What Is Sales Enablement?

Learn how your sales enablement strategy can drive hypergrowth in the digital era.

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    Sales enablement provides sellers with what they need to engage their target buyers. As such, it’s important to provide sales with the resources buyers want.

    However, dramatic shifts in B2B buying are forcing sales leaders to reassess their sales enablement strategy. Customer preferences continue to move away from relying primarily on interactions with sellers to gather information and toward accessing digital channels to complete buying tasks.

    Consider this:

    • 43% of B2B buyers desire a seller-free sales experience — a preference that increases to 54% for millennial buyers.
    • Customers who prefer a seller-free buying experience have a 23% higher purchase regret.
    • Buyers with high purchase regret report 14% lower customer loyalty and, more importantly, 53% higher negative customer advocacy.

    As customers increasingly research solutions and make purchases through digital channels, sellers are no longer the channel, but a channel to customers. 

    Heads of sales enablement must evolve their strategy and how they support and augment their sales teams and other revenue-generating capabilities — ultimately driving hypergrowth in the digital era.

    3 Areas of Focus to Drive a Modern Sales Enablement Function

    Leading Sales Enablement

    Sales enablement is expected to deliver more value with fewer resources — evolving responsibilities to meet changing demands from commercial leaders. Sales enablement leaders must be skilled at interpreting customer and sales data to drive impactful programs. The function must evolve from a reactive contributor to sales revenue, to a key driver of the organization’s commercial success by preparing sellers to be integrated inside buyers’ multithreaded experiences.

    Questions to consider when leading sales enablement:

    • How do the structure, budget and staffing of our sales enablement function compare with those of other organizations?

    • What does a world-class sales enablement function look like?

    • How should we adjust our sales enablement strategy to increase the effectiveness of other customer-facing roles, such as customer success and subject matter experts?

    • What key performance indicators (KPIs) should we use to evaluate the sales enablement function’s effectiveness?

    • How can we mitigate sellers’ digital fatigue brought on by a predominantly virtual selling environment?

    • How can sales enablement reduce the impact of above-average sales turnover?

    Enable Buying and Selling

    For organizations to achieve hypergrowth in the digital era, sales enablement must curate and refine content and resources to make it easier for customers to perform buying tasks, with and without a seller. Sales enablement plays a key role in enabling sellers to engage buyers with technology, guiding their use of digital tools to build customer confidence, drive consensus and highlight supplier nuance.

    Questions to consider to enable buying and selling:

    • How can we develop better messaging and content for our customers?

    • What is the best way for sales enablement to collaborate across functions to align initiatives for greater impact?

    • How can we reduce the complexity of our sales enablement ecosystem while improving productivity?

    • What is the best way to measure the effectiveness of seller and buyer enablement efforts?

    • How do we increase seller engagement to reduce sales turnover?

    Build Talent Development Programs

    As customers learn about and advance purchases through digital channels, sellers need different-in-kind competencies and activities to sell effectively in multithreaded engagements. Sales enablement must adapt training, coaching and onboarding programs to deliver disruptive insights, align diverse stakeholders and help customers make sense of an overwhelming amount of high-quality information. Backfilling and hiring have renewed the importance of onboarding programs that accelerate seller readiness.

    Questions to consider when building development programs:

    • How should we structure our sales training programs?

    • Who are the top sales training providers?

    • How do we improve sales manager coaching effectiveness?

    • How should we improve time to productivity for newly hired frontline sellers?

    • What are the competencies of the modern-day seller?

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