Sales Enablement Clarity Step 2: The Clarity Model

Last week, we established a common understanding of sales enablement with a comprehensive definition. The purpose of any definition is to get everybody on the same page, in the context of your organization, to establish a common foundation for your enablement team, sponsors and stakeholders.

However, you still need clarity on the different enablement facets and how they are connected to each other to drive the expected, measurable results.

Our sales enablement clarity model builds on our definition and serves as a framework as you evolve your sales enablement discipline to a more strategic function.

The clarity model comes in the form of a diamond, for a reason. Imagine that whatever you have in your organization in terms of enablement efforts is a rough diamond. A rough diamond has to be cut and polished to shine, to be valuable, and, in sales terms, to be effective. Therefore, you need a vision of what your enablement diamond should look like at the end. And, equally important, you need a strategy for how to get there. That means how to cut and polish your enablement diamond. Both the vision and the strategy will be slightly different in each organization.

The enablement clarity model represents the different enablement facets that should be addressed in a holistic way to evolve enablement to a more strategic function. And that’s a prerequisite to achieving significant results, as you can see in our 2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Study. Using this model as a guide, enablement leaders can assess how they are doing in each facet and make better decisions about how to improve their efforts for better results.

  • Customers – In the age of the customer, your sales force can only be successful working with the customers along their customer’s path: how they approach their challenges, how they want to interact with salespeople, and how they want to use and implement your products and solutions. And, most importantly, customers still make the most important decisions, the buying decisions. Therefore, the customers are the primary design point of your enablement approach.
  • Customer-Facing Professionals and their Managers – are your internal target audiences, serving as the secondary design point for your enablement approach. All the challenges of your sales force have to be addressed in your enablement services, but always through the lens of the customer’s path. Furthermore, we know from our customers, our own experience and our research that reinforcement and adoption of enablement services can only be achieved if sales managers lead and coach their sales teams accordingly. To be precise, that’s the main reason we call it sales force
  • Sponsorship, Strategy and Charter – Even the best enablement initiatives fail if there is no formal enablement vision in place, ideally captured in an enablement charter, approved by the relevant senior executives. The key to success when creating your enablement charter is to deeply understand the business and sales strategy and to liaise with those senior executives who have a long-term, strategic perspective.
  • Effective Enablement Services – We put effective enablement services in green because these are the services that allow the organization to reach its desired results. These services are what your target audiences perceive from their enablement team. Enablement services that originate from different function have to be led and orchestrated by the enablement team to ensure consistency and effectiveness. We have a lot of content on enablement services – just have a look here and here.


The remaining three facets focus on the inner mechanics that are necessary to design, produce and deliver these enablement services as efficiently and as effectively as possible. Focusing on these facets is the key to success when it comes to developing a scalable enablement discipline in a fast-growing environment.

  • Formalized Collaboration – One of the reasons we call sales force enablement a discipline (and not a department) is because it is collaborative in nature and no one team can cover it all. Enablement professionals orchestrate the process of creating and providing enablement services across many other functions within the organization. For details, click here.
  • Integrated Enablement Technology – There is a wide range of enablement technologies available on the market, so it’s no longer just about enablement content management (SECM) solutions. Learning, training, coaching and analytics technologies, ideally integrated into your CRM system, all contribute to your enablement efforts.
  • Efficient Enablement Operations – Enablement operations is where all the enablement magic happens, behind the scenes. It covers enablement governance, production processes that are based on the collaboration model and define how different enablement services are designed, created, deployed and measured. And last but not least, enablement metrics are also covered in this facet to answer the key questions: how do we measure enablement success?


The enablement clarity model serves as an essential framework to visualize how the different enablement facets are connected to each other. Furthermore, it helps develop a holistic enablement vision and a strategy how to achieve the desired results.

Next week, we will talk about how to leverage the enablement clarity model to assess your current state of enablement maturity. Stay tuned!


Questions for you:

  • Do you have a strategy for how to get from a rough enablement diamond to a cut and polished enablement diamond?
  • Do you use a framework for your sales enablement practice?
  • How do you evolve enablement to a more strategic discipline?


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