Discovering the Best Sales Enablement Tools and Software

January 13, 2020

If your business hasn’t adopted a Sales enablement strategy yet — what are you waiting for? The main benefit of Sales enablement (i.e. ensuring that Sales reps are continuously and sufficiently enabled with content and coaching) is that it optimizes Sales and Marketing performance. When a Sales enablement program is implemented correctly, Sales professionals don’t have to spend hours prospecting, the Sales cycle becomes more efficient, and your internal teams are working in lock-step to drive results and wins.

That alignment can help create better Sales enablement assets, like buyer personas, client presentations, and onboarding training courses that help drive Sales productivity and performance.

The bottom line is that not only do you need the best assets, but also Sales enablement tools and software to deploy those materials. Such solutions are indispensable to carrying out the primary objectives of an enablement strategy: namely, ensuring reps have immediate access to marketing collateral or personalized coaching modules. Without the right Sales enablement platform, you and your teams won’t be able to fully benefit from all the advantages that Sales enablement can generate. 

Here’s a guide to identifying the best Sales enablement assets and finding the right Sales enablement technology.

Breaking Down the Concept of Sales Enablement

Before going any further, let’s examine the definition of Sales enablement and its practical application. At its root, Sales enablement is the strategic process by which organizations prepare Sales professionals with the right tools, content and information to sell successfully. The focus is on empowering reps to deliver an engaging, valuable experience to buyers. 

How is this achieved? Ideally by freeing up time and schedules so that a Sales rep can focus on meaningful tasks — like personalizing a presentation deck to foster a deeper connection with a prospective customer. Sales enablement programs target time-consuming activities like prospecting and searching for updated marketing materials. Automating and digitizing these processes can generate efficiency and effectiveness.

Why are Sales Enablement Assets Important?

If a Sales enablement strategy is the vehicle to improved performance, then Sales enablement assets are the tires that will carry you to success. These materials — whether Sales content, CRM data, or a case study — are the tangible assets that reps will lean on to educate top-of-the-funnel customers, engage buyers close to a decision, and nurture existing client relationships, among other core job duties. They can also have utility on the back-end of operations, as one-on-one coaching sessions and training modules can also be considered Sales enablement assets, especially in onboarding and training.

The importance of these assets boils down to the fact that they are crucial to moving the Sales cycle forward. As such, marketing, CRM, and Sales assets are fundamental to a Sales enablement program. More to the point, access to these assets is of the utmost importance. When a Sales rep has to comb through emails or files for a piece of collateral, time and effort are wasted. It may turn out that the document the rep is looking for was never sent in the first place, which then kicks into gear a whole sequence of back and forth that wastes further time and effort.

But imagine if the rep never had to embark on the unproductive journey at all; that with a few clicks they could access that Sales enablement asset and every other piece of collateral within a single, unified digital ecosystem. These time savings are at the thrust of the Sales enablement pitch, driving increased Sales productivity, a more personalized experience, and improved performance across every stage of the Sales enablement process and client relationship. This in turn leads to Sales and Marketing alignment, who can more closely collaborate on developing Sales content and other assets (e.g. personas, buyer guides, white papers) to deploy in the Sales process. 

On the other side of the enablement coin is coaching and training. Assets in these domains play a big role in equipping Sales professionals with the skills, insight, and expertise to seize opportunities and solve challenges. And similar to the above, enablement software is crucial in providing reps and Sales enablement managers an interactive and shared learning environment. Assets like coaching on particular meeting industry pain points or Sales onboarding training can pay dividends down the road.

What are the Best Sales Enablement Assets?

All this said, what are some of the top-performing Sales enablement assets? In general:

  • Blog posts: A company blog can become a steady supply for robust Sales content to send to leads. Blogs — and content marketing overall — can be product marketing-focused, thought leadership, or testimonial in nature, allowing it to fit all different kinds of needs. Also, blogs can be shared in diverse ways, whether through email, professional social networking, or even in a text.
  • Buyer profiles: When Sales and Marketing work in a collaborative environment, the types Sales enablement tools create, they can more closely build buyer personas. These assets help Sales reps more effectively identify and sell to customer pains or needs. 
  • Gamified training: Gamification is a popular trend in workforce training. The theory is that employees are more engaged by achievements, missions, and other elements of video games; thus their comprehension and learning retention improve. Gamified Sales training assets may have some value, especially with younger generations.
  • Personalized client presentations: Personalization is less of a nice-to-have today, as it increasingly becomes the standard for customer experiences. Sales or Marketing may not have the time to pull CRM and personalize decks when pulled in different directions by menial tasks. However, the right Sales enablement software can make the iteration process much quicker and easier.
  • Sales script: While there’s always room for improvisation in real life, having a prepared script helps structure the Sales process to your favor. Sales enablement managers can coach new hires through scripts, solicited feedback from reps, and consultations with Marketing leaders on what adjustments might be needed given real-world performance. Then, with Sales enablement software, they can seamlessly push those updated scripts live to all stakeholders, as well as accompanying training modules if needed.
  • Competitor research: You’re likely not the only Sales organization in the market, and your reps will need to be informed on what your competitors do best, and more importantly what they don’t do so well. Battlecards are one subtype of this asset: flash cards or primer sheets with competitor profile characteristics and other Marketing intelligence that can help reps communicate their value proposition.

Finding the Right Sales Enablement Platform

To successfully carry out Sales enablement, organizations need not only assets but also the technical means for deploying them in the Sales process. An arsenal of optimized, valuable Sales enablement assets may be rendered ineffective by disparate storage practices, poor interdepartmental collaboration, or an untrained workforce.

The best Sales enablement solutions can hurdle these obstacles by giving businesses a digital system for executing on a Sales enablement vision. When looking for such a platform, begin by asking questions like:

  • Does it support both Sales content and coaching enablement?
  • Can it integrate with my CRM and other existing solutions?
  • Are the controls and navigation simple and intuitive?

Talk to Showpad about Sales Enablement Technology

Realizing the value of a Sales enablement strategy entails more than just lip service to provide reps with the resources they need to sell. True Sales enablement requires investment and commitment; it requires a total cultural embrace and tight, organizational planning. Most of all, to work, your strategy requires the best Sales enablement assets that power performance, as well as the digital tools for supporting alignment.

An all-in-one enablement platform — like the type Showpad offers — can instantly improve Sales productivity, inspire marketing collaboration, and drive positive outcomes. With a dependable solution like Showpad, businesses can more effectively deploy Sales enablement assets and unite teams in a shared environment. The advantages of alignment and optimized content and coaching are apparent, and Sales enablement software can help you unlock these opportunities.

Want to learn more about the best Sales enablement technology? Contact Showpad today.

How to Build a Sales Enablement Strategy: First Steps

How to Build a Sales Enablement Strategy: First Steps

Sales enablement is the path to sales effectiveness. By focusing on content usage later in the sales cycle, sales and marketing teams can continually improve the content, messaging and methods businesses need to convert and close deals.

Download the eBook to find out how a focus on enablement, not just sales productivity, can deliver:

  • More accurate internal sales forecasts
  • Shortened sales cycles
  • Insight into content ROI