Enablement Services: Training, Content, And What Else?

If two patients suffer from a heart disease, they will get a different therapy plan. Based on their context, one may probably need surgery and specific medication while the other might be treated with dietary adjustments first. And that’s the same in enablement. The patient’s main challenges and the patient’s context determine the importance and the hierarchy of specific services. Just as patients are doctors’ clients, sales organizations are sales enablement’s clients. Once again, context matters.

Sales training services, sales tools and sales process improvements are the leading enablement services overall and particularly for organizations above $250 million in revenues.


The results of our CSO Insights 2015 Enablement Optimization Study are interesting. The data clearly identifies the top three enablement services for all respondents: Sales training (75%), sales process improvements (68%), and sales tools (67%).

We made a snapshot for the larger organizations above $250 million in revenues to check differences: The differences are small. Just the order of these top three enablement services has changed. Larger organizations seem to have even more pressure to get their sales processes up and running. “Sales process improvements” is the most important one in larger corporations (75%), followed by sales tools (69%) and sales training services (68%).

The differences between all respondents and larger organizations are smaller than expected.

But both data perspectives show that enablement is definitely more than content or training services, as you can also see in Evolving Enablement to Sales Force Enablement: The New Definition.

The data shows that the variety of enablement services, across all sizes of organizations, leads to a significant amount of complexity for enablement leaders. Connected to the various services, there are numerous enablement goals enablement leaders are asked to achieve. (See also here.)

The data shows content services somewhere in the middle, with 52% (all respondents) and 58% (large organizations). One could assume that content wouldn’t be a big issue in enablement. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Content has a foundational, often underestimated role.

To begin with, content covers internal enablement content, e.g., playbooks, messaging guidelines, or guided selling scripts, as well as client-facing content for each phase of the customer’s journey, such as white papers, case studies, customer success studies, tailored presentations, or business cases.

“Internal content” involves more than simply creating a deliverable. Various content creation steps have to be taken, all based on a properly defined content management framework, that’s ideally designed with the customer’s journey in mind. And that means, by definition, content has to be an enablement issue, not a marketing issue alone. Then, there is no training without content. For every training service (product, methodology, process, customer journey, etc.), there is a piece of content that goes with the training service. The same is true for sales onboarding; it cannot happen without content.

Content is the foundation of almost any other sales enablement service.

Furthermore, content is of strategic relevance when it comes to the level of relationships; an organization can achieve with their clients.

Stay tuned, we will discuss this issue in a follow-up blog post.

Related Research Note:

How Enablement Services Evolve (membership required)

Related blog posts:

What Are Sales Enablement Services Anyway?

Aligning and Integrating Sales Enablement Services

Enablement Goals in Context

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