Sales Ops and Sales Enablement, How to Bring Them Together

Hi Joe,

My Sales Ops team has been growing rapidly over the past year or so. With that growth, we’ve also added a Sales Enablement team. But the problem is, I feel like our two teams just aren’t on the same page lately. There seems to be a lot of confusion about which team is responsible for what and things aren’t getting done.

How can I turn this around and make sure everyone is collaborating smoothly again?


Team-Player Taylor



Hi Taylor,

I’m happy to hear about your company’s recent growth! It’s always exciting when things are looking up and I want to congratulate you and your team on this success.

But with growth comes, well, growing pains. What works for smaller teams won’t necessarily work as you scale up your organization. Things can break along the way. So how do we prevent this from happening? Here are a few key points that will help.

Organizational Structure

As your teams grow, it’s important that at all stages of expansion (whether you have a sales team of 3, 30, or 300), there is a clearly defined vertical hierarchy or chain of command.

Of course, it is essential for teams to collaborate cohesively and support each other, as you know. But if your company lacks this vertical structure and the hierarchy is “flatter”, there will often be problems where team members don’t know whose job it is to do a certain task.

I’d also recommend the use of stakeholder maps to help all team members gain a clearer understanding of who is depending on them and what they’re accountable for. Stakeholder maps are not only very practical for refining and communicating the responsibilities of everyone involved in each project, but they’re also a great tool for guiding new hires on who can offer them support, who to approach with queries, and who can approve decisions to keep projects moving forward. 


Clearly Define Roles & Responsibilities

There can be a lot of confusion in a company – especially a growing one like yours – between Sales Ops and Sales Enablement. Many members may not fully understand the difference: Where does Sales Ops end and where does Sales Enablement begin?

This is common in my experience so don’t worry, you’re not alone. The two teams are closely related, but they differ in important ways. I would start by laying out a clear definition of the roles, responsibilities, and parameters of the Sales Enablement team in comparison to Sales Ops. If everyone can agree on this, you’re already halfway there!

One way I like to communicate this is to look at Sales Enablement as the “execution arm” of Sales Ops.


Here’s a quick example to illustrate what I mean by this:

Let’s say Sales Enablement realizes many leads become closed lost during the middle of the funnel. The buyer had the initial introduction and pitch, but then the proposal is sent a few days later and things fall through. Sales Ops receives this information and takes a closer look at the operational level – where they discover their sales reps don’t have enough content (case studies, whitepapers, etc.) to send proposals sooner.

This is where Sales Enablement comes back in and goes about producing that needed content (which could mean acquiring collateral from marketing, content creation, etc.). They are effectively enabling the execution of Sales Ops by making sure the buyer experience is everything that it can be – hence the “execution arm”.


Calibrate Expectations

Once everyone in Sales Ops and Sales Enablement is on the same page about their roles and responsibilities, it is crucial to set up continuous points of communication between the two teams to calibrate expectations.

At all times: Sales Ops must know what data they’re expected to report to Sales Enablement, and Sales Enablement must know the type of support they’re expected to provide so Sales Ops can execute at their highest potential.

At first, it might take some time for members to fit into their new teams, and that’s okay. With clear roles, responsibilities, and expectations defined through active communication, I’m confident that you and your teams will be more productive together than ever.


You’ve got this,

Joe Pulse


What Skills Should I Build as a MOPs Professional?

Hi Jo,

I recently started a career in marketing automation and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.

It feels like I’m expected to know so many different things and I’m not sure I can keep up.

I want to keep building my skill set and learning as much as I can, but I don’t know where to start. Should I prioritize soft skills or learn about as many automation tools as possible?

Can you help me?

Learning Laura

Hey Laura,

You’ve hit on a challenge that I think a lot of people face in marketing operations (MOPs).

The marketing technology space is always evolving. In fact, it feels like there’s a new platform or solution every week. For marketing ops professionals that are seen by the rest of their organization as the guardians of that technology (even if they’ve never worked with most of it before), there’s a lot of pressure to have an opinion about each and every tool. But that’s not really possible, is it?

At the same time, MOPs covers a large scope of functions including:

  • content creation
  • campaign production
  • reporting
  • marketing automation, and
  • CRM management.

Many companies are only just figuring out that they need multiple people to fill those different roles.

This means that marketing ops professionals tend to be expected to have a large breadth of knowledge and, as you said, that’s overwhelming.

So, how do you prioritize your learning and skill-building time so that it’s most effective for you and your organization? I’ve come up with a handful of suggestions below.


1. Build on what you already know

Let’s make one thing crystal clear: you do not have to be a specialist in every single automation tool.

That said, there’s also no rule saying you can’t be proficient in more than one of them. If you want to expand your technical knowledge, I’d suggest sticking close to what you’re already familiar with.

For example, if you’re managing Marketo for your company and you’ve been asked to bring on a cool new tool that integrates with the system, that could be a good candidate for you. If you’re interested, see if there’s a way to dive deep into that new solution and get certified in it. Trust me, your leaders will be thrilled that someone wants to build knowledge in a technology the company is using.

Another thing to remember is that automation principles are the same across all tools. So, if that is the part of the tool that you love, then you can likely be an automation expert across multiple tools.


2. Lean on your community

One of the truly unique things about the marketing automation space is that there is a massive community of professionals willing to share their knowledge.

As the space keeps changing and growing, we all know that we don’t know everything. That makes us eager to help others when they come up against a challenge we may have faced before. I for one love getting messages from people in my network and helping them navigate issues on Marketo or in any other aspect of marketing operations.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Check in with other people using the same tools. And if you feel you don’t have the network yet, start building it with the help of communities like MO Pros.


3. Practice your soft skills

Your technical skills will be key for succeeding in marketing ops, but there are also some really important soft skills that you should be honing from the get-go.

Among the most important is the ability to translate what you’re being asked to do into technical steps, and communicate those steps back in a way that’s easy to understand.

Ultimately, you need to build common ground with your leaders and stakeholders so that there’s as little room for miscommunication as possible. My advice? A good diagram goes a long way.

Another important skill to practice is puzzle-solving.

So much of marketing automation is built on logic, and you’ll be responsible for finding the easiest, most effective, and most scalable solution to any problem that arises.

Part of that is about being curious and being open to exploring new ways of doing things—and the other part is tapping into your logical brain and uncovering the right patterns.

So, if you don’t have a puzzle book on your bedside table, maybe you should put that on the wishlist for your next birthday.

You’ve got this,
Jo Pulse