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Thought Leadership & Enablement
January 26, 2023

The Customer Engagement to Customer Enablement Pipeline

Learn how to move customers down the pipeline from engagement to enablement with our comprehensive guide.

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

Your sales team is probably very much engaged in the business of customer engagement. Anything that grabs a customer's attention and then uses this opportunity to focus that customer's mind on the benefits of the product in hand can be thought of as customer engagement. 

So far, so obvious. However, what may not be so clear is the next step. 

Where do you take a customer who's engaged with your product? You take them down the sales pipeline to customer enablement, that's where. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, don't panic. Just because you don't know it, that doesn't mean that you and your customer service team don't already practice it. 

Let's start by demystifying the term, before going on to how you can go about deploying some customer enablement techniques. Before you know it, you'll have happy customers beyond count. 

Free to use image sourced from Pixabay

What is Customer Enablement?

Suppose you sell bicycles. Being a shop that sells direct to customers, rather than using the latest in omnichannel B2B marketing, you use low-key means of promotion, like word-of-mouth.

One day, this promotion technique brings in a customer who's new to, well, life, apparently. They seem taken with one of your top models, so you tell them all about its performance, comfort, and warranty: the works. Their enchantment with the bicycle grows and grows—you've got customer engagement in spades. They buy it and stick it in the trunk of their car. 

Two days later, you get a call. From your new customer. In hospital. Their enthusiasm for the shiny, sleek bicycle was not matched by their ability to ride, as their now broken leg discovered, to its cost. They tell you that they think they won't be buying any more products from you, thank you very much. 

So much for your campaign to get more loyal customers. 

No, it's not your fault that they couldn't ride the thing. But it might be regarded as your fault that you didn't follow up with your engagement techniques by giving the customer what they needed in order to enjoy their new purchase to its full potential. 

You could have ascertained their proficiency level and suggested lessons. You could have given them information regarding local (all-ability) cycling clubs. You could have recommended stabilizers. 

In short, you could have equipped the customer with the essential tools to get the most out of the product. 

This is what customer enablement is all about. Your customer service team may be performing elements of this task already by giving the customer after-sales care. This kind of customer success story is not just about making the customer happy for their sake. Customer service is integral to a successful business, as this graph illustrates. 

Image sourced from Salesforce

So, you need to get customer service right to boost your company's chances of success. And to do it right, you need to invest in customer enablement. Let's see what this means in practice.

Getting Customers Down That Pipeline

So, what you need is to move customers down the pipeline from engagement to enablement. 

To take the example of a company trying to sell a VoIP phone system for business use, it will start by emphasizing the advantages of that cloud telephone package via whatever exposure route it has available.

This parading of a product's plus points is what sales teams have been doing ever since a bunch of extravagant tomb makers managed to convince Pharaoh that this is what he needed to give himself a stab at eternal life. 

After this first example of a pyramid sales scheme, products galore have grabbed the attention of potential buyers courtesy of a sales team's ability to engage the customer, whether with engagement software or otherwise. 

Once the phone system purchase is made, the customer needs to be made fully conversant with the product’s potential. So, the customer is made aware of its features. But more than this, the customer needs to be made aware that the company will continue to be there for them as they go through their customer journeys.

How do you go about doing this? Here's how.

Reactive Methods of Ensuring Customer Enablement

Help centers

A good starting point for customer enablement is the help center. Also known as knowledge bases, help centers act as repositories of information. 

Anything the customer needs to know about that product they've purchased can be found, hopefully easily, via the help center. Customer education results, and an enhanced relationship with the product—and thereby the business—develops. 

Support centers

Again, very traditional. The customer has a problem. The customer gets in touch with staff who can help. You can set up an online scheduling system so that customers can easily book appointments to discuss issues. 

A great many support centers are now omnichannel because customer expectations are to be able to have issues resolved via a plethora of routes, depending on their personal preferences. While the telephone is still the most popular method, a company will ignore other popular options, such as live chat, to its detriment. 

preferred channel to connect to customer care

Image sourced from GoodFirms

A support center is often the route by which customer feedback is delivered to the business. How that company deals with the feedback, whether positive or negative, will have a key bearing on how that customer feels about their level of enablement. So, don't ignore it.

Support centers and knowledge bases are essential, but they might be described as reactive resources. They are only activated once the customer encounters difficulty and reaches out for a solution. Let's look at some more proactive solutions. 

Proactive Methods of Ensuring Customer Enablement


Some element of training is very much de rigueur if the product that's being sold has some complexity to it. For instance, going back to that phone system provider, let's say that it has sold a call center a cloud phone package. Now that it's provided a call center with VoIP, does the company simply wash its hands of the deal, happy that they've shifted a unit?

No, is the answer. A cloud phone system bestows tremendous advantages, but a customer who's new to the tech might be a little thrown at first. Consequently, some training in how to get started and get the most out of the new system is needed to deliver a positive customer experience.

This training is usually done via video, remotely accessed from the customer's place of work. This is the most convenient and effective method, hence a great customer enablement strategy. 

It's well worth seeing about adding certification to your training. People do like a badge, so look into what you can have users qualify for upon completion. Even just a VoIP Victorious certificate will be appreciated by somebody. 

In-app guidance

This can be in the form of tips and pointers that pop up when a certain point is reached, or user behavior is displayed. As customer enablement efforts go, this is a terrific way to achieve success because it's delivered right where it's needed (i.e., the user interface) at exactly the right time. 

It's this kind of instant application or just-in-time learning that will encourage optimal performance. We've all been in training sessions when it's difficult clearly to envisage the practical use we might put the instructions to. Using in-app guidance, however, is the opposite of that kind of dry academic extraction, so it represents a great approach to customer enablement.  

Advocacy and Communities

One of the key aids when trying to propel customers down the pipeline is the existence of good reviews. How important are they? Very.

Image sourced from TrustPilot

So, the more you can engage advocates to set about spreading the word on just how amazing your product is, the better. And nurture those advocates, so they carry on doing it for you. 

Community forums are another huge help. When a customer accesses a community forum, they may not be doing it simply because they have encountered a problem that they need sorting out. It might be that they just love the product and want to find out as much about it as possible.

Once they've joined up with like-minded enthusiasts, the customer might then be made aware of developments and upgrades that the community is currently discussing. This can keep the customer's interest levels high and can result in a higher likelihood of repeat custom. That, in a nutshell, is customer loyalty.

So do what you can to encourage forums. Give them exclusives and sneak previews. Make them feel special. 

Customer success management

This is the means by which your customer teams can monitor the level of customer engagement and then enablement. 

Based on customer activity in terms of response rates and receptiveness to expansion opportunities, your team can identify healthy and at-risk customer accounts. They can then target the latter with outreach in order to try to enhance the business-customer relationship. 

One of the major determinants of customers leaving businesses is the feeling that they are unappreciated.

Image sourced from TrueList

Customer success management addresses this by keeping existing customers very much in focus, even as you strive for new sales with fresh prospects. Businesses, more than ever, now need to orient themselves toward customers, old and new. Customer success management is, essentially, the embodiment of the customer orientation definition

Move On Down the Pipeline

As any plumber will tell you, the key to a healthy pipe is to keep things moving. You can have all the engagement in the world combined with the highest conversion rates in the business, but if your customers are stuck at that stage, you'll have lots of initially interested people who miss out on true customer satisfaction because you've abandoned them.

Stay involved and show how much you value your customers by giving them the tools to enjoy your product to the limit. That way, your customers will carry on loving you and, crucially, will tell others just how lovable you are. 


Jenna Bunnell - Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Dialpad

Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives using Dialpad's virtual business phone systems. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Jenna has also written for other domains such as FreshySites and BlockSurvey. Check out her LinkedIn profile.

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

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