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4 min read

Sales Enablement and ABM: The Truth about The 2 Strategies Revealed

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With traditional lead generating processes failing to get companies good results, many organisations are moving towards account-based marketing (ABM). 

According to Optimizely ABM is a 

“marketing strategy that concentrates resources on a set of target accounts within a market. It uses personalized campaigns designed to engage each account.”

Sales enablement is another strategy that’s gaining traction. While the term can mean different things to different companies here’s a definition that might help:

“Sales enablement is equipping your sales team with strategic resources it needs to excel, from tools to technology to content and beyond.”

In this post we’ll look at the relationship between account-based marketing and sales enablement. We’ll examine whether both strategies are key to creating optimised marketing campaigns.

Sales and marketing work together

Both ABM and sales enablement require sales and marketing to align. This approach is, by itself, helping companies to become more successful. Recent research reveals that by aligning their sales and marketing teams companies are managing to  convert 67% more prospects into clients. 

Working together both teams can

  • Identify the right accounts for ABM strategy
  • Create customised ABM content that resonates with key decision makers
  • Engage and nurture prospects at the all touch points throughout the customer journey

Sales enablement is the missing link in the ABM process

Sales should be playing an integral role in the marketing process. They should be helping create content and be ‘enabled’ to access it at the right times. Otherwise reps may have to resort to using generic sales propositions and non account-specific content. 

Companies that don’t have a sales enablement strategy in place are often guilty of the following

  • Leading with a pitch
  • Not prioritising leads
  • Not engaging prospects on their timeline
  • Appearing pushy/annoying/irrelevant 

They’re using the sales strategies of old, and they’re not working for the modern buyer. For sales professionals to engage effectively it’s essential to have a sales enablement strategy in place. Then sales can make the right decisions around the content and channels to engage on. 

Sales enablement is a key aspect of an effective ABM strategy

Sales enablement should not be down to the sales manager. It should be part of marketing’s responsibility. When the marketing team is tasked with generating leads for sales they should also have the responsibility to help the sales team effectively communicate with those leads. 

If marketing’s sole purpose were to concentrate on getting leads (but it then transpired that none of those leads had converted) all the initial hard work would go to waste. 

Marketing not only needs to build a strategy that aligns with buyers by delivering them relevant content; they also need to train and enable sales to identify the right materials to use at the right times. 

Marketing needs to help sales understand the new way of working – and help them create and distribute content to connect and close deals. Then sales no longer have to go blindly into conversations. They will be ‘enabled’ and will appear useful to prospects, rather than irrelevant. 

How to Create an Agile Account-based Marketing Strategy graphic

Sales enablement allows productive conversations to continue

Sales enablement occurs when sales people add value to an already personalized conversation with a customer (i.e. the ones marketing has already been having with prospects). 

Sales enablement does more than just give sales teams insight and intelligence on key accounts. It’s a strategy to support a more personalised and relevant brand experience. As developing in-depth account relationships is core to ABM, effective sales enablement helps develop trust. 

Marketing and sales need a shared digital hub

Having the right technology in place e.g. an integrated marketing automation platform and CRM is crucial. Both teams need access to shared insights and account decision makers, as well as individuals, so that sales can understand the best personalised messaging, appropriate channels and the propositions to use to engage prospects.  

Sales’ time ‘in the field’ will also help marketing develop improved customer-specific strategies and content, going forward. 


The truth about sales enablement vs marketing is that you need both strategies to work in alignment. The main aim of both is, after all, is to make money in the form of closed deals, so both sales and marketing need to work together to create better leads and increase conversions.

Developing an in-depth account relationship is a core goal of ABM. While effective sales enablement helps the sales team develop account trust – and personalise engagement for stronger relationships. 

Companies with both a sales enablement strategy and ABM strategy in place see higher customer retention and sales win rates, compared to those that don’t.


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