Sales Operations vs. Sales Enablement

The world of Sales

The world of Sales is very vast. Different teams have different tasks to perform. The role of hiring or building a Phenomenal Sales team is a crucial but daunting task. Although the goal of every team is to increase sales and build a successful business, their duties differ. Two important aspects of the Sales department are Sales Operations and Sales Enablement. Within a company, terms like sales operations and sales enablement are frequently employed interchangeably. Some people might think that Sales Operations and Sales Enablement are one, but that is not the case. They might work together to enhance the company's performance but they have a varied set of roles and responsibilities to handle. In this blog, we will talk about Sales Operations, Sales Enablement, differences between the two, and how they can work together for a successful operation.

We'll talk about sales enablement and sales operations, the responsibilities they both play in the sales cycle, and how they might collaborate for a more effective overall strategy in this blog.

Sales Operations

Asales operations team, similar to how a supply chain operations team arranges the movement of commodities from one point to the other, works behind the scenes to guarantee that the numerous pieces of a sales team move as one. Hence, the function of a Sales Operations team is to focus on increasing the effectiveness, and efficiency of the Sales team. Managing compensation plans, maintaining reports, data analytics, process optimization, lead management, sales quota management, making decisions about territory structures, budget forecast, implementing new sales strategies, administration of tools such as CRM, etc are all examples of sales operations. Sales operations professionals are expected to have certain qualities that would help them in their work.

Their work is to optimize the sales environment and support the sales to grow. Sales operations professionals take on a wide range of responsibilities that directly or indirectly have an impact on every aspect of the Sales department. In some ways, your sales operations staff may be thought of as a blend of managerial, Technology, and "customer relations" for your sales agents. Sales operations, in essence, makes a sales team operational.

Sales Enablement

It is very simple; every department, every team, every individual needs some resources to work on any particular project. The Sales Enablement team is the one that ensures if the required resources are available and accessible in the organization or not. These resources are not limited to physical resources but also include providing sales training, skill development training, effective communication, identifying and implementing useful tools, and technology, etc.

Sales Enablement works closely with Marketing as well as Sales. Their work is as important as any other department’s work. Providing the required resources and materials to the teams will ensure a higher rate of success and is more efficient too. Since the Sales Enablement team works closely with both Marketing and Sales, they can bridge the gap between the two departments and help them enhance their work. The marketing team can understand what the clients want, what they can add with the resources they have that the audience can identify with and relate to. For the sales department, resources provided by the marketing department such as offline training (blogs, videos, product guides), online training (Zoom, MS Teams, Google Meet calls), onsite training (face to face, classroom training) can be used more effectively with the help of the Sales Enablement team.

Sales Enablement enhances the work of the sales department by driving sales rep efficiency and effectiveness during buyer engagement, qualifying leads, and helps the marketing department with content creation, understanding analytics, reporting, reviews, etc.

Differences/Similarities between the two

Both the teams’ work is of utmost importance but in a slightly different direction. While the Sales Operations team focuses more on the strategic aspect that will overall help the Sales organization run smoothly and efficiently, the Sales Enablement team pays more attention to tactical measures that aim to improve both the Marketing and Sales department. Simply said, sales operations is in charge of the logistics of team organization in order to move plans ahead, while sales enablement is in charge of putting those plans into action.

There is also some intercommunication between these two teams, despite the fact that they handle separate areas of the sales process. Both work closely with sales managers to assist salespeople at every stage of the sales cycle. Both are inextricably linked to the customer lifecycle. While enablement is usually present from the start, operations collaborate with marketing to help salespeople understand and connect with prospects.

How they can work together for a better outcome

Sales operations should collaborate with sales leaders and sales enablement leaders to develop targets based on experience, market insight, and territory experience. This expertise, along with data-driven knowledge from sales operations, aids in the development of efficient sales tactics. Their work can act as a very strong supporting pillar for the sales team and help them achieve their targets easily and efficiently. As they work alongside, the chances of getting into professional quarrels or misunderstandings between the two would also reduce. This will also promote a positive environment in the workplace and keep the sales force motivated.

Working together would help both the teams as well. With effective and proper communication, new marketing strategies and ideas, marketing initiatives, the content used for onboarding or training would be known by the sales operations professionals at all times which will benefit them in the long run. Similarly, Sales operations professionals can also remain transparent with the work they do like planning new strategies, creating forecasts and budgets, etc. This will help the marketing team produce content that will stay in sync with the trends and happenings of the organization. This will help the organization present itself as a united set of different teams whose goals are the same, Sales growth and achieving new heights.


The duties and responsibilities of both, Sales operations professionals and Sales enablement professionals are equally important and demanding. You can understand how fast that situation becomes problematic if sales enablement and sales operations are not aligned – especially in a big, distributed sales organization. To avoid any conflict of interest or simply just to put the talent and hard work of professionals of both these teams together to produce a more efficient and effective result is something that every organization should try. Successful collaboration between sales operations and sales enablement enables sellers to execute the sales process more effectively and to arrive at each customer engagement better primed and prepared to sell.

About Author

Sujeet Pillai

As an experienced polymath, I seamlessly blend my understanding of business, technology, and science.