It’s a role that’s been needed for as long as sales and marketing have been working side-by-side (basically, forever) – the bridge between the two departments. Over the last 12 months, I’ve seen more businesses hire a dedicated Sales Enablement Specialist (some may call it by a different name).
The purpose of this role is two-fold: to provide the marketing team with the information needed by the sales team; and to provide the sales team with not just relevant marketing documentation, but also to assist with learning and development, coaching, training as well as managing vendor relationships. Essentially, the purpose of this role is to do what the job title suggests, ‘enable’ the sales team to perform optimally.
Sounds like an interesting role, right? Here are the skills that are needed.
The most obvious assumption for hiring managers to make is that a background in sales is a pre-requisite for this role and in some organisations, this may be true. However, in many of the roles I’ve worked on (and seen advertised), the main skill sets needed are:
- Good communication
- Natural collaborator
- Good organisational skills with strong coordination
- Loves solving problems
- Ability to manage several projects simultaneously
The work experience for a successful Sales Enablement Specialist can vary. I’ve seen professionals come from customer services, learning and development and human resources. To be successful in this role, it’s less to do with your working history and more to do with your personality and work ethic.
Will this role continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future?
In short, yes. With this role being used by an increasing number of businesses – as a new role and not a replacement one, I envisage a lot more recruitment in this area. Typically, an SME will only need one Sales Enablement Specialist and this role would grow organically with a company’s growth. Large multinationals, on the other hand, may need more than one but that really depends on the requirements of the sales team.
Within SME’s in particular, I have noticed them hire a Sales Emblement Specialist as one of the first five senior hires – sometimes this role is hired at the same time as a Sales Development Rep.