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Sales Enablement vs. Sales Engagement: Why They Work Better Together

In the ever-evolving sales landscape, new terms and concepts emerge like wildfire. But don’t be fooled—when it comes to sales enablement and sales engagement, the two terms aren’t interchangeable. 

Sure, they share a few commonalities, but these powerhouses each bring their own unique strengths to the table, empowering your team in distinctive ways.

Understand the differences between the two and how you can use both together to improve sales performance and drive better business outcomes.

What is sales enablement?

Sales enablement supports and prepares sales reps to improve performance and drive sales growth. You want to set reps up for success to be able to handle customer interactions and close more deals. Sales readiness is essential not only to close deals but also for employee retention. 

Sales enablement is a relatively new but rapidly growing function. According to the State of Sales Enablement 2022, enablement adoption has increased 343 percent in the last five years.

Organizations with dedicated sales enablement have a 52.1 percent win rate, compared to 45.5 percent for organizations without an enablement team.

Sales enablement involves a variety of functions: enablement teams are often charged with onboarding new sales reps, training and coaching, creating sales enablement content and resources, and analyzing the pipeline and sales process.

The sales enablement team also ensures that sales and marketing are aligned, significantly impacting overall business success. For example, sales and marketing alignment can increase closed deals by 65 percent and save a company millions of dollars annually.

Sales enablement has become a significant focus for many organizations; the 2021 State of Sales Enablement report showed that organizations with a dedicated sales enablement function had win rates that were four points better than those who didn’t. 

Also, quota attainment is eight points better, and customer retention is nine points better. Add up all those small gains, and you get a considerable increase in revenue. 

Another way sales enablement helps your company succeed is by using the right sales tools for the job. The same report showed that organizations with high-quality sales enablement platforms had a nine percent higher win rate than those without them. 

What is sales engagement?

While sales enablement focuses on the internal processes to help reps succeed, sales engagement focuses on improving the interactions between your sales team and leads.

Leads tend to follow a specific customer journey, but many sales processes aren’t aligned with that journey. As a result, sales reps don’t have the information they need when they need it.

Sales engagement helps to align your sales process with the customer journey and provides the resources your sales reps need for every customer touchpoint. 

One of the top priorities of sales engagement is to have easy-to-find, customizable sales materials throughout the sales process. 

Like enablement, there are tools to make sales engagement more effective. These tools may include content management software to make assets easier to find, a sales CRM that collects the details of every interaction between a lead and sales representative, social listening tools for social selling, and more. 

Read more: What is a Sales Content Management System

Similarities and differences between sales enablement and engagement

Sales enablement and engagement have more similarities than differences.

In both cases, you are trying to:

  • Set your sales team up for success
  • Provide easily-accessible materials for sales professionals
  • Improve the overall sales process to increase win rates

However, sales enablement focuses on how that looks internally for your organization in terms of training and development. 

Sales engagement focuses on sales reps’ external success by giving them the tools to interact with leads quickly and provide personalized information as needed. 

Using sales enablement and engagement together

Because sales enablement and engagement both have similar goals but are focused on different parts of the sales process, they work well together.

Also, the sales enablement team is well-positioned to carry out both tasks.

When implementing sales engagement and enablement, the enablement team can take the following steps:

  • Map every step of the current sales process and customer journey
  • Align the sales process with the customer journey in a flexible, dynamic way
  • Make sure sales and marketing are aligned on their priorities and roles for the sales process 
  • Write down the signals that help sales reps know which stage a lead is in and notice when a lead moves back to a previous step instead of forward
  • Train sales reps on how to engage with leads 
  • Create and organize sales materials that are easy to customize 
  • Track results and get feedback from sales reps 
  • Provide sales coaching and additional training to improve results

Read more: What is Sales Training? 

By simultaneously working on the internal and external sales process, the enablement team can create a cohesive system where sales reps are set up for success and can manage leads. 

Sales enablement provides the foundation for your organization’s success

Sales enablement is the lynchpin that allows your organization to evaluate and change the sales process to keep up with the market and customer behavior. 

Doing so involves enablement and engagement, which improve sales results dramatically.

Improve performance with a sales training LMS

A sales training LMS like the Learning Cloud from WorkRamp can help you drive better performance and outcomes by equipping your sales team with effective, on-demand training.

The Learning Cloud can help you decrease ramp time, increase win rates, and drive revenue performance.

Discover how the Learning Cloud can help you empower your team to exceed your sales goals. Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo. 


Complete the form for a custom demo.

Anna Spooner

WorkRamp Contributor

Anna Spooner is a digital strategist and marketer with over 11 years of experience. She writes content for various industries, including SaaS, medical and personal insurance, healthcare, education, marketing, and business. She enjoys the process of putting words around a company’s vision and is an expert at making complex ideas approachable and encouraging an audience to take action. 

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