Breaking Down Buzzwords: Sales Operations vs. Sales Enablement
Sales cycles get more complex all the time, and meeting your sales goals is not an individual sport – it takes collaboration. Your team needs the right support to help them succeed, but having talented sales representatives is only part of puzzle. Two other critical pieces are sales operations and sales enablement. But when you are talking about sales operations vs. sales enablement, what’s the difference? What are you doing now, and do you need to adjust? We’re diving into the concepts of sales operations and sales enablement workflow.
What are Sales Operations?
Sales operations are probably what you think of for your current sales department – it’s the structure you build to secure a sale. Sales operations roles and responsibilities include things like hiring, strategy, methods, quotas, compensation, leads, tools, proposals, contracts, portfolio division, reporting, and process optimization. The difference between sales and operations is that you operate your sales department like you do your whole company, but on a smaller, more tailored scale.
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement can be challenging to characterize, and many companies define it differently. Fundamentally, it supports the sales team to empower them to do their best work. This could include onboarding processes, coaching, best practices, content, knowledge, and information sharing to sell your goods or services more effectively. The connection between sales enablement vs. marketing is more intertwined, where your marketing team can provide added insight or collaterals (videos, blogs, guides, etc.) to help enable your sales team to perform better.
What is the Difference Between Sales Enablement and Sales Operations?
One high-level way to think about sales operations vs. sales enablement is to view it as sales support vs. sales operations. Sales operations work to make the sales processes work better through tools, data, and workflow solutions, where enablement focuses on the sales team themselves with content and learning opportunities. A sales operations example would be gathering data to catapult sales, but enablement would focus on using data to identify where your team needs to learn more or how long it takes before a new hire is poised to be productive. Sales operations create and implement a new sales strategy, and enablement ensures your team has the skills to carry it out.
Sales Operations vs. Sales Enablement: How They Work Together
The two terms are often used interchangeably, and one of the main reasons is because they can and should be used together. Sales operations and enablement both support sales representatives throughout the sales cycle, before, during, and after. Each is critical to the customer experience and contributes to sales success. The more support your team has, the more they can achieve. Strong communication, collaboration, and alignment are paramount to capitalizing on the benefits of both.
When contemplating sales operations vs. sales enablement, companies are increasingly finding the value of investing in both to drive revenue growth. It’s not hard to understand why a team supported with tools, resources, and training can accomplish more than one without.
One way to find cohesion in the relationship between sales operations vs. sales enablement is with a sales enablement solution. It will give you intelligent insight into what your sales team is doing, how they’re doing, and who they’re talking to. Sales enablement solutions give you the ability to track lead sources and conversion rates, monitor where team members are spending their time, pinpoint who is hitting their performance indicators, identify strengths and weaknesses, and more. Having a wide view of your team’s activities and progress enables you to reallocate their time to tasks that produce the greatest return on investment. Automated workflows also empower your reps to work more efficiently, with the ability to set reminders on tasks, organize prospects, track, and manage touchpoints. With Paradigm’s sales enablement consulting services, we’ll help you identify, design, and implement a solution and process designed to help you more effectively manage your sales teams, and help your sales teams work more productively to surpass their revenue targets. Contact us today.