other ways to learn and stay ahead of trends in the enablement field, such as:

  • Subscribing to news related to sales, marketing and sales enablement
  • Completing certification courses
  • Attending networking and educational events
  • Joining related associations and groups 

Begin your career in global sales enablement

There is no “right” path to becoming a sales enablement professional. With passion and the right skills and knowledge, a person can enter the arena at any time and find success.

Professionals in the field rely on sales enablement solutions like Showpad to facilitate their strategies and support the breadth of work they do every day to empower sales teams. With features for the onboarding process, ongoing training, content management and detailed reporting, Showpad delivers on our mission to help sales enablement managers and reps provide the best buyer experience. 

Virtual Summit - Creating a new growth playbook for 2020 and beyond

Virtual Summit - Creating a new growth playbook for 2020 and beyond

Join Showpad’s virtual event for the opportunity to interact with like-minded professionals and discover ways to improve your customer experience and effectively leverage sales enablement during this time of change.