Today’s post is a guest contribution from Lauren Pope, Editorial Team Lead at G2.
We all want to make more money, and if you work in sales, it’s also a major part of your job description.
The digital age has transformed the way deals are made and accounts are won. Salespeople aren’t beholden to the daily grind of making phone calls. There are endless avenues to win new business and with that comes new technology to make your sales strategy smarter.
One of the most popular tools used by cutting-edge sales teams today are sales enablement tools. A sales enablement tool provides your sales team with a repository of sales playbooks and marketing collateral that empowers them at each step along the selling lifecycle. It also allows all of your teams across the organization to work together to help secure those big deals.
Not all sales enablement tools are created equal. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’re looking to make a switch to a new sales enablement tool, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before signing on the dotted line.
How to choose the right sales enablement tool
Choosing the right sales enablement tool is about finding the one that works best for your team and your sales process. What works for a scrappy start-up might not work for an enterprise organization. We’ve put together a list of seven things any good sales enablement tool should provide for you and your team.
1. Ease of use
The most important part of any software is whether or not it’s easy to use. That might seem like a no-brainer, but considering 50% of employees are using software they hate at work, it’s something that needs your attention.
One of the easiest ways to pinpoint which tools are easy to use is by reading online reviews of that software. Consulting review sites like G2 can open your eyes to what it’s really like to use these software solutions daily. You can easily bypass any marketing fluff and get to the truth of what real users think of the product.
2. Content management
One of the perks of a sales enablement tool is your ability to curate content for your sales team. It’s important to take note of how content management works for each software solution. How easy is it for your marketing team to upload deliverables to the system? Are files easily organized or is everything a bit of a mess?
Between all the case studies, whitepapers and demo decks, you’ll want a sales enablement tool that any sales rep can easily navigate. If the system is too complicated or reps can’t find the content they need, then you’re missing opportunities to win deals.
3. CRM integration
This one is non-negotiable! Any competitive sales team no doubt uses a CRM platform to monitor their customer relationships. You should only be investing in a sales enablement tool that plays nice with your current CRM system. It doesn’t make sense to do things any other way.
Imagine you’re trying to close a renewal and you’re digging through your content library trying to find the right data to seal the deal. How frustrating would it be to have to go back and forth between your CRM and sales enablement tool to pull the information you need? Before you purchase anything, make sure the tool you choose can work with your CRM system.
You know the old saying –”ABC: Always be closing.” That means whether you’re at your desk or waiting to board a flight at the airport, you need to be ready to complete a sale. So shouldn’t your sales enablement tool work the same way?
A mobile-friendly sales tool allows your reps to access critical information wherever they are. It doesn’t matter if they are at a client lunch or a conference, a mobile-friendly sales enablement tool will help get the job done, regardless of location.
One of the many things to consider when buying software is whether the tool you choose can scale with you. Do you plan on adding more sales reps this year? How many customer accounts do you manage? What might work for your team today could hinder you as you grow.
Scalability is also important in terms of contract management. Don’t lock yourself into a three-year deal for a software you’ll outgrow in a year. Do some research and figure out which solution can grow with your team as your sales strategy evolves.
6. Data protection
The cost of a data breach was about $3.92 million in 2019, and depending on your industry, it could cost you a lot more. The new digital frontier has changed the way we work but it’s also changed customers’ expectations of how their information is handled.
A good sales enablement tool will take that into consideration and offer data protection solutions for your team to use. These solutions can prevent sensitive customer and company information from being accessed in the case of a data breach or hack. Again, not all tools have the same level of data privacy, so do some digging to find the one that works for your needs or integrates with your backup solution.
How can you know when an account is really ready to close? What about tracking who touched an account along the sales process and what content they used? All of these things are made much easier with analytics. A good sales enablement tool will provide your team with in-platform sales dashboards and analysis to answer those burning questions and more.
It can also provide your team with insights they might not have spotted on their own. These connections and bits of data will allow your sales team to make smarter decisions, which in turn will lead to more sales and better overall efficiency.
ABC: Always be considering (your options)
While we consider these features absolute must-haves, the most important thing you can do is your own research. Talk to your sales reps about what they need from a tool – whether that’s a great user experience or integrations with email tracking tools. Listen to their pain points and use their experience to guide your purchasing journey. Happy sales!
Lauren Pope is an Editorial Team Lead at G2 with five years of content marketing experience. You can find her work featured on CNBC, Hubspot, Yahoo Finance, and on the G2 Learning Hub. In her free time, Lauren enjoys watching true crime shows and spending time in the Chicago karaoke scene.