Sales POP - Purveyors of Propserity
Sales Enablement: What Must Be Enabled Before People?
Blog / Sales Management / Oct 1, 2019 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 5420

Sales Enablement: What Must Be Enabled Before People?


Carrying on with our Sales Enablement series, I’m going to make a statement that shows how much I disagree with common “wisdom” on the subject. I’m probably shouting into the desert, but I’m going to say it anyway: When first done, sales enablement has nothing to do with people. This may sound contradictory—and taken literally, it is! But stick with me and you’ll see where I’m going.

Over 150 years ago in the U.S., people were coming west to California in droves in search of gold. If they hadn’t been provided with picks, how would they ever have found it? With their bare hands? Hardly!

It’s a similar situation with sales. Most companies, when they engage in sales enablement, focus on the sales manager and pound on them to coach salespeople. But salespeople haven’t been given any path to follow.

The Path

What must come before people? Processes!

In our last article, I painted the picture of a holistic customer process with an airline. It begins when the passenger arrives at the airport, then they check-in, check their baggage, get to the lounge, board, have great service during the flight, land, and claim their luggage. These are all individual processes, and each is important to the overall traveler experience.

Establishing processes is vital. Look at the Hurricane Dorian that endangered parts of Florida recently. Several cities had to evacuate, which meant that patients had to be moved from hospitals. Can you imagine the kinds of processes that were in place for that to happen? Where to take the patients, keeping track of their treatments and medications, coordination of ambulances—if these processes had not been precise and clear, it would have been a chaotic disaster.

In Business

In a company, there are many individual processes, and they’re all centered around the buyer. There could be all kinds of processes: pre-sales, sales, after-sales, support, accounts receivable—and all of them have to be enabled. In the future, I truly believe that no company will be able to survive without fully examining and enabling their processes. Logistically it would be impossible.

Just in sales, most companies today require more than one sales process. In addition to the ones listed above, there are often separate sales processes for different product lines, as some products would have simple sales cycles while others might be more complex. There would also be different types of sales processes for products versus services.


Once processes have been decided upon, the next question to be answered is: can some processes be self-sustaining and automatic? Can some of them in the customer experience be more or less self-regulated? An example of a well self-regulated process would be a traffic circle (called a roundabout in the U.K. and other parts of the world), in which vehicles come in one side and exit at another, with no traffic lights needed.

Having most processes be manual might have worked well for a company back in 1850, but today it won’t work at all. As each process is defined, the option of automation must be taken into account. For example, obtaining leads: inbound marketing be automated? Can leads be brought in automatically? Can they possibly be distributed automatically, to salespeople or partners? With the lightning speed of commerce today, automation has become extremely important.


As you automate, you must make sure that the tools you are employing can fully integrate with each other—otherwise, there will be manual processes required just to coordinate automation, which is pretty self-defeating.

A company might choose various solutions that seem great at the time, such as sales call recording, email automation or automated proposal software. They’ve heard that such tools can increase sales by 25 percent! But if they only operate independently, they are going to absorb more time than they save. It would be like producing a beautiful steering system for a car—but if it isn’t integrated with the remainder of the car’s components such as the engine and the wheels, that car won’t go anywhere.


Many processes, but especially sales processes, must be dynamic. That means the process has to be able to be changed as needed. This is because market conditions change, buyers change, and technology often forces us to change. The opposite of dynamic is static—and static processes will soon be run over and flattened by competitors with changeable, dynamic processes.

According to renowned economist and management scientist Fredmund Malik, whose management methods we have adopted at Pipeliner, “Change is constant. This seeming paradox points to both the problem and the solution for how professional corporate policy needs to be designed. Change alone is chaos. Constancy alone paralysis. Both together, however, generate a dynamic order for the function of and life in systems.” (From Corporate Policy by Fredmund Malik, Chapter 1, Page 63)

We can simply look at world conditions and see that this statement has never been truer—change is constant. Therefore when we speak about sales enablement, we must have dynamic processes that are easily changed when needed. This flexibility must be reflected in the technology, such as the CRM, being employed by the company.


You can’t automate everything, however, so one final element must be established before you can enable people—and that is policy. That policy wouldn’t just be for salespeople, but for the company as well. Everyone should be clear on their duties, and the methods of performing them. Policy should be created and provided to people no matter how talented they are, how skilled they are, how well they are performing or how well they’re paid. This is the enablement of the company.


Before you enable people, you have to enable the system that they’re going to be part of.

It would be the same thing as drivers of automobiles—they can’t go anywhere unless they have roads to drive on first.

Here’s another example I’m fond of. In the last 50 years, people really wanted to travel—to see the world, take beautiful vacations, see the sights. What did we have to do to enable tourism? We had to build an unbelievable infrastructure around the world, which meant an entire network consisting of thousands of international airports. Building an airport is a tremendous undertaking. Not only do aircraft landing and taking off have to be accounted for, but also the millions of passengers entering and exiting the airport, and the restaurants and shops to take care of them. An airport is almost like a small city—and if you’re going to enable tourism in your country, you have to build this infrastructure.

So sales enablement begins well before people. First, there are processes, then automation, then integration of automation, then policies.

When all that is in place…we can take the next step! Stay tuned!

About Author

CEO and partner of and the uptime ITechnologies, which I founded in 1994 and has since played a significant role in the development of the IT-environment. pipeliner is the most innovative sales CRM management solution on the market. Pipeliner was designed by sales professionals for sales professionals and helps close the gap between the requirements of C-level executives for transparency and the day-to-day operational needs of field and inside sales. I am also the founder and Initiator of the independent economic platform GO-AHEAD!, which orientates itself on the principles of a free marketplace in terms of liberal and social responsibility. Connecting people, the trust of business leadership in terms of values such as freedom, self-responsibility, and entrepreneurial spirit, and strengthening their awareness in order to create a dynamic boost within the economy triggered through spontaneity, all stand for the initial ideas surrounding GO-AHEAD! I studied in Los Angeles and Vienna and received my Masters's Degree in 1994. I am married and have 3 children My Specialties are in: Sales Management, Sales CRM Software, CRM Cloud Solutions, SAAS, Business Strategy, Software Development, "Pipeline Management", Social responsibility, outbound sales, b2b sales, inside sales, sales strategy, lead generation, sales process, entrepreneurship, coaching, mentoring, speaker, opportunity management, lead management, Austrian School of Economics

Author's Publications on Amazon

This is a practical manual covering the vital subject of Sales Management. I firmly believe that sales are the most important profession for dealing with today’s turbulent world and Econo my, for salespeople create wealth and produce peace. But salespeople need a competent, stable leader—and…
Buy on Amazon
Inside this eBook, you’ll discover a series of chapters dedicated to some of the most important areas facing sales today. From the sales process definition to measurement, lead generation, and proven sales techniques, this comprehensive eBook will provide you with the information you need to…
Buy on Amazon
A common term in sales today is EQ, which stands for “emotional I.Q.” It means the skill a salesperson has in reading emotions and utilizing them in sales. It means empathy and a number of other abilities. The short version is, it’s an I.Q. when…
Buy on Amazon
People are smart to question the future of automation, for it has become part of everything we do. With the quantity of applications and technology around us, we yet still crave more. We become convinced of its power when our package is delivered from Amazon…
Buy on Amazon
Sales management isn’t a simple subject by any means. But at the same time, it does have some basic and somewhat simple fundamentals—and that is what we are bringing to you with this book. First come pain points of sales management, and how to overcome…
Buy on Amazon
Today the Internet has transformed a seller's market into a buyer's market and author Nikolaus Kimla states that the role of sales has never been more crucial. It is now time to give salespeople the role they factually can play: entrepreneurs within the enterprise. They…
Buy on Amazon
This is our public declaration of the intentions behind Pipeliner, and our objectives and motives for the product and for our company. Behind the development of that CRM application and, in fact, behind everything we do, we have a real cause. The story begins with…
Buy on Amazon
For the future, there must be a perfect balance of humans and technology. You have to have the perfect technology, andthen the perfect human being in application, performance and presentation. Today and into the future, it’s a 50-50 balance. In the past it was perhaps…
Buy on Amazon
The salespreneur is based on the concept of the entrepreneur. Before we can explain the salespreneur, you have to have some understanding of the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur plays a crucial role in any economic system. The entrepreneur seeks out information that can be utilized for…
Buy on Amazon
A seasoned captain would never leave port without a competent navigator. In a similar way, a sales manager might be a total ace at "commanding the ship" – at inspiring and coaching sales reps, pointing out and getting agreement on making quotas, and keeping everyone's…
Buy on Amazon
Comments (9)


Faith Davies commented...

Must read article


Adrian Said commented...

Very useful article. People must read.


IDC Entertainment commented...

Awesome piece


Lovely flowers commented...

“sales enablement begins well before people. First, there are processes, then automation, then integration of automation, then policies” very nice read, I love how the author was about the drive his points while citing real-time examples


Acha Asaha commented...

So sales enablement begins well before people. First, there are processes, then automation, then integration of automation, then policies. And this is all achievable with Pipeliner CRM. It was designed with all of these in mind.


Fadel Assaf commented...

I like the policy part which integrate the idea of the article


Empress Obazee commented...

This a very Insightful article. Business owners and Organisations must read this.


Hamidou Ahmed commented...

a sale can not be activated until after its process developed upstream and downstream of the sales manager. Because it is the pole of implementation of the product. a sale is perfect and attractive only by the good progress of the action in activation


Kingsley Addae-Asigbee commented...

As dynamic as we are created, informs us that things needs not be statics. In evolving environment and business, dynamic systems have to be enabled and backed with policy to be able to align with people. Indeed, sales enablement begins before people. processes, automation, integration of automation, policies before people.
An awesome and a must read piece by the Author.

Sales Process Automation
This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to cookies being used. For information on cookies and how you can disable them, visit our privacy and cookie policy.