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April 20, 2021

Evolving Sales Enablement Technology for the Next Normal

 

a person stacking building blocks

Are you ready for the next normal? At many organizations, sales enablement has been either an ad-hoc, reactionary scramble or an overly structured, formal training program where knowledge is transferred to reps in one fell swoop and quickly forgotten.

Sales enablement has emerged as the linchpin that syncs all areas of your organization for sales success. Instead of outdated approaches that treat sales as a siloed function, the next generation of sales enablement technology aligns your sales team with marketing, operations, product, HR, and other teams to support sellers and drive productivity.

Unsurprisingly, the impact of legacy efforts is limited. It’s time for something new: an evolved approach, designed to consistently and organically deliver content, skills training, knowledge, coaching, and tools to reps in the flow of their daily work.

This new approach ensures knowledge is retained, best practices are captured and shared, and reps are able to use their knowledge to close deals across the board. These tactics are integrated, driven by a unified strategy, and supported by sales enablement technology.

Driving Sustainable Success in an Uncertain World

It’s a whole new way of thinking about sales enablement. The future of selling will most likely require continuous adaptation as sellers remain remote and the virtual buying process becomes more complex. In this environment, sales enablement is critical to drive sustainable sales success.

Businesses—and markets—change all the time. New competitors, new products, and new customer needs can disrupt your current plans overnight. Here are some common challenges:

  • Your company is growing, making it risky to rely on a legacy onboarding process
  • Your reps sell a rapidly-changing product or service
  • You do business in a regulated space with stringent compliance requirements
  • Your buying process has become more complex in a virtual world
  • Your messaging is changing due to M&A or a new go-to-market strategy

If you’re following the same old game plan, it’s time to evolve your strategy.

Given its powerful impact on the bottom line, next-level sales enablement is no longer optional. It’s a crucial element for survival, growth, and success in today’s ultra-competitive economy.

Sales enablement—when done well—is proven to drive results.

  • High-performing sales organizations are twice as likely to provide on-going training as low-performing ones (SiriusDecisions).
  • The use of sales enablement solutions has grown by 567% over the last three years (Smart Selling Tools).

But what does sales enablement look like in 2021 and beyond? Evolved sales enablement is rep-centric, AI-scaled, and virtual-first.

Rep-Centric

Sales enablement can be your organization’s super power, but only if it’s built with your end-users in mind, especially for distributed teams. Putting sellers in the center of your strategy means delivering the training and content they require at the moment of need, tailored to individual learning patterns, and driven by in-field demands, not top-down mandates.

Sellers love learning from other sellers. Evolved sales enablement technology makes it easy to capture content created by reps and share it with others on the team. This rep-to-rep content is stickier than formal learning content and often contains the gold nuggets sellers need to close the deal. When you harvest best practices from the field, you preserve institutional knowledge and can use it to replicate your “A” players.

AI-Scaled

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the engine that powers today’s sales enablement. With AI, sales enablement technology can scale the human-to-human connection to impact the day-to-day lives of many more reps.

AI allows teams to activate unique coaching scenarios for different initiatives, each augmented by its own set of custom rules, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. AI offers new insights to deliver curated, personalized content, coaching recommendations, and skill reinforcement.

Virtual-First

The new requirements of virtual selling have increased demand for virtual-first sales enablement. Virtual-first platforms fuel distributed teams with access to vital sales materials and intel at the moment of need, supporting both in-person and virtual selling and collaboration. Virtual-first sales enablement technology connects remote and local teams in new ways through enhanced accessibility and collaboration.

Winning With Sales Enablement Evolved

2020 was a transformational year for sales organizations. The challenges caused by COVID-19 launched a boom in virtual selling, requiring new skills, new content, and increased “backstage” support.

Today’s sales organizations must evolve to meet these new demands—or risk falling behind competitors who are taking their sales enablement technology to the next level. To be effective, companies must rethink how they onboard, train, and enable both new hires and veteran performers—with sales enablement that is rep-centric, AI-scaled, and virtual-first.

Learn More

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