April 30th, 2020

In a highly competitive environment, enabling your salespeople to be at their best—and giving them the right tools to do so—can make all the difference.

Sales enablement refers to the training, tools, content management, and resources provided to the sales team to help them successfully close more deals. The ultimate goal of sales enablement is to equip sales reps for every conversation to help them build strong relationships with prospects and ultimately close more deals.

While sales enablement is really an ecosystem of work that involves sales, marketing, and operations working together, technology is a critical part of getting sales enablement right. Marketing and operations provide case studies, documentation, and other resources that the sales team needs, and a sales enablement platform makes it easy to access those resources and track how reps are engaging with them.

When sales, marketing, and operations work together in this way, reps can onboard more quickly, upskill in key areas, and spend more time selling. But this requires a platform that not only delivers content to your sales reps, but also supports the larger goal of sales readiness.

Sales Enablement Today

When done well, the benefits of sales enablement speak for themselves:

  • Companies with a focus on sales enablement see overall sales training effectiveness 29% higher than those without.
  • Of companies with established sales enablement functions, 59% surpassed revenue targets, and 72% of those exceeded them by 25% or more.
  • 95% of customers buy from a sales rep who provides content at every step of the sale.

Of companies with established sales enablement functions, 59% surpassed revenue targets, and 72% of those exceeded them by 25% or more.

With a sales enablement function to organize and track content, combined with a sales readiness function that continually equips sellers with the right training and coaching for their needs, everyone is more effective. With the right technology, sales departments can use elements like virtual sales training, gamified onboarding activities, and coaching templates to continually improve and empower sales reps.

Today’s sales enablement data helps sales reps in other ways, as well. Here are just a few:

  • Standardized reporting: allows for easy comparison, access by leadership, and targeted changes when needed.
  • Sales process review: automated processes makes sales information and materials accessible for reps to review and revise as necessary for more targeted customer contact.
  • Qualified leads: allows leads to be categorized according to demographics and behavior. When teams have content that is tracked for effectiveness and optimized for efficiency by category, improvements can be made that result in qualified leads, and readiness to purchase.
  • Optimized content: organized, updated, and targeted resources positively impact the end result.

A quick online search shows just how many sales enablement options there are. To achieve your end goal—a better-equipped sales team that drives more revenue—you need to find the right tool (or integration) for your team’s needs. The right sales enablement platform is tailored to specific business needs, connects sales and marketing, simplifies the content library, and offers powerful sales metrics.

Today’s smart technology provides opportunities for learning tools, formats, and modalities that connect reps online, and even offers interaction through social media platforms. It improves timeliness and effectiveness for resources, training, analysis, and ongoing support. Sales reps are more confident when they have all the resources they need, literally at their fingertips, and customer leads are targeted by the products and solutions they seek.

How Sales Enablement Drives Sales Readiness

As part of a cohesive program, sales enablement tied with sales readiness results in a more effective sales team. Sales enablement ensures reps have the tools and resources—like ongoing training, coaching, and development—it takes to deliver the message, close the sale, and maintain strong customer relationships.

Sales readiness, on the other hand, is a critical part of a sales enablement program, as it focuses on outcome- and data-oriented results. It gives managers, teams, and organizations insights into performance, outcomes, and gaps in the sales team. Further, sales-ready reps have the confidence and tools necessary to think outside the box while delivering on the goals of the sales, marketing, and operations teams.

Organizations who employ modern sales enablement programs reap myriad benefits. Here are just a few:

  • Peak performance: a modern sales enablement and readiness program helps sales reps meet quotes sooner with access to tools for efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Improved time to sell: a sales enablement tool helps reps spend more time selling by providing qualified leads, content, and learning opportunities in small doses over time.
  • Continuous training: continuous training and accessible learning materials, up-to-date product and industry information, and a sales team that is ready means that increasing quota demands are met.
  • Marketing and sales in sync: all marketing efforts are regularly updated for easy access by sellers—sales enablement bridges the gap between the two departments.

Sales ready reps are able to capitalize on these sales enablement benefits for successful outcomes:

Access

Provide timely access to information related to the most up-to-date resources, like CRM content, via systems often used by reps in the field, like laptops or mobile devices.

Alignment

Combine the power of your sales team’s knowledge with information about the customer journey throughout the sale process. Content, by way of collateral materials, video, or blogs are available at the touch of a button depending on need. Agility is accessible whenever it is needed.

Education

Organize product and service knowledge across your organization in an accessible format that answers any customer question. An enablement platform makes information available for use in similar situations, with intuitive access.

Presentation

Offer tools to personalize marketing content for clients on-the-go to ensure documents that are customized, updated, and approved for compliance.

Tracking

Provide tracking that reports how well resources are performing, as well as information on inconsistencies, and where additional content could be helpful. No more wasted content, knowledge, or resources.

Must-Have Sales Enablement Features to Look For

What’s the difference between the variety of sales enablement tools on the market and how do you choose?

Remember that sales enablement is not a one-size-fits-all—if a tool claims that, it might not be the one. Focus areas of sales enablement tools can include sales content management, coaching and training, sales engagement, sales intelligence, sales management, and customer relationship management (CRM). The process of determining the specific tools your business needs will clarify the best fit for your company.

Before you make that decision, consider the sales enablement best practices you need the platform to support. Then, match those best practices to some specific features that work best for your organization. Let’s take a look at some of the must-haves of a successful sales enablement tool:

Feature: Content Management

Content, tools, and resources are created based on intel from sales enablement and accessible from a single source, no matter where they were originally stored, for quick discovery and real time updating.

  • Accessibility
    • With customized, user-friendly search capabilities, content is organized, easy to find, and available for publication quickly for every step of the sales journey, including updates, new product features, competitive insights, and success stories.
  • Customized Collateral
    • Sales materials can be immediately tailored to fit different demographics, products, customers, or stages in the buying process and are easy to access through a flexible interface with other formats like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Youtube.
  • Marketing and Sales Alignment: 
    • Insights from content and collateral offer powerful sales effectiveness insights with feedback generating valuable changes that align the selling process to the customer’s path.
    • Customer interactions and data tracking for reports, dashboards, and planning improve the relationship between sales, marketing, and customer service.
  • Social Selling
    • Social media channels, touchpoints along the customer path, provide access at a more personal level offering a clear path to potential sales.

Feature: Onboarding and Training

Time-to-productivity and win rates are improved with technology that enables automated training paths and adaptive learning.

  • Sale Onboarding
    • Planned eLearning courses and training information are delivered in an accessible format.
    • Onboarding and learning progress is tracked,  showing completion and identifying knowledge gaps.
  • Customer Experience
    • Training via coaching, gamification, and micro-learning modules support sellers in delivering incredible customer experiences.
  • Video Resources
    • Reinforcing training and assessing readiness via video coaching and other online sources meets reps where they are and allows them to access tools to address weaknesses.

Feature: Analytics

Support accountability, identify gaps, and provide feedback to sales and marketing to refine objectives.

  • Content Usage and Reporting
    • Analyze use of content to evaluate its effectiveness as it works for both reps and customers.
    • Identify areas for content improvement.
  • Outcome Alignment
    • Evaluate alignment with overall business goals and objectives as well as how initiatives are impacting revenue.
    • Receive alerts when prospective customers engage with content.
  • Engagement
    • Gain insight into how your sales reps are doing in the field. Help review and revise communication with customers through templates and suggestions.
  • Sales Management
    • Track sales rep efficiency and provide actionable insights to facilitate more time spent selling.

Feature: Engagement

Provide customer-facing employees with the necessary tools for rich, valuable conversations with customers at each stage of the buying cycle, and as part of the overall training process.

  • Customer Relationship Management
    • Provide reps with information that improves the ability to develop better long-term relationships with buyers.
    • Reps can sell more effectively with content, training, and analytics at their fingertips.
    • Today’s buyer is informed, often entering a sales interaction with research and other market knowledge. Reps come prepared to have consultative—rather than transactional—conversations to engage customers at a deeper level.

Feature: Qualified Prospects

Identify and target the right leads with actionable data that enables your teams to establish the right relationships.

  • Define Leads
    • Analysis from website visits and other customer touchpoints helps determine target buyers, and what characteristics are most likely to convert.
    • Identifying where leads are in the buying process, from prospect to marketing qualified (MQL) to sales-qualified (SQL), helps produce content that drives customers forward toward conversion.
  • Target Buyers
    • Content that is tracked and optimized provides information to target collaterals for specific buyers.
  • Score Prospects
    • Sales intelligence assigns positive or negative ranking to potential customers based on data, including location, or other demographics that affect conversion.
    • Less qualified prospects are moved to an area that can be addressed over time.
  • Create Sales Opportunity
    • Technology is used to structure the planning process and create a step-by-step guide for sales reps.

Feature: Sales Integration

Sellers use numerous tools when completing a sale. Tools that are integrated simplify the workflow.

  • Incorporated Solutions
    • Communications, content, storage, and automation can be used as a system that works together seamlessly so information is available across all platforms and accessible where your sales reps are working, even on the road.
  • Real-Time Updates
    • New information, resources, and updates are automatic and available.
  • Customer Focus
    • The buying experience is customizable and reporting is simplified using existing customer information.

Sales Enablement Tools to Consider

A sales enablement solution that handles all processes including content, management and distribution, training tools, sales and marketing performance, customer outreach, and reporting can help you take your sales productivity and performance to the next level. Here are a few examples of sales enablement tools with integrated software solutions to support your sales team:

Seismic

Seismic’s sales enablement solution focuses on sales and marketing productivity and effectiveness with tools to collaborate, automate, manage and distribute content. Seismic uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to simplify the sales process for easy access to relevant information, updated insights, and program customization.

The Seismic program includes:

  • Easy access to relevant selling materials.
  • Automated creation of sales content personalized to its audience.
  • Increased revenue per rep due to efficient and effective content and accessibility.

Seismic’s scalable marketing and sales integration is general enough for most organizations and have been used in industries like asset management, banking, business services, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, technology and more.

Seismic created a system that moved a financial advising firm, 361 Capital, from manual work to automatic updates with total accuracy. That sped up the process by 33%. In another case, a banking and financial services firm, SunTrust, was able to access data and content relevant to closing deals in a more timely manner.

Highspot

With a focus on sales readiness, personalized sales content, and improved sales performance, Highspot’s sales enablement program uses artificial intelligence, guided sales training, and simple integration between marketing, sales, and workflows to improve the sales process.

Benefits include:

  • Connecting sellers to relevant contact information for each buyer.
  • Flexible delivery options for content.
  • Advanced analytics for sales pitch and content optimization.
  • Effective sales training and assessment accessibility.
  • Sales integration that incorporates other platforms including training materials, and  customer information.

Providing a single source of truth for content is a gamechanger for many companies. For example, Dun & Bradstreet was managing 6,000 pieces of content stored across 12 different locations.  Highspot streamlined that content with a single source, allowing more than 500 sales reps  to spend less time searching for the tools they need, and more time selling.

Likewise, Highspot helped Tripadvisor to consolidate and integrate workflows with content lingering in multiple systems into a single platform for all sales enablement assets. The entire system was built to make life easier for the sales and marketing teams.

Mediafly

Sales and marketing are the focus of Mediafly’s enablement tool with an emphasis on creating a modern selling experience. Using a single, intuitive sales application, the company gives sellers and marketers a simple process to create, deliver, and analyze the sales process.

Sales reps benefit from:

  • Training, coaching and learning.
  • Access too interactive selling tools
  • Reports and analytic insights.
  • Easy creation and updating of dynamic content for distribution on any device.

Mediafly helped pharma company Dr. Falk equip its sales team with the right materials for every sales situation providing a simple, accessible source for resources that are seamlessly updated and maintained, with integration options. Mobile presentation apps, content management, analytics and feedback provided Dr. Falk with the ability to have more valuable sales conversations.

How MindTickle Ties It All Together

Integrated solution partners make Mindtickle’s sales readiness and enablement initiatives run smoothly and successfully. These partnerships offer complementary solutions with a simple-to-use interface that works for the entire organization. With that in place, MindTickle can do what it does best: accelerate onboarding and ensure ongoing readiness and training.

Partnerships like those with Seismic, Highpoint, and Mediafly are part of a natural evolution to ensure enablement in a multi-system environment. Integration with these initiatives helps align sales and marketing, organizing and updating content internally and externally to manage its lifecycle.

  • Seamless interface: curated content that is regularly updated, easily accessed, and personalized is critical.
  • Improved productivity: no need to go digging for content—it is delivered to sales reps intuitively depending on need and customer. That leaves more time for selling.
  • Outcome-oriented approach: data is used to predict and provide according to the capabilities of your reps, helping them grab more sales.
  • Enablement metrics: must be tracked and fed into your readiness strategy regularly to keep it fresh and evolving with the needs of your organization and sales reps.

How MindTickle Can Work for You

MindTickle’s platform enables customer-centric sales readiness and enablement strategies for organizations using proven technology to increase revenue and grow brand value. Take a Readiness Value Assessment to determine the return on investment of a partnership with MindTickle.

If you’re ready to see it for yourself, schedule a demo with MindTickle today!