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We Love a Package Deal, but Here’s How Sales Enablement and Sales Operation Are Different

If you’ve been an avid reader of Lessonly’s blog, you know how vital it is to have a well-stacked bench of talented and well-trained salespeople. But closing a new deal today involves so much more than just the rep; there’s marketing, sales development, sales engineering, continuous sales training, procurement, and so much more. And, two uber important parts of this equation are sales operations and sales enablement. While both improve sales force productivity and support reps throughout the sales process, there are some distinct differences between the two. Cozy on up and let us break it down for you…

First, What Are Sales Operations?

If you want to make sure your sales team is firing on all cylinders and making as much money for your company as possible, you need sales ops. Put simply, sales operations are the technical activities that reduce friction for sales reps on a daily basis. Sales operations may include the maintenance of your team’s:

  • CRM
  • Data Tracking
  • Forecasting 
  • Analysis
  • New Hardware/Software Setup for Reps

You can basically think of your sales operations team as a combination of management and IT, as well as “customer support” for your sales reps. It’s the way of doing it better. The sales operations and sales enablement teams function best when they work together, but they sure play into their own unique roles and purposes within an organization.

What Is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is the strategic focus that removes barriers for sales teams and helps reps optimize their performance and productivity. That includes things like onboarding, sales enablement training, coaching, integrated sales enablement content for sales reps and front-facing managers along the entire buyer’s journey. And, it’s all powered by sales enablement technology.

The best sales enablement software, like most online programs that help streamline day-to-day business tasks and increase productivity, provides all the technology, processes, and content your sales team needs to perform at maximum potential. 

What Are the Differences Between Sales Operations and Sales Enablement?

Now that we’ve broken each category down, it’s pretty clear to see that sales enablement and sales operations both exist to improve sales productivity and performance. This inevitably creates overlap, which means it’s pretty important that they maintain a strong relationship. That being said, sales operations handles the non-selling processes and tasks deep-rooted in the sales process, whereas a sales enablement program takes that process to increase revenue, decrease the length of your full sales cycle, and create better sales and marketing alignment. Sales enablement roles also really differ from those of sales ops. For instance:

  • Sales operations tend to be more “tactical” in nature, whereas sales enablement is more of an overarching strategy.
  • Sales enablement software assists with the development of an effective content creation strategy, while sales operations typically don’t include content creation. 
  • Sales operations are almost exclusively concerned with the sales team, whereas sales enablement involves both sales and marketing.
  • A sales enablement team pinpoints new technologies to carry out, and then collaborates with sales operations to make their vision a reality.
  • The sales operations team manages compensation plans and incentives for reps; the sales enablement team analyzes performance levels and looks for ways to upgrade them.

What Happens if You Don’t Have a Sales Enablement Program?

Our advice is that you don’t want to find this out the hard way. Instead of resorting to an old, disorganized sales training process, you need a sales enablement guide that prepares sales reps to conduct a more effective sales process and achieve better sales results. If not, you’ll likely have challenges with your onboarding, which is a big deal, because successful onboarding programs and tools are key for team sales success. If the reps don’t get started, well, how can they succeed in the short and medium-term?

And in the spirit of increased onboarding, high turnover happens all too often for teams that don’t have adequate sales enablement software. You worked too hard to onboard your new reps, so an equal amount of resources and energy should be put into keeping them around, too. After all, the longer you can keep a rep, the more they’ll sell for you.

Simplify Sales Enablement with Lessonly

Sales teams onboard reps 62% faster and increase sales by 75% with our enablement software. We know that learning systems can be a lot to handle, and that’s why with Lessonly, you can focus on creating great learning material to enable your sales reps easier than ever. Pop right into this free lesson to learn more!

Kiss Your Retention Woes Goodbye with Employee Onboarding Software: Part 1 of The Great Resignation Series
Take a Joy Ride Into More Closed Deals: 5 Reasons Why Sales Enablement Software Is Essential for Driving Revenue

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