Sales enablement is a rapidly growing discipline. As of 2018, 61% of organizations have a dedicated sales enablement person, program, or function. 

If you’re looking to break-in to this profession on the forefront you may be asking yourself these questions: What experience are enablement employers looking to see? What’s the best way to go about a career transition into sales enablement? Are there certain skills to highlight? 

We’ve compiled answers to these questions and more key insights to help you launch your sales enablement career:

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What are the common roles that people hold before moving into sales enablement positions?

The vast majority of people in enablement positions come from sales backgrounds. A common misconception about those in enablement roles is that their previous experience is in training or learning and development. In reality — 44% of sales enablement professionals have sales management backgrounds followed by 27% coming from a sales rep background. After that, the majority come from marketing, ops, sales training or L&D roles. 

Because the bulk of enablement professionals have held sales positions at some point during their career, they have distinct empathy towards sales teams and an understanding of their pain points. 

Screen Shot 2019-11-04 at 1.38.30 PMAdapted from Miller Heiman Group, Inc. via csoinsights.com                                  

Do you need “enablement” experience to land a position in sales enablement?

Not necessarily! The field is still relatively new and ever-changing. The rapid growth that enablement is seeing means that many individuals start off in these roles with limited enablement-specific experience. 

CSO Insights reports that more than 60% of sales enablement professionals have been in their current roles for less than three years.

What skills should you highlight when applying to a sales enablement role?

Finding someone who can act as a liaison cross-functionally across all customer-facing teams, instill confidence in people to perform in their positions, and ultimately drive your organization’s revenue — is no easy task. It’s a diverse role and it takes a special candidate to fit the bill. 

Here are 5 top skills every enablement hire should have: 

  1. They possess a natural ability to communicate
  2. They have or understand the "Sales Mentality" of top performers
  3. They know how to make content consumable
  4. They know how to make content useable
  5. They store, access, deliver content efficiently

What is the average salary for Sales Enablement Manager roles?

According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for Sales Enablement Managers is about $68.9K per year. Their estimate is based on the anonymous responses of over 45,000 people in these roles. Of course, those numbers are dependent on location, company size, years of experience, etc. 

There is no shortage of space for growth within this field. The global sales enablement platform market size is expected to grow from $1.1 billion in 2019 to $2.6 billion by 2024.

What are the key things to consider when transitioning into a sales enablement role?

  • One of the biggest transitions entering into a sales enablement position is the amount of collective responsibility the role bears. Enablement is cross-functional empathy, it requires an ability to synthesize knowledge and curate content for different audiences at the same time. Though you’re not directly responsible for being the subject matter expert on product or sales — you are the bridge.  Your expertise will be in content curation, delivery, and repetition. 
  • Sales Enablement looks different in every company. When you’re transitioning into an enablement role there are two key factors to define:
    1. The type of sales enablement person you want to be. Defining what you’d like your impact to be will help you find an org with a complementary vision.
    2. What the charter of the specific company looks like. Would it include learning and development, cross-company communication or implementing new programs such as on-boarding? Define the functions of your charter early on to avoid spreading yourself too thin. 

We hope that these tips have been helpful as you set off on your new enablement career path! Follow along with our Sales Enablement Blog for ongoing industry best practices, trends, and insights.

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