Sometimes it’s not a matter of “what” but a matter of “when.” Knowing the right time and situation to execute any good plan can end up meaning the difference between a success or failure for your business. Likewise, when deciding to employ sales enablement software to improve sales operations, it’s critical to understand when and how to use that software in order to maximize its effectiveness. As with the adoption of any great solution, sales enablement software should only be utilized once the iron’s hot and you’ve established how its tools are going to work in improving the way you do business.
“The ability to systematically deliver a personalized, one-on-one customer experience” — as the 2015 Summit on Customer Engagement keynote speaker Don Peppers defines sales enablement — has become increasingly important for professionals worldwide. According to the research group Aberdeen, businesses that invested in sales enablement tools saw a 51 percent improvement in lead conversion rates and a 54 percent increase in year-over-year meeting of sales quotas.
If you’re looking for a way to find similar results, read on to learn when you need sales enablement software to kick-start your sales team and compare our top picks.
In recent years, the consumer has become smarter than ever. Rather than waiting for a sales pitch, he or she can take to the web and instantly find a large pool of information on a company’s offerings , taking a once guaranteed advantage directly away from the sales professionals. In turn, a strong sales force must become better prepared to stay competitive. If a sales team is behind the curve and unable to provide relevant talking points to an increasingly informed client base, its key players might be interacting with redundant messaging and may ultimately become ill-equipped to lock down the deals they should otherwise be able to nail.
When your team finds itself continuously coming up a day late and a dollar short, sales enablement helps put the power back in the hands of your sales force by outfitting them with the right materials to engage with prospects, at the right time. Sales enablement streamlines and organizes workflows, which puts any customer-facing employee’s best foot forward and protects them from regurgitating yesterday’s sales spiel.
In this way, the best sales enablement solutions help to ensure that your salespeople can not only hold meaningful conversations with clients, but do so at any and all points of the buyer lifecycle. No matter when or where your team makes a pitch, a sales enablement solution will give your sales team the resources they need to execute the strongest sales strategies possible.
Sometimes your sales and marketing teams just aren’t quite on the same page. When left unrectified, these misalignments can prove detrimental to any business’s ability to reach customers in meaningful ways. If the brunt of your sales activity differs from your marketing material (the content your customers have probably already interacted with), it can create a feeling of disconnect with your audience. A confused and disengaged buyer is usually an unhappy buyer, and an unhappy buyer isn’t going to be pulling the trigger on your offerings — no matter how spectacular they may be.
Sales enablement software helps to bridge this divide by providing a strong foundation on which your marketing and sales teams can connect and collaborate. These solutions keep your salespeople constantly updated with your marketing department’s latest initiatives, and create avenues for communication, content sharing and support. With a deeper connection between the messages your marketing team is broadcasting and the voice your sales department follows through with, sales enablement software helps to solidify your business strategy from all corners of the company.
You’ve got to get your greenest recruits ready to sell quickly, and ensure those skills stay sharp as they grow alongside your company. New salespeople that can’t get a grip on the sales strategy and established team members who are left to rot on the vine are equally detrimental to your business.
Sales enablement software can become an indispensable asset for getting your newest hires up to speed and in control. A good sales enablement solution will include customizable training tools that can teach your team’s latest additions how to fit in with your sales strategy, and quickly begin generating revenue. Look for solutions that offer tools like on-demand video, as more engaging training materials will produce information that is easier to retain and more effective.
As your company and its marketing evolve, so too must your sales team. These platforms should include continuing education tools for even the most seasoned veterans, ensuring everyone is up to date and ready to sell. Sales enablement software can be more than a guide for the noobies; it’s a continually updated and utilized resource. The faster your team can learn how to sell, stay educated and keep their success going, the better it is for your bottom line.
Bloomfire is designed to make your sales content accessible from anywhere at any time. The solution’s features are accessible from any internet-capable device, and can be downloaded with fully equipped applications for iOS and Android. Collaboration is also available whether users are on the go or in the office. Your team can recommend and share content to other users with a touch, and connect via email and other networks. In addition, Bloomfire makes posting and sharing content from a variety of formats (including Google Drive, Dropbox and more) easy and intuitive. For users who need mobility, Bloomfire is an open and accessible option.
If you’re looking for flexibility, Qvidian boasts the ability to be used with “any sales process, any methodology or any content.” No matter the strategy, Qvidian promises a solution that will generate a 2.5 times increase in average deal size, result in 10 percent shorter sales cycles and make your company three to four times more likely to close a deal on average. When time is of the essence, Qvidian can have your sales enablement platform running in a matter of days, and can keep up with the growth of your company as it flourishes. This platform also includes sales analytics tools so that you can gain visibility into what is happening with your sellers and understand what’s working.
CallidusCloud offers a single, central repository for all of your team’s content and sensitive data, making it easy to find the right information and put it to use. With role-based access, managing rights and privileges to your collaboratively geared content is simple and effective. CallidusCloud also includes the ability to connect to any external system without leaving its portal environment tool so that you can easily import and export data to your location of choice. According to the company, customers of CallidusCloud have gained three to four hours a week of productivity per sales rep, eliminated more than 90 percent of unused selling collateral and increased overall average deal sizes.
When you’re ready to start comparing the best sales enablement solutions available, check out our Top Five Sales Enablement Software Report here!
[Image courtesy of OTA Photos]