5 Critical Elements of a Modern Sales Enablement Platform
Ask people what they think sales enablement is, and you will get multiple, varying answers.
They might say it’s anything your company does to help your sales team be effective. They might say it’s tools to help reps sell more. And others say it’s the process of helping sales teams.
You can’t blame them for their general answers. Sales enablement is an all-encompassing term that involves many components.
At its core, sales enablement is the ongoing process of maximizing revenue per rep, by ensuring sellers convey the right concept using the right content throughout each stage of the buying process.
The essentials include content, skills training, messaging, product knowledge, coaching, and tools to effectively sell your product or service. These tactics must be integrated, driven by a unified strategy, and enabled by sales enablement technology.
5 Elements of a Modern Sales Enablement Platform
Today’s modern and forward-thinking sales enablement platforms take a holistic approach to ensure sellers receive the skills, knowledge, and content to engage buyers and win deals. They include five critical elements that not only set sellers up for success, but create a personalized and interactive buying experience that customers crave.
1. Seller-Centric Design
A modern sales enablement platform puts the salesperson at the center, with learning, content, and coaching delivered in the flow of their daily work. It empowers sellers in their moment of need when they are most motivated, so that they perform at their best throughout each stage of the buying process.
The platform should be designed to support rapid and effective marketing content access, paired with the trusted resources and organizational knowledge that sellers want to hear most. And it should be a collaborative platform that connects sellers with their managers and subject matter experts to support them in conveying the best solutions for their customers.
2. Modern and Intuitive User Experience
Salespeople have come to expect experiences like those that they get from apps they use in their personal lives, such as YouTube. Your sales enablement platform should be centered on a mobile application that allows sellers to access learning, content, and expertise that they need anytime or anywhere—with or without an internet connection.
That means the sales enablement tool they use must have superior mobile and video performance on the go. This includes video optimization, team collaboration, and predictive caching of content for offline viewing and fast launching. The tool must also automatically sync off-line activities, such as comments and feedback, when the application is accessed with internet connectivity.
So, if one of your sales reps is sitting in their car preparing for a meeting, or on their computer getting ready for a videoconference, they can quickly access short videos to help them understand the best ways to differentiate against a competitor. Or they can pull up a key piece of collateral to use, accompanied by an explainer from an expert on how to use it properly.
Further, when the sales rep opens the app in the morning or throughout the day, they should get personalized recommendations for content, best practices, or examples that specifically address the challenges they’re working through. It means your sales rep can work with their manager, peers, or trusted internal experts to develop the best solutions for my prospect.
When you give your reps a modern user experience they’re accustomed to, they will use it. Mandating salespeople use technology that is difficult to use will reduce adoption. And poor adoption means minimal to no ROI.
3. Comprehensive and Flexible Approach
Sales enablement is a holistic function that encompasses sales readiness, as well as onboarding and training, sales content and messaging, product launches, coaching, and virtual selling.
A comprehensive sales enablement platform gives organizations the flexibility to address specific use cases such as learning, sales content management, or Conversation Intelligence and implement expanded capabilities as requirements change and grow. Modern platforms offer solutions to current high-priority business challenges without limiting capabilities for future needs.
4. Open Architecture and Robust Integrations
Given the number of technologies that companies use, it has never been more important to ensure your software investments work cohesively across your technology stack. The global average of learning tools and platforms used today in a company is 23—double the number that companies were using in 2011. Sales reps alone use an average of six tools.
A modern sales enablement platform uses open web standards that allow you to embed or share any data and content with practically any tool. By providing out-of-the box integrations with your tech stack, you will drive higher performance and see better adoption of your complete toolset.
5. Transformative Customer Success Partnership for Fast ROI
It isn’t enough to just buy a sales enablement tool. The provider should also offer customer support and partner with you to deploy and implement the tool. The customer success team should leverage best practices, lessons learned, and a methodology that helps their customers avoid common pitfalls.
The supportive vendor’s approach ensures widespread seller adoption based on best practices for various use cases and industries. It delivers services from end to end—whether at the beginning of the project to ensure successful program management, during the deployment for training and adoption planning, or on an ongoing basis after implementation to support your strategic business initiatives.
The vendor can work with you to ensure that compelling content is available for salespeople on day one so that they’re excited and engaged with the sales enablement platform from the start.
It’s also important for the vendor to work with you to ensure you have executive and business stakeholder sponsorship. They can help define and execute a communication plan that gets everybody on the same page as far as priorities and objectives. The vendor can help you define and redefine processes that need to change in order to streamline your sales enablement and lift performance. You also want a vendor who will work with you to define and track ROI on an ongoing basis so that your stakeholders and executives understand the value that your sales enablement investment delivers.
You Need a Holistic Sales Enablement Platform
All five of these elements are critical to the success of any sales enablement transformation. Any vendor that talks about their solution without showing how they deliver and partner with you in all these areas is not thinking holistically about sales enablement success.
Get your copy of the Do More With Less Kit to learn how to consolidate sales enablement tools and still maximize revenue, engagement, and results.