I could ask 100 people what enablement was and most people would answer it was all about training or education, and while correct, or more precisely partially correct, it leaves out a significant part of what enablement is or could be. If we wanted enablement to be about training or education, we would call it training or education and be done with it.
We call it enablement for a reason, because it isn't just about training and education it is about enabling someone to accomplish a task. In other words, not just the knowledge, but everything that that individual needs to make them successful. So it is about the total experience; training is involved, but so is marketing, product development, certification/accreditation, competency measurement, recognition, etc.
Jay Abraham once said "Everyone is in sales", and he was right. When you look at enablement and what it entails from order entry systems, to CRM systems, to R&D, to production, HR, and we can't leave out the sales team - I say "Everyone is in enablement". Whether the job is to make sure that our own sales teams are prepared to face a customer, armed with the latest literature, presentations, ROI calculators, demonstrations, best practices, etc. or the partner ecosystem - it takes the entire organization working together to make sure everything is ready and useable by the customer and partner facing teams.
Beyond that, we begin to look at the value of the enablement process or more precisely how we measure that value. To some it is as simple as counting the 'cheeks in seats' of classes, but what
really counts is getting the learner to be valuable to the organization faster. How do we close the time gap to close the 1st sale, lead the 1st proof-of-concept, conduct the 1st presentation,
complete the 1st installation engagement.... I've taken on-boarding at various organizations and what I can usually say after going through the process is that 'I know a lot, but couldn't do my job
because it's not organized to make me better, faster'. That's the key, finding out what someone truly has to know at certain points in their evolution, providing them, and being able to keep them
engaged through the process.
When people ask me what my jobs is, I tell them it's about removing the friction of sales. That might be to recite certain facts or figures, telling a business story that illustrates how our product resolved a customer issue, making sense of our SKUs, being able to overcome an objection, eliminating unnecessary bottlnecks in our processes or procedures, or to coach reps to anticipate issues that may slow the velocity of their efforts.