Sales Enablement Manager

What is a Sales Enablement Manager?

The Sales Enablement Manager role is a mix of strategic and tactical activitiesNo two businesses look at Sales Enablement the same way.

This confusion is part of the challenge for sales leaders, enablement managers, and enablement practitioners looking to hire for, or enter into, the role of Sales Enablement Manager.

Let’s keep it simple.

A Sales Enablement Manager’s primary responsibility is to make sure their sales teams have the necessary content, training, coaching, and support to carry out their job as effectively and efficiently as possible.

And.

Successful Sales Enablement Managers are cooperative and collaborative partners across the entire business. They must work closely with sales operations, sales leaders, product teams, product marketing, and other key stakeholders to understand their needs in the context of the overall business goals.

In addition to being a strategic go-to-market role, it is often a management role.

Why often?

Enablement is often a team-of-one role, especially early on, so many Enablement Managers, and even Directors, do not have any direct reports.

Let’s dive deeper.

A Sales Enablement Manager's primary responsibility is to make sure their sales teams have the necessary resources to carry out their job as effectively and efficiently as possible. Click To Tweet

If you need help thinking through your needs, the structure of your Enablement program, and who you need to hire to run your program, reach out to determine if our Enablement Advisory Services are right for you.

What does a Sales Enablement Manager do?

Standard Job Responsibilities of a Sales Enablement Manager 

The standard job responsibilities of this role include:

  • Defining clear expectations for the sales enablement program by setting goals and KPIs.
  • Be the liaison between sales and marketing.
  • Educate sales reps on the organization’s products and services.
  • Teaching best-practice sales techniques and closing skill gaps through both onboarding and ongoing training
  • Delivering sales tools, a sales enablement platform, and providing ongoing training to help save time and improve efficiencies
  • Identify the most valuable and effective channels and content formats for sales collateral to support customers, sellers, and sales management
  • Structure cross-functional collaboration, with clear feedback loops, between all customer facing teams (not just marketing and salespeople)

What does a typical Sales Enablement Manager need to have in terms of job experience?

There are two categories for what job experience a Sales Enablement Manager needs:

Required skills

The successful candidate should have most of these skills. If not, they probably aren’t going to be the best fit for this sales enablement leader role:

  • Five or more years experience in content marketing, sales enablement, sales ops, or sales development
  • Excellent content management, content creation, content development, and copywriting skills
  • Experience building learning materials and training programs, especially with training and coaching sellers or other customer-facing teams
  • Deep experience with at least one Sales Enablement tool and the CRM solution you are usingAbility to interpret insights from data, having strong analytical skills, and an ability to balance data driven and user-provided feedback

Good-to-have (but not required) skills

If a candidate has most of the required skills and one or more of these, they will be able to do even more in the role:

  • Previous experience in a sales enablement manager role (or at least in other senior sales enablement roles)
  • Experience with, and understanding of, best practices around sales cycles, methodologies, and processes
  • An understanding of strategies for business growth, as well as standard KPIs
  • Knowledge of how to unravel the buyer and customer journey
  • Familiarity with partnering with a marketing team
  • Previous experience in a similar industry

These skills and experiences are important, of course, but what about the elephant in the room?

Should the Sales Enablement Manager have sales experience?

I would argue that sales experience, in either sales leadership or carrying a bag, is a big plus for success in Enablement.  Having experience living the struggle of the day to day sales challenges provides credibility to your work.

However, while sales experience is a big plus, it is not a requirement.  A deep understanding of sales processes, methodologies, and the go-to-market motion used by your organization can take you far.  However, you must work twice as hard to earn the respect of the sales team.

Sales Enablement Professionals at all levels must remain focused on building credibility and delivering results if their enablement function is going to go from simply delivering good sales enablement to great enablement results.

If you need help thinking through your needs, the structure of your Enablement program, and who you need to hire to run your program, reach out to determine if our Enablement Advisory Services are right for you.

What is the typical Sales Enablement Manager salary?

The typical Sales Enablement Manager salary varies depending on country, industry, and company size.

Other factors that can contribute to salary include experience and credentials (like certifications or tertiary education degrees). In fact, this Experience can be an essential factor in determining compensation.

Sales enablement is still in its growth stage. Due to this fact, those who have a lot of experience are in high demand and can command a higher salary than most.

What is the average Sales Enablement Manager salary?

In the U.S., according to Glassdoor the salary can start as low as $63,000 and go as high as $147,000. 

Sales Enablement Manager Salary - US via Glassdoor

In the U.S., according to Glassdoor the Sales Enablement Manager salary can start as low as $63,000 and go as high as $147,000 Click To Tweet

Of course, the average Sales Enablement Manager salary varies across the globe.  As the time of this writing, per Glassdoor, here are the average base salaries for several locations across the globe.

  • Canada:  CA$100K per year.
  • Argentina: No report.
  • United Kingdom: £59,387 per year.
  • Spain:  €78,908 per year.
  • Germany: No report.
  • South Africa: No report.
  • India: ₹1,642K per year.
  • Australia: A$127K per year.
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3 Tips for Succeeding as a Sales Enablement Manager

To succeed as a Sales Enablement Manager, you need to deliver at least the following:

To succeed as a Sales Enablement Manager, you need to deliver at least three things: 1) Communication and cross functional collaboration 2) Training and coaching 3) The right software tools (a sales enablement technology stack). Click To Tweet

Communication and collaboration

Communication and collaboration in and across departments are vital. If you’re not in constant contact with your salespeople, how can you support them?

However, communication needs to be bi-directional to be of value; one-way communication will lead to failure.  To ensure success, you need to create a feedback system.

Why do you need a feedback system?

A well-functioning feedback system will allow the team to provide feedback on training, sales content, and other services.  

Why?

The Enablement team must continuously improve, to leverage these ideas and areas where improvement is necessary.

Encouraging communication and an environment where information-sharing is the norm will lift a sales team’s performance. It will also help inform in which areas your team will benefit the most from on-going training.

Consistent training and coaching

The Sales Enablement Manager’s role includes ensuring all salespeople—old and new—perform at their best using a combination of techniques.

As a result, training should not be limited to the initial onboarding process. On-going training is critical for sales success, and the success of the sales enablement team, as onboarding.

Sales training should not be limited to the initial onboarding process. On-going training is as critical for sales success, and the success of the sales enablement team, as onboarding. Click To Tweet

When you discover a technique or approach that is working, train the team on how to replicate it.  Your goal is to help all sellers to improve their craft, training is one of the tools in your arsenal.

Now, add coaching to the mix.  Focused, custom-tailored coaching, based upon training, leads to the best results, putting the training into context for each seller supported.

Technology

The best use for modern technology is automating what can be automated so humans can do what they’re best at; engaging with other humans.

This rule applies well, especially with tools like CRM, project management software, sales enablement software, and so on.  Because these tools simplify many tasks, your salespeople can automate at scale those time-consuming tasks that take precious time away from selling.

Remember.

Investing in the right technology will help a manager more closely monitor and analyze sales, and enablement, efforts.  Through this technology, the goal is to help the whole team be more efficient and effective in a scalable manner.

The Sales Enablement Manager Job Description

Now that you have that information, are you looking for an example of a Sales Enablement Manager job descriptions?

The Enablement Manager role can vary from business to business, with smaller businesses often using the Director of Sales Enablement job title for positions equivalent to the manager role in larger companies. And in some companies, they may even be the equivalent of a Sales Enablement Specialist. For this example, we are fleshing out the role as if the manager is 75% tactical and 25% strategic, a standard balance I see for enablement teams supporting fewer than 500 customer-facing teammates.

Example Sales Enablement Manager Job Description

The ideal candidates will have a passion for collaborating with their customer-facing teammates to identify the best ways to increase sales performance and help them with quota attainment. The perfect Enablement leader will strive to partner with sales managers to identify the right mix of sales collateral (e.g., sales playbooks, one-pagers, and the like) to determine if a training session is required or if coaching would best meet the teams’ needs.

The perfect candidate will have go-to-market experience, perhaps sales management experience, or another sales enablement position, which will provide them with credibility with the customer-facing teammates they are supporting.

In addition, qualified applicants will have the following experiences and skills:

  • Experience in building and extending a Revenue or Sales Enablement program
  • Experience building relationships and aligning priorities across various go-to-market functions such as sales, marketing, customer success, product and program management, and so forth.
  • Experiencing working with senior leaders to align the Enablement program to business goals and objectives to ensure a positive overall business impact of these solutions.
  • Ability to engage with content creation experts and SMEs to either create or curate the right content the teams need to do their best work.
  • Excels in executing, establishing priorities, and meeting deadlines in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment.
  • Ability to identify and deliver educational content, formal training, and coaching required to support new product releases, sales skills, and so forth.
  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Experience with CRM, Sales Engagement, and Sales Enablement technologies and tools we are using.

How to approach your first 120 days

Read our article on how to start your sales enablement program.

How often should I meet with key stakeholders?

We have great insights from a variety of Enablement Leaders on an appropriate cadence of 1:1s with Executive Leadership Team (ELT), Senior Leadership Team (SLT) (my peers), and Front Line Managers (FLM).  To summarize our thoughts on this:

  • Meet with your senior revenue leader (e.g., CRO) weekly for 15 minutes to review progress, reconfirm and adjust priorities if needed, and simply to build a strong relationship.
  • Meet with your peers (sales, customer success, product, and product marketing managers/directors/vps) weekly for 15 minutes, reviewing the same information as you do above.
  • If you have a team, and are at a Director or VP level, have your team set with the front line managers once every two weeks to ensure they are clear of the business priorities from your senior revenue leader, that they understand why your team is working on the priorities you are working on, and to learn what pains they are encountering that they may need help with.

Oh…

And have some fun.  This is stressful work for all involved, so keep it light and create an environment where people love coming to work every single day.