Sales is a team effort, right? Different roles within a company must huddle together to ensure each deal closes. It’s important to have strong, well-conditioned sellers, but we’ve found that closing a deal requires more playmakers than just sales reps alone.
The marketing department, sales development reps (SDRs), sales engineers, legal team, and many others play a part in the sales process. But sales operations and sales enablement play pivotal roles within the greater sales organization. Both of these roles raise sales productivity and support sales reps before, during, and after the sale. But their roles are very different. Let’s break it down!
First, what is sales enablement?
To put it simply, sales enablement is the process of aligning your sales and marketing teams and giving them the resources they need to close more deals. These resources may include onboarding and continuous training, content for selling and brand-building, and deep product or service knowledge to adequately sell your product or service to customers.
Sales enablement helps organize and streamline processes. It’s about people and technology and strategically aligning them both behind a common goal: sales success. It’s multi-layered and, as mentioned above, requires ongoing collaboration across the go-to-market engine to ensure a seamless partnership between marketing and sales. They’re such a power couple, those two. In effect, sales enablement achieves greater results by improving both marketing and sales activities.
What is sales operations?
There are so many things that go into a well-oiled sales operations machine. Sales ops has a hand in shaping everything from sales training and sales techniques to CRM tracking and staff incentives—and the list goes on! So, rather than managing sales reps and their interactions with prospects, a sales operations manager ensures that everyday operational tasks run smoothly and efficiently. It’s the behind-the-scenes job that makes sure the team is ready for optimal efficiency and effectiveness. No pressure, right?
What is the difference between sales enablement and sales operations?
Now that we’ve outlined what sales enablement and operations are, let’s highlight some of the pillars that make each of these functions unique.
- Responsible for hiring and onboarding new sales reps
- A tactical position that helps the sales organization run smoothly and efficiently
- Helps manage the sales tech stack and report performance and key business outcomes
- Plans content for the employee onboarding program as well as training and coaching sessions
- Creates sales collateral based on insights
- Is an overarching strategy that aims to align and improve marketing and sales
- Helps with content creation, discovery, analytics, sales readiness, and more
How can sales enablement and sales operations work together?
It’s important to note that, despite their differences, sales operations and sales enablement teams function best when they work together. They both exist to improve sales productivity and performance—inevitably creating overlap—making it super important that they maintain a strong relationship. If a company implements a new sales platform, the sales ops team is the crew that sets up the sales force with the new tool by creating accounts and building dashboards. On the other side of the room, sales enablement would then train reps on how to use the new tool effectively. Enablement might also collaborate with sales operations to create a new dashboard within the platform and communicate how those changes affect the sales process.
Without a tag-team effort between sales enablement and sales operations, you can imagine how quickly that situation can become complicated—especially for a large sales organization. An effective partnership between the two allows sellers to execute the sales process more efficiently and show up to every buyer interaction more prepared and ready to sell. And that, my friends, is the end result of a power couple working their magic!
Boost your sales success with Seismic
In our experience, after taking a closer look at sales operations vs sales enablement, companies are eager to jump in and use tools and resources to help their organization create a winning sales enablement strategy. Hungry for more knowledge about sales enablement and how it can help your organization get enablement right? Request a demo and we’ll show you how!