How to Do More With Less: 4 Benefits of Consolidating Your Sales Enablement Technology
2021 will be a very different year for sales organizations. Are the plans and processes you put in place going to set you up for future success?
Entire teams shifted to virtual selling overnight in 2020. Budgets are being level-set or cut. Organizations need to rethink headcount, processes, and tools. Being effective will require careful planning to rebalance resources.
Today you need to take a holistic approach to meet long-term needs. Innovative sales learning and enablement technology can help you deliver the learning, content, collaboration, and insights to drive results in the next normal—and you don’t have to spend a fortune on multiple solutions to do it.
Build Your Best Tech Stack
In recent years, the number of learning and enablement tools has skyrocketed. According to industry analyst Josh Bersin, there are more than 200 LMS vendors, more than 30 LXP vendors, and thousands of vendors who build collaboration tools, mobile learning tools, content development tools, and analytics tools.
In fact, the global average of learning tools and platforms in use today by any given company is 23—double the number that companies were using in 2011. Sales reps alone use an average of six tools.
The typical stack includes a Learning Management System (LMS) or Learning Experience Platform (LXP), Sales Content Management (SCM), and tools for call coaching, role play, reinforcement, video engagement and more.
Building the right tech stack is not an easy job, but the benefits are huge. Most sales enablement leaders are stretched too thin to manage multiple systems. In addition to subscription fees, there’s the time and effort to maintain each platform.
Adoption, engagement, and efficiency also suffer when users have to familiarize themselves with a variety of systems and switch between platforms to accomplish different tasks. Consolidating your tech stack may be the answer.
How to Do More With Less: Benefits of Tech Stack Consolidation
You know from experience that the more complex the learning process is, the less likely sellers are to embrace it. A fragmented approach that relies on multiple tools for different training and enablement initiatives hurts adoption, leads to poorly trained sellers, and ultimately hurts your bottom line.
Tech stack consolidation makes sense from a financial perspective. And with fewer tools to learn and manage, your team will see greater adoption and more satisfied users. Ask yourself what tools can you keep, retire, or add and still have the same—or even more—capabilities?
Replacing siloed tools such as LMS, CMS, coaching / role playing, reinforcement, and call coaching with an all-in-one solution is a practical decision for a number of reasons. You gain system-wide benefits that you’re not able to realize unless you have a comprehensive platform.
With a holistic approach you can:
- Gain a 360-degree view of behavior and content correlated with success, instead of making assumptions and drawing correlations based on the content reps are sharing or the exercises they performed.
- Reduce workload with a seamless administration of a single solution versus management of multiple separate platforms.
- Increase user adoption with a frictionless experience for reps who can access, create, and share content, get training, and collaborate with their teams without switching tools.
- Cut costs by eliminating subscriptions to redundant tools.
But how do you know what tools to implement? Make sure you choose a solution that delivers the core capabilities to help your organization succeed.
5 Essential Capabilities of the New Sales Enablement Stack
There’s a new breed of integrated learning platforms that offer a holistic approach to sales enablement. These solutions accelerate the sales cycle, drive higher average contract values, and boost profitability in the sales organization. Here are the five essential capabilities of the modern sales enablement tech stack.
#1 Onboarding & Training
Sales training includes onboarding new hires and supporting them with continuous learning and reinforcement on product information, messaging, competitive positioning, and the skills needed to have valuable interactions throughout the virtual sales process.
#2 Content Activation
Sales enablement drives the creation, distribution, and management of customer-facing sales assets and internal sales training content. All content needs to be readily discoverable, easy to consume, trackable, and reusable across the sales organization.
It’s not enough to simply make assets available, sellers must know how and when to use these resources to deliver maximum impact to their prospects. Teams who know what’s working—and what’s not—can improve sales content to be even more effective.
Technology that helps your team empower reps with information from all departments is crucial.
Sale enablement facilitates communication within the team and across other functions. In particular, alignment and continuous collaboration with the marketing team is essential.
Without it, reps miss out on the insights marketing is gathering from its top-of-funnel campaigns, and marketing misses the chance to shape its campaigns based on first-hand sales conversations.
Sales enablement extends not only to sales reps, but also to sales managers. Equipping front-line managers to inspire, motivate, and support reps with good coaching and communication skills improves seller productivity and leads to better results.
You need a tech solution that supports formal and ad hoc coaching for reps and managers to hone skills and prepare for selling situations. Recorded call coaching capabilities with actionable, AI-powered insight enables managers to provide the most effective point-in-time feedback.
The final component of a modern sales enablement tech stack is measurement. Meaningful metrics include: average sales cycle length; number of reps achieving quota; and average deal size.
Measurement and reporting extends to the overall success of the sales enablement program. Teams who know what content and actions are advancing deals can continuously iterate and optimize the process.
Deliver Next-Level Sales Enablement
Sales enablement has arrived. If you support a sales force—as a sales trainer, content or product marketer, or sales enablement pro—this is your moment.
That’s because it’s more important than ever for companies to equip their sales teams to produce at the highest levels. With the uncertain economy, safety restrictions due to the pandemic, and tightening budgets, making quota is tougher—and more critical—than ever.
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). And the use of sales enablement solutions has grown by 567% over the last three years (Smart Selling Tools).
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.
Download our new eBook The New Sales Enablement Tech Stack to find out how to streamline your tech stack for virtual selling and drive revenue in the next normal.