Revenue enablement is a strategic function in an organization dedicated to supporting and enabling revenue-generating teams to perform efficiently and effectively.
What began as sales enablement - a function dedicated to ensuring sales teams were equipped to succeed, meet their quotas, and generate more sales - has evolved into expanded forms.
Seeing the benefits of having a sales enablement team reflected in sales teams’ results, organizations began to expand sales enablement’s remit to include all revenue-generating, customer-facing teams.
It’s already best practice to align sales teams, marketing teams, and customer success teams, so expanding enablement to support these interlinked teams just makes sense.
With that said, in this article we’ll take a deeper look at:
- What is revenue enablement
- What teams are supported by revenue enablement
- What is a revenue enablement strategy
- What is go-to-market (GTM) enablement
- Where to find more resources
If you’ve ever had any questions about revenue enablement’s definition, they’re about to be answered.
What is revenue enablement?
As described by Gartner, revenue enablement “expands sales enablement’s purview from sales-only to supporting all revenue-generating channels and customer-facing, revenue-generating roles”.
Sales enablement is effective in improving sales processes and driving revenue among sales reps within organizations through the provision of training, coaching, content, and technology to sales team members.
But the sales team is not the only part of the organization that contributes to generating revenue. Any team with a customer-facing role is ultimately involved in helping companies reach their revenue goals.
A potential customer’s buying journey won’t always start with an interaction with your sales rep. Nowadays, it’s much more likely that they’ve conducted their own research and found collateral created by your marketing team, for example.
Similarly, there are more stages of the customer journey after your sales rep completes a sale. This new customer will have to interact with your customer success team in order to be onboarded and supported as a user of your product or service.
In short, revenue enablement should be defined as a strategic function which empowers and supports the entire customer-facing, revenue-driving part of the organization, including but not limited to sales, marketing, and customer success.
What teams are supported by revenue enablement?
To understand what teams are supported by revenue enablement functions, it’s important to remember the customer buying journey.
The key part to wrap your head around is that closing a deal and keeping a customer happy all the way to a renewal/second purchase involves more than the sales team.
Revenue enablement will be involved in supporting these teams on ensuring the messaging used by marketing is echoed by and consistent across the buyer funnel, in addition to providing training and support in specific areas of weakness.
Additionally, the sales team receives benefits from the fact that the revenue enablement is aligned with the rest of the customer-facing side of the business, helping to ensure prospects and customers have a seamless experience as they progress through the funnel.
The goal of your product or service is to eliminate customer pain points, but that’s much harder without the consistent support a customer success team offers.
Revenue enablement can empower the customer success teams in the same way as it does for other departments, leading to increased revenue from recurring sales and upsell opportunities, as well as the opportunity to create long-lasting customer loyalty which results in case studies and testimonials.
What is a revenue enablement strategy?
Revenue enablement is about breaking down silos between sales, marketing, customer success, and any other revenue-related functions, so that an organization can have a unified approach focused on driving revenue growth.
It involves equipping teams with the right knowledge, tools, and resources to engage customers, close deals, and contribute to the revenue success. For this reason, a revenue enablement strategy looks much like a sales enablement strategy - but with a larger scope.
Items to consider when building your revenue enablement strategy include:
Assessing the landscape:
Understand the current situation that your revenue teams are in. Are they aligned? What needs addressing most urgently? Involve stakeholders like RevOps in this process to get a holistic view.
As we mentioned above, the big advantage that revenue enablement holds is that it covers much more of the customer’s buying journey. That means your strategies need to keep the customer front and center, uniting revenue-generating functions in how they support prospects and customers.
Enable and empower:
Focus your energy on empowering not just the sales team, but marketing and customer success too. Consider what team members in each function need in order to be successful in regards to tech stack, content, and training.
Measurement and reporting:
There are dozens of metrics you could track to determine “success”, especially when dealing with multiple functions. It’s important to define what you'll use before starting any projects - as you’re planning, ask yourself what success will look like for that specific project or strategy.
Collaboration and alignment:
As a role that oversees and supports multiple key functions, it’s critical that any revenue enablement strategy you implement has alignment between sales, marketing, and customer success at its core. Any project you implement with the marketing team should ideally be aligned with your sales team’s projects in regards to messaging, etc.
Consider your organization's maturity
Sometimes it can be easier to start your enablement journey as sales enablement, then evolve into revenue enablement as the organization's needs evolve and grow. You’ll often find more mature enablement functions dropping the “sales” label and going by revenue enablement, compared to smaller, less mature teams.
While there’s so much more depth to the revenue enablement function, focusing on these key pillars will ensure your team is heading in the right direction to support and enable these teams.
What is go-to-market (GTM) enablement?
The origins of go-to-market enablement lie much in the same place as with revenue enablement.
Like when sales enablement evolved into revenue enablement because the benefits for the sales team needed to be shared across customer-facing teams, why stop with there?
Organizations that employ go-to-market (GTM) enablement extend that level of support to any department involved in that GTM process of launching a new product or service, including product and often engineering teams too - in addition to the teams covered by revenue enablement.
Where to find more resources
Want to learn even more about revenue enablement and its many intricacies?
Luckily for you, despite our name, Sales Enablement Collective is the place to be for all enablement practitioners.
- Our free Slack community allows you to ask questions to your peers, build out your network, and stay up-to-date with all the latest.
- Our bank of articles, podcasts, and reports analyzes the latest trends and figures to help you stay on top of your game.
- Our suite of worldwide in-person and virtual events provide you with the ultimate enablement experience, with expert presentations and talks that put you at the heart of the industry.
- Our range of courses and certifications are designed to upskill and act as a springboard for your career, no matter your level of expertise.
Thanks for reading - and get in touch if you have any thoughts or questions! We're always on hand to help.