The Ultimate Guide to The Sales Enablement Manager

Estimated reading time: 17 minutes

What is a Sales Enablement Manager?

The Sales Enablement Manager role is a mix of strategic and tactical activities

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.

They must also be strategic, understanding how to build and execute a comprehensive sales enablement strategy.

And, they are often a manager of people, but not always.

Enablement is often a team-of-one role, especially when first implemented within a business, so many Enablement Managers, and even Directors, do not have any direct reports.

Let’s dive deeper.

What does a Sales Enablement Manager do?

Standard Job Responsibilities of a Sales Enablement Manager 

While the Sales Enablement Manager role does vary, these core responsibilities are almost always present.

The role of a Sales Enablement Manager typically includes these responsibilities:

  • Understand and align goals and Sales Enablement metrics with those of the revenue team and the business overall.
  • Create a clear Sales Enablement strategy that aligns to these goals and objectives.
  • Coordinate and liaise between Sales Enablement, customer success, marketing, and sales teams.
  • Educate account executives and other sales reps on the organization’s products and services.
  • Delivering sales training on best-practice sales techniques, closing skill gaps through both onboarding and ongoing training, and building necessary competencies.
  • 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
  • Coaching sales reps as well as helping sales managers learn how to be better coaches.
  • Partner with sales operations, or on their own, to understand the sales process and help sales representatives use it correctly.
  • Partner with marketing, or on their own, to document the buyer’s journey as well as the customer, partner, and employee’s journey.
  • Structure cross-functional collaboration, with clear feedback loops, between all customer-facing teams (not just marketing and salespeople)
  • Partner, or lead, on sales meetings like the sales kickoff.

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Note: At Trust Enablement, we are strong proponents for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging across companies, especially in Enablement and all customer-facing roles that Enablement teams support.  

Sales Enablement Managers can play a critical role, partnering with HR and all levels of leadership:

  • To build better hiring practices
  • More inclusive onboarding and training programs
  • Reviewing the sales process to ensure it does not introduce exclusive approaches and operations
  • Ensuring no one is left behind because they have a different background.

How to become a Sales Enablement Manager

In the next section, we discuss the skills you will want to build to become a sales enablement manager.  

However, we wanted to take a moment to recommend a couple of important steps in addition to building your skills.

Now, keep reading to learn more about how to become a head of sales enablement  — based on skills and experiences.

 

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

Sales Enablement Managers generally have a core set of required skills, another set of nice-to-haves, and usually those that are company-specific.

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 of experience in content marketing, sales enablement, sales ops, or sales development
  • Excellent content management, content creation, content development, and copywriting skills
  • Experience building sales training content and training programs, especially with training and coaching sellers or other customer-facing teams.
  • Experience delivering instructor-led sales training.
  • Deep experience with at least one Sales Enablement tool and the customer relationship management (CRM) solution you are using.
  • Ability to interpret insights from data, having strong analytical skills, an ability to balance data-driven and user-provided feedback, AND the ability to partner with sales operations to further operationalize a data-driven approach.

Good-to-have (but not required) skills

Sales Enablement Managers with the required skills above, and a few of the following good-to-have skills, will be best fits for most jobs:

  • 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 the sales process, sales cycles, methodologies, and the sales funnel
  • An understanding of strategies for business growth, as well as standard KPIs.
  • An understanding of quantitative and qualitative data, the reasons for both, and how each should be properly leveraged.
  • Knowledge of how to unravel the buyer and customer journey
  • Familiarity in bringing together sales and marketing teams
  • Experience planning sales kickoff
  • Previous experience in a similar industry

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

Should the head of Sales Enablement 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.

There is nothing like living the challenge of quota attainment.

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 sales enablement results.

Enablement Salaries Across The Globe

Note: This was created with Genially.

What is the typical Sales Enablement Manager salary?

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

Other factors that can contribute to the total sales enablement manager salary include experience and credentials (like certifications or tertiary education degrees).

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 range for the average salary of Sales Enablement Managers has jumped by nearly $4,000 in the last two years.

The Sales Enablement Manager Salary has jumped by nearly $4000

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.

Salaries across the United States

  • Sales Enablement Manager salary San Francisco:  $115,880 per year.
  • Sales Enablement Manager salary NYC: $106,341 per year.  
  • Sales Enablement Manager salary Charlotte: $106,922 per year.  
  • Sales Enablement Manager salary St Louis MO: $105,755 per year.  
  • Sales Enablement Manager salary Boston: $101,645 per year.  

Salaries across the globe

  • Canada:  CA$97,060 per year (down nearly CA$3000 in the last two years).
  • United Kingdom: ÂŁ50,050 per year (down nearly ÂŁ9000 in two years).
  • Spain:  €92,526 per year. (up nearly €14,000 in two years).
  • India: â‚ą3M per year (nearly doubling in two years).
  • Australia: A$163K per year (up nearly A$40K in two years).

Do you want to increase your salary as a sales enablement manager?

While you should absolutely follow the tips below, also:

  • Understand your top-level business goals, and what the executive team shares with the board.  Is the goal to increase sales, revenue, or profitability by some percentage?
  • Understand what the goals are, and why they have been set, and align your efforts to help the business achieve those goals.  If your company uses OKRs, this is simpler to do.
  • Every project your team works on should identify how it will aid the business in achieving its goals.
  • Ensure everyone in your leadership channels understands your focus.

If you want to command a higher sales enablement manager salary, you must ensure that everything you do is in support of the right business outcomes.

What is the average Director of Sales Enablement salary?

In the U.S., according to Glassdoor the range for the average salary for the Director of Sales Enablement takes a big leap up from the Sales Enablement Manager ($141,825 / yr).

Director of Sales Enablement Salary

Let’s take a look at this job title across the United States, and then the globe.

Salaries across the United States

  • Director of Sales Enablement salary San Francisco:  $156,040 per year.
  • Director of Sales Enablement salary NYC: $146,727 per year.  
  • Director of Sales Enablement salary Charlotte: $146,265 per year.  
  • Director of Sales Enablement salary St Louis MO: $142,797 per year.  
  • Director of Sales Enablement salary Boston: $145,357 per year.  

Salaries across the globe

  • Canada:  CA$154,661 per year.
  • United Kingdom: ÂŁ125,863 per year.
  • Spain:  €120,000 per year.
  • Australia: A$161,655K per year

Tips for Succeeding as a Sales Enablement Manager

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

  • Partnership with front-line sales managers to help them succeed while they help you scale your program.
  • Developmental sales coaching training for managers and delivery to sales reps to support sales managers..
  • Communication and cross-functional collaboration
  • Training for the sales team.
  • The right sales enablement technology stack

Partnership with front-line sales managers

The Sales Enablement Manager can only be successful if their programs are adopted by the sales reps individually, and the sales team overall.

And this will only happen if line managers are promoting sales enablement efforts and driving their teams to use the processes and tools that are a part of your program.

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?

And everyone knows that the same is true between sales and marketing teams.

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 customer-facing teams are the people implementing changes during the sales cycle, leveraging the sales enablement tools provided, and are best positioned to let the sales enablement team know if the approaches are working in the field.

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 increase sales process efficiency and lift the sales team’s performance.

Consistent training and coaching

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

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

When you discover a technique or approach that is working, train the sales 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.

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, a content management system, 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 the enablement manager more closely monitor and analyze the impact of current sales enablement activities.

However, remember that technology alone does not lead to improved sales results. These tools generally amplify both the good and bad, of your programs, so ensuring your process and people are solid should always come before you layer in new tools.

When starting a new program

We are often asked by team-of-one Enablement professionals, what should they buy for their first Enablement system.

We are strong proponents of not spending money too early.

  • Ensure you have processes defined.
  • Ensure you are clear on WHY you are doing what you are doing and how you will measure the success of your efforts.
  • Ensure you have tested your approaches manually and confirmed they work. 

Okay, you’ve done the above. Let’s visit where most team-of-one sales enablement managers will begin buying technology.

Build your core tech stack

 You should keep these core truths in mind.

  • Your work is only of value to the business if it can measure the results of your efforts.
  • Everything you buy should integrate with the rest of your sales tech stack. At a minimum, the tools you buy MUST integrate with your CRM system.

We have recommendations for those using SalesforceMicrosoft, and Hubspot technologies; consider reviewing those carefully for guidance on your technology purchases.

If you still don’t have a CRM or are not interested in integrating with it, consider also using the free version of Showell to get started with content management and delivery.

Add Project Management ASAP


Our recommendation is to sign-up for the FREE version of monday.com. This project management tool is powerful enough to cover the needs of most of your Revenue Enablement objectives.

If you work in a small company that does not yet have a CRM solution, you can use the Monday CRM to power the buyer and customer journeys. Monday can manage the sales funnel from lead to a prospect and to customer success for managing new customers.

While it does not have every bell and whistle, it’s an excellent no-to-low cost starting point that will support you now and into the future; it will also meet your project management needs.

Scaling your Enablement organization – who do you hire next

It is a good day for Sales Enablement Managers when they can grow their Sales Enablement team.

How do you determine the sales enablement person to hire next?

While the decisions ultimately come down to current business goals and challenges, here is the path being followed by many successful organizations today.

  • If you have a geographically dispersed team where time zones present communications and real-time support challenges, hire an Enablement leader in each of those regions.
  • Hire Enablement liaisons/leaders to work with each team you are supporting. Perhaps a lead for the SDR team, one for Customer Success, etc.
  • As you continue to scale, consider building out teams, or whole centers of excellence, around core competencies such as training, coaching, and content development.

There are hard-and-fast rules, but this approach has worked for many others in our profession.

Sales enablement interview questions

What if you are responsible for hiring a sales enablement manager?  What questions would you ask?

Or you are preparing for a sales enablement manager interview?

Consider these 10 sales enablement interview questions to get you started.

  1. What does sales enablement mean to you?
  2. How do you measure success when it comes to sales enablement?
  3. How have you helped sales teams increase revenue? Shorten deal cycles? Improve win rates? Reduce discounting? Reducing churn?
  4. How do you create and deliver sales content that works for sellers and prospects/customers? For example, sales playbooks, sale pitch presentations, and so on.
  5. What strategies have you used to onboard and train new sales hires?
  6. What are your thoughts on sales certification programs? Gamification?
  7. How do you coach sales reps to help them improve their performance?
  8. Do you have any tips on how sales reps can better use social selling to increase sales?
  9. What have you done to increase rep adoption of tools and processes?
  10. What are your favorite Enablement websites and books?

What sales enablement interview questions would you suggest we add?

The Sales Enablement Manager Job Description

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

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 90 days

For your convenience, we created the following to help you work through the first 90 days.

Your first 90 days as a new Sales Enablement Manager

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

Also, we created this with Lucidchart and we are happy to share the project with you directly, just reach out to us and we will share the project with you if that is of value.   In this checklist, we reference using Monday or ClickUp for project management.  Regardless of your toolset, project management will be key to your success.

How often should you meet with key stakeholders?

We have great insights from a variety of Enablement Leaders on an appropriate cadence of 1:1s with the 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 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.

Looking for books on Sales Enablement

A Brief Review

What is the average Sales Enablement Manager Salary?

At the time of this writing, the average annual salary of a sales enablement manager is $103,340 in the US.

What is the role of a Sales Enablement Manager?

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.