The difference between sales operations and sales enablement

In this article, we discuss what these two roles are as well as how they are different from one another.

Shark Finesse
August 22, 2023

To have a successful company, your sales team must be one of the strongest sections of the business. However, there is more to a sales team than just sales representatives alone. Sales operations and sales enablement both play vital roles in the sales department. We discuss what exactly sales operations and sales enablement is and what the difference is between the two.

What are sales operations?

Sales operations can be described as the unit, the role, the activities, and the processes within a sales team to help the sales representative to sell better, faster and more efficiently. This brings a system to selling using data to drive results. Although these systems may vary from company to company, sales operations are a key component to any organisation in order to be a success. Sales operations also do not necessarily focus on the activities directly associated with the buyer-seller relationship, sales operations also tend to focus on areas such as quota management, administration of the CRM sales tool, and KPI reporting.

What is sales enablement?

Sales enablement is difficult to define, and every company will give you a different definition of what sales enablement means. Sales enablement can be described as providing sales reps tools and resources needed to improve buyer relationships to help shorten the sales cycle. This strategy applies more to the salesforce through the training of sales reps to help improve each individual interaction between the sales rep and the buyer. Some responsibilities of the sales enablement team include creating and improving successful onboarding programmes, training content, marketing aspects, and performance analysis.

What is the difference between the two?

Now we have identified exactly what both sales operations and sales enablement mean, you may be wondering what the difference is between the two. Sales operations and sales enablement are sometimes used together to create a successful business, however there are many clear factors that make the two different. In simple terms, sales operations are to do with the team logistics to help drive plans forward whereas sales enablement puts these plans into action. However, ultimately, they both exist to help improve sales productivity and performance. Some of the main differences between the two are that the sales operations team are responsible for the hiring of new sales representatives whereas the sales enablement team are the ones who plan the content for onboarding the new sales reps. The sales operation team also ensures that the sales team as a whole runs smoothly as well as manages their performance, whereas the sales enablement team uses insights to create sales strategies which the sales operation team then implements.

What we do

At Shark Finesse we have developed an enterprise-grade cloud application to help businesses standardise and simplify their value engagements across the entire customer journey.

Shark, a business value engagement platform used by 1000’s of customer-facing teams globally (e.g. pre-sales, sales, value teams, and customer success) is easy to use, intuitive and usable directly with the customer to negotiate the likely business returns from investing in a solution.

By adopting the Shark approach you will fundamentally transform conversations with new and existing customers, close more business, and differentiate from the competition.