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Discovering the Best Sales Enablement Tools and Software

Updated January 2022

With increased competition and heightened buyer power, sales operations and processes have had to become more complex to provide prospects with the right content at the right time. The need for sales enablement solutions has grown accordingly. Using the right sales enablement software, sales and marketing teams work together seamlessly to deliver timely, relevant, and on-brand content to prospective buyers. But with so many sales enablement tools out there, it can be difficult to determine which ones will actually save your business time instead of creating more work.

We’ve put together a comprehensive list of 100+ tools and vendors to help sales and marketing teams increase their efficiency and productivity. Every vendor has a summary of their offerings, their contact information, and a screenshot of their current website. The tools offer solutions that tend to fit into one or more of the following categories: sales readiness, sales asset management, and sales engagement. We’ve categorised and defined these categories in the table below:

Sales Readiness Sales Asset Management Sales Engagement
Sales Training Asset Management Prospecting
Sales Coaching Asset Generation or Customisation Sales Diallers
Guided Selling Asset Distribution Workflow Automation
Gamification Sales Analytics Email Tracking

Another way to narrow down the right set of vendors is to rely on independent analyst firms.  Three important analyst firms covering sales enablement are Gartner, Forrester, and SiriusDecisions. All three of these analyst firms have published reports on sales enablement and we encourage you to read each of these reports:

Highspot has also published annual sales enablement industry reports since 2015:

Reviewing vendor descriptions, product sheets, and sales enablement reports are a good way to get started, but ultimately you will want to dive deeper into assessing the performance of sales enablement tool features that are important to your team. Beyond any particular set of capabilities, ease-of-use is an important consideration as the platform will only be successful if adopted by your sales team. We have put together an evaluation tool for sales enablement. This tool will help you identify the priority of individual capabilities for your business, document the strength of each capability for each vendor under consideration, and provide vendor scores based on your capability assessment weighted by importance to your business.

Once you have selected a vendor, we encourage you to review our three-part series of sales enablement best practices. Our best practices guides provide practical insights for businesses seeking to improve their sales enablement programs.

Without further ado, we bring you a list of vendors of the top sales enablement tools and the top sales enablement software.

Top Industry Blogs

Top Industry Blogs

At Highspot, we devote our full attention to helping sales and marketing teams outperform. This means taking into account a broad assortment of perspectives shaping the sales enablement space. From strategies and tactics to competitive insights, technology advances, and more, the following blogs have shaped our approach toward delivering the value that customers demand. We recommend bookmarking those most aligned with your business goals and sharing relevant content with your audience. It’s a great way to curate new ideas and become a trusted sales and marketing partner.

Directory of Analysts

Sales Enablement Analysts

In a market as dynamic as sales enablement, independent research and analysis can help companies formulate their long-term strategy. Independent firms can also be helpful when selecting and evaluating sales enablement tools. In addition to reports and consultations available exclusively to their clients, many analysts share insights publicly via LinkedIn, Twitter, and their blog.

Identifying the right analysts and finding their various online resources is not always easy, so we have compiled a list of analysts in alphabetical order by last name from leading firms that include sales enablement as an important part of their practice.

Summary and Additional Reading

Path to Optimising Your Sales Cycle

Path to Optimizing Your Sales Cycle

Additional Reading

  • Best Practices. This article provides pointers to whitepapers, blog posts, eBooks, and webinars covering a variety of sales enablement best practices.
  • Fix Your Sales Portal. A sales enablement platform should deliver on these six essentials to make sure that your sales team gets the maximum value from the content you work so hard to create.
  • Top 3 Sales Enablement Myths. These three myths fall in to the “tell customers what they want to hear” category but unfortunately will lead to failed projects.

Measuring Solution Health

Sales Enablement Solution Health

A modern business is deeply data-driven. Once you have your sales enablement solution in place, you are ready to analyse and optimise your sales process.

With respect to sales enablement, there are three main areas to apply data-driven methods:

Sales Enablement Data Driven Methods

In this chapter we focus on solution health.

Solution Health Overview

The solution that you have implemented is not going to do much good for the company if it isn’t being used. We have found that it is most useful to measure that in three ways:


How many people have ever used the solution. If the solution requires users to sign up for an account, the number of accounts that have been created is a simple way to measure adoption. If you are using single-sign on, where accounts are automatically created as needed, you can use the number of people who have visited the enablement platform at least once.

Breadth Usage

This is another fairly simple metric, showing how many people used the solution over a period of time. Our primary view is the previous 30 days, which is usually a good way to understand normal usage. Patterns of use will often vary quite a bit over a single day or week, and those numbers can be affected heavily by a short-term event like a holiday or the end of a financial quarter. But if the solution is a core part of their work, looking at a 30 day period gives a reasonable picture.

To broaden the view farther, we sometimes compare activity during the past 30 days to the current content cycle. At many companies, there is a cadence for updating content that is tied to some event such as a sales kick-off. It might happen once or twice per fiscal year, or coincide with an external conference for partners and customers. At such moments, there is often a major refresh of content. Looking at usage since the last such refresh shows activity for users who don’t visit as regularly but do come for new and updated information when it is released.

Depth Usage

This metric can take more thought to compute than the other two, which don’t vary too much from one company to another. The goal is to measure how many people have used the product to accomplish something of value. We use a standard set of depth metrics that work reasonably well across many different organisations, but you may find it worthwhile to develop your own custom depth metrics to measure the activity that you are most interested in encouraging on the platform.


To track these metrics, we rely on a scorecard. It shows the current state of each of the three key metrics, assigning each of them a green/yellow/red color based on the target value. We also show a historical view to help put the current health in context.

Sales Enablement Health Scorecard

Note that the scorecard shows each of the three metrics (adoption, breadth, and depth) and combines them into a single overall health value that is computed using a weighted sum. We use different weights depending on the maturity of the solution.

In the post-launch stage, when the solution is new to the organisation, the focus is generally on adoption and breadth usage. The goal is to make everyone aware that the solution is available, signed up and enabled for use, and for them to start experimenting with it. The sample scorecard shows a solution that has been recently launched and it emphasises those first two metrics.

In steady state, adoption and broad usage remain important, but the focus shifts to put more emphasis on depth usage. It’s not enough that people find and use the solution; the key is whether they are getting value.

How to measure that will depend on your environment, but some metrics we find useful are how many people took an action like viewing an item or downloading it, how many people pitched, and how many reps have completed a training course. In addition, it may be useful to measure the number of actions generating value—how many items were viewed and downloaded, how many pitches were made, and so forth. Best practice for depth is often to have a number of different metrics and combine them together in a weighted average.

Depth usage is important not only because it delivers the most value to individual users, but it also typically yields the best data for measuring the effectiveness of your content. For example, if the sellers are not using the platform to pitch content but are instead simply downloading it and sending it via email, you will miss a lot of customer engagement data that you could have used to do a better job of optimising your content.

In steady state, a healthy solution has been almost universally adopted, has strong regular breadth usage, and has a significant percentage of the sales team using it in depth to enhance their sales efforts.

Other Metrics

In addition to usage, there are other ways to gather useful metrics about the solution, such as sending out polls. We encourage using a variety of ways to gauge the effectiveness of the solution. However, we do recommend that you make usage your primary measure of health. There are pitfalls to be careful about—if a user wastes a lot of time hunting for something and never finds it, the metrics can show a lot of usage and that user is definitely not happy with their experience. But over time, users vote with their feet. If they don’t get value, they will gradually reduce their usage to the bare minimum. If people come to the solution frequently, spend a lot of time on it, and there is strong depth usage reflecting successful use, that’s a reliable indicator that you are providing value to them.

Look at Usage by Team

Companies often find that a solution has been broadly adopted across the organisation, but some teams have been left out. So in addition to looking at the health across the entire target population, you should also spot-check other teams. For example, if your company is international, look at usage health for the subsidiaries. If you segment the sales team by vertical, or by size of the target customer, look at usage in the different segments to spot any issues that you need to address.

Qualitative Health Tracking

The metrics described above will give you a good picture of how the solution is being adopted and used across the organisation. However, it won’t tell you why there are problems and how the system could be further improved. In addition to metrics-based scorecards, it is important to reach out and talk to representative members of the user community.

We recommend a series of brief outreach interviews with:

Power users from each key community

For example, your most prolific publishers, content consumers, and pitchers. The sales enablement platform should give you reports that make it easy to identify who these people are. These users tend to have the most experience with the system and give the most detailed and demanding feedback.

Regular users

These people will give you a sense of what the typical user’s experience is like. They may have different needs and expectations than the power users, so you don’t want to confine your discussions to the committed experts. Most people won’t become expert users — they will do what they need to in order to get their jobs done.

Non-users who should be using the system

If some of your target user community rarely or never logs on, find out why. They might not know about it, because they were missed in the rollout. Maybe they don’t know how to use it, because there wasn’t the right kind of training. There might be some other solution still in place that they are using instead. Or perhaps their team has particular needs that are being poorly served. You won’t know how to improve adoption if you don’t know what is holding it back.

These conversations can be relatively short — the key is to understand what is working well and the top things that are making life difficult for the users. A few questions you might want to ask:

  • What is your role in the organisation? What team are you part of?
  • What are the most difficult challenges you deal with?
  • How does content play a part in your job?
  • What do you use the sales enablement solution for? How is it working for you? Can you find what you need, quickly?
  • Did you get the right amount of training on the so that you know how to take advantage of the solution?
  • What is really working well? What is not working?
  • Is there content you need that isn’t available? Do you have to build content yourself that you think the company should already have available?
  • Are you aware of the job training that is available to you? Is anything missing that you think we should be offering?
  • Have you taken any training? Was it worth the time? How could it have been improved? What could we do to better prepare you for the challenges that you face in your role?

Measuring Seller Readiness

Sales Enablement Seller Readiness

A modern business is deeply data-driven. Once you have your sales enablement solution in place, you are ready to analyse and optimise your sales process.

With respect to sales enablement, there are three main areas to apply data-driven methods:

Sales Enablement Data Driven Methods

In this chapter we focus on seller readiness.

Sales Team Readiness Overview

There are ten reports that will allow you to analyse and optimise your training investments. Each one answers an important business question. Together, they paint a complete picture of the training that you have, how it is being used, whether it is effective, and how much business value you are getting from it.

Sales Team Readiness Reports

Whole Sales Lifecycle

If you can’t analyse the effect of training on the entire sales life cycle, you can’t answer crucial questions.

  • If you don’t know which deals the seller was involved in after training, you can’t measure revenue influenced and business impact.
  • If you don’t track performance after the training, you can’t measure impact on turnover and on how long it takes a seller to become effective in their role.

Activity and Business Impact

The ultimate goal is to measure the return on your training investments. Training is expensive — you need to develop the courses, deliver them, and pay the opportunity cost of putting your sellers in a training session instead of having them focused on selling your products. You’d like to be able to say, “I spent $X on having this seller trained and it generated $Y in additional revenue.” Your sales enablement system can answer that question, but it will also provide intermediate metrics that yield additional key insights.

Activity metrics help you diagnose why you aren’t getting the business impact you want. You might not have the training that your employees want. They might not know about the training that is available. It might not be effective, and everyone avoids it because it is a waste of time. Each of the ten reports gives you insight into one particular area of training performance, and together they let you understand the whole picture and dig down as needed to understand where the problems are.


Top-level reports will give you some important information about the effectiveness of your training. However, you’ll often need to go deeper into the data by segmenting it in various ways. Here are some common ways to segment readiness data:

Sales Enablement Anaytics Segmentation

The Purpose of Analysis is to Drive Action

The goal is to use training as a way to make your sales team more effective and engaging with customers and increasing revenue. Each of the ten reports answers an important business question, identifying key issues and opportunities so that you know how to act.

Sales Readiness Action Plan

Measuring Content Performance

Sales Enablement Content Performance

A modern business is deeply data-driven. Once you have your sales enablement solution in place, you are ready to analyse and optimise your sales process.

With respect to sales enablement, there are three main areas to apply data-driven methods:

Sales Enablement Data Driven Methods


To analyse and optimise content used during the sales cycle, there are eight reports you need to have. Each one answers an important business question. Together, they paint a complete picture of the content that you have, how it is being used, whether it is effective, and how much business value you are getting from it.

Content Performance Reports

Whole Sales Lifecycle

If you can’t analyse across each stage of the sales cycle, you can’t answer crucial questions.

  • If you don’t know which deals the content touched, you can’t measure revenue influenced and business impact.
  • If you don’t know the sales stage where content is used, you can’t tell whether you have good coverage for each step of the buyer’s journey.

Activity, Local Impact, Business Impact

Ultimately, you want to measure the business impact that your investments are having. “I spent $X building this case study; how much revenue did it generate?” But even so, intermediate metrics yield key insights by measuring the steps along the way.

Activity metrics help you diagnose why you aren’t getting the business impact you want. A particular piece of content might not drive value because nobody could find it, or because reps don’t think it is worthwhile, or because it is pitched to customers who ignore it. How you fix the problem is completely different, depending on what you find! So don’t dismiss activity metrics — they don’t tell the whole story, but they do tell an important part of it.

Measuring local impact is often more precise. Let’s say that during a five-month sales cycle, you send the customer a particular piece of content. How important was it in closing the deal? It depends — there are many factors that affect whether a deal closes and how long it takes. The impact of one piece of content is much higher, however, on the particular sales stage when it is sent. A great pitch deck won’t close a deal by itself, but it can have a clearly measurable effect on moving that deal to the next stage of the sales cycle. And a bad one, especially in the hands of an inexperienced rep, can torpedo the deal quickly. So it’s highly valuable to measure and optimise content within a sales stage as well as across the whole sales cycle.

Content Evolves

During the early stages of the buyer’s lifecycle, marketers connect with audiences directly using content over which they have complete control. But in the later stages, when the sales team enters the picture, that “perfect control” is lost. As content filters through the organisation, it moves from central marketing through field marketers and sellers, finally landing in the hands of customers. Along the way, the content changes and evolves as it is remixed, reordered, and recombined. In many organisations, as much as 80% of the content shown to customers has been modified — it is customised by the field for the needs of each selling situation. The analytics system must be able to track the content, regardless of how it has evolved. By detecting the relationships between pieces of content, the system reveals its true performance and business impact. Otherwise, most of the data can’t be associated with the original content and simply disappears from view.

Optimising Your Business Step-by-Step

After you have put a closed-loop sales enablement solution into place, you can begin to take advantage of its features to enhance your engagement with customers. We have found that companies typically start with the basics, and then over time move to applying data-driven techniques to their entire sales process in order to analyse and optimise it.

Here is a typical path that companies follow in applying the analytics capabilities of the system.

Sales Enablement Maturity Phase

The first step is to move to the Managed maturity phase, using the first two sets of reports. Manage Assets can be done immediately, even before any sellers have begun using the system. In the process of putting the sales content into the system, companies are able to see where they stand. Content Freshness shows which content is old and should be pruned or updated. Content Coverage reveals areas where content is missing or very limited.

As the sellers begin to use the solution and data is available for analysis, the next step is to Track Activity. These reports will show which content is actually being used by the sales team internally and what is being pitched to customers. Even after the sellers have been using the system for a relatively short time, the reports will begin to show interesting patterns. The results are often quite surprising—in most companies, a very small percentage of the content is used heavily and most of it is simply ignored.

Now the company has its content properly organised and has begun filling in its most serious content gaps, and the people who are creating content actually know what’s being used. So, it is time to move to the next maturity phase and begin turning the company into a data-driven organisation. The Content Engagement report will show how content actually performs when it is put in front of customers. That data drives recommendations to sellers on what content will help them get deals closed, and it is used by the marketing team to prioritise their content investments. Content Comparison will show how the sellers are modifying and repackaging the original content, revealing best practices and areas that need attention.

The last phase is to move to the Optimised maturity phase. The key reports here are all focused on Business Impact. Based on measuring the impact of content on business results, marketers can determine the ROI of their content investments and move to a model where that guides their investments.

The Purpose of Analysis is to Drive Action

Graphs and tables are a means to the end — the goal is to improve engagement with the customer as a way to drive increased revenue and shorten the deal cycle. Each of the eight key reports answers an important business question, identifying key issues and opportunities so that you know how to act.

Sales Enablement Analytics Action Plan

Engagement is the lifeblood of the sales conversation—an indifferent customer is a deal waiting to fail. And in our hyper-informed age, you can’t deeply engage your customer without content. Use these reports to analyse and optimise your engagement with customers throughout their buyer’s journey.

For a deeper exploration of Sales Enablement Content Performance, please refer to the Definitive Guide to Sales Content Performance.

Solution Design

Sales Enablement Solution Design

When you are developing your solution, the Design stage is particularly important—it lays the foundation for the project. We have found that these four steps reliably lead to a solid design:

Sales Enablement Solution Design Best Practices

1. Identify Stakeholders

We find it helpful to think about solution users in terms of their role:

Sales Enablement Stakeholders

Once you have identified the key users of the system, it is helpful to put that into a team map that lists the teams involved. We prioritise the teams, based on how much of a focus their needs will be for this deployment. We also choose a representative for each team who can speak on its behalf. These representatives are involved in the development of the solution, either as a core member of the team or as a resource to be consulted during planning, design, and validation.

Here is an example of a team map for a company that has global subsidiaries:

Sales Enablement Stakeholders

2. Map Your  Content

Next, think about the content that you want to capture.

As we mentioned in a previous section, it is important to focus initially on the content that is most important, rather than trying to capture every possible thing a seller might need. While you may use this opportunity to do some clean-up, we strongly recommend that you not try to make all the content perfect before you launch — it’s easy to get bogged down in multiple open-ended content initiatives. Anyone who has remodeled a house will be familiar with the dangerous phrase, “Well, as long as we’re doing that, we might as well…” Giving the sales team a well-organised way to find the content you already have is a typically a big step forward in making them more effective! You will keep improving it forever — that is a job that is never done.

We capture the result of this exercise in a content map. Here is a typical example, where the company has decided that it will divide the sales information into eight groups. For each type of content, we show who is responsible for publishing it. The publisher might be a team (for something like product marketing), or it might be a single person. Where the owner is a team, we’ve chosen one person who is on point to represent it. Choosing a single representative is best, if possible—then you can make sure that you have somebody available who deeply understands each key type of content, but keeps the number of people involved to a manageable number.

Sales Enablement Content Mapping

There are many ways to divide your content into top-level groups. Here are some rules of thumb that we have found very useful in finding the best solution:

For most companies, it’s reasonable to aim for something like 8-12 top level categories that apply to the mainstream user.

That’s enough to keep things organised, but not so many that reps and publishers have to waste time figuring out where to look. A user can quickly scan the whole list to find the right place to go.

Get it right for the mainline sellers, then take care of the more specialised teams.

Often, there will also be specialised areas of content for particular roles, or particular regions, or the like. First make sure that your design works well for the typical seller, then start addressing those more specific requirements.

It is often best to put specialised content in separate areas, especially if it might be confusing to the people who aren’t interested in it. The people who need it will know what they are looking for, and the mainline sellers won’t see it mixed in with everything else.

Groups should be intuitively obvious for reps and publishers to understand.

You don’t want people to guess where something should go—try to make it as obvious and unambiguous as possible.

At the top level, don’t pick things that change often. For example, the marketing themes for the current fiscal year are not a good choice. They change every year, and often it isn’t obvious at all which of them a particular piece of content goes in. Is this pitch deck more about “Ultimate Flexibility” or “Industry-Leading Performance”? Or neither? Or both? You might choose to assign items to themes within a particular group—that can be very useful—but don’t use groupings at the top level that aren’t as drop-dead obvious as you can possibly make them.

The great majority of your content should fit obviously into a single top-level category. As we will see in the next section, this is why using the stages of your sales cycle as the organisational model is usually a bad idea.

Ideally, there is a small set of publishers for each group.

It’s easy to have different people working on different groups of content, but if you have a lot of people all managing the same group, that can cause problems. A small group of people making the key decisions about a particular set of content will almost always yield a better result.

Consider breaking out content that has important and unique ways of being organised.

For example, take case studies. There are often a large number of them, and in many companies they are organised quite carefully and in different ways to most content. In particular, they might be organised by vertical industry, by region where the customer is located, by language, by product, by scenario, and so forth.

A rep who needs a case study knows exactly what they are looking for and wants to be able to browse quickly, using whichever dimension(s) are most applicable to their customer. An enterprise in Europe might insist on seeing a case study from one of a few countries they feel are similar to their own. A manufacturing company might want a case study from their own industry. Somebody who is looking at your Cloud PBX product doesn’t care about your success in deploying some other product.

3. Target the Buyer’s Journey

Once you have the key types of content figured out, we strongly recommend that you map them to the buyer’s journey. The term “buyer’s journey” is meant to capture the set of experiences that a buyer goes through. It begins when they first learn about your company and its products. Over time, they engage with you and become a customer. Then there is an ongoing relationship where they hopefully renew their contract/subscription and/or purchase additional products. This journey is often described using a model like the sales funnel, as discussed earlier.

Sales enablement focuses on the second half of the sales cycle, when the sales team is involved. Many companies have developed a formal description of the buyer’s journey during this phase by defining the stages of an opportunity in their CRM system. For example, here is a typical set of stages:

Sales Funnel

Note that these sales stages are an imperfect approximation of the buyer’s journey. In most cases, it would be more accurate to describe them as the seller’s journey. The focus in the CRM tool is typically on tracking the progress of each deal and forecasting the likelihood that it will close. It often doesn’t perfectly reflect the buyer’s point of view, but it’s a good starting point. It does show the stages through which deals typically go, and in many organisations it is well-defined and consistently tracked.

Use Stages for Targeting Content, Not Organising It

We cautioned earlier that the sales stages are typically not a good way to organise content at the top level because the mapping is too ambiguous. We can see that when we consider what items might used by a rep at each stage of a deal. For example, consider the set of case studies that the company has created. For the buyer, case studies serve a variety of different purposes — they provide credibility that you solve real problems for real companies, they showcase use cases that your product addresses, and they highlight the business value that buyers will receive.

Buyers may ask for case studies throughout the sales cycle. They might want to see one quite early in the conversation, to see whether you are a credible vendor they should bother with—it might even come up during the Lead or Qualify stages. During Discovery, where your goal is to figure out if your product is a good solution for their problems, they might want to see a case study to get ideas about what you can do for them. The Prove stage is the one where customers are “officially” supposed to want to see case studies. But it’s possible that they want one during Negotiate, to convince some higher up to spend the money on your product. And after you Close a deal, you might use one (if you won) to convince the customer to expand their use of your product and get more value, or (if you lost) to try to get things restarted.

So if you were trying to organise content by stage, you could make an argument that you should put case studies in every stage. That’s a bit of an extreme, but it is very common for content to be useful during multiple stages, making sales stage a poor way to divide up the content at the top level. Publishers would always be guessing which stage to put things into, and reps wouldn’t know where to look.

However, it is extremely useful to target content by sales stage. The goal is to recommend the content that is most likely to be useful for a particular deal. You will never be able to predict everything that might be useful, and shouldn’t try. That’s why the system needs to have great support for searching and browsing — customers ask about all sorts of different topics, and they don’t organise their requests neatly into an “appropriate” sales stage. But there is generally a small set of content that is very likely to be relevant to any particular deal, and the goal of targeting is to put those items at the seller’s fingertips.

The sales stage is often the best indicator as to which content the rep is most likely to need. If they are in the Prove stage, customer evidence from similar deals is going to be very likely to come up. But sales stage alone is not the only consideration. It might depend on which industry the customer is in — you might have a pitch deck that is customised for the industries you most commonly target. Or it might vary by region — the deck that the team in Spain uses to pitch your product is probably not the same one that is used in the US. The right content can also vary by role of the user. An account manager who is supporting and growing the account of an existing customer probably uses different content than the account executive pitching a new customer who has never heard of your company before.

Depending on your business, targeting might be based on a wide range of characteristics of the deal, the customer, or the seller. So how do you decide what to show the rep?

The “Rule of 7”

When companies first think about targeting content, they sometimes start out with very ambitious goals. They envision themselves as a star quarterback dropping the ball right into the outstretched hands of the receiver on the way to a touchdown, delivering exactly the right content with pinpoint accuracy. This may be possible if you have an extremely structured sales process that is highly repeatable and controlled, but in most cases it is better to start with the basics and refine it over time.

We like to use an exercise we call the “rule of 7”. To get started, choose a particular seller and a particular deal. For example, you might pick an account executive in the Western US region who is pitching a telecom company on your Cloud PBX product. The deal is currently in the Discovery stage. You are only allowed to know as much about the deal as will reliably be captured in your CRM system, since that is what the sales enablement solution is going to know. Now the exercise is to come up with the set of content that the seller should have right in front of them for this deal, and force yourself to have no more than seven items. An item can either be a specific document, or it can be a link to a collection of items that are filtered down to the ones most likely to be relevant.

For this example, we’ll be even more disciplined and restrict ourselves to just six:

Sales Enablement Content Targeting

Once you have done a few examples like this, you are ready to create your general targeting plan. It describes the content that will be targeted for any deal in the pipeline, based on various characteristics. Here is an example showing part of a targeting plan:

Sales Enablement Content Targeting

As discussed earlier, we recommend that you start with the basics. You can always refine and extend your targeting once you have it up and running, and you can use analytics to see which of your recommended items actually get used successfully by the field in practice.

Targeted content is much more likely to get used if it appears in your CRM system as part of the opportunity. The rep will always have instant access to the content they are most likely to need, customised for the deal they are working on. The platform can also use data science to score every piece of targeted content and suggest additional items, based on what has been working for the sales team in similar deals.

4. Catalogue Existing Resources

The last step is to make sure you understand the systems that your company already has in place and that are relevant to your sales enablement solution.

Here are some common examples:

Content storage

Companies often have a wide range of systems where content is currently stored. They might be using cloud file systems like Dropbox, Box, and the like. They may have custom web sites, or SharePoint sites. Content may also be stored in the CRM system (such as the Content tab in Salesforce) or it may be linked inside of various social networks, like Chatter or Yammer.

You might integrate these systems with your solution—cloud file systems and social networks are natural partners for your publishing platform. Some of the content stores may be retired after you deploy.


The company may use Active Directory internally and/or a federated identity provider like Okta to give their employees access to internal or external systems. Single sign-on is a convenient way to reduce the cost of managing the solution.

CRM systems

Most companies use a CRM system (like to track their sales opportunities. Your sales enablement system can integrate closely with it to enhance rep effectiveness and measure the business impact of content and readiness investments.

HR and Learning Management systems

Training and performance may be managed through specialised systems (like SuccessFactors and WorkDay). You may choose to integrate them with other parts of your solution.

Web conferencing

Systems like WebEx, GotoMeeting, or allow sellers to present material to customers remotely over the Internet. Your sales enablement solution may also have this technology built-in. Web conferencing allows your reps to reach out to customers for presentations and demos, wherever they are.

Deployment Guide

Sales Enablement Deployment Guide

There is a tremendous amount of value that you can unlock through sales enablement. But it is important to keep in mind that you don’t have to “boil the ocean” right away. The most successful deployment projects that we have seen deliver value quickly by starting with the most painful problems that hold back your sales efforts. Once the system is up and working successfully, it is much easier to extend it into new areas and to support additional roles in the company.

Deployment Lifecycle

We have found it useful to break up the deployment into three phases.

Sales Enablement Deployment Lifecycle


During the develop phase, the project is planned, designed, and implemented. There are two common temptations that often cause problems during development.

Scope creep

It is very tempting to keep expanding the project as you go. While you build out the solution, you almost always discover new content that you hadn’t originally thought about, and new roles in the organisation that you could address if you add “just a little bit more” content.

Waiting for content initiatives

Virtually every company we have worked with had some set of initiatives underway to improve their existing content or develop some great new material that the sales team needs. “Maybe we should just wait until <content initiative> is done…then the content will be so much better!”

We strongly encourage companies not to wait and not to let the scope grow much beyond the original focus. There will always be active or contemplated initiatives to improve content. Those efforts are easier and much more likely to be effective with a solid platform in place. It is far easier to add content to a working and successful solution that is already deployed. Choose the most important content to focus on and get started with what you have. Most companies will use the process of collecting and organising their content as a good opportunity to do some clean-up and purging, which is a positive side effect of pulling it together. But try not to wait until some new class of content is developed — in our experience, that frequently takes much longer than anticipated.


The launch phase makes the solution available to the user community. In the enthusiasm to roll out a solution, companies frequently want to skimp on validation and training. This makes the solution less effective than it should be, and it hurts adoption. Often, the way that people in corporate headquarters think about organising information isn’t exactly the way that people in the field really use it. Getting experts in the target community as trial users will find those problems so they can be fixed before launch. And if people don’t get any training, adoption will be slowed down and users will take longer to become adept and efficient.


After launch, the company moves into the operate phase. By using the analytics system built into the platform, they can manage the content that is available on the platform and begin to move the company into a data-driven approach to optimising their sales cycle. We find that companies are most successful when they first use the platform to manage their content more effectively. Next they begin to analyse different areas of usage and performance. Then they optimise their content and their investments, using the insights from the analysis.

Building on Initial Success

As we have said above, we strongly recommend that companies start by focusing on the most important problem with the biggest business impact. For example, it is common for growing organisations to have a major content problem — sellers can’t find the content they need, and there is redundant and out-of-date material scattered across many locations. So the focus for the initial deployment might be the content that is needed by mainstream sellers to pitch and close new customers.

Once the basic solution is deployed and successfully addressing that most urgent need, it can be expanded to enhance the solution’s value:

Project Length

The time required to launch a solution depends heavily on the scope and on the amount of time that companies can dedicate to it. A simple rollout with basic content and a single sales team can be done in a few weeks. Deploying a solution for a multi-national enterprise with thousands of items and a heavily matrixed sales organisation is more likely to take a few months to complete.

Maturity Model

The ultimate goal of sales enablement is to optimise your marketing and sales processes, making sellers both more effective and more efficient. Still, companies won’t be able to “fix” their processes with a one-time initiative—this kind of change happens in stages, each of which can yield direct and tangible benefits.

Every company will differ somewhat in the journey they follow, and the state of sales enablement can be uneven within each organisation (for example: you can have a good onboarding programme in place even if your sales content management system is in disarray). However, we’ve found there’s a great deal of similarity among the sales enablement stages most companies pass through on their way to full maturity.

We’ve created the following guide to help break down our industry-leading maturity model and give you a better sense of your progress. We’ve also included a detailed framework for understanding where your sales enablement team stands now, so you’ll be ready to expand and improve your unique enablement programme moving forward.

What Is a Sales Enablement Maturity Model?

Sales enablement maturity represents a critical path on the road to sales success. To locate themselves on this path, businesses need a prescribed sales enablement maturity model to help identify their current “stage” of enablement development.

Not to be confused with sales enablement best practices, a sales enablement maturity model offers a comprehensive profile for each stage of enablement, from “first steps” on through to a fully optimised programme. Ideally, these profiles provide a roadmap for maximising results at each stage, while simultaneously offering a rubric for advancing to the next level.

Our Strategic Enablement Maturity Model

Thanks to some in-depth research from the Highspot team, we’ve built a streamlined Strategic Enablement Maturity Model outlining the five typical stages* of enablement development across a variety of industries, from tech to manufacturing.

Here’s a brief overview each stage:

Strategic Enablement Maturity Model
  • Stage 1: First Steps. The company is new to sales enablement and ad hoc in terms of surfacing resources to sellers without a definitive procedure in place.
  • Stage 2: Structured. The company has a designated sales enablement function that lays the groundwork for basic processes and employs essential tools to support sales activity.
  • Stage 3: Rigorous. The enablement team carefully manages a foundational sales training and enablement programme.
  • Stage 4: Action-Based. The enablement team is a proven driver of systemic change and a trusted partner in business leadership.
  • Stage 5: Value-Driven. The enablement team leverages data to fine-tune processes and assist sellers in delivering targeted business outcomes.

A research survey conducted by Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) revealed that 19% of survey respondents are at the First Steps level of maturity, 45% are Structured, 16% are Rigorous, 12% are Action-Driven, and 8% are Value-Driven.

*Note: Names of stages can vary depending on who you’re talking to. Still, the concepts behind most sales enablement maturity models are similar marketwide. If our terminology doesn’t match what you’ve heard before, that’s completely okay. The objective remains the same.

To see these stages in more detail, download Part 1 of our Enablement Maturity Series: The Value of Strategic Enablement.

The Strategic Enablement Framework

Having a sales enablement maturity model for quick and easy reference is great. But having a set of directions to make the model work for you is better.

No matter which enablement stage you occupy, you’ll have to delve deeper if you want your business to move forward. Enter the Strategic Enablement Framework: the industry’s first-ever step-by-step enablement methodology, designed to help you climb to higher levels of maturity at scale, regardless of where you are on your enablement journey.

Strategic Enablement Framework
A look at how the Strategic Enablement Framework fits into everyday operations

Our framework looks at each stage of maturity through the lens of four essential “pillars” of advancement. It prompts you to evaluate where you are, establish goals for the future, and uncover all the skills, knowledge, and tools your sales team needs to engage prospects and customers more efficiently throughout the sales process.

The four pillars are:

  1. Define your call to action – Align with leadership to decide which outcomes you want to drive and which processes and materials your sellers will need to be successful.
  2. Equip your team – Gather resources and establish procedures to support sellers as they work toward each new goal.
  3. Train your team – Provide safe spaces for sellers to learn, practise, and implement new ideas in an organised and measurable way.
  4. Coach your team – Ensure sellers have access to ongoing guidance from their managers to reinforce “good” revenue-driving behaviours.

A strategic sales enablement framework like this one can boost team productivity and effectiveness by providing a comprehensive, structured approach that aligns sales strategies and resources with overall business objectives.

How Can a Maturity Model Benefit Your Sales Enablement Team?

In today’s challenging selling environment, it’s not enough for your sales reps to perform. They have to perform exceptionally. This requires a detailed and scalable strategy.

Luckily, a sales enablement maturity model affords your company a wealth of benefits that can help maximise sales team efficiency, including:

  • Serving as a litmus test for your organisation, letting you gauge where you rank among your competitors.
  • Providing a clear vision for your enablement programme, complete with projected value as well as a timeline for delivery. This can strengthen leadership buy-in and funding.
  • Formalising realistic sales enablement strategies and establishing measurable goals in the short term, which can build team confidence and momentum.
  • Codifying a set of rules and procedures to refer to in the event of unexpected challenges during the sales process.

Steps to Assessing and Evolving Your Sales Enablement Program

Now that you have a better grasp of the sales enablement maturity model and its functions, let’s take a closer look at how to apply it to your company specifically. The following explores the five stages of the Highspot Strategic Enablement Maturity Model according to the four pillars of our Strategic Enablement Framework.

Let’s start with “First Steps”:

H3: First Steps → Structured: New Beginnings

When your sales enablement efforts are just getting off the ground, your two biggest objectives should be:

  • Removing any barriers that prevent your sellers from doing their jobs, and
  • Making sure reps have all the resources they require to do their jobs well.

Here’s how you can check these goals against the four pillars:

Align with leadership to ensure 100% agreement on how sellers should perform (and what might be standing in their way).Collect relevant content and establish a “single source of truth” for seller resources that’s accessible, intuitive, and easy to search by context/sales scenario.Establish standardised goals for all learning modules and sales enablement tools. Ask yourself: What should sellers take away from each training lesson?

Utilise e-learning where appropriate to help measure and monitor seller progress. Many sales training platforms even allow you to build customised courses.
Empower sales managers by encouraging them to take part in live learning sessions, scoring exercises, and rep onboarding activities.

Provide guidelines for what “good” selling should look like so coaching advice and messaging are always consistent.

H3: Structured → Rigorous: Nail the Basics

To transition from “Structured” to “Rigorous” maturity, focus on elevating your execution technique. In other words: The stage has been set. It’s time to get to work.

Refine your execution process by approaching the four pillars this way:

Hone objectives by aligning with leadership even more closely on mission-critical outcomes. Work to establish a culture that promotes business initiatives.Bolster your content governance by assigning roles and responsibilities for tracing, monitoring, and storing all content assets.

Increase seller confidence by building comprehensive sales kits and playbooks designed to facilitate easy awareness, digestion, and adoption of new materials.

Help spark customer interest by emphasising content that’s well-suited to pitch activity, such as pitch templates or digital sales rooms.
Increase opportunities for seller practice and implement guidelines for tracking rep progress and retention metrics.

Expand learning options beyond the basics to cover skills, tips, and tricks geared toward long-haul success.
Encourage accountability by inviting sellers to evaluate sales leaders’ coaching skills.

Frame coaching efforts around a single methodology or format to encourage consistency across all departments and levels of management.

Rigorous → Action-Based: Get Intentional about Changing Specific Behaviors

This transition is all about driving business impact. At this juncture, your foundation is in place, and your procedures for execution have been optimised up to a point. So it’s time for the rubber to meet the road.

Raise the bar on your ability to shape seller behavior and improve company growth with this revised take on the four pillars:

Drill down on specific long- and short-term calls to action for your sales and enablement teams. Aim to be as detailed as possible with each task.

Identify seller activities to measure over time and be clear about the measuring process.
Use sales kits to build itemised sales plays, featuring links to key assets and training content along with hypothetical customer conversations.

Drive seller traffic to crucial sales plays with advanced tools for content navigation and CRM targeting. Aim to surface plays and other critical resources that correspond to specific sales scenarios.
Tie training lessons to direct actions so sellers understand when and where to apply their learning.Opt for specialised coaching over general guidance. Sync coaching plays with definitive programmes and initiatives so coaches know exactly what they’re coaching toward.

Establish coaching priorities so managers understand where to direct their efforts at any given time.

Action-Based → Value-Driven: Optimise and Maximise Value

This final phase involves harnessing data and analytics to promote a value-driven program (that is, a proactive instead of a reactive system). Stay one step ahead of engagement trends by putting these finishing touches on your four pillars:

Regroup with leadership to establish essential sales enablement metrics to track and align on how to measure them.Trace asset engagement for both sellers and prospects. (e.g., “Who’s reading what?”)

Use findings to inform sales plays, resource creation, and content investment decisions.
Map training metrics to seller performance in the field.

Narrow down which training programs (LMSs, lessons, etc.) haven’t contributed enough performance value and get rid of them.
Gather feedback from frontline staff regarding manager engagement in the coaching process.

Uncover which managers have the greatest effect on seller success and why.

Look to high-performing managers as coaching models. Let their processes and behaviors shape efforts to refine coaching programs moving forward.

For more on navigating your enablement processes toward maximum maturity, refer to Part 2 of our Enablement Maturity Series: Assess and Evolve the Maturity of Your Sales Enablement Program.

How Organisations See Results with a Strategic Sales Enablement Maturity Model

Creating an enablement system that encourages the right seller behaviours results in improved sales productivity and consistent high-level sales performance, leading to more deals won. Below, we highlight how organisations that use Highspot have reached the “mature stage” of enablement and how our customers are able to prepare, educate, and guide their teams to better business results:

Content and engagement

  • Enablement programmes that centralise and organise their sales content can see as much as a 26% uptick in sales rep efficiency.
  • Companies who manage and surface content using a robust sales enablement platform like Highspot are 59% more likely to monitor buyer engagement, leading to smarter business decisions and a potential 15-point increase in quota attainment.

Training and coaching

  • Enablement programmes that take advantage of e-learning courses (backed by live learning sessions) are 20% more likely to agree their reps have access to the right training.
  • Similarly, programmes that embed onboarding and learning systems into a unified platform (alongside sales content and engagement analytics) can see an average 19% decrease in seller ramp-up time.
  • Businesses that employ a platform like Highspot to help optimise learning and coaching capabilities (such as real-life-scenario practice) are 73% more likely to say their reps can effectively translate learning into action.

ROI and performance

  • Companies who successfully leverage data-driven systems for ongoing guidance and coaching can achieve a 16% increase in win rates.
  • Businesses that enhance training and coaching capabilities through an enablement solution like Highspot average a 22% larger deal size.

For more tangible results you can achieve when using our enablement maturity model and framework, check out Part 3 of our Enablement Maturity Series: Accelerate Business Impact by Maturing Your Enablement Function.

Where Does Your Maturity Program Stand Today?

Curious to know where your sales organisation sits on the maturity scale at this exact moment? Highspot has two ways to help you find out:

  1. Take our Strategic Enablement Maturity Assessment quiz. It’ll only take five minutes of your time to get a clear diagnosis.
  2. Get a Custom Strategic Enablement Assessment from our team. We’ll interview your key internal stakeholders and analyse your enablement progress as compared to a large sampling of other enablement programmes.

Want to see what a streamlined enablement solution with in-built functions for training, coaching, and content management can do for your company culture and revenue growth? Request a Highspot demo today.