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Product Management: Product Enablement

What is Product Enablement?

Product enablement helps employees at large companies gain relevant product knowledge.

The term takes its name from sales enablement, the process of providing the sales team the resources they need to sell more effectively. Product enablement applies this concept to the entire company. The team creates learning programs specific to each department, intending to improve that department’s effectiveness.

A product enablement team develops and executes programs that provide relevant product knowledge to employees across the company.

The team, for example, might create a training program and resources specific to the customer support team. It might also create separate resources for the company’s pre-sales team, sales engineers, or other sales-support professionals.

At its core, it’s about communication. The team articulates appropriate product information to the right people in the organization, to improve employee productivity and to ensure cross-functional teams are in sync.

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In its role of helping to make sure the various groups in a cross-functional product team are in sync, product enablement functions in a similar way to the product ops team.

Common Responsibilities

Product enablement is a new discipline. The role can mean different things from organization to organization. However, here are a few examples of typical responsibilities.

  • Create and run a series of department-specific employee training programs.
  • Work with the product team to development department-specific educational resources.
  • Provide the product team learnings, and product feedback gleaned from educating various departments.

How is it Different From Product Marketing?

Product marketing is not synonymous with product enablement. One responsibility of product marketing teams is to translate product information into comprehensible resources to help the sales department. That is similarly called sales enablement. Sales enablement is one of many responsibilities within product marketing.

Comparatively, product enablement is a standalone role. For instance, product marketing creates content for sales (sales enablement) and customers (marketing collateral). Product enablement, by contrast, develops internal-facing content and resources for departments across the company: pre-sales, customer support, sales, marketing.

Product marketing is part of the marketing team in some companies and part of product management in others. Alternatively, product enablement can be a part of a broader learning enablement department.

Product marketing focuses on product message creation for an external audience, whereas product enablement focuses on internal education.