What Is Product Enablement? (Plus Benefits and 5 Related Jobs)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 14, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Companies that sell products often use a wide variety of marketing tools to educate and influence customers. Product enablement provides a similar approach but focuses on educating employees about specific products instead so they can be successful in their roles. If you work in product development, sales or marketing, then you might benefit from learning about product enablement. In this article, we explain what product enablement is, discuss why it's beneficial, explore the four P's of product enablement and list five jobs that often use this technique.

Related: 13 Best Practices for Introducing New Products to Your Audience

What is product enablement?

Product enablement is a process that helps large companies educate their employees about the products they produce. While sales enablement focuses on providing a company's sales teams with the information and resources they need to sell products successfully, product enablement applies this strategy to every department within an organization. In order to implement a product enablement plan, an organization may develop a team that creates customized learning programs for employees who work in various business units.

This team is responsible for leading educational programs that improve each employee's product knowledge and improve their effectiveness in the workplace. For example, a product enablement team may provide a customized training program for their organization's customer support team to help them answer customer questions effectively. The product enablement team may also create different training programs for research and development engineers, sales team members and marketers.

Related: What Is Sales Enablement? (Plus Benefits)

Benefits of product enablement

One of the main reasons organizations implement product enablement training programs is to improve communication between departments. Ensuring each employee has an in-depth understanding of the products an organization develops also encourages collaboration. Here are a few other ways product enablement may benefit your organization:

  • Increasing productivity and employee engagement

  • Creating cohesive branding and marketing efforts

  • Increasing sales and revenue

  • Improving customer satisfaction

Related: How To Launch a Product Marketing Campaign

The 4 P's of product enablement

Implementing a product enablement plan successfully requires your team to create resource materials and documents that focus on several key areas. Learning about the four P's of product enablement can guide you through this process. Here's an overview to help you get started:

1. Positioning

To position a product successfully, each department in your organization needs to understand how the customers or prospects they interact with can benefit from using it. Some of the questions your employees may have that you can help answer through product positioning include:

  • What product or value am I selling?

  • How am I creating value or addressing customer needs with this product?

  • Why do our customers need this product?

  • What opportunities are there to increase revenue by providing more value?

You can use these questions to develop documents and resources that help different members of your team learn how to talk about the products your organization sells. Tailor these positioning documents to each department to help them connect with prospective customers. For example, while there might be specific taglines or key phrases your marketing team uses in advertisements, you might provide casual conversation topics to your sales team to make their interactions with customers feel more natural.

Read more: What Is Product Positioning? Types and Examples

2. Pitch

When creating resource documents and education materials about how to pitch a product, focus on the benefits it provides instead of its features. This can help employees understand how a specific product can help solve common challenges and why customers may want to use it. Consider including case studies and customer testimonials in this part of your product enablement plan to make your products memorable and relatable. The pitch resources you develop may vary for different departments and members of your team.

For example, you might record a series of videos for your sales team to show them how to pitch a product successfully. Conversely, you might present customer reviews and feedback to your research and development team so they understand what specific challenges the products they create need to help solve.

Read more: How To Improve Your Sales Pitch With Examples

3. Play

During the play portion of your product enablement program, provide opportunities for employees to gain hands-on experience using the products your organization sells. You might host product demos or encourage employees to take products home so they can use them in their everyday lives. This is an excellent way to introduce new employees to your products, familiarize them with advanced features and help them understand the customer value. It can also improve the performance of each department in your organization.

For example, allowing your employees to play with products can help your marketing team uncover new benefits to promote, encourage your research and development team to improve their design and make it easier for your sales team to connect with customers by sharing their own experiences.

4. Program

In product enablement, the program provides a guide to help your team identify which products or services customers can benefit from and who they should contact. To create a successful program, consider what needs different customers may have. Then identify how your organization can meet them. For some customers, simply having a sales representative recommend a specific product may be helpful. For others, you may need to identify which department can help them overcome a challenge they have with an existing product.

Creating a program that outlines the best actions employees can take when working with different customers can help you improve your customer service, increase productivity and save time.

Product enablement vs. product marketing

While product enablement and product marketing can both increase sales, there are some key differences between these two techniques that are important to understand. Here are some of the biggest differences between product enablement and product marketing:

  • Product marketing focuses on developing resources to support the sales team, whereas product enablement focuses on creating resources to support the entire company.

  • While product marketing involves creating promotional materials for external audiences, product enablement involves developing resources for internal team members.

  • Marketing teams typically develop product marketing materials, but a broader group of company leaders may collaborate with each other to develop product enablement programs.

  • Product marketing creates persuasive messages for potential customers, whereas product enablement creates educational materials for employees.

Read more: What Is Product Marketing? Definition, Tasks and Phases

5 jobs that use product enablement

There are numerous jobs that involve developing, marketing and selling products. Here are five professionals who can benefit from product enablement in their roles. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:

1. Customer service representative

National average salary: $50,129 per year

Primary duties: A customer service representative answers customer questions and helps them troubleshoot challenges they have with specific products. Having an excellent understanding of how these products work can help customer service representatives respond to inquiries efficiently. Customer service representatives may also help process orders and returns, document customer interactions and educate customers about product upgrades or new features.

Read more: Learn About Being a Customer Service Representative

2. Marketing specialist

National average salary: $57,725 per year

Primary duties: Marketing specialists create advertising campaigns for products. They may use product enablement resources to identify unique opportunities to highlight different product benefits in their marketing materials. Having an excellent understanding of the products an organization offers can also help marketing specialists maintain consistent branding across all advertising mediums. Marketing specialists often create ads for social media channels, digital platforms, radio and television stations, billboards and print media.

Read more: Learn About Being a Marketing Specialist

3. Sales representative

National average salary: $65,595 per year

Primary duties: Sales representatives are responsible for convincing prospective customers to purchase products or services. They use their in-depth knowledge of specific products to highlight key features and benefits that appeal to different people. Sales representatives also negotiate sales contracts, educate consumers and process payments. They often have specific daily, weekly and monthly sales goals that they strive to meet to increase revenue.

Read more: Learn About Being a Sales Representative

4. Research and development engineer

National average salary: $80,402 per year

Primary duties: A research and development engineer designs new products to help consumers overcome challenges. They also develop prototypes, perform tests and improve existing product designs. Research and development engineers need to be familiar with the products their organization currently produces and how consumers use them to identify new opportunities to increase value. They also conduct market research, examine products from competitors and oversee the production process.

5. Product manager

National average salary: $97,193 per year

Primary duties: Product managers oversee the entire product development process, beginning with the initial idea and ending with the final product execution. These professionals have an advanced knowledge of the products their company produces in the past and sells today. Product managers may supervise the sales team, oversee marketing campaigns and delegate tasks to the research and development team. They also analyze costs and expenditures, generate progress updates, maintain budgets and collaborate with the executive team to expand the organization's product portfolio.

Read more: Learn About Being a Product Manager

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