The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need for B2B Sales Enablement

Accelerate Revenue Growth through Better B2B Sales Enablement

Do you have an incredible product or service, but when you think of your approach to B2B sales something feels off?

Your spidey senses tingle. Something just isn’t quite right, and the problems don’t point to a specific mistake — they appear more… systemic. The connections between the people, processes, and technologies in your organization are slugging along, like a cog that needs oiling.

Ask Yourself:

If you find yourself answering yes to any of these questions, you need to gather your teams and take a close look at your current approach to sales. Luckily this guide will help you do just that.

Download TPM’s Complete Guide to B2B Sales Enablement

B2B Sales Enablement Contents

See what’s covered:

What is Sales Enablement?

“Enablement” is a really popular buzzword these days. Generally speaking, the term is used in an empowering way, encouraging the possibility that something is going to happen. With that in mind, what is sales enablement and why does it matter more now than ever?

Sales enablement is a process of resourcing your sales team to make it close more deals faster. It helps salespeople and partners (via direct and indirect channels) engage in targeted ways across the different stages of the B2B buyer journey.

The way B2B customers buy is changing. Digital interactions are now 2 to 3 times more important to B2B customers than traditional sales interactions. Further accelerating this change in buying behavior is COVID-19 — 90% of B2B sales moved to digital channels in the wake of the pandemic. As a result, today’s B2B buyers know a heck of a lot more about you than you know about them.

This market shift puts your buyers in control of the sales process. Something that was once linear and predictable is now complex, long, and variable. As more and more of the buyer journey becomes self-directed, organizations are losing customers before their sales teams even get a chance to pitch. Sales teams have fewer opportunities to influence customer decisions, so you need to meet buyers where they’re at.

This is where sales enablement comes into the picture.

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Building a B2B Sales Enablement Framework that Works for You

While most B2B organizations understand sales enablement, each is at a different stage of maturity. For some, sales enablement is simply the production of sales collateral by the marketing team to support the buyer journey. For others, sales enablement is an official function — with headcount and budget — that sits somewhere between sales, marketing, human resources, and customer success.

B2B Sales Enablement Maturity Scale

B2B Sales Enablement Maturity Scale

Marketing supports sales teams with some content but there are no shared sales enablement processes, technologies, or goals.

B2B Sales Enablement Maturity Scale

Sales and marketing teams have an official lead generation program and some shared sales enablement processes, technologies, and goals.

B2B Sales Enablement Maturity Scale

Sales enablement is a distinct function that sits alongside sales, marketing, and customer success and is supported by human resources.

Sales enablement processes, technologies, and goals are clearly defined and engrained in the culture.

Imagine you’re on a road trip and sales enablement is the destination. While there are multiple ways to arrive at your destination, the route is made up of essentials that support your journey: a full tank of gas, a reliable vehicle, an up-to-date map app, and a groovy playlist.

In a sales enablement framework, the key pillars are people, processes, and technology.

sales enablement framework

The technologies that can support the processes, automate manual work, and free up time to spend on high-value sales enablement activities


The shared processes required to align sales and marketing teams, create accountability, and set goals to measure the success of the strategy


The teams and third-party agencies required to support the strategy

B2B sales enablement isn’t a one-off initiative. To see the best results, an enablement culture must be built from the ground up with support from leadership. A sales enablement framework will help you make the business case for the resources you need to get started.

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Build a B2B sales enablement framework that works for you.

Focusing on the Buyers Most Likely to Buy from You (ICP)

Buyers are the core of your organization, but we also know you can’t be everything to everyone — at least 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell. Tools like ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and buyer personas clear up who your ideal customer and buyers are in your market segment.

ICPs for sales are focused on the fit of the account and don’t go into detail about individual people. Sales and marketing teams can use them to maintain alignment via lead scoring and qualification processes. On the other hand, creating a buyer persona provides structure and context by way of mapping out and curating content for the buyers and decision-makers in that account.

So which is it, customer profile vs buyer persona? Is one more important than the other for B2B sales enablement? It’s not a competition at all. Rather, it’s quite the opposite: while inherently different, they’re both equally important for sales enablement.

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Maintaining Sales and Marketing Alignment

Sales and marketing teams have always struggled to maintain alignment. Traditionally they have functioned in separate silos, each with their own language, leadership teams, and KPIs. This approach was abrupt, disruptive, and generally a negative experience for the buyer.

Challenged by the new B2B buyer journey, the traditional approach has met its match. With so much of the buyer journey happening digitally, marketing plays a bigger role in the sales process.

This shift in consumer behavior has changed the dynamic between sales and marketing, making it hard to know where one begins and the other ends. 9 in 10 sales and marketing professionals say they are misaligned across strategy, process, content, and culture. Establishing sales and marketing alignment best practices for your organization is key as your teams adjust to this new dynamic.

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Communications between your sales and marketing teams might need some tweaking.

Save Yourself Some Time. Download the Guide to B2B Sales Enablement

Bouncing Back when Sales Enablement Goes Sideways

Noticing tension between your sales and marketing teams? Is lead handoff clumsy? Are your content and lead generation metrics low? Have you invested in special tools but have yet to see a return on your investment?

Do any of these situations sound familiar? If so, don’t be discouraged.

B2B sales enablement is a complex function with lots of moving parts so if you start noticing it go off track, it’s ok. There’s always a way to get back on course when things go askew. Here are the top four sales problems organizations face when executing their sales enablement strategies.

Sales Content Isn’t Aligned to Buyer Journey
Sales Lacks Support to Successfully Engage with Leads
Automated Processes Too Soon
Sales and Marketing Are Out of Sync

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Optimizing Sales Performance with Sales Enablement

No matter the sales process your organization adopts, sales enablement will fit right in. Acting like a chameleon, established sales enablement activities blend into your organization to play a key role in supporting your sales process.

There are literally dozens of proven sales methodologies and each brings their own qualities to streamline the sales process and build mutually beneficial relationships with customers. Known for their impact on B2B sales, the ChallengerTM sales approach and the Sandler Sales Method are just two examples that illustrate how sales enablement processes contribute to their execution.

Optimizing sales performance is most successful when you keep your prospect top of mind, orienting B2B sales enablement activities around continuously meeting their needs. And no matter your way of selling, we’re confident they will fit right in.

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Creating Sales Enablement Content

Content plays an important role in sales enablement. From eBooks and infographics to competitive intel battlecards and sales playbooks, effective sales enablement content helps salespeople attract and engage buyers, address their concerns, handle objections, and ultimately close sales.

While both marketing and sales enablement teams focus on content creation and management, they differ when it comes to their primary audience. Marketing creates and manages buyer-facing content, whereas sales enablement teams create sales-facing content — with the shared goal of supporting salespeople with what they need to effectively engage with customers.

With this top of mind, consider these best practices when creating B2B sales enablement content.

Map content to buyer journey
Develop a system to store and manage content
Keep content relevant and up to date

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Implementing a Successful Sales Enablement Strategy

Hitting a home run in sales enablement isn’t an easy feat. Implementing a successful B2B sales enablement strategy is like playing a puzzle where the pieces are constantly moving. Key people, processes, and technologies are constantly in flux, and it takes a collective effort to get the pieces to fit together just so.

But just think of the reward on the other side of the challenge:

As you carefully plan and build your sales enablement strategy, take these best practices along with you for the ride.

Align Your Teams on a Clear Goal
Focus on the Behavior of Buyers Most Likely to Buy from You
Change the Way Your Company Thinks About Content
Leverage Resources Across the Buyer’s Journey
Nurture Alignment and Collaboration Across Stakeholders

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Including Partners in Sales Enablement Strategies

In the world of B2B, partners and resellers form the most lucrative distribution channel to help you reach new customers. When channel partner relationships are managed correctly, partners can act as an extension of your organization, helping to quickly expand and grow your audience.

“Partner enablement is the practice of supporting your partners with the proper training, materials, and information to execute your sales process and sell your product or service. The process involves both technical and sales-related elements.”

Although channel partners are effectively an extension of your sales teams, they can often be overlooked when it comes to sales enablement. Effective partner enablement is the key to successful and mutually beneficial relationships.

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Save Yourself Some Time. Download the Guide to B2B Sales Enablement

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Sales Enablement

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in sales, and the reality is that it’s not going to change anytime soon. A sales process that used to start with someone knocking at your door, or cold calling you by plucking your name out of a phonebook, is now rooted in strategy and driven by data.

Automation and AI are progressively informing our sales processes, driving real, measurable results for your business. Salesforce found that high-performing teams are 2.8 times more likely to be using AI than underperforming ones — a 76% increase since 2018.

How can you leverage AI to inform key B2B sales enablement processes? Here are a couple of examples:

Lead Generation

Using AI-powered tools, like chatbots and virtual assistants, can help you generate and prospect new leads at scale by finding patterns and extracting insights from your customer data.

Lead Scoring and Qualification

Learning from lead conversion data, AI can help you build smarter lead scoring systems, making it easier to generate best-fit leads and convert them at higher rates.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Diagnostic analytical models of AI and machine learning cluster data in a way that builds a refined vision of your ideal customer — one that becomes increasingly refined as the technology learns over time.

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Metrics, Analysis, and Reporting

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to measuring sales enablement success. What constitutes success differs from one organization to the next. Because of this, it’s important to be specific about what information you want and how you’ll use it to inform your B2B sales enablement strategy.

Positioning your goals around metrics is essential for sales enablement assessments. These goals will help you narrow down the metrics that matter to your organization. When it comes to sales enablement goals, there are many places to start. Anywhere from increasing traffic to your blog and building brand awareness to developing search engine authority.

Once you’ve gathered some data, it’s time to peer into it and draw some conclusions.

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Customer Enablement, Retention, and Experience

So we’re here at the so-called end of the road. You’ve landed the sale — the deal is signed, sealed, delivered, and you’re celebrating over a single malt Scotch whisky. But…is this really it? What happens next?

If you want to retain them as your customer, this isn’t “it.” The sale is merely a milestone in the buyer’s journey. This is especially true in B2B sales and subscription-based business models which rely on renewals and product releases to sustain growth.

Customer enablement is an umbrella term that captures the customer experience, ensuring your customers have everything they need to feel satisfied with their purchase. It exists as programs and will look different depending on the maturity level of the organization. Customer enablement can be as simple as a post-sales marketing plan to a full-blown cross-functional customer success team.

How does customer enablement fit with B2B sales enablement? Well, sales enablement is a strategic, collaborative discipline designed to accelerate revenue growth — from both new and existing customers. Customer enablement is a process that supports this discipline.

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What Should You Do Next?

The strategy you build using our B2B sales enablement framework should be treasured. It’s singlehandedly one of the most important documents for your organization’s success.

Once you have the framework in hand, what’s next?

Well, that will depend on your organization’s immediate needs and business goals. Here are a couple of suggestions.

Work towards team alignment

Start a regular meeting with team leads, with the sole purpose of opening the lines of communication. Sales and marketing alignment is a non-negotiable part of sales enablement.

Take an inventory of your sales enablement content

Do you have content for every stage of the buyer’s journey? How is it performing? Can sales teams easily find what they need when they need it?

Consider assigning someone to own sales enablement activities

A third-party agency or another stakeholder that sits between sales, marketing, human resources, and customer success can act as a neutral party.

Adopt a sales enablement tool

Adopt a sales enablement tool Once your teams are in lockstep and have firmly grasped key sales enablement processes, it might be time to start using a sales enablement tool to automate and streamline the process.

And so much more. But remember that B2B sales enablement isn’t a one-off strategy — it’s a discipline that needs constant adjustment as target markets evolve, products change, and businesses pivot.

Get the Complete Guide to B2B Sales Enablement