Sales Enablement Vs. Marketing | Why You Need Both

Sales enablement communities

The SaaS industry is filled with marketing and sales jargon, the definitions and goals of which often get confused. Case in point: sales enablement and marketing. 

While the sales enablement vs marketing debate carries on, it’s important to learn the difference between these critical processes. Because, while there is certainly overlap in their approaches, sales enablement and marketing have different goals and strengths. 

We’ll help you learn the difference between sales enablement and marketing, and learn why you need both for SaaS success. 

Definition of Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the process whereby a company provides its teams with all the tools and resources they’ll need to do their job. It aims to empower employees, bring out their potential, and increase company earnings. 

Common sales enablement tools include comprehensive training, one-on-one coaching, detailed guides, industry software, and high-quality content. 

While sales enablement is mostly seen among sales teams, it’s a collaborative effort. Companies will often involve their marketing team and dev team in sales enablement, to ensure sales representatives have all the information and support they need. 

Definition of Marketing

Marketing is the process of promoting products to consumers in various formats. In the SaaS industry, this means marketing software to attract leads to the sales funnel. Marketing has two goals: reach the company’s target audience and raise awareness about available products. 

The process includes advertising, doing intense market research, creating promotional campaigns, and using analytics to find the perfect leads.

Another aspect of the marketing process is maintaining good relationships with current customers. Retention can be more lucrative than customer acquisition if done right, and marketing teams know this. Figuring out how to retain customers is also a large part of their job in a SaaS company. 

Understanding the Difference Between Sales Enablement vs. Marketing

One reason why marketing and sales enablement get mixed up is because internal marketing and sales enablement teams often work together to achieve their goals. But they are directed at different audiences: sales enablement works internally while marketing deals with external clients. They bolster each other by fortifying each other’s weaknesses and providing valuable insights. 

However, even though sales enablement and marketing work on similar processes, their goals and approaches are fundamentally quite different. 

Different Goals and Objectives

The biggest difference between marketing and sales enablement is their goals. Sales enablement aims to give employees the tools they need to master the SaaS sales cycle and turn leads into paying customers. 

Marketing, on the other hand, involves creating marketing content to hook those leads and bring them to the sales team. 

They are working on the same sales journey, just at different points. And they use different methods to achieve their goals. Without one or the other, an integral part of the sales process would be hollow. Or, at least, not nearly as effective. 

Distinct Roles Within an Organization

The second biggest difference between marketing and sales enablement is the teams.

Sales enablement involves mostly, you guessed it, the sales team. But its process encourages collaboration and communication between the sales, marketing, and dev teams. Gathering information through these collaborations provides valuable information sales enablement teams can use to achieve their goals. 

While marketing often assists the sales enablement team, they still work separately. They have separate employees from the sales enablement team, handle acquisitions and the like, and report to different company authorities. 

So, while there is collaboration and overlap, sales enablement teams and marketing teams do not do the same work. They also don’t report to the same people. Why? Because the work they do and their final objectives are different—even when there is an overlap in methodology. 

For example, both sales enablement and marketing utilize email. However, sales enablement focuses on creating the perfect email templates for future use. Marketing then uses these templates to create marketing campaigns. 

The Importance of Sales Enablement Teams

With the differences and definitions out of the way, let’s take a look at the importance of a sales enablement team. And why having your own should be a priority. 

Supporting Sales Reps with Relevant Materials

Sales representatives are the customer-facing employees who turn prospects into paying customers. But to turn those prospects, they need compelling content and materials. 

Sales reps often make use of guides, case studies, scripts, and a variety of other content to engage and convince prospects to join the company. These materials are necessary to boost SaaS sales

Sales enablement teams support sales reps by providing the above materials. Using sales enablement tools, they research and craft compelling content tailored to the sales reps’ needs and the prospect’s pain points. 

Targeted content in the hands of a good sales rep is guaranteed to increase your conversion rate.  

Creating Compelling Content for the Target Audience

As mentioned above, one of the key pillars of sales enablement is content creation. From ebooks to podcasts to demo presentations, the sales enablement team is responsible for most of it. 

But marketing does that too. So, why is sales enablement different? 

Sales enablement focuses mostly on the end of the SaaS sales funnel. It’s not about customer acquisitions. It’s about conversions. The content needs to be relevant and razor-sharp. At this later stage of the sales funnel, the target audience has been narrowed down considerably. 

Broad marketing content won’t convert customers. 

Sales enablement teams use their tools to research prospects, analyze historic conversion data, and a host of other resources to create ultra-specific content. Personalization is of utmost importance. 

Improved Efficiency and Productivity

Sales enablement is all about doing things better. Instead of creating hundreds of promotional materials to entice a prospect, sales enablement teams create a handful of high-impact pieces. Instead of marketing to a vague prospect, sales enablement teams utilize specific sales persona profiles to target the perfect customer. 

Sales enablement is all about working smarter, not harder. 

Improved efficiency and productivity are the name of the game. Sales enablement teams utilize their resources to increase win rates and ensure consistent conversion. With the help of sales tools and automation, sales enablement teams also optimize background tasks to focus their efforts.

With increased productivity and efficiency, higher win rates and increased revenue naturally follow. 

Collaboration Between Sales Enablement and Marketing Teams

Sales enablement and marketing are separate company entities. But they do work together. Both teams have valuable insights, and fostering collaboration works in everyone’s interest. 

To truly understand the impact of collaboration, let’s examine how they help each other when working together. 

Aligning Efforts to Support the Sales Process

As we’ve established, the marketing team and sales team work on different parts of the sales process. While there is overlap, marketing works to acquire leads, and the sales team turns those leads into paying customers. 

When sales and marketing work together, they provide valuable information on different parts of the sales process. Because the sales process is still one, singular funnel, this information works wonders for both teams. 

By sharing what they’ve gathered, noticed, and improved on, both teams can make data-driven decisions that continue to refine all parts of the sales process. 

Sharing Insights to Create Relevant Materials

Marketing mostly produces broad marketing materials and personalized sales materials. As both teams continue growing their databases and approaches, they gather valuable insights about the sales process. 

These insights, when shared between the sales and marketing teams, allow both teams to create relevant marketing and sales materials. And, the better the materials are, the higher the win rate for sales representatives and customer acquisitions for marketing. 


Sales enablement refers to the tools and resources a company provides sales teams to improve the sales process and convert. Marketing is the initiative the marketing team makes to promote SaaS to potential customers. 

Both sales and marketing work on the same sales process, but in different sectors. While there is overlap, their goals and objectives are different. However, when these teams collaborate and share information, your company is bound to enjoy higher customer acquisitions and sales. 

A critical part of the sales process is the sales demo. To win more customers and effectively market your software, use Saleo to create engaging and interactive sales demos. Transform your demo environment and request a demo today


Brian Cody

VP of Sales Engineering, Clari

Michael Stanczak

VP of Enterprise Sales, illumin

Ryan Splain

Principal Demo Solutions Engineer, Salesloft