Sales Enablement Tools in the Virtual World: 3 Reasons Why Less Is More
This article originally appeared in Forbes.
As organizations grapple with resignation, migration, and possible stagnation, a new approach has taken the lead: sales enablement.
Sales enablement as a profession has experienced tremendous growth. In just a few years, LinkedIn members with “sales enablement” in their titles have grown from a few thousand to over 230,000. One study indicates that the market will grow to $2.6 billion by 2024.
This growth trajectory isn’t happening in a vacuum. Organizations have recognized the capacity for sales enablement to equip reps with the training, coaching, and content they need to sell effectively and are quickly adopting it as a result.
With an increasing number of sales teams now operating remotely—and high enthusiasm from employees to continue remote work in some form—sales enablement has become even more essential to ensure reps can access the right content, learn new skills, and collaborate regardless of location.
Do More Sales Enablement Tools Mean Better Results?
Many organizations have adopted multiple sales enablement solutions for sales training, coaching, conversation intelligence, and content management to support the skill set of their reps. But using too many task-specific tools can have unexpected downsides, including cost, training, admin overhead, security concerns, confusion, and redundancy.
The explosive growth of sales tools results from the transition to digital selling brought on by Covid-19. In one study of sales teams, 51% of respondents indicated they had been using digital selling tools for just between one and three years. With organizations needing new ways to maneuver the virtual landscape, the proliferation of sales tools was inevitable.
However, the situation has reached a boiling point, and sellers and managers are speaking out. Allego’s Sales Enablement Technology Report surveyed 330 B2B sales leaders about the pros and cons of their current technology stacks. Most sales leaders reported that using multiple tools negatively impacted sales teams and wasted time and money.
This new breed of solutions may hold the key to navigating hybrid buyer interactions. But adding new systems won’t necessarily make for better outcomes. Investment in the wrong ones or too many can have the opposite effect.
3 Ways Multiple Sales Enablement Tools Hurt Organizations
Here are three critical problems facing organizations that use multiple sales enablement solutions.
1. Low Adoption Rates
The price of leaders not considering their employees’ opinions on what constitutes a user-friendly experience with their technology at work can be steep. A 2018 survey showed that 90% of leaders felt new technology was being introduced with the employee’s experience in mind, but only 53% of staff felt the same way.
With various tools to account for, sales leaders can find it difficult for their reps to understand how to utilize each fully. Numerous systems mean numerous platforms and applications to learn, which can be time-consuming. Using more than one tool can also confuse reps about which tool to use for a specific task, contributing to poor adoption.
2. Frustrated Sales Reps
Sales reps feel the most pronounced negative impact of using multiple tools. Allego’s survey reported that 50% of reps think they’re required to learn too many tools. Trying to get sellers to use numerous solutions also proved frustrating to sales leaders, with 82% reporting it felt like a second job.
Toggling between multiple solutions slows down the sales process, creating one of the top challenges sellers face. Reps shouldn’t have to work in silos or learn various applications to access critical functions. This can prevent them from getting the support they need, especially in the transition to hybrid selling.
3. Wasted Time
Another surprising finding in the Allego study was that 80% of sales leaders reported that using multiple systems caused their reps to waste time keeping track of different login credentials needlessly. Inevitably, keeping track of too many logins resulted in reps losing them, with one in three reps reporting having lost a password to a tool within the past month.
Time is of the essence in sales, as reps work to find prospects, navigate buyer interactions and close deals promptly. It’s especially important considering B2B buyers spend only 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers when considering a purchase. Reps only have a small window of opportunity to reach B2B buyers—they can’t afford to experience unnecessary delays in the sales process.
The findings show that deploying more than one sales enablement tool can hurt an organization more than it helps. Organizations must adopt a consolidated approach that centralizes all of the programs reps need to sell in one place, especially as hybrid work environments become more prevalent.
The Answer: Find the Right Tool for the Job
Choosing the right tool instead of offering multiple solutions is like giving each rep a curated toolbox. Today’s comprehensive sales enablement solutions can manage learning, content, coaching, and conversation intelligence all in one system. These can equip sales teams to handle hybrid buyer interactions by allowing them access to what they need in a single location.
With only one tool to keep track of, sellers spend more time being productive and less time looking for the right tool or login. This enables reps to quickly access the support they need because they no longer have to switch between multiple systems. The less friction a tool creates, the easier its adoption among reps will be.
Another benefit of a comprehensive solution is that costs significantly decrease. Multiple sales systems can quickly add up without a return on investment (ROI) because reps aren’t fully utilizing their options. Organizations can save a great deal by reducing the number of sales tools used to a single solution.
Sales enablement tools are necessary for navigating hybrid buyer interactions, but using multiple tools doesn’t necessarily make for better outcomes. A comprehensive solution can positively impact sales teams, from improvements in training to reduced costs. Best of all, organizations can enable more confident sales teams to close deals, whether in the office or working from home.
Download the Sales Enablement Technology Report to get the latest insights and advice for building the best sales enablement tech stack.