Dec 5, 2022
In 2022, only 26% of sales reps reached 90% or more of their quota. That’s not a very successful win rate, considering new sales revenue streams are the bread and butter of an organization. So the question is, how can we empower our sales teams to successfully reach their sales quotas?
The simple answer: introduce sales enablement tools.
With sales enablement tools, you can train your sales reps to effectively target new customers, tackle difficult negotiations, close more deals, and increase your company’s bottom line.
After reading this article, you’ll be able to understand:
- The advantages that the right sales enablement tool can give your company
- The essential features to look out for in sales enablement tools — and why
- The top five sales enablement tools
- Our recommendations
Why are sales enablement tools important for your business?
The most powerful feature of sales enablement tools is their ability to centralize knowledge between the sales and marketing departments.
This has a butterfly effect that increases revenue, boosts quota attainment, and solidifies brand identity.
When sales and marketing departments have centralized access to content, insights, and approaches, it impacts sales revenue due to streamlined processes, provides winning strategies, and shapes sellers with winning behavior and skills.
With sales enablement tools, your business can:
- Align sales and marketing teams with clear goals, tasks, and knowledge sharing. This is important, as 50% of teams feel they need additional resources to properly execute enablement tasks.
- Learn winning attitudes and skills from top-performing sellers, and transform those behaviors into skills for other sellers to learn and replicate.
- Optimize material for better win rates with content insights.
- Accelerate the onboarding ramp process for new hires. In turn, this sets up new hires for success, with almost 79% of companies that have effective training meeting 100% of their sales quota.
- Keep sellers up to date on new strategies, product launches, and market approaches. In fact, 90% of sellers who hit more than 75% of their quota participate in sales training monthly.
- Keep track of KPIs and goals. Over 71% of companies that have clear sales KPIs reach 100% of their sales quotas.
The benefits that sales enablement tools bring to your team
Modern sales enablement solutions make all of your sales processes simpler, more measurable, and more actionable.
Centralize access to content
Sales enablement tools help reps know what content is available to them and how to use it in their sales interactions.
With half of all customer engagement coming from only 10% of content created, reps need to quickly find relevant sales materials to nurture leads, follow up with prospects, and convince important decision-makers of the value of your products.
But Forrester found that “not having the right content” is one of the biggest challenges for sales teams. Sellers reported that finding content and information is a significant productivity obstacle, affecting their daily work.
With a sales enablement tool, your enablement team can tag content to categorize it based on buyer persona, stage in the sales funnel, customer outcome, or the stakeholder to whom it’s most relevant. This includes:
- Case studies
- Sales playbooks
- Competitor comparisons
- Microlearning modules
- Training call recordings
Then your reps can search for key content terms and easily find relevant sales enablement content. This system equips sellers with the knowledge and content they need to progress conversations with prospects, helping them improve their win rates and close more deals.
Increase collaboration between sales and marketing
LinkedIn found that 85% of survey respondents believe that better marketing and sales alignment would provide major business growth. Unfortunately, sales and marketing teams often fall into silos with little communication between them.
Sales enablement improves alignment between these teams and gives better visibility into the effectiveness of their processes. Marketers can see how sellers use marketing content in their sales conversations and get measurable data on how different content types impact the sales process.
Additionally, sellers can see what content the marketing team has produced and get updates about new case studies or product sheets that they can use in their nurturing flows.
Both teams can see which messaging, content, and campaigns are working, so they can collaborate to improve overall sales performance.
Improve visibility into team performance
Sales enablement gives sellers access to content, resources, and training materials to help them build the skills and knowledge they need.
Sales leaders can see reps’ performance data alongside insights into their content usage and training completion.
This helps managers understand how the content, resources, and training provided affect the sales team’s performance.
With access to data on how training content and exercises affect team performance, managers gain insights into providing a data-informed and personalized approach to sales coaching programs for each team member.
8 features you need in your sales enablement tool
Organizations in the market for a sales enablement tool should look for following key features:
- Insights and analytics
- Onboarding management
- Automated workflows
- Program management
- Content management
1. Insights and analytics to optimize sales efforts
Most organizations spend a great deal of time, money, and resources training their sales teams. But without a way to measure those efforts, it’s hard to understand what’s working and what parts of the training process need improvement.
With sales enablement tools, you get detailed analytics and insights into what works, what doesn’t, and how to improve.
With data and insights from your sales enablement platform, you can make data-driven decisions to improve sales initiatives or develop a specific skill in individual reps.
For example, managers can benchmark a sales rep’s performance in a key area, like closing. After training sessions and 1:1 sales coaching designed to improve closing skills, the manager tracks the close rate and other closing-related KPIs to see how the rep’s performance changes. Based on those measurable results, the manager can adjust the training program accordingly.
Also, sales enablement tools show how much time and money it costs to train each sales representative. If costs are higher than managers would like them to be, they can take steps to reduce inefficiencies and improve productivity.
2. Onboarding management and accelerating ramp time
Sales enablement tools help onboard new sales hires with the knowledge and training they need to succeed in their roles.
During the sales onboarding process, it can be a challenge to keep reps engaged, track their readiness, and provide them with easy access to forms, manuals, and other onboarding materials.
However, using sales enablement tools for onboarding helps teams to:
- Improve learning and testing through automated training paths that get reps ramped up faster
- Ensure better communication by keeping reps constantly updated and thoroughly engaged, leading to higher productivity and fewer turnover costs
- Enhance coaching by leveraging the tools and content that empower reps and managers to identify and address any areas – like knowledge and skills – requiring improvement to reach higher quotas
3. Gamification to motivate sales reps
It’s not easy to keep sales representatives engaged during sales onboarding and continuous training.
That’s where gamification comes in.
Through gamification, organizations can turn routine tasks into enjoyable activities that motivate and incentivize sales reps to develop their skills.
Through gamification, managers encourage friendly competition, break learning into bite-sized segments, offer relevant games and quizzes, and introduce real-life scenarios.
Gamification can also add a social element to onboarding and training and promote open communication among sales reps.
Gamification can be used by new reps during the onboarding process and by seasoned reps who need to build upon their skills and experience consistently. It can assist with continuous training and the fine-tuning of skills, all in a fun environment.
4. Automate workflows to streamline sales strategies
Collaboration and accountability are common struggles for organizations. Not only do automated workflows make it a breeze to collaborate — but they also hold all the right people accountable.
For example, you can use automated workflows to create a seamless feedback loop between managers and sales reps. Here, audio or video recordings submitted by sales reps are sent automatically to sales managers who can offer qualitative and quantitative feedback. This removes manual reminders and the continual back and forth, streamlining the learning process.
Automated workflows help managers and sales representatives tackle tasks instantly and through a centralized process that tracks progress.
5. Program management to reach strategic goals
Program management helps sales teams reach their targets through strategic initiatives, such as voice of the customer programs or sales onboarding programs.
These initiatives include multiple connected projects, with a project manager overseeing the team members who are focused on different projects.
These projects are bigger than the individual sellers working on their deals. Instead, they involve different teams, such as leadership for strategic direction, marketing for content creation, and IT for technical implementation.
If your sales enablement tool doesn’t have a program management feature, it’s difficult to manage and execute these strategic initiatives, and this can negatively impact your sales enablement efforts.
But with a program management feature, program managers can ease some of the stress they face by creating and structuring programs, adding and managing collaborators, creating and publishing relevant content, and automating communication.
6. Content management and centralized resources
Throughout the sales cycle, sales reps depend on a variety of content to increase buyer engagement and understanding.
The challenge with all of this content is that it must be well-organized so that it can be easily located and fully utilized.
A content management feature makes it simple for sellers to access sales material quickly. By having a simple and accessible content management system, you empower sellers to utilize the correct content at the right time within the sales journey.
Additionally, enabling multiple people to collaborate in the content authoring process, whether in PowerPoint, PDF, or video, empowers teams to bring shared experiences and best practices into play.
An effective sales enablement tool helps your team track content usage and gives insights into the content with the highest engagement rate and how to properly use and introduce content resources.
7. Integrations to facilitate organizational planning
As sales enablement practices evolve within organizations, new tools are purchased. This can overload users with numerous platforms and multiple logins.
The solution for consolidating disparate tools is to integrate them with a sales enablement tool.
A sales enablement tool that offers integrations helps organizations keep their communication, calendaring, CRM, reporting and business intelligence, content management, and other tools all in one place.
Integrations allow sales representatives to spend less time digging through multiple platforms and more time doing what matters: selling and improving their skills.
8. Governance to organize tasks and data insights
Sales enablement programs have a lot of moving parts. Therefore, you’ll need to operate under complete confidence that your organization is using its resources efficiently and securely at scale.
Platform governance allows you to set up different access levels across multiple user roles and locations.
This helps you simplify coaching workflows and roll-up reports based on organizational hierarchy and define custom roles for those who need special access.
The 5 best sales enablement tools to improve revenue
Tech marketplace and review site G2 lists over 160 tools in the sales enablement category. So, if you’re looking for sales enablement software, you have plenty of options.
We’ve picked out five top-rated tools to help you find the best one for your sales team.
Mindtickle – A powerful and comprehensive sales enablement tool
Our strong combination of sales enablement features with advanced insights continuously works to improve seller and content performance.
Mindtickle’s Sales Readiness Platform provides tools and processes to help sellers increase their knowledge, enhance performance, and go into every customer conversation ready to succeed.
One of the biggest challenges of traditional sales enablement is that reps forget their sales training quickly, so they aren’t able to make the best use of the content and resources available to them.
Mindtickle helps reps build and maintain their knowledge and skills through gamification, reinforced training, continuous skill assessments, and coaching exercises.
Our platform combines sales enablement, content management, conversation intelligence, sales training, and manager-led coaching. It provides continuous training, content, and enablement to ensure that sellers remember — and use — the knowledge and skills they’ve learned in their training and coaching sessions to move sales conversations forward.
Sales enablement is an essential part of Mindtickle’s comprehensive sales readiness framework. We make sales enablement best practices an ongoing part of the sales process rather than a siloed additional tool or exercise that sellers only think about a few times a year.
Notable Mindtickle features:
- Centralizes content management and provides content insights to personalize materials to mimic winning strategic approaches
- Records phone calls and interactions, and AI provides feedback on tone, sales opportunities, and future insights.
- Identifies winning behaviors from sales reps across the company to propose skill development and training.
- Analyzes real-world data to suggest relevant training and role-plays to improve the sales approach.
- Centralizes the sales stack with CRM integrations and APIs
- Creates an ideal rep profile to track KPIs and training progress
- Includes a mobile app for sellers to always be prepared – even on the go
Mindtickle G2 rating: 4.7
Additionally, Mindtickle is rated the best sales enablement tool for ease of use and adoption by G2.
HubSpot Sales Hub – To break down marketing and sales silos
HubSpot is best known for its CRM and inbound marketing platform, but it also offers a Sales Hub to help companies already using its marketing tools break down the silos between their sales and marketing departments by getting everyone on the same platform.
HubSpot Sales Hub is primarily an easy-to-use CRM, giving sellers and their managers greater visibility into their deal pipeline and task list.
However, its free plan includes content management to give sellers easy access to sales content. Enterprise customers can use sales management playbooks such as battle cards and call scripts to better enable sellers to close deals.
While the most robust sales enablement features aren’t available to all customers, HubSpot integrates with more than 148 other sales enablement tools, so it may work well in combination with other instruments in your tech stack. Additionally, HubSpot has a vast library of training content and certifications to help sellers master best practices and essential skills.
Notable HubSpot Sales Hub features:
- Email templates that can be personalized and prepare your team for success
- Email tracking to keep up to date on lead health and opportunities
- Document management and content tracking that can be directly sent through email inboxes
- Automated sales workflows to keep on top of tasks
- Phone calls logged in your CRM
- Conversation intelligence to find opportunities for improvement in phone calls
HubSpot Sales Hub G2 rating: 4.4
Seismic – For personalized and engaging content materials
Seismic is one of the leading dedicated sales enablement platforms. Its standalone platform provides a centralized hub where sellers can access the content and resources they need to engage with their prospects.
It recommends content and training at the time when they’re most relevant to your sellers. For example, when a prospect moves from a sales-qualified lead to an opportunity, it shows content and resources relevant to that stage of the buyer journey.
As a dedicated sales enablement platform, it’s a better choice for sales enablement teams than a tool that’s a CRM with enablement functionality added on. It has a great reputation and established customer base in the finance industry — particularly for wealth management, asset management, and banking organizations — which makes it a trustworthy option for companies operating in those spaces.
Notable Seismic features:
- Offers resource personalization with advanced content management
- Provides learning and onboarding courses to train new hires
- Integrates with almost all platforms
- Connects and logs prospects through social media, email, and phone
Seismic G2 rating: 4.7
Salesforce – For sales enablement with strong CRM features
Salesforce is one of the best-known sales tools available. There are split opinions in the sales world: some companies love it, and others find it has a steep learning curve and is difficult to implement for their business.
Like HubSpot, Salesforce is a CRM first, with additional features and functionality built on top. The Salesforce sales enablement tool is a paid add-on for its Sales Cloud product at the cost of an extra $25 per user per month on top of the original subscription.
If your company already uses Salesforce for its CRM, then its sales enablement add-on may be the simplest option for your team. However, it probably isn’t worth switching to Salesforce just for its sales enablement tool.
Notable Salesforce features:
- Forecast pipelines with the help of KPI management and logged interactions
- Manages accounts through logged communication history and internal notes
- Use process workflows to automate business processes and save time
- Mobile app for ease of use outside the office
Salesforce G2 rating: 4.3
Showpad – To understand prospect health and upsell approaches
Showpad is a revenue enablement platform that helps sellers prepare for each sales conversation and gives them the resources to ensure each call or sales interaction makes a positive impact on the customer.
It combines training and coaching functionality with content management, ensuring sellers have access to the content they need. Its platform is split into two parts: Content and Coach.
Each is an essential part of sales enablement, but the two parts of the platform are priced separately. This means companies need to pay twice to benefit from the full sales enablement functionality they can get from other tools.
Notable Showpad features:
- Track content ROI and enforces brand compliance in content creation
- Identify upsell and cross-selling opportunities as well as in-deal coaching
- Share information through brand microsite for prospects to share content with their internal stakeholders
- Gauge and track prospect interest to understand next steps
Showpad Coach G2 rating: 4.4
The tool you choose needs to support your team’s growth for ongoing success
The best sales enablement tool will be the one that your team will find the easiest to adopt in their everyday tasks and responsibilities.
It’s important to keep in mind your company’s growth as you choose your sales enablement tool. You want to be sure that it’ll continuously grow and adapt to your business needs, market changes, and new product releases.
This support comes with insights and data that continuously update with each interaction and sales training that prepares your sales team for success through engaging and motivating material and courses.
Mindtickle can help support your team with its comprehensive sales enablement platform that provides direction and new skills to your sales team.
Learn more about Mindtickle’s sales enablement tool, or play around with our demo and take a peek into how we continuously help companies reach their revenue and growth goals.
Sales enablement tools FAQs
What is sales enablement software?
Sales enablement software provides a centralized place for the training, resources, and data needed to help salespeople sell more effectively.
Sales enablement software:
- Helps sales reps easily access training materials, product documentation, and other content (no matter where it is stored)
- Records key sales metrics, so managers can identify opportunities to improve certain skills through coaching
- Tracks reps’ progress against development goals
- Improves visibility and alignment between sales and marketing teams
- Enables micro-learning and virtual training to teach and reinforce key skills
At its core, a sales enablement tool does much more than just support a more efficient and effective sales team. With the proper tool, all types of organizations can boost their sales processes to enhance every step of the sales journey. And, what’s more, the right tool supports sales teams by providing them with the content and information they need to successfully engage with customers the first time and every time.
What are the best sales enablement tools?
The best sales enablement tools that have the most impact on your company are:
- HubSpot Sales Hub
For a full list of all the sales enablement tools and features, read our guide.
What are the essential features of a sales enablement tool?
The features that your sales enablement tool should have are:
- Content management
- Program management
- Automated workflows
- Onboarding management
- Insights and analytics
How much should I spend on sales enablement tools?
Every company’s budget is different, as are their definitions of success. To understand how much you should be spending on sales enablement tools, you need to understand how the ROI of sales enablement can be measured. This will give you a better understanding of the benefits a sales enablement tool will have on your company.
Now with all of this knowledge, you’ll be empowered to make an educated choice on the best sales enablement tool for your team.
This was originally published in May 2022 and was updated in December 2022.