The Importance of Sales Enablement for Startups and SMBs

For startups and SMBs, sales enablement can be the difference between hitting your revenue goals and closing the doors. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at what customers have to say. 

When PwC asked consumers what makes them want to do business with a brand, 80 percent of customers said “speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service” are the most important factors. As it turns out, all four of those elements can be improved with sales enablement. 

That stat also implies companies that possess those qualities are likely to own 80 percent of the market, while the rest of you share whatever is left.

We don’t want that for you, so let’s talk more on the importance of sales enablement to propel your business to greatness.

Ready to get serious about sales enablement? Let’s dive in.

What Is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement refers to the strategic process of equipping sales teams with the resources, tools, and information they need to effectively engage with prospects and close deals. It involves providing sales professionals with the necessary knowledge, training, and support to enhance their productivity and performance.

Sales enablement helps align marketing and sales efforts by ensuring the sales team has access to up-to-date and relevant content, customer insights, and sales collateral. It also involves implementing technology solutions and sales automation tools to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and enable better collaboration within the sales organization.

A robust sales enablement program typically includes elements like sales training, content management, and the provision of a tech stack, e.g., a CRM like Close. Your sales enablement platform should act as the heart of your operations, enabling your salespeople to streamline their sales processes and shorten the sales cycle.

Sales Enablement Includes CRM like Close

5 Benefits of Sales Enablement for SMBs

Sales enablement helps you streamline your sales process, keep your messaging consistent throughout the buyer’s journey, and empower your salespeople to deliver the right content at the right time to the right person, simplifying their conversion for both the buyer and the salesperson.

Oh, you’re looking for specifics? Here are specific benefits of sales enablement for SMBs:

  • Increased sales performance: Sales enablement equips sales teams with the tools, resources, and knowledge needed to enhance their performance. These efforts lead to improved sales effectiveness, higher conversion rates, and increased revenue generation.
  • Streamlined sales processes: Sales enablement also means optimizing sales processes and workflows by identifying and removing bottlenecks, streamlining operations, and reducing inefficiencies. These steps lead to a more structured and efficient sales process, enabling sales teams to work more effectively.
  • Enhanced collaboration and communication: Sales enablement lets you foster better collaboration and communication among various teams, such as marketing, sales, and product development. By aligning these departments, you can ensure a unified approach to customer engagement and deliver a consistent message across channels.
  • Consistent messaging and branding: Another benefit of sales enablement is helping sales teams deliver consistent messaging aligned with the organization’s unique positioning. This builds customer trust and portrays a cohesive image, reinforcing the company’s value proposition, no matter who the customer talks to.
  • Faster onboarding of sales reps: With sales enablement, the onboarding process for new sales reps becomes more streamlined. They can access training materials, playbooks, and resources that accelerate their ramp-up time, enabling them to become productive members of the sales team more quickly.

How to Build an Effective Sales Enablement Strategy

By now, I know you’re pumped to see the benefits of sales enablement. And so am I! Next, let’s walk through how to set up a sales enablement program that fits your organization.

Step 1: Identify Your Objectives for Sales Enablement

The first (and obvious) step is to know what you want to achieve. Increase win rates? Decrease sales cycle length? Improve quota attainment? Make your objectives clear, measurable, and data-driven.

In our experience, objectives you can set for sales enablement include:

  • Increase revenue by x percent: One of the primary objectives of sales enablement is to drive revenue growth. You can achieve this by improving sales performance, increasing win rates, expanding the customer base, or maximizing average deal sizes. And can I be honest? Every other goal is tied to this.
  • Improve sales productivity by x percent: Sales enablement aims to enhance the productivity and efficiency of sales reps. Objectives in this area may include reducing administrative tasks, streamlining sales processes, automating manual tasks, providing effective sales tools and technology, and optimizing sales resources. Your goal should be to enable sales reps to spend more time on selling activities and less on non-selling tasks.
  • Enhance sales effectiveness: Sales enablement can improve the effectiveness of sales teams by:
    • Enhancing their product knowledge
    • Helping them develop strong negotiation and objection-handling skills
    • Equipping them with relevant content and collateral for different stages of the buyer’s journey.
  • Foster collaboration and alignment: Sales enablement also fosters collaboration and alignment among different departments, such as sales, marketing, and product teams. It does this by improving communication channels, facilitating knowledge sharing, aligning messaging and branding across departments, and promoting a unified approach to customer engagement. The goal is to ensure all teams work together cohesively to support the sales process.

Step 2: Understand Your Customer

If you’re going to make more sales, then you’ll need to understand your buyers, their pain points, and their buyer journey. After all, sales enablement is all about building a community of loyal customers.

By understanding the customer, we mean:

  • Gather and analyze customer data: Collect relevant data about your customers through various sources, such as CRM systems, customer surveys, website analytics, social media insights, and market research. This data can include demographics, firmographics, purchase history, browsing behavior, customer feedback, and communication preferences.
  • Develop a detailed profile of your ideal customers: Buyer personas help you assess customer goals, challenges, pain points, motivations, preferred communication channels, and decision-making criteria. Use research to accurately define these personas and align them with your customer segments
  • Map the customer journey: Mapping out the entire customer journey from the first touchpoint to the last enables you to identify critical moments in their journey. This lets you see where sales enablement efforts can impact their buying process.
  • Stay updated on industry trends: Keep a pulse on industry trends, innovations, and changes in customer behavior. You can do this by paying attention to industry publications, forums, conferences, and thought leaders. This allows you to anticipate customer needs, adapt your sales enablement strategies, and position your offerings effectively.

Step 3: Align Sales and Marketing

Your sales and marketing teams should be in sync, like a well-choreographed dance.

Follow our recommendations below to ensure alignment between your marketing and sales teams.

Foster Open Communication Between Teams

To align sales and marketing, build a culture of communication and collaboration between them. You can do this by facilitating regular meetings, ongoing dialogue, and joint planning sessions using video conferencing tools like Zoom and messaging apps like Slack. This will encourage them to exchange information, insights, and feedback, fostering mutual understanding and trust.

Another important part of open communication is establishing a feedback loop between sales and marketing to continuously refine strategies and tactics. Marketing can gain valuable insights from sales interactions, while sales can provide feedback on the effectiveness and relevance of marketing campaigns and materials. This iterative feedback process ensures ongoing improvement.

Define Shared Goals and Objectives

To guarantee the success of this alignment, have shared goals and objectives aligned with the overall business objectives.

Define key performance indicators (KPIs) that both teams can work towards, such as revenue targets, lead conversion rates, or customer acquisition goals. This fosters a sense of shared responsibility and accountability.

Develop Buyer Personas and Journey Mapping

Collaborate on creating detailed buyer personas and mapping the buyer’s journey. Sales and marketing teams should work together to identify the target audience and understand their pain points, motivations, and decision-making processes. 

This shared understanding helps align sales and marketing messaging and strategies to effectively engage with customers at each stage.

Collaborate on Content Creation

Sales faces the customers directly, while marketing creates the content that makes that easy. When they collaborate, marketing can benefit a lot from sales’ understanding of the customer, while sales can benefit from marketing’s writing and marketing skills. This makes the job of both parties so much easier.

Clearly Define Expectations, Roles, and Responsibilities

This should cover lead handoff processes, criteria for qualified leads, response times, and communication protocols. By establishing clear guidelines, both teams can work together more seamlessly, ensuring leads are effectively nurtured and handed off between departments.

Step 4: Equip Your Team with the Tools and Resources They Need for Success 

You can’t achieve much if your team is lacking in anything they need, whether that’s access to real-time data, sales content, playbooks, case studies, whitepapers, or any other tool.

Follow this step-by-step guide on how to equip them:

Conduct a Skills Gap Analysis

Start by assessing the current skill set of your sales team and identifying any gaps that need to be addressed.

This includes evaluating their product knowledge, sales techniques, objection handling skills, negotiation skills, or proficiency with sales enablement tools and technologies. Understanding these gaps will help you tailor your training and development initiatives.

Foster a Culture of Continuous Learning

Encourage and support continuous learning within your sales team. This can involve promoting a culture of sharing best practices, conducting regular knowledge-sharing sessions, hosting sales skill workshops, or providing access to industry webinars, podcasts, and resources. Emphasize the importance of ongoing professional development.

Offer Coaching and Mentoring

Provide coaching and mentoring programs to support individual sales team members. Assign experienced sales leaders or mentors to provide guidance, feedback, and support to help improve sales skills, overcome challenges, and achieve sales targets.

Regular one-on-one coaching sessions can be particularly valuable in enhancing individual performance. Close’s Call Coaching can aid you a great deal in sales coaching.

Measure Performance and Provide Feedback

Implement a system to measure and track the performance of your sales team. Regularly review sales metrics, such as revenue generated, win rates, sales cycle length, and individual performance. 

Also, provide timely feedback, recognize achievements, and address areas for improvement. This feedback loop ensures continuous improvement and reinforces sales enablement efforts.

Solicit Feedback and Adapt

Getting feedback is as essential as any of the steps above.

Seek feedback from your sales team on the effectiveness of sales enablement initiatives, resources, and training programs. Listen to their input, suggestions, and challenges. Then use this feedback to iterate and adapt your sales enablement strategies to meet their needs better and drive success.

Step 5: Measure and Optimize Your Sales Enablement Process 

By the time you pay for sales training, a tech stack, and resources, you’ll have incurred quite a cost.

The only way to ensure all that doesn’t go to waste is to measure it so that you can optimize it for better performance.

But what metrics should you track? We know just the right ones. They are as follows:

  • Total revenue: Measure the overall revenue generated by the sales team to assess the impact of sales enablement on the organization’s bottom line.
  • Revenue growth: Track the percentage increase in revenue over specific periods to evaluate the effectiveness of sales enablement in driving business growth.
  • Opportunity win rate: Measure the percentage of successfully won opportunities and evaluate the average deal size to determine if sales enablement contributes to larger and more valuable deals.
  • Average sales cycle length: Assess the average time it takes for a lead to move through the sales pipeline from initial contact to closure. Reducing sales cycle length indicates increased efficiency and effectiveness of sales enablement initiatives.
  • Activity metrics: Track the number of calls, meetings, demos, and other sales activities performed by the sales team. This provides insights into the productivity and activity levels of sales reps.
  • Time spent selling: Examine the percentage of time sales reps spend on actual selling activities versus administrative tasks. Higher time spent selling indicates improved sales productivity resulting from sales enablement initiatives.

Sales Enablement Best Practices

Ah, best practices. I thought you’d never ask.

But now that you have, I know you’re serious. Let’s delve into some sales enablement best practices that can revolutionize your sales operations.

1. Leverage Technology to Streamline the Process

Technology will help you streamline all the processes. Use it to find customer information, share content, have internal communication, and analyze customer data.

Sales enablement technology, such as automation, content management systems, and integrations, can streamline workflows and improve sales productivity.

Some of the technological requirements for sales enablement are:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

A CRM helps manage customer data, track interactions, and organize sales activities. For example, you may want to review the history of a prospect’s interaction with your brand before making the next call. This helps you understand where they are in their buyer journey and how you can help them move forward. CRM tools like Close make it easy to do that. Sign up for a free Close trial.

Sales Enablement Best Practices - Use CRM Like Close

Sales Content Management Platform

A sales content management platform allows you to organize, store, and distribute sales content, ensuring easy access for the sales team. Let’s say you run a distributed sales team with a wide range of sales collateral, including product brochures, case studies, sales presentations, and demo videos.

Instead of struggling to locate the most up-to-date versions of these materials, a sales content management platform will enable you to upload them to a centralized repository where sales reps can quickly find them based on customer needs, industry verticals, or sales stages.

Sales Engagement Platform

A sales engagement platform helps sales reps effectively engage with prospects and customers through various channels, such as email, social media, and phone calls. Instead of manually tracking and managing activities like reaching out to prospects, following up, scheduling a meeting, and nurturing leads through multiple tools and spreadsheets, your sales team can leverage a sales engagement platform to automate those tasks.

Analytics and Reporting Tools

Analytics and reporting tools provide insights into sales activities, pipeline performance, content engagement, and revenue generation. These tools enable data-driven decision-making and help identify trends, measure key performance indicators, and optimize sales strategies. For instance, a low activation rate can mean you aren’t providing enough information to your users on how to use your software.

Communication and Collaboration Tools 

Communication and collaboration tools facilitate effective teamwork and knowledge sharing within the sales team. These tools can include virtual meeting platforms, instant messaging tools, project management platforms, and file-sharing solutions. For instance, team members can use Slack for day-to-day engagements and Google Meet for a weekly conferencing call.

Sales Performance and Coaching Tools

Sales performance and coaching tools provide tracking and improvement capabilities for sales performance. For example, the call recording capability of these tools can help your organization capture and analyze actual sales calls made by your representatives.

Managers can review these recordings to identify areas for improvement, such as communication skills, objection handling, or product knowledge, and use that to provide targeted feedback and coaching to individual sales reps based on these recordings.

Integration and Automation Tools

Integration and automation tools help streamline workflows and enable seamless data exchange between different systems. You can implement an integration and automation tool that connects your CRM and marketing automation platform.

This will allow you to automatically sync contact information, lead data, and campaign performance metrics between the two systems. With the integration in place, you can seamlessly track and analyze the entire customer journey, from initial lead acquisition to closed deals.

2. Use Consistent Messaging to Build Trust

Sales enablement also involves ensuring your messaging aligns with your buyer’s journey and effectively addresses their pain points.

Some benefits of consistent messaging are:

  • Clarity and understanding: Consistent messaging ensures that your sales team communicates a clear and unified value proposition to prospects and customers. When every team member delivers a consistent message, it eliminates confusion and ensures that the target audience understands the key benefits and value your product or service provides.
  • Reduced miscommunication: When different sales team members convey conflicting messages or fail to communicate key points effectively, it can confuse prospects and potentially jeopardize the sale. Consistent messaging minimizes the risk of miscommunication and ensures that prospects receive accurate and aligned information.
  • Customer trust and confidence: Consistency in messaging builds trust and confidence with prospects and customers. When your sales team consistently delivers accurate and aligned messages, it demonstrates professionalism, expertise, and a customer-centric approach. 

Here are the steps to take to build consistent messaging:

  • Regular communication and reinforcement: Maintain open lines of communication with your sales team. You can achieve this by scheduling regular meetings or workshops to reinforce the messaging, address any questions or concerns, and share success stories or best practices.
  • Develop pain point cheat sheets: Create cheat sheets that outline the pain points along with the corresponding messaging. Each pain point should have a concise description and key messages to address it. These cheat sheets serve as quick references for your sales team during customer interactions.
  • Create standardized templates: Develop templates for various sales collateral, such as email templates, presentation slides, proposal templates, and product/service one-pagers. These templates should incorporate the key messaging points, value propositions, and branding guidelines.

3. Personalize Interactions for Better Customer Engagement

Personalizing interactions with customers involves tailoring your approach and messaging to meet the specific needs, preferences, and context of each individual customer.

This is one of the things customers say they want from a brand, and sales enablement helps you achieve that.

Here are some steps to personalize customer interactions using sales enablement:

  • Segment your customer base: Group your customers into segments based on common characteristics, such as industry, company size, or specific needs. This segmentation allows you to create tailored messaging and engagement strategies for each segment, ensuring relevance and personalization.
  • Use personalized communication: Leverage automation tools and templates to personalize communication with customers. Tailor your emails, proposals, and other forms of communication by including the customer’s name and company details, and referencing their specific challenges or interests. This personalized approach demonstrates that you value their individual needs and fosters stronger connections.
  • Follow up and nurture: After initial interactions, maintain ongoing communication with customers to nurture the relationship. Send personalized follow-up emails, provide relevant resources, and stay engaged to build trust and loyalty.

Step 4: Continue to Improve Your Strategy

You can’t master sales enablement in one day. With time, you’ll improve and get better at it.

Therefore, be open to the ongoing process of identifying areas for improvement, implementing changes, and optimizing strategies to get better outcomes. 

Your sales teams should regularly evaluate their processes, techniques, and content effectiveness to identify strengths and weaknesses. 

By collecting feedback from sales reps, customers, and other stakeholders, you can gain valuable insights to drive improvements. You can use the feedback to refine sales content, update training programs, and tailor strategies to align with buyer preferences and market trends.

Best Sales Enablement Tools for Small Businesses

There are some stellar sales enablement software programs designed to empower your sales teams.

Here, we look at the top sales enablement tools you can consider.


Seismic offers an all-in-one sales enablement solution with advanced content automation features and real-time analytics. Its features include sales content management, AI-powered content recommendation, and a coaching platform.

  • Best for: Customer-facing teams
  • Price: Available upon request
  • Best feature: Seismic makes it incredibly easy to find both internal and customer-facing materials.


Highspot provides content optimization, customer engagement tools, and a robust training platform to hone your team’s skills. It also comes with AI, analytics, and email templates.

  • Best for: Marketing and sales teams
  • Price: Available upon request
  • Best feature: A robust integration system


With Bigtincan, you get AI-powered sales enablement, top-notch learning tools, content creation, and an intuitive user interface. It has one of the best collaboration interfaces and allows your team to collaborate on content and share it on the fly.

  • Best for: Sales and marketing teams
  • Price: Available on request
  • Best feature: Separate sections for different sales enablement needs


Showpad offers a sales enablement solution focused on enhancing customer interactions and providing deep insights for decision-makers.

  • Best for: Sales and marketing teams
  • Price: Available upon request
  • Best feature: A powerful tracking system that notifies you when content is viewed and the frequency of the views.


Fathom helps you get a handle on your sales performance metrics, providing visual reports and analysis that support data-driven decisions.

  • Best for: Freelancers, SMBs, and large enterprises
  • Price: $48 – $650 per month
  • Best feature: Great data visualization

Implement Sales Enablement to Close More Deals

Sales enablement is more than a buzzword; it’s a transformative strategy that can revolutionize your sales organization. It is essential for startups and SMBs looking to scale up, stay competitive, and make their mark in the marketplace. 

The key lies in choosing the right sales enablement tools, aligning your sales and marketing teams, equipping your sales team adequately, and continually refining your sales enablement process based on data-driven insights.

Ali Faagba
Ali Faagba is a SaaS and B2B content strategist and freelance writer. He works with SaaS companies to increase traffic and user signups.

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