When it comes to the sales operations of a particular company, sales enablement plays one of the most crucial roles in driving the desired business outcomes. Together with revenue teams, every sales enablement team operates in the frontline of every business, deploying initiatives that ensure quota attainment and drive higher revenues.
A sales enablement manager is one of the core members of these teams. They plan and execute sales enablement deliverables, ensuring that the company’s sales enablement efforts go in line with its short-term and long-term business objectives and result in revenue growth.
Whether you are considering a sales enablement manager role as the next step on your career ladder or planning to create a job alert for this position for your company, knowing the basic details of this job is a must. In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about the job of sales enablement professionals. Namely, you will learn:
- What is a sales enablement manager?
- What duties are included in the sales enablement job?
- What qualifications and experience does one need to head the sales enablement team?
- What makes a good sales enablement specialist?
- What is the career path of this specialist?
- How much money can a sales enablement manager make?
Interested in learning more? Then read on and let us give you a full job description of this role!
What Is a Sales Enablement Manager?
Before we can move on and discover the key functions of sales enablement groups, and in particular their managers, it is important to look at the definition first.
So, what is a sales enablement manager? In a nutshell, a sales enablement manager plays the primary role within every sales enablement team. They lead their teams and ensure that they operate efficiently. Namely, enablement managers might change management initiatives and deploy new sales enablement projects in order to improve the company’s existing sales processes and drive revenue.
Apart from managing their own teams, enablement managers also oversee the work of other customer-facing teams, making sure that they perform their key tasks efficiently and succeed in their revenue and selling processes.
Giving you the definition of the sales enablement manager role, it is also worth noting that this particular job title is, though the most common, not the only one. In fact, there are many identical or related roles that are called differently. These can include the following job titles:
- Sales training manager;
- Head (or director) of sales enablement;
- Sales enablement program manager;
- Sales effectiveness program manager;
- Partner enablement program manager;
- Sales productivity manager;
- Revenue enablement manager;
- Field enablement manager.
Basically, all these roles are very similar or even identical to one another. And they also span the same duties and goals.
What Do Sales Enablement Managers Do?
The specific tasks of sales enablement professionals vary from one company to another. To put it simply, the primary mission of specialists in this role is to provide the needed sales support to the specialists from sales and marketing teams, as well as revenue teams, throughout the entire buyer's journey.
To complete this mission, sales enablement leaders closely collaborate with marketing, revenue, and sales reps, as well as with the company’s partners and other key stakeholders in order to maximize business outcomes across all stages of the sales cycle.
Though the duties can vary from one position to another, the primary initiatives of enablement managers can involve:
- Planning sales kickoff.
- Developing and implementing training programs for sales representatives before upcoming product or service launches.
- Supporting buying and selling processes through every stage.
- Coaching the company’s sales team on key skills and competencies they need to successfully perform core sales processes.
- Leading sales training sessions (both formal and informal).
- Helping leverage new sales enablement technologies.
These are just a few of the many activities enablement managers can perform on a daily basis. We are going to review the full list of duties in the next section of this article.
Sales Enablement Manager Job Description
As it often happens, there is no one-size-fits-all description for this role. All employers have their own needs and preferences. Yet, there is a list of essentials that can be considered must-haves for every sales enablement manager. In this part of our guide, we will look closer at the core duties, qualifications, and experience one will face when looking for this type of job.
- Oversee end-to-end performance. Specialists in this role are often tasked to oversee the development and implementation of new sales enablement efforts and initiatives. This often means active participation in the programmatic design of multiple projects and programs aimed at enabling the company’s sales with the ultimate goal to pave the way for their delivery to teams that affect the company’s revenue.
- Facilitate alignment. There are always a number of revenue-related teams in a company. Often, these teams have a significant gap between them. The goal of enablement managers is to connect these teams, ensure seamless collaboration, and align their objectives with the ultimate company goals and its overall sales strategy. Eventually, all these undertakings are aimed at improving the sales process within the company.
- Evaluate impact and sales enablement metrics. Lastly, every sales enablement manager is also responsible for tracking sales enablement metrics and KPIs in order to ensure the success of their enablement efforts. Managers in this role are expected to keep continuously optimizing existing approaches in order to maximize the positive impact of their efforts on their companies.
Qualifications and Experience
Typically, in order to qualify for managing sales enablement groups, one must meet the following key demands:
- At least a Bachelor’s degree in sales, marketing, or related fields (or equivalent experience).
- Proven work experience in prime revenue-facing teams, sales support, sales enablement, or sales training roles.
- Thorough knowledge and understanding of the best methodologies, practices, and technologies leveraged across these areas.
- Demonstrated experience in executing change management initiatives with the established approaches involvement.
- Measurable accomplishments in making a positive business impact (e.g. proven experience in meeting quotas, improving sales cycle, etc.)
These are some of the most common demands that can be found in a job description for this role. Yet, as was already mentioned in terms of job duties, specific demands to the candidate for this position can also vary from one company to another.
What Makes a Good Sales Enablement Manager?
Meeting the aforementioned demands is crucial for landing a job. But what actually dictates manager success in this role?
Apart from having the core qualifications and experience, all successful sales enablement managers demonstrate a broad range of skills, both hard and soft ones. Let’s look at the key skills that make a good sales enablement manager!
Apart from being responsible for deploying various management initiatives with established approaches, specialists in this role are also responsible for tracking and measuring the outcomes of these initiatives to maximize the success of future efforts. To do this, successful enablement managers have to be very data-driven. They should be able to analyze large sets of quantitative and qualitative data in order to examine which aspects of their initiatives were effective. For example, when creating and leading new training programs, enablement managers will have to analyze how effective their programs were in terms of preparing revenue teams for delivering the best outcomes of their work.
There is a broad range of sales enablement tools designed to support the work of an enablement manager. Some of the most common sales tools that specialists in this role can use include content management systems (CMS), customer relationship management systems (CRM), etc. In order to succeed in this role, enablement managers have to master the specific sales enablement software they have in their tech stack. Therefore, successful managers should also be very tech-savvy.
3) Project Management
As a sales enablement manager, you will always have to deal with multiple initiatives and projects. And you will be responsible for overseeing their execution and outcomes. In order to be able to do this effectively, one needs to have solid project management and organizational skills. Enablement managers have to be masters in juggling priorities, meeting deadlines, and identifying and overcoming the possible roadblocks.
4) Thorough Understanding of the Buyer's Journey
Lastly, every successful enablement manager should demonstrate an excellent understanding of the journey their potential buyers make before making a purchase. They also have to oversee how this journey changes as the marketplace evolves and transforms. An enablement manager has to be able to communicate this information to the teams that affect the company’s revenue and provide them with the sales content, knowledge, and tools necessary for ensuring customer success and satisfaction. Apart from this, a person in this role also needs to have an excellent understanding of the company’s sales process and the key stages involved in it.
1) Exceptional Communication Skills
Since one of the main tasks of an enablement manager is to connect cross-functional teams and help them collaborate effectively, one of the most vital soft skills for this job is strong communication. A person in this role must be a great listener and communicator. In addition, they have to be excellent presenters, writers, and speakers. These skills are crucial for giving enablement managers the power to communicate their ideas effectively during sales meetings and face-to-face interactions with leaders and members of different teams, and even key stakeholders.
2) Collaborative Approach
In addition to excellent communication, every sales enablement manager also has to be great at collaboration. The expert in this role must be aware of the best cross-function collaboration techniques and be able to use them in practice. This also involves a range of additional skills, such as conflict resolution and the ability to align the goals of cross-functional teams.
3) Agile Innovator
In order to succeed, enablement managers have to oversee and understand emerging tactics, trends, and tools. And they have to stay open to adopting these innovations in their work. These specialists must be ready to experiment with new and undiscovered techniques. So, being an Agile innovator is also very important for this job.
4) Outstanding Time Management
Finally, just like every other manager, a sales enablement leader should be able to ensure that all tasks, programs, and initiatives are being implemented right on time. They have to be able to maximize resource utilization and streamline processes. To meet all these goals, these experts have to be very proficient in managing their own time (as well as the time of others) effectively. Therefore, outstanding time management is also among the most crucial skills that make a good enablement manager.
What Is the Career Path for Sales Enablement Professionals?
Given the fact that a sales enablement manager is one of the key roles in sales leadership, you can imagine that the career path to this role is rather long and challenging.
So, what does a typical career ladder looks like for people in such roles?
Some enablement managers start their path from some junior sales enablement roles. However, they also often come from other positions.
Some of the most common roles previously held by sales enablement managers include:
- Account manager;
- Program manager;
- Customer success manager;
- Sales trainer;
- Instructional designer.
Apart from these, you can also progress to the role of a sales enablement manager from other positions in sales or sales support areas.
In order to climb the career ladder, specialists in more junior positions have to demonstrate a wide range of skills and expertise.
They have to show the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, must excel in building relationships, and they must demonstrate strong leadership skills, a strategic mindset, and other skills relevant to a sales enablement manager’s position.
What comes next, you may wonder? After landing the role of a sales enablement manager and showing measurable achievements in this position, you can unlock even greater career opportunities. Namely, after this role, you can grow into the head of enablement, global lead, as well as director, president, or vice president.
Sales Enablement Manager Salary
Finally, whether considering this role for yourself or looking for the right specialist to fill this position in your company, it is natural if you wonder how much a person in this role can make.
According to Glassdoor, the average sales enablement manager salary in the US is $99,299 as of 2020. The lowest pay for this role (according to the same source) is around $63,000, whereas some top-earners can make nearly $150,000 a year.
Looking at these numbers, you can say that the job of a sales enablement manager is pretty high-paying. That’s true. However, it is also worth noting that the salary for each particular job can vary significantly from one company to another. Overall, the pay depends on a number of factors, including the size of the company, industry, and location, as well as the experience and qualifications of each particular specialist.