Your Enablement DNA

By Andrea Hardy Ihara

There is a cultural obsession (and an amazing journey) in testing and learning of your own DNA. Families are found, patterns of behavior uncovered, and new insights and interests are discovered. In my case, it brought together two disparate familial stories – both of European descent, yet wildly incongruous. Knowing these differing backgrounds helped me better understand my history and how I became the person that I am.

Sales Enablement is much like genealogy. We all have arrived at this thing called Sales Enablement from differing paths. But more on this point a bit later on.

 I came to realize that the term Sales Enablement has become wildly overused. I began to challenge many “so called” practitioners of sales enablement to a debate on definition and practice. When one defines Sales Enablement as providing the sales organization with the information, content, and tools to help sales personnel sell more effectively… many of us can “own” the term or title “Sales Enablement:” IT, Marketing, Sales Leadership, Training and Development, Organizational Design are all a part of, or central to, the Enablement ecosystem.

How did you find your way to Sales Enablement? What unique skills does this allow you to offer, and which skill-sets do you need to learn or enhance?

In attending seminars and workshops, and in listing to blogs and podcasts, I am impressed (and fascinated!) by the diverse backgrounds of the practitioners of enablement.

For me; my professional pedigree came up the ranks of Sales, Sales Leadership, Marketing, Customer Service and Support. Fortunately, much of that experience was technical in nature. Because my passion is communication, customer experience, and effective messaging – adding that to my love of technology – enablement was an easy next step. I study enablement technology and use cases. I work with emerging technology and try to stay ahead of this ever changing road-map.

Yet this is not the only road to enablement. I’ve seen some intriguing IT specialists who become enablement experts. For them working with a strong Marketing team will create the steps in the ecosystem. Marketing is a strong entry point, particularly if that is a marketing team in the tech sciences. In this case a strong sales expert who understands the customer experience and what resonates with the prospect base.

We each have unique gifts to bring, and in a site like “” we can discuss, share, network and build on strengths and weaknesses

So what about you… what is your enablement DNA? What was your road to enablement nirvana?

Author, Andrea Ihara is Director of Sales Enablement and Development at Innovyze

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