Sales enablement aims to equip sales teams with the skills, knowledge, content, and tools to effectively engage buyers and drive revenue growth. While foundational sales enablement strategies are essential, artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming enablement by making teams smarter and selling more efficient. AI solutions enhance numerous facets of sales enablement to increase productivity, scale impact, and provide data-driven recommendations tailored to each rep. This includes AI-enabled coaching and training, predictive content recommendations, conversational intelligence, and predictive analytics. When combined with a sound enablement strategy, these AI capabilities allow organizations to get the right message to the right buyer at the right time - helping sales teams sell with relevance, optimize conversations, and improve win rates.
Defining Sales Enablement
Sales enablement refers to the strategies, processes, content, and technology that equip sales teams to have relevant, value-driven conversations with buyers. The goal is to provide customer-facing teams with the knowledge and assets to engage prospects more effectively throughout their buying journey.
At its core, sales enablement aims to achieve three key objectives:
- Improve sales behaviors - adopting the right skills and methodologies
- Increase sales productivity - optimizing processes to spend time selling
- Enhance sales performance - growing pipeline, deal size, and revenue
To accomplish these goals, enablement programs focus on core areas like sales training, content strategies, coaching frameworks, and sales technology optimization.
The Importance of Sales Enablement
With buying committees getting larger and sales cycles lengthening, it's harder than ever for reps to navigate deals alone. Enablement provides the missing link - arming sales teams with the right messages and tools so they can add value throughout complex sales journeys. Effective enablement leads to substantial benefits, including:
Increased Win Rates: Equipped with relevant information, reps can better articulate value and differentiate solutions to sway buyer decisions.
Larger Deal Sizes: Sales teams armed with ROI calculators, competitive intel, and value messaging can confidently justify premium pricing.
Faster Ramp to Productivity: Onboarding methodologies with structured training and coaching help new hires contribute faster.
Higher Conversion Rates: When reps follow defined sales processes, they waste less time and convert more leads to pipeline.
Enablement Best Practices
There are several key strategies for developing a high-performing enablement program:
Executive Buy-In: Gaining executive support ensures enablement initiatives receive necessary resources and visibility.
Sales & Marketing Alignment: Close collaboration between sales and marketing improves messaging consistency and content relevance.
Persona-Centric Content: Creating assets tailored to each persona’s pain points and priorities resonates more deeply.
Ongoing Training Reinforcement: Reps forget 90% of training in 6 weeks unless it’s reinforced through coaching, mentoring, and refresher courses.
Sales Process Optimization: Analyzing each stage of the sales process to identify and fix broken parts improves productivity.
Tech Stack Consolidation: Converging martech and sales tech systems into an integrated stack eliminates toggling between platforms.
Enabling Skills for Enablement Roles
Effective enablement professionals possess strategic vision coupled with tactical execution skills. Key competencies include:
Leadership - Set enablement vision and rally internal stakeholders towards a shared mission.
Sales Process Mastery - Deeply understand sales methodologies to identify friction points.
Project Management – Juggle multiple priorities and drive enablement programs on time and budget.
Data Analysis – Extract insights from analytics to pinpoint enablement opportunities.
Creativity - Produce compelling content in different formats and mediums.
Technical Skills - Learn platforms to provide training and admin support.
Communication Skills - Explain complex initiatives at all levels to gain buy-in.
AI-Powered Sales Enablement
While foundational enablement strategies still apply, AI propels programs to new heights by enhancing virtually every enablement component.
Intelligent Content Recommendations: AI analyzes sales conversations, CRM data, and marketing content to serve up contextual recommendations to further deals. Reps stay armed with relevant assets while personalizing the buying journey.
Predictive Analytics & Reporting: Platforms generate automatic reports analyzing content consumption trends, training gaps, coaching needs, and performance benchmarks to prioritize high-impact programs.
Conversational Intelligence for Coaching: Analyzing recorded sales calls with conversation intelligence helps managers pinpoint strengths, uncover gaps, and deliver precise coaching to hone selling skills.
AI-Enabled Sales Training: Hyper-personalized training programs powered by AI adjust coursework based on existing competencies and observed capability gaps to boost adoption.
Conversational AI Assistants: Chatbots act as sales assistants by recommending next steps, providing helpful content, answering basic questions, scheduling meetings, and automatically updating CRM records.
Getting Started With AI-Enabled Sales Enablement
The prospect of deploying AI can seem daunting for enablement leaders struggling to build momentum for basic enablement functions. The key is starting small. Begin by choosing one pain point to focus on, whether it’s inconsistent messaging across reps, untracked coaching conversations, or lack of insight into content performance. Select AI tools purpose-built to address that specific enablement gap, run a pilot to demonstrate quick-win metrics, then make the case for expansion. As more enablement components become AI-enabled, it unlocks compounding benefits through increased connectivity and intelligence sharing across systems.
The Future of Intelligent Enablement
While AI is gaining traction, most enablement programs are still in the early stages of adoption. As the technology advances, expect AI to handle increasingly sophisticated capabilities - from predictive forecasting to automated content creation and real-time coaching prompts. Much like AI transformed marketing into a more measurable, optimized discipline over the past decade, the same revolution will soon take place for sales enablement. AI delivers the missing link for enablement leaders to scale impact, prioritize strategically, and operate as revenue powerhouses driving predictable growth.
Transitioning to an AI-enabled enablement stack may seem daunting given constantly evolving technologies and options. Here is a step-by-step process to make the shift strategically based on business objectives:
- Establish Baseline Metrics: Determine current benchmarks across key performance indicators like seller ramp time, content consumption, coaching hours per rep, and sales readiness scores. Metrics should tie to overall sales goals.
- Map Enablement Tech Stack: Outline all existing sales and marketing technologies for training, coaching, content management, conversation intelligence, and analytics. Identify platforms with embedded AI capabilities.
- Prioritize Opportunity Areas: Analyze enablement metrics and the tech stack to pinpoint gaps where AI could drive significant efficiency gains or performance improvements. Common needs include scaling coaching, personalizing content, and improving visibility.
- Define AI Success Metrics: Based on the opportunity areas, set specific key performance indicators to track the AI tools’ impact. For example, improved sales readiness scores, increased content consumption, higher rep ramp velocity, and coaching time savings.
- Select Pilot AI Solutions: Research vendors with AI solutions purpose-built to address identified gaps, then select 1-2 tools for an initial pilot based on capabilities, fit, and cost.
- ntegrate & Deploy Pilots: Provision and deploy pilots for a small group of end-users while integrating with existing systems like the CRM. Focus on driving user adoption through training and change management.
- Analyze & Refine AI Solutions: After the pilot period, analyze results against defined success metrics and solicit feedback from users. Refine tools configuration and usage practices to maximize impact.
- Expand & Scale: With positive pilot results, build the business case to expand the AI solutions across the enablement tech stack and user groups. Continue monitoring success metrics.
As more enablement components leverage AI, it unlocks exponential value through increased connectivity between platforms, multiplying the data sets that feed predictive insights and recommendations.
Sales Enablement Using Relevance AI
Watch this tutorial on how to query your sales enablement playbook using Relevance AI. We give you a walkthrough on how to do it using a basic template that you can customize and expand to your needs.