Sales Enablement Career Path

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Sales Enablement Career Path

Sales enablement is an emerging profession with a promising future. Many believe that the world is entering the fourth era of selling, which will require business professionals who are comfortable in an ever-increasing number of roles.

Sales enablement specialists are typically responsible for identifying and implementing the best ways to help sales reps sell more effectively. In this article, we’ll explore how you can earn a career as a sales enablement specialist, from educating yourself on the job requirements of this position to training for your desired role.

1. What Is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement professionals provide tools and resources for sales representatives to educate, equip and empower them to sell more effectively. It’s about helping reps be their best via training programs, style guides, playbooks, scripts, templates, and other critical materials.

Sales enablement is a role that brings together both sales and marketing to help reps hit their quota. However, at its core, it’s about streamlining the entire customer journey from lead generation to close by making every rep more effective in his or her craft.

Sales enablement can be thought of as a type of mentorship. Many companies have formal programs within the organization for developing new hires, with training from both peers and those ahead of them in the organization. Think about how a new sales hire is trained on scriptwriting, customer outreach tactics, closing techniques, and more. That’s what sales enablement is on an enterprise-wide scale.

2. What Are the Responsibilities of a Sales Enablement Manager?

There are three primary functions of sales enablement managers:

  • Lead generation – They create materials to help inside sales teams qualify leads inbound through the company’s marketing, advertising, and business development efforts. The goal is to pass these leads to sales reps for follow-up that will ultimately lead to closed-won opportunities.
  • Pipeline management – Once reps are engaged in their efforts to close, the enablement manager takes control of fulfillment and logistics. This includes ensuring that all necessary materials (like product information, case studies, etc.) are available for reps to share at each stage of the sales process.
  • Onboarding support – Because it’s a new role, there is typically a lot of confusion around sales enablement and how it can help sales reps be successful. Enablement managers bridge the gap between the two camps, helping to define roles and responsibilities so there’s no confusion about how reps should execute campaigns – and who they should turn to for guidance along the way.

3. What Skills Should You Look for When Hiring a Sales Enablement Manager?

Hiring managers should look for individuals with the following skills:

1. Understanding of sales methodology – The best enablement reps know their CRM inside and out and understand how to nudge a prospect through the funnel. They’re familiar with messaging tactics that work at different stages of the sale cycle and can help reps develop scripts and templates around those areas.

2. Ability to communicate – Successful enablement managers are able to communicate with both sales and marketing teams effectively. They can speak the language of each group, which allows them to play an important role in removing barriers that exist between the two departments.

3. Affinity for technology – Enablement managers must ensure reps have access to all of the tools and resources they need to succeed. They must know where this content is stored, how it can be delivered quickly and efficiently, and what steps are necessary for optimizing deliverability.

4. Leadership – Enablement managers help ensure reps have what they need to hit their quotas. In addition to internal needs, enablement managers must also make sure that sales reps are educated on all of the company’s products and services, that messaging is kept up-to-date, and that any other information related to selling the company’s offerings is readily available.

4. How Do Enablement Managers Work with Sales Reps?

Enablement managers act as mentors for their assigned teams to ensure they have everything they need to be productive, including:

  • Tools – Enablement managers provide each team member with the resources they need to succeed, which may include custom-tailored RFP templates or other materials.
  • Processes – Enablement managers work with sales teams to ensure they’re following a repeatable process that will lead to consistent results. In many cases, sales processes are not formally documented or well-defined, making this a critical element in driving success for the team.
  • Training – Enablement managers receive training from their own managers so they can pass it on to the sales reps. They may also capture lessons learned from various campaigns and ensure all team members have access to them for future reference.

5. What Are Some of the Challenges Enablement Managers Face?

There are several common issues that arise among enablement managers:

1. Getting buy-in from marketing – Because communication and coordination between sales and marketing are not always easy, there can be a lot of tension when it comes to sales enablement. Marketing teams may feel that their work will be compromised by enablement managers who encourage reps to use content like RFP templates or messaging. Enablement managers must build relationships with marketing stakeholders in order to dispel such disputes and ensure that both sides share a unified, company-wide strategy.

2. Creating documentation – Sales enablement managers must create and maintain training materials for the sales teams – but they may not be trained writers or find it particularly enjoyable to produce such material. As a result, keep an eye out for candidates who can take the initiative and proactively seek out opportunities to develop such resources.

3. Spotting best practices – Enablement managers must be able to spot and document effective strategies so the rest of their team can follow suit. This might require them to pick up the phone and learn about how other managers are helping their reps achieve success, so look for candidates who love talking and learning from others as much as they love creating content.

6. What Experience Do You Need to Become a Sales Enablement Manager?

There are courses and degrees that provide the knowledge and skills needed for successful sales enablement managers:

1. A bachelor’s degree in English, communications, or a related field – Companies look for candidates who have studied BusinessBusiness at a college or university level. However, many will accept a candidate who has completed such studies and then gone on to study or pursue a career in English, communications, writing, editing, or similar fields.

2. Experience as a sales representative – Those who possess experience as traditional sales reps – i.e., those who work with customers directly – tend to make great enablement managers because they have a solid handle on what reps need to be successful.

3. Experience as a marketing representative – In some cases, enablement managers may also have experience as marketers who have worked on the brand side of things and know the types of materials that need to be created. This is not always a requirement, though, so those with other experiences may still be considered for this role.

7. What Are the Education Requirements to Become a Sales Enablement Manager?

Sales enablement managers typically possess an undergraduate degree in marketing, communications, advertising, or related fields. They should also have experience working in sales and/or marketing. Some organizations require senior-level candidates to hold a graduate degree like an MBA.

Please note that the educational requirements may vary depending on which sector you work in (IT, B2B SaaS/Software, etc.).

There are also certifications that employers would like to see, such as the following:

  • Certified Marketing Executive (CME)
  • Certified Professional in Sales and Account Management (CPASAM)
  • Certified Sales Enablement Manager (CSEM)

8. What Is the Salary Range for a Sales Enablement Manager?

The salary for this role is quite competitive and ranges from $60,000 to $100,000. Please note that salaries tend to vary based on experience and certifications as well as the sector you work in (IT, B2B SaaS/Software, etc.)

9. What Are the Career Paths for a Sales Enablement Manager?

The following are some roles that you may pursue after working as an enablement manager.

1. Director of Sales Enablement – This is the senior-most position in this role, requiring extensive experience managing teams and overseeing strategy. Those who work at this level will typically have earned an MBA or be pursuing one at the moment.

2. Global Head of Sales Enablement – This position is held by individuals who have managed sales enablement teams in multiple companies and are now tasked with overseeing strategy across the board for a larger organization. You may also see this role referred to as VP of Sales Enablement, SVP, Director of Global Enablement, or Director of Sales Enablement.

3. VP of Product Marketing – As a sales enablement manager, you may keep an eye on this role in the future because it is typically held by people with 10+ years of experience in marketing and management roles who have worked in various organizations.

4. Chief Revenue Officer – Because this role involves overseeing the entire company, including sales, customer success, and more, it typically requires a lot of experience. You are unlikely to get there if you don’t have an MBA or some other equivalent certification.

5. SVP of Marketing – This is another very senior-level position that looks for extensive management experience at high-profile organizations. You will also typically need to hold an MBA or be pursuing one currently.

10. How Does One Grow Their Career as a Sales Enablement Manager?

As mentioned above, there are several different paths you can take once you have had some experience as an enablement manager.

To grow your career further at the director level, it is important to gain more experience managing various teams and building out a strategy for organizations of all sizes. You can do this by moving positions within a company or taking on roles at new companies to gain this experience.

11. How Can Someone Become a Sales Enablement Manager?

The following are some steps that you may wish to consider:

1. Get an undergraduate degree in marketing, communications, advertising, or related fields. You should also have experience working in sales and/or marketing, so be sure to include this on your resume when applying for jobs.

2. Network, network, network! The relationships you build now will help you get ahead later on down the road. Sales enablement managers typically come from within sales and marketing, so be sure to work hard in these departments as well.

3. Get certified by taking one or more of the following courses: Certified Marketing Executive (CME), Certified Professional in Sales and Account Management (CPASAM), or Certified Sales Enablement Manager (CSEM). This is a quick way to stand out because these courses are not offered everywhere.

4. Consider earning an MBA degree, especially if you want to move up to the director level at some point.

This will help you develop the management expertise you need.

5. Get involved in social media marketing and blogging because many sales enablement managers come from this area. These skills are vital to helping your colleagues understand trends, what is new, and how they can adapt for improved results.

12. What Is the Job Outlook for a Sales enablement manager?

The outlook for those in this line of work is expected to grow by 10% from now until 2024. This is much faster than the average growth rate and shows that hirers are placing increased emphasis on key support staff to boost revenue.

There are other factors that are leading to this growth rate, including the increased popularity of enablement managers and the need for companies to implement new strategies in order to keep up with competitors.

13. Best Colleges to Study Sales Enablement

We have done our research and compiled a list of colleges that offer the best programs in sales enablement. Our top picks are:

1. the University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign – Offers Minor in Marketing Analytics and Programs in Sales Education, Professional Selling, and Marketing Communications.
2. Purdue University – More than 25 programs related to marketing are offered here. Students can also graduate with a certificate in Managerial Selling or Digital Marketing Strategy.
3. Oklahoma State University – Sales education program, Professional Selling major, and Marketing Communications certificate are all offered at this college.
4. Arizona State University – Offers certificates in Sales Education and Managerial Selling as well as a BA degree in BusinessBusiness with an Emphasis in Marketing.
5. the University Of Maryland – More than 20 programs related to marketing are available here.
6. University Of Florida – 12 programs related to marketing are available, including Digital Marketing and Analytics but also Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing Strategy.
7. University Of Akron – Over 20 programs related to sales and marketing are offered here, like Professional Selling, Sales Education, Managerial Leadership, and Management Marketing.

14. Online Courses to Study Sales Enablement

There are many online courses available which you use to enhance your own knowledge on sales enablement. Some of these include:

Sales Enablement Fundamentals by Udemy- This course will help you learn about sales enablement and how it can benefit your company. It will teach you how to develop a sales enablement strategy and establish the foundation for your sales organization.

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Sales Enablement by Linkedin learning- This course is designed to provide sales leaders and sales professionals with a firm understanding of sales enablement and how it can be used across the organization. The course covers the types of enablement programs available and how to identify the right program for your company. You’ll also learn how to build a roadmap, establish a governance model, and provide management with effective metrics.

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Sales Enablement Training: Get Certified in Sales Enablement by Hubspot Academy- This course is for sales professionals who want to learn how to sell smarter and faster by becoming experts in sales enablement. You will learn the basics of sales enablement, including what it means, why it matters, and how you can use it to help your team win more deals.

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Applying The Art and Science of Sales Enablement by Udemy- This course will help you learn the art and science of sales enablement. You’ll learn how to develop a sales enablement strategy, establish the foundation for your sales organization, best practices in building an enablement program, and how to create effective content that enables better selling.

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Sales Enablement & Analytics by Edx- This course will teach you the fundamental concepts in sales enablement and how to use analytics to best position your company for success. You’ll learn how to develop a sales enablement strategy, establish the foundation for your sales organization, leverage analytics when developing content, and create effective programs that help drive revenue.

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Sales enablement is a great career path for anyone looking to break into the sales industry or wanting to move up in their current company. The field has a lot of opportunities for growth and advancement, and it’s a great way to learn about the sales process from beginning to end. If you’re interested in learning more about how to start or grow your career in sales enablement, let us know. Our team of experts is happy to help!

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