Why Sales Enablement Is More Effective Than Training Alone

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin
Although Ben Franklin lived long before the time of formal business training as we know it today, there is a lot of truth in his statement. It leads us to ponder: How can we best involve participants in sales enablement so that they really learn?  Let’s compare two models: sales training and sales enablement.

Sales Training: How It Used to Be

On the one hand, traditional lecture-style training relies mostly on participants receiving input from a trainer giving a presentation. Interaction is typically very limited with some opportunities to ask questions or join in a subsequent discussion. The goal of any training is similar to that of a university lecture. A knowledgeable expert attempts to pass his or her know-how on to members of the audience.

The problem with this method is that participants remain passive; therefore, the learning experience is usually not memorable or enjoyable in the long term. Worse yet, many salespeople view it as a paid vacation. Many salespeople feel that training is simply a waste of time that could have been better spent following up on leads. And they are usually right.

Sales Enablement: How It Should Be

Enablement, on the other hand, includes many interactive elements to involve and engage those who need to learn something. Depending on the specific enablement, it typically combines many combinations of different elements. The elements can come in the form of interactive presentations, tools and software, certification processes, gamified learning, and personalized coaching. The goal of enablement is to increase revenue per salesperson. Nothing more and nothing less.

The chief main aim of all of these sales enablement methods is to involve learners in an iterative process. Doing so allows them to apply what they have newly learned in the real world and receive constructive feedback to guide them to reach their learning and behavioral change goals.

two men standing and jumping on a rock with climbing equipment, team work, collaboration, risk, success

Take the Leap into Learning’s Future

While employees soon forget training material once they return to business as usual in real life, enablement can be integrated into daily work by continuing the learning process while doing actual daily work. Therefore, enablement is much more comprehensive, focuses on taking action, and involves more senses. Sales enablement is easier to customize and focuses on the needs of customers. As a result, what sales enablement teaches you is much more likely to end up in your long-term rather than short-term memory.  In contrast to training, the objective of enablement is to be effective at increasing revenue per salesperson—not just for a few weeks but for a long time into the future.

Training: Whatever the Trainer Thinks it Should Be

Thus, the goals of the training are implicitly defined by the one who is delivering the training. Therefore, the work of the trainer typically ends with making sure that information has been transferred from the one presenting to his or her audience. While transferring information and knowledge is always positive, there are still major hurdles to overcome. Knowing how to implement this gained knowledge in real life and adapt and customize that know-how to each employee’s unique situation at their company with their own product portfolio is a completely different undertaking.

Sales Enablement: Customer & Learner-Centric

In contrast, a member or manager of a sales team defines the goals of enablement. For it to be effective, there must be specific goals in mind that are directly related to KPIs. (See our post on KPIs.) For example, it could be related to any of the following:

  • Make the sales process easier to understand or avoid errors
  • Gain fresh buyer insights
  • Provide useful content to increase skills and collaboration
  • Enhance the sales process and adapt the team’s strategy more easily

Therefore, the enablement process, when done properly, fits specific needs and gets to the point while doing so. To give you an idea of what some typical sales enablement goals are, we have created a top four list of them for you below.

The Top 4 Sales Enablement Goals

optimize revenue, increase sales deal win rates, decrease time to first deal, increase new customer aquisition

In today’s competitive business culture, who wouldn’t prefer to learn the skills needed to succeed in a more effective and goal-oriented way?  It will surely save you time and money while helping you reach your unique goals—long-term and short-term—without leaving you to figure that out on your own after you leave a traditional training. For more information on sales enablement, request our latest sales enablement whitepaper here.

two people sitting, talking, laughing, looking at a computer in an office, Understand the shift from sales management to sales enablement whitepaper

Astrid Menzl

Astrid Menzl

A Rennweg 1, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria E office@pdagroup.net T +43 (0)512 56 09 70

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Sales Enablement Insights from PDAgroup (EN)

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