Sales Operations vs Sales Enablement: Everything You Need to Know
Buying cycles have gotten increasingly complicated. Today, companies see sales as a team effort, with several key employees working together to ensure that each contract closes.
Yes, it's important to have well-trained and knowledgeable salespeople. But closing a new deal today requires a lot more than simply being a sales agent; there's marketing, sales development, sales engineering, procurement, and legal, to mention just a few.
Sales operations and sales enablement are critical components of the equation. Both roles boost sales force productivity and provide help to sales reps before, during, and after the sale. For those who aren't familiar with the two, it's understandable to question what the difference is between the two?
We’ll discuss sales enablement and sales operations, as well as their roles in the sales cycle and how they might collaborate to achieve a more effective overall strategy.
What is Sales Operations?
All of the actions and processes utilised by sales departments to assist them close deals are referred to as sales operations. It's a deliberately broad term because it can refer to a variety of things, including sales techniques, sales training (including implementing tools like Gong or Chorus), CRM setup and maintenance, sales metrics tracking, quota management, and staff incentives, among other things.
Dedicated sales managers are frequently employed by businesses. A sales operations manager, rather than focusing on managing sales agents and directing them through interactions with prospects, is responsible for ensuring that everyday operational tasks operate smoothly and efficiently.
Sales Operations Roles and Responsibilities
It is the job of sales operations teams to guarantee that the team structure is optimal for sales efficiency behind the scenes. Sales operations have a number of strategic functions that are critical to their success, such as:
- Recruiting and training new sales representatives
- Creating a revenue and sales strategy
- Creating a map of the territory
- Creating compensation schemes
- Managing the tech stack for sales
- Streamlining sales procedures
Operations are responsible for evaluating and selecting sales productivity technologies that streamline the sales process, allowing sales agents to focus on selling rather than administrative responsibilities. CRM and time, lead, and prospect management solutions are among these tools.
In addition, Ops works with sales executives to establish methodology, training, compensation and employee incentives, and more.
A sales manager may be assigned to perform operational responsibilities in some companies. Entry-level operations reps, analysts, and managers all share some of these responsibilities. How the team and workload are distributed depends on how big the organisation is and how well-structured the sales team is. With a broad spectrum of expertise and experience, the most successful organisations are formed.
What is Sales Enablement?
The goal of sales enablement is to provide your sales team (and any other team that engages with sales on a regular basis) with the simplest, fastest, and most powerful ways to plan, prepare, and engage with buyers.
81% of sales executives cited content search and utilization as the top productivity improvement area. In order for a sales team to effectively engage customers and close deals, they need the right information, tools, and resources. With the help of detailed sales playbooks, it also facilitates the seller-consumer interaction That way, your salespeople are not just aware of but also well-versed in their product's features and the advantages it provides to potential customers before they even begin their pitch.
For certain businesses, a more streamlined CRM may be the answer. The Marketing and Sales divisions are aligned in 74% of organisations that employ CRM and marketing automation. Others may prefer a sales process that is better in keeping with their company's operations. Some companies may pursue a sales enablement strategy that focuses on improving sales training or forecasting.
Sales Enablement Roles and Responsibilities
Sales enablement focuses more on the sales force, giving them the tools and resources they need to improve customer connections and reduce the sales cycle.
An effective onboarding programme, training materials, buyer-facing marketing collateral, and performance analysis to identify and remedy gaps across the salesforce make up a sales enablement strategy. Enablement specialists will work with sales managers, sales reps, and members of the marketing team to implement and maintain a sales enablement programme.
A sales enablement specialist — often referred to as a sales specialist or a business development representative — is tasked with overseeing everything from overall team performance and strategy to sales effectiveness and the use of an enablement platform in the sales process. Additionally, they may be used as points of contact for sales operations in order to streamline the sales process
How Should Sales Operations and Sales Enablement Collaborate?
In the context of sales operations, sales enablement is more like the execution wing.
In truth, sales enablement is a part of the sales operations itself.
Sales operations examines the data and devises new strategies for boosting sales and the effectiveness of salespeople. A sales enablement strategy is then used to implement those strategies.
It's common knowledge that if your sales team is having a hard time generating leads, sales operations will be aware of this and devise a strategy to help them solve the issue.
As a result, sales enablement might develop or hire lead generation training, make investments in new CRMs, or use new cold calling tactics.
Sales enablement and sales operations are distinct in that they target various phases of the customer's life cycle.
In the early phases, sales enablement is quite active: lead creation, nurturing, training, and so on.
Negotiations and closing agreements are more extensively examined by sales operations, as are methods for motivating sales representatives through better territory designs and reward packages.
Sales operations and sales enablement frequently meet to discuss their goals and strategies in order to make sure there is a clear division of labour and that no work is being duplicated.
Sales Growth Is a Result of Operations Plus Enablement
Successful sales teams are built on an integrated approach to both operations and enablement. Together, the two teams can help the sales team close deals, meet team goals, and help the organisation expand.
As part of sales operations, a company's processes are evaluated and managed to help salespeople perform better. With the help of sales enablement technology, sellers have access to solutions for content management and sales training, as well as sales and marketing alignment.