Sales Enablement Defined: What is a Sales Enablement Tool?
Sales enablement has many moving parts, and while some may not even realize it, they are fulfilling the responsibilities of a sales enablement professional. We continue our sales enablement blog series to help clarify what sales enablement is and how businesses can effectively execute on their strategies. If you need a refresher, here’s everything you need to know about sales enablement.
Sales Management Association research discovered that organizations considered “laggards” in adopting sales technology saw their sales goal achievement drop 12 percent from year to year. Sales enablement tools are becoming more commonplace in modern organizations who want to empower reps and close deals faster, but with so many available it’s essential to understand what these tools do and what you should be looking for when selecting the right solution.
What is a Sales Enablement Tool?
A sales enablement tool is the technology that makes sales enablement actionable. While some organizations are leveraging multiple platforms to manage sales enablement, best-in-class sales enablement solutions bring all functions together in one place, automating processes and benefiting both sales and marketing in a number of ways.
Eighty percent of buyers don’t believe that the salespeople they deal with understand their business, according to a recent Harvard Business Review article called “How B2B Sellers Are Offering Personalization at Scale.” Sales enablement platforms provide sellers easy access to the training content they need to stay up-to-date on methodologies and company, industry, and specific customer information in order to have meaningful conversations with customers. Additionally, they allow marketing to easily create, distribute, and update customer-facing content that targets customers across the funnel to support reps’ pitches.
While there are many digital sales enablement tools out there, you want to select the solution that provides everything you need in one unified solution.
Selecting the Best Sales Enablement Tools
When vetting sales enablement solutions, you should look for the following features:
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is how your sales team functions every day; it is essentially a database with all the information needed to manage accounts in their pipeline and move customers further through the buying process. If you select a sales enablement solution without CRM integration, don’t be surprised when your reps aren’t using it.
Training is always important, no matter how experienced the salesperson. Internal processes, industries, and individual customers change, and a seller must stay abreast of those shifts in order to engage prospective buyers. Easy-to-digest training materials like videos and short quizzes let reps review information when it’s convenient for them. Built-in functionality to record practice pitches and watch them back is also invaluable for members of your sales team to evaluate their own performance and constantly improve.
Sales and marketing capabilities
A vital aspect of sales enablement is the rapport between sales and marketing teams, so look for a platform that gives both access. With the two teams working within the same tool, collaboration and communication is easy; marketing is getting the sales insight they need to develop impactful content, and sellers are getting that content back to leverage in their interactions with buyers.
You won’t know how well your sales enablement strategy is performing without some sort of analytics feature. You should have visibility into what content is being used, how it is being used and how often it is being used, as well as whether the content is effective in helping reps close deals. Knowing what works and what doesn’t allows you to iterate or get rid of certain pieces of content, and expand upon others.
If your sellers travel, mobile access is especially important, as reps need to be able to access content while on the road when they may not necessarily have access to their computer or wifi. Additionally, training can be done on their own time at their convenience, rather than wasting precious working hours sitting through lectures.