This article comes from an expert panel discussion, ‘The Enablement Career Ladder. Your Guide to the Top’, at our 2022 Sales Enablement Festival, check out the full discussion here.

What does it take to build a successful career in sales enablement? It's a profession dedicated to unleashing the potential of sales teams to drive revenue growth. 

But how to get started and continually upskill in such a fast-moving field? To demystify the career journey, we assembled a panel of three enablement leaders, Theo Davies, Esleen Goh, and Pooja Kumar

With years of experience accelerating sales teams, they shared their insights on landing enablement roles, moving up the ranks, and continually honing your craft.

Join us as they pull back the curtain on proven methods for developing into an enablement expert. 

You'll learn:

  • What skills these pros prioritized
  • How they advance their teams
  • When they knew it was time to take on bigger challenges

And more! Let's dive right in. 👇

What does sales enablement mean and why pursue it as a career?

Kicking off the panel discussion, our experts defined what sales enablement means to them. Pooja Kumar, Director of Field Enablement JAPAC at Adobe, kept it simple:

"Sales enablement is the process that supports sellers with training, coaching and content to help them guide the buyers through the sales funnel."

Theo Davies, Head of Sales Enablement APAC & Japan at Google Cloud, brought a formula to the table:

"I recently saw a formula defining the component parts of sales enablement. It's sales enablement times sales readiness and productivity plus sales effectiveness times sales engagement."

While a mouthful, his point was that enablement connects many disciplines focused on equipping sales teams. Esleen Goh, Sales Enablement & Productivity Lead APJ at HashiCorp, drilled into the key outcome:

"Our role at the center is helping sales basically simplify the sales experience, as well as having impacts in our business like moving the needle on growth."

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Getting your foot in the enablement door

Eager to enter the world of enablement too? The panelists explored the many possible pathways. According to Theo, they typically fall into three buckets:

  1. Being in learning and development roles
  2. Having sales team experience
  3. Possessing facilitation and program management skills

Ideally candidates showcase two out of three. But those lacking certain experiences needn’t despair. Theo once hired someone with only a year of sales under their belt due to their stellar program management chops. 

Esleen recommended scoping out internal enablement openings that align with your abilities. For example, companies may need subject matter experts to conduct training.

Volunteering to co-chair sessions is another route, Theo points out:

“Sales and pre-sales professionals looking to switch can chime in and share particular experiences or stories that bring the content to life.”

That tangible presenting experience could help seal the deal. A little outreach can go a long way!