Understanding Sales Enablement in Complex B2B Companies: Uncovering Similarities and Differences in a Cross-functional and Multi-level Case Study

Fabian Lauzi*, Jörg Westphal, Deva Rangarajan, Tobias Schäfers, Maria C. Parra-Merono, Maria D. De-Juan-Vigaray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


As the sales function continuous to evolve, organizations are increasingly investing in sales enablement, which entails aligning resources across different organizational functions and hierarchical levels to support salespeople in their jobs. Extant literature on sales enablement has been either conceptual or based on general empirical assessments. For a more nuanced understanding, we examine how sales enablement is defined and deployed in a single firm. We report the findings from a single company case study that involved 25 in-depth interviews with cross-functional respondents from sales enablement, marketing, sales operations, sales professionals, and sales managers. Our study shows that the impact of sales enablement on the organization's success is perceived as crucial; however, all stakeholders have different understandings about sales enablement. Findings indicate that different organizational hierarchy levels and functions exhibit substantially different perspectives on and understandings of sales enablement. This ambiguity may have an impact on the effective deployment of sales enablement initiatives within a firm and could result in suboptimal outcomes. We conclude with ideas for future research and provide managerial implications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Pages (from-to)47-64
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 22. November 2022


  • Sales enablement
  • Cross-functional alignment
  • B2B organizations
  • Sales operations

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