7 Ways Successful Companies Fill Sales Enablement Roles

By Allison Sword

Over the last few months, we’ve had an influx of companies desperately reaching out because they have an open sales enablement role and can’t find the right candidate, and it’s not an issue of people not applying for the role. These open positions are getting hundreds if not thousands of qualified applicants over the three to six-month average timespan these jobs are posted and then reposted, and reposted again.  

The problem these companies are running into is that most companies looking to fill a sales enablement role do not fully understand sales enablement and may not really know what they’re looking for, and that’s okay.   

Sales enablement functions have always been around but the title of sales enablement is a newcomer to the sales scene and one company’s definition isn’t the same as another so it can lead to confusion, especially when creating a new role for a team that is yet to be defined.

Here are seven tips from the Accelerate community on how to build out your sales enablement function. 

  • Look Beyond Just Sales Enablement Candidates

According to CSO Insights, 59.2% of companies have a dedicated sales enablement function up from 32.7% in 2017, and an additional 8.5% of companies plan on implementing a sales enablement role in 2019.

That candidate that you turned away because they didn’t have a current ‘sales enablement’ title may have had years of qualified experience with sales enablement duties.  The most successful sales enablement leaders come from sales, sales leadership, marketing, training, and sales ops roles. Today’s Sales Enablement leaders gained their experience somewhere and because the actual role of sales enablement is so new it likely wasn’t solely from holding a sales enablement role.  

Existing sales enablement titled professionals are HIGHLY in demand.  If they are with a company that ‘gets it’ and fully understands sales enablement these practitioners are not likely to make a move to a new company unless the pay is substantial or the new position is a significant step up in their career.


  • Source Internal Candidates

The right candidate could be right under your nose.  Successful companies have built out strong sales enablement teams by hiring people already within the company.  Look to current employees in sales, marketing, and training. These candidates know your product/service and have likely been managing enablement duties for years without knowing it was called ‘sales enablement’.  

If you decide to go with an internal hire be careful with candidates that have never challenged the status quo or don’t tend to ask many questions, sales enablement is about exploring new ideas and processes to better your sales team.  Your company will benefit from someone who can shake things up, explore what is broken in the buying cycle and implement positive change vs. just continuing to do ‘what you’ve always done’.


  • Explore The World of Sales Enablement Consultants

But you’re committed to hiring in-house, ask yourself why.  A qualified consultant is someone who has built a sales enablement program and understands the challenges you’re facing and will work with you to get your sales enablement strategy aligned to your sales goals and leave you with a stack of resources and templates to continue to make your team successful.

If you are a sales enablement team of one, hiring your first sales enablement team member, just can’t find that perfect candidate or your company has had a sales enablement job posted for months check out a sales enablement consultant before you waste any more time, money or resources on recruiting the wrong person for the wrong job.

If you decide to bring on a consultant to help build out your sales enablement efforts be sure the consultant is someone who is building out a scalable process and not just slinging traditional sales training disguised as sales enablement.


  • Sales Enablement Recruiters Exist

If you’re absolutely set on hiring one or more people internally for a sales enablement role and can’t seem to find the right fit look into a recruiter that specializes only in sales enablement.  These recruiters work only in sales enablement and provide valuable feedback on your job posting, target salary, and ultimate goals. While few recruiters understand the role of sales enablement these recruiters only work with sales enablement practitioners helping you leverage their relationships to reach a larger qualified pool of otherwise, unreachable candidates.


  •  Make Sure Your Compensation Is In-Line

Sales enablement hasn’t been around for a long time, and there is not a whole lot of information available as far as compensation.  

When you’re coming up with a salary ask yourself, ‘Is this a realistic salary for what we’re asking this person to do’.  This role is likely in charge of creating a whole program to make your sales team sell faster, better, smarter. If you’re looking for a senior-level position you’re going to need to offer more than you would to entry to mid-level professionals.


  • All Hands On Deck

Before you even post a job for sales enablement be sure the concept is understood and bought in from members of your senior and executive leadership teams.  Also, be sure that every stakeholder is going to be available to interview the candidate and walk take the time to discuss what the company’s needs and challenges are.

Once you find a candidate that fits give them time to learn your business through their own eyes and allow them to see the challenges that your company is facing so they can create a long-term solution to help provide your sales teams with the assets, training, and coaching today’s buyers need.


  • Ask A Current Sales Enablement Professional

If you get a chance to get a few minutes with someone who is already in a sales enablement role, even if they’re not interested in the job you have posted, talk to them about their experience in sales enablement. Ask about their roles, challenges,  interaction with other departments, goals, compensation structure and what role they had before sales enablement.

You can also find answers through online networking communities, like Accelerate, that exist to help to provide valuable sales enablement resources and education to people currently in and people looking to get into a sales enablement role.

Author, Allison Sword is Director of Community Engagement at Accelerate 

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