When it comes to helping revenue teams, the term “sales enablement” usually comes to mind. Enabling a sales or support team to work better sounds great. But there’s a giant disconnect – while the concept of “sales enablement” is more relevant than ever, the term itself has become associated with an antiquated methodology.

At Guru, we believe in empowering teams, not just “enabling” them. What’s the difference between enablement and empowerment? Isn’t this just a bunch of marketing jargon? Not really – words are important. They mean things. Well, not enablement, since it technically isn’t a real word, but you get the picture.

sales enablement definition

To enable someone is to give them the tools and content they need and send them on their way. It means a team like marketing throwing a new video or one sheet over the fence to sales and saying, “Have at it, I’ve done my part.” The practice of “sales enablement” operates on the assumption that the world is static and never changing. The content thrown over the fence will only work as long as circumstances never change.

To empower someone is to give them those assets and to explain why and how they should be used – in what context, for which use case, and during which part of the buyer’s journey. It’s an evolving and ongoing process that ensures consistency and confidence across your organization, leading to higher win rates, increased deal sizes, and shorter sales cycles. Empowerment is outcome-oriented. Empowerment makes people the best versions of themselves.

sales empowerment over sales enablement

We’ve created a video to illustrate the difference between enabling someone and empowering them:

 
 

In a world full of enablers, be the empower...er

Here we have a classic case of enabling vs. empowering. Both Christine and Jon are helping Priya train for her triathlon, but Jon is merely enabling her while Christine is empowering her. Technically, giving Priya sneakers, a helmet, and a push in the pool is giving her the resources and tools she needs to train. But instead of just giving her those resources, Christine is showing Priya the way and helping her use them.

Empowering someone involves more than just providing resources. It also involves providing knowledge. A one sheet is great content for a salesperson to use to illustrate product features to a prospect, but does that one sheet alone empower the salesperson to explain how a specific feature relates to that prospect’s particular use case? Not quite. Assets enable; knowledge empowers.

Knowledge is (em)power

To close deals, drive revenue, and delight customers, revenue teams need to be empowered with knowledge to have better conversations with prospects and customers. That requires more than simply tossing assets over a fence and hoping those teams can run with them. Don’t be like Jon – sneakers and sales assets are not enough. Be like Christine and go beyond enabling by striving to empower.

Recommended Reading

Empower Salon: Ideas Into Action

How Rev Ops Drives Customer Experience and Loyalty at Splash

Let us know what you think!
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