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ATD Blog

Digital Enablement Is the Key to Faster, Smarter, Empowered Sales Reps

Monday, September 27, 2021

We live in a world where productivity equals revenue, which means sales reps don’t have time to waste. Yet even among this digital age where everything is at our fingertips, many companies struggle to train sales reps on how to use their software tools and processes. As a result, employees are left frustrated, unengaged, unsuccessful, and eager to work elsewhere. In fact, even during a pandemic, people are leaving their jobs at record rates, with tenure hovering around 1.6 years and sales reps churning three times more than any other position.

So, what can the enablement team do?

For starters, take a closer look at how and where you introduce new information. Is it in a classroom setting? An email? Do you communicate change via videos or an intranet? Is your training content tailored toward the employee, or do you give SMB (small and medium-sized business) reps and enterprise teams the same resources?

Learning isn’t always linear, and it doesn’t end after a two-week onboarding program. For employees to retain what they’ve learned, ongoing reinforcement and access to information directly in the flow of work must be available. Asking teams to remember something they heard days or weeks prior simply isn’t effective. Employees forget as much as 50 percent of what they learned an hour before and up to 70 percent within 24 hours.

It’s Time to Take a Different Approach

Rather than focusing solely on achieving digital tool adoption or overwhelming reps to become customer-ready in record time, enablement teams need to shift their mindset from the all-in-one approach to one of digital enablement, which offers a more personalized and integrated learning experience.

Digital enablement marries traditional tool adoption with continuous enablement to accelerate proficiency and reinforce learning throughout an employee’s tenure. No two people have the same learning style, and digital enablement satisfies visual, auditory, and reading requirements by giving employees access to critical processes, content, and guides in the flow of work. Instead of teaching a rep how to use a tool, it empowers them to be successful long-term in their day-to-day role.


Digital Enablement in Action

When Whitney Sieck, senior director of enablement at, joined as the head of enablement, one of her first goals was to rebuild the enablement foundation. Her biggest areas for improvement focused on low sales tool adoption, a shrinking onboarding program, and the lack of cross-functional collaboration. Within these areas, she discovered that training information was often lost and needed to be reinforced to drive retention.

“Instead of rebuilding trust, interest, and engagement in the old, unused tools, I saw this as a chance to introduce something new and update our tech stack,” Sieck says.


As part of her enablement reformation, she implemented a digital enablement platform to accommodate the various learning styles and embed training content directly within the apps her reps were using. As a result, her team at was able to boost efficiency, decrease ramp time, and drive revenue faster with a personalized learning experience.

Learning Isn’t One-and-Done

Learning a new skill or tool isn’t a one-and-done experience. While your onboarding program might cover everything to start selling today, sales reps may not execute that information until weeks or months later.

Instead, employees need a unified experience that surfaces the right content at the right time. Imagine how easy it would be to learn a new Salesforce field change when working in the tool itself? Digital enablement offers a self-guided approach that complements your initial training sessions but doesn’t leave reps to fend for themselves.

In an environment where time is money and every minute counts, come join me Tuesday, October 12, at 8:45 a.m. during ATD SELL to learn what the best enablement teams are doing to fuel the growth of their employees.

About the Author

Melanie Fellay is cofounder and CEO at Spekit.

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