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Within the last couple of years, the sales enablement function has become more mature within corporations. Sales Enablement has significantly shown its value to the business, most importantly its impact. However, especially when talking to the business, mainly sales colleagues, more and more the question arises: What is the difference between traditional learning and sales enablement?

According to IDC, Sales Enablement is defined as: The delivery of the right information to the right person at the right time and in the right place necessary to move a specific sales opportunity forward (IDC, Sales Enablement 2009). When looking for a definition of learning,

Wikipedia says: Learning is acquiring new, or modifying existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals and some machines. Progress over time tends to follow learning curves. Learning is not compulsory; it is contextual. It does not happen all at once, but builds upon and is shaped by what we already know. To that end, learning may be viewed as a process, rather than a collection of factual and procedural knowledge. Learning is based on experience. Learning produces changes in the organism and the changes produced are relatively permanent.

Sales Enablement is all about learning, indeed, however encompasses additional elements:

Understand the buying process and be close to your stakeholders. Both elements are equally important as you, as a sales enablement professional need to be relevant and reliable to your sales force.


  • Understand the buying process and be close to your stakeholders. Both elements are equally important as you, as a sales enablement professional need to be relevant and reliable to your sales force.
  • Understand your external customer. Knowing your external customer is crucial in order to understand your sales’ needs and challenges.
  • Be on top of your competitors. Knowing your competitors is key in order to provide relevant, account-winning materials to sales. It also shows your expertise.
  • Leverage social media. Be aware of new media and social media trends. Learn directly from the sales force how they interact with their customers. With that in mind, you can tailor your sales enablement assets according to your sales force’s needs.

What differences and tips have you come across?

Follow me on twitter: @stefan_funk

You might also like:

Align Your Sales Enablement Strategy Internally

Mind the Gap: How to Close the Customer Expectation Divide?


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