2021 Gartner Market Guide for Sales Enablement Platforms
B2B selling is changing so quickly, it’s a bit like riding a rollercoaster. Buyer preferences for digital interactions with sellers—a shift long in the making—accelerated last year in the pandemic. To stay competitive, organizations must now assess transformational technologies’ potential to support digital buying and selling.
“Fundamentally, a sales enablement platform should reduce the complexity of seller and buyer interactions, not increase it.”
According to Gartner:
- “By 2026, 30% of B2B sales cycles will be primarily run through a digital sales room, which will be used to manage the customer life cycle.
- By 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels.
- By 2025, 50% of B2B sales organizations will record 75% of conversations with buyers.”
Increasing Demand for Holistic, Native Capabilities—Built for the Flow of Work
Gartner defines sales enablement platforms as “tools that unite sales enablement functions and customer-facing sales execution.” The 2021 Market Guide reports an increased demand for a fully native platform for sales content, sales training, and coaching capabilities—the pillars of a holistic enablement program.
The Market Guide describes how these three elements work together, noting the importance of microlearning and delivering content in the moment of need and emphasizing that “It is important whenever content or training is surfaced, that it be in the flow of a seller’s daily work to avoid taking them away from doing their job.”
Gartner recommends platforms that foster collaboration between buyers and sellers: “Sellers should be able to engage buyers with materials and conversation bolstered by training and coaching that improves sales outcomes. Buyers should be able to collaborate and benefit from smoother interactions that give them the information they need at critical points along their customer journey, which should help ensure a positive experience.”
Transformative Sales Enablement Technology
The Gartner Market Guide provides a detailed exploration of top use cases and an overview of fifteen vendors, including Allego’s all-in-one sales enablement platform.
“More and more companies are turning to sales enablement platforms as they adapt to the new world of hybrid work, which has changed the way they sell, coach their sellers, and collaborate on a daily basis,” said Yuchun Lee, CEO and co-founder of Allego. “We want to lead the way in providing B2B sales teams the tools they need to be successful at virtual selling today and in the future. This newest recognition by Gartner is a powerful reflection of our efforts.”
Along with the recent Gartner® Hype CycleTM for CRM Sales Technology, the Market Guide recognizes top sales enablement platforms as those that include transformative new technologies that broaden the traditional enablement landscape, including:
- Conversation Intelligence: Native functionality for call recording, speech-to-text translation, topic modeling and analysis, insights for upskilling/reskilling, and prescriptive recommendations.
- Digital Sales Rooms: Capabilities for buyers and sellers to work together during and post sale, including a personalized persistent microsite, content sharing, web conferencing, call scheduling, collaboration, deal negotiation, buyer engagement analytics, conversation intelligence, and a link to digital commerce.
Gartner’s Key Recommendations
The 2021 Market Guide offers several key recommendations for sales enablement leaders:
- Seek vendors with a holistic approach to sales enablement to support your entire sales enablement initiative, including digital sales content, training and coaching.
- Prioritize vendors with full Digital Sales Rooms capabilities to improve revenue execution.
- If your sales organization requires content, sales training, or sales coaching, assess vendors’ abilities to provide all the required functionality natively.
- Look for advancing Machine Learning features for recommendations and deeper analytics capabilities for video and call analysis for engagement.
- Examine each vendor’s roadmap to determine whether, and how, it will be able to support your entire initiative as you expand the capabilities you deploy.
- Scrutinize vendors’ integration capabilities to understand how “seamless” they are. Integration can mean many things.
- Be sure to benchmark metrics and measure improvements in, for example, deal velocity and content usefulness as a result of deploying a sales enablement platform.
Sales Enablement: A Critical Factor for Long-Term Growth
Given its powerful impact on the bottom line, sales enablement is no longer optional. It’s a crucial element for survival and growth—now, and when the pandemic has run its course. In a climate of ongoing uncertainty, sales organizations must transform their approach to sales content, training, and coaching. The companies that will succeed are those that adopt transformational technologies and approaches to meet both the current and future needs of sellers.
Gartner Vendor Evaluation
The 2021 Gartner Market Guide includes an evaluation of fifteen vendors, including Allego’s all-in-one sales enablement platform. The companies profiled in Market Guide Representative Vendors include companies with sales content, sales training, and/or sales coaching functionality or some combination of functionality.
Our understanding is that these vendors are those that attracted the most interest from Gartner’s clients in the last year, judging from searches on gartner.com and questions during inquiry sessions with Gartner analysts.
In the Market Guide Vendor Profiles section, Allego is described this way:
“Allego offers native capabilities for content management, sales training, coaching and collaboration, virtual selling, and launches and rollouts. Allego embraces an “in the moment” concept for content and learning, and it provides contextually based recommendations for sellers. It uses AI virtual coach technology to detect coachable moments and deliver recommended just-in-time learning materials. Customers range from midmarket to large enterprises located in North America, Latin America and Europe. Notable customers include: Abbott, John Hancock, Lincoln Financial Group, Medtronic, TIAA, Veritas, JP Morgan, TripAdvisor and Software AG.”
“In the last year, Allego launched virtual selling, including digital sales rooms, and a revised UI design. It expanded its call coaching with conversational intelligence, virtual coaches and calendar integrations. It now includes enablement for channel partners and customer groups. Its pricing model is based on: number of seats purchased, terms of the license, types of seats, modules deployed, number of SaaS instances deployed, special geography deployment (e.g., China), data and system integration options, and other factors. Some projects involve additional service fees attached to the contract.”
To learn more about how to evaluate sales enablement platforms, download your complimentary copy of the Gartner Market Guide for Sales Enablement Platforms.
Gartner, Market Guide for Sales Enablement Platforms, Melissa Hilbert, Mark Paine, Alastair Woolcock, Doug Bushée, 17 August 2021
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