The 80/20 Rule of Enabling Sales With Content

80-20 rule

The 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto’s Principle) states that, for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. To give an example, research in 2015 showed that consumers spend over 80% of their smartphone time in only 5 apps. Similar arguments have been made about MS Office Suite where a majority of the MS Office users only use 20% of the available features.

So, what does this 80/20 rule have to do anything with Sales Enablement? We say everything. We see that 20% of your digital assets can help enable your sales teams’ 80% of the conversations. What does that tell you?

You can start small and still have a significant impact on enablement. 

The typical reason we hear from companies for not investing in any sales enablement process is – “We don’t have enough content.” The reality is that you don’t need a whole lot of content to drive enablement. To start, you need to help sales answer the following questions:

  • Who are we (the company)?  – Corporate Overview
  • What is our offering? – Data Sheets, Solution Overview, White Papers, Videos
  • How does the offering help the buyer? – Introductory Sales Deck, Detailed Sales Deck, White Papers, Case Studies
  • Why we are a better choice than others in the market? Competitive Analysis, Case Studies
  • What are the terms and conditions of the offering? Pricing, Support Policy, T&Cs


Some may argue that we are oversimplifying the process. But the truth of the matter is that the digital assets to support these questions can help with the majority of your sales conversations. Ask your sales team in your next QBR? Could sales benefit with more assets? Absolutely yes. But the absence of those assets should not be a deterrence to kick-off enablement. We have found the following principles have worked for our customers and us:

  • Focus on quality over quantity.
  • It is an iterative process. But it is a process. There needs a method to the madness.
  • Focus on content pull before you focus on push. Give your sales colleague an opportunity to find assets before you start targeting them with relevant assets.
  • Don’t wait for content creation to define your process. Organize assets as they get created. You will never have the time in the day to sit down and organize your assets.


It is natural to be overwhelmed with content. We, at Enablix, realized this, when our small team started generating content to help our sales and customer success efforts. It was evident to us that if we, with a relatively smaller operation, were losing time and productivity in staying on message, the companies out there were in a far worse situation. The 80/20 rule can help us score small, tangible victories in enabling our customer-facing teams. And it allows you to lay the necessary foundation that you can iteratively build upon as your content grows. 

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