Sales Operations vs. Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the process of providing sales reps with the information, content, and tools to sell more effectively. Sales operations are the process of supporting sales teams with strategic direction to sell more efficiently. By creating tactical plans to help sales teams reduce friction in the sales process, sales operations teams ensure streamlined management of operations that allow sales reps to focus on selling. But the question here isn’t about which is better for a sales team: sales operations or sales enablement. Instead, the question is how can these two ideologies, when working together, generate more sales, increase productivity, and drive revenue? Let’s figure it out.

But the question here isn’t about which is better for a sales team: sales operations or sales enablement. Instead, the question is how can these two ideologies, when working together, generate more sales, increase productivity, and drive revenue? Let’s figure it out.

What are the differences between sales operations and sales enablement?

Before we can discover how sales operations and sales enablement work together, it’s important to completely understand how both ideals work on their own. For instance, sales ops teams work to make sure the sales team is optimized for maximum efficiency and productivity.

In doing so, sales operations teams are responsible for (but not limited to):

  1. The hiring and onboarding of new sales reps
  2. Creating a sales strategy
  3. Managing the tech stack
  4. Optimizing the sales process based on data
  5. Sales proposal and contract management
  6. Sales KPI reporting
  7. Quota management

Sales enablement teams spend most of their time creating and preparing sales reps with the most up to date materials to sell more effectively. For instance, this team focuses on:

  1. Developing the content for the employee onboarding program
  2. Creating content for training and coaching sessions
  3. Creating sales collateral based on insights
  4. Garnering data for performance insights on the individual and team levels

The main takeaway here is that both sales operations and sales enablement teams have a similar goal. The goal is to maximize sales by streamlining the way sales reps sell using the right tools and strategies at all times. For instance, sales enablement teams prep the sales reps with relevant and data-driven sales materials to motivate the buyer to make a purchase. Meanwhile, sales operations teams make certain that sales reps’ processes for managing their prospects, contracts, and other transactions are efficient.

With both a sales ops and sales enablement strategy in place, sales teams are better able to speed up sales velocity, increase win rates, and drive revenue.

Unlocking your team's potential with both sales operations and sales enablement

The best sales teams acknowledge that when sales operations and sales enablement work together, the sales process becomes more efficient and more effective. It’s simple, really. Smart organizations provide their sales reps with relevant content (sales enablement), coupled with standard procedures that help refine the sales process (sales ops).

Utilizing both operations and enablement also prepares an organization to scale its sales efforts. In fact, 89% of sales professionals say sales operations play a major role in growing their business. Consider the onboarding process, for example. Developing a set of procedures for onboarding new hires is crucial to maintaining consistent sales ops processes and reducing mistakes. While onboarding time is sped up by leveraging educational and helpful content from the sales enablement team to train new hires.

Sales enablement technology helps bridge the gap between ops and enablement

An alignment between sales operations and enablement teams leads to an efficient sales process and better prepares reps to sell to prospects. The glue that keeps both teams in alignment is sales enablement technology. Let’s say that your company wants to implement a new sales enablement platform. First, the sales ops team will set up this new tool and prepare it for the sales team. For instance, this preparation could include building dashboards, creating user accounts, or integrating the CRM. Then, the sales enablement team swoops in. Enablement teams will assist sales reps with implementing the new platform into their day-to-day to maximize their output. Delivering on best practices, training materials, content, and more is where the sales enablement team ensures adoption.

The right sales enablement platform will integrate with your CRM enabling the sales ops team to manage and organize contact data. This brings forth a more efficient process for sales reps as they send materials to relevant contacts in the database. The CRM will always be updated with accurate data, ready for sales reps, without fear of using incorrect information. Also, the sales enablement platform will provide data insights on overall sales, target KPIs, and performance. This allows ops teams to create effective sales strategies based on historical data.

When it comes to sales enablement, the sales enablement platform is able to house all sales collateral in one location. This allows sales reps to easily find updated content they need to sell to prospects. Also, the platform is a great resource for conducting sales training sessions and monitoring a sales rep’s performance. Sales managers can use this data to better understand where a rep may be struggling. Then, they can develop a plan focused on that specific area of improvement.

Final Thoughts

Without a strong relationship between sales operations and sales enablement, productivity is reduced and the sales process becomes slow and inefficient. Often, it’s more difficult for sales reps to reach their quota. With sales enablement tech, sales operations and enablement teams maximize sales productivity leading to an increase in sales and revenue.

Align sales operations and sales enablement with Prezentor. Book your free demo today!

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