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sales enablement technology trends 2022
December 9, 2021

The State of Sales Enablement Technology: What’s in Store for 2022

sales enablement technology trends 2022

At Allego, our product strategy is informed by market insights, customer feedback, technology innovations, and tons of research.

Some of the core themes that influence us today have been with us from the start of the company. During the pandemic, we’ve been well positioned to observe some meaningful new trends among our customers, our partners, and even other technology vendors.

We observed the evolving role of sales learning from formal, instructor-led training to becoming part of the essential enablement experiences that reps count on day-to-day to help themselves. We noted the convergence of capabilities into more useful solutions and sales enablement, and the transformative impact of AI for sales teams and marketing teams.

The most impactful of these trends is the fact that remote and hybrid teams are going to be with us for years to come. That fact has to influence how we think about building a team culture, making personal connections, and providing insightful, personalized coaching.

As the year comes to a close, some of these trends have become crystal clear and aligned to a pattern that will drive our roadmap.

Here the four top sales enablement trends for 2022:

  1. B2B buyer journeys require smarter, virtual selling
  2. Consolidated approach to sales enablement
  3. Strategic use of modern learning and coaching for business results
  4. Greater need to measure sales enablement impact on business outcomes

Trend #1: B2B buyer journeys require smarter, virtual selling.

According to Forrester’s 2021 B2B Buying Study Guide, individual buyers are engaging more in self-service information gathering throughout the buyer’s journey. But, they’re still looking to partner with sales to get more in-depth answers, and they expect content shared with them to reflect an understanding of their business, industry, market, and job role.

Your buyers want a personalized experience and specifically digital touchpoints that answer their questions or demonstrate insight into their business and they’ll expect to work with confident, informed, and agile sellers that they can trust.

This is not a temporary state of affairs. This is the new normal that will be with us long after the pandemic is behind us. Research studies show that 80% of buyers will actually reject sellers that can’t do this well, which means as this all continues to play out, there will be big winners that will pull away from the laggards.

Your teams will have to master human plus digital to be in the winners’ group. That means having the best content, personalization, and digital buyer engagement just as much as it means setting up your customer-facing teams to succeed with great preparation.

Our co-founders Yuchun Lee and Mark Magnacca, along with strategist, executive coach, and facilitator Tony Jeary, literally wrote the book on Mastering Virtual Selling. In the book, they describe a new paradigm for virtual sales.

Frontstage virtual selling is when you’re having a real-time interaction with a live presence. Backstage virtual selling is when you’re using your digital selling tools in order to maintain presence and connection, even when you can’t be live. It’s super powerful when you can integrate your strategies and your planning across both of these together.

That’s why Allego’s product strategy includes continuing to invest in our hit feature, Digital Sales Rooms, which give you more options for differentiation on your backstage virtual selling strategy. It’s an extremely convenient digital selling tool for buyers to collaborate with the reps. And from a sales strategy standpoint, it gives you some new superpowers for things like templates, monitoring of usage, and engagement data.

And speaking of data, you will see us continue to think about data and analytics and applications of AI and machine learning very holistically. We call it intelligence-driven, virtual selling.

If you think about all of the tactics and technologies that enable reps every day as well as the ones that allow reps to engage their buyers with the most consultative experiences, you see the opportunity for a consistent way of using the data for performance improvements, efficiencies in your operations, and even optimization that can come from AI, applied consistently.

Trend #2: Companies seek a comprehensive and consolidated approach to their sales enablement technology.

The market is finally aligned on a definition of sales enablement that we at Allego have been predicting for years. Gartner’s 2021 Market Guide for Sales Enablement Platforms was a fantastic validation of that vision. They advise companies to investigate how they could, “benefit from a fully native platform that includes all of these capabilities” in one: onboarding and training, sales content management, product launches and rollouts, coaching and collaboration, and virtual selling.

Forrester refers to it as the union of content solutions and readiness solutions that helps B2B sellers with “what to know and what to show.” Just like us, Forrester says facilitating better buyer interactions requires a holistic sales prep environment that breaks down the barrier between content and readiness.

The market is finally aligned on a definition of sales enablement that we at Allego have been predicting for years.

Looking at all of the largest vendors in this space, and all of the mergers and acquisitions and the product announcements you’ve heard this year, I think it’s safe to say that all of our companies now agree on the need to address all of these solution areas.

I can quickly break down the capabilities of the Allego platform into its recognizable component parts. Those include learning, content—which includes virtual selling—and coaching, which includes other forms of collaborations.

We’ve got the table stakes of formal workflows covered, then we go a step beyond with seller-specific use cases and technologies. We augmented all of that with AI and machine learning that can optimize adoption, optimize sales outcomes, and automate processes to save you time.

Trend #3: Teams are planning for more strategic use of modern learning and coaching for business results.

At Allego, we use an approach to technology that prioritizes rep adoption, business impact, and usefulness in the eyes of field reps over traditional, formal top-down workflows.

Our unique worldview is about empowering and connecting reps—not  constraining them.

That’s what it’s going to take to connect remote and hybrid teams, and to give leaders the sales success superpowers that they never had in the past. It’s about finding the commonality in things that used to look like separate disconnected use cases and seeing the common need in all of them to better align reps with the various roles and personas that are involved in their success—their managers, trainers, product and marketing teams, and even their buyers.

In the past, teams thought of different types of content and different types of workflows around them as things that should be managed in multiple systems. But, if you focus on the rep and you think about what causes the urgency to find content, or when they’ll want to access it, or what they might do to retrieve it, you start to see it as a spectrum of needs around all different types of content.

That strategic thinking is what will move the needle on rep adoption of your best content and tools. This is the sales content coming from marketing, just-in-time learning content, and agile content captured from the field team themselves.

Allego also thinks about a full spectrum of reinforcement and coaching as one connected use case, not a set of disconnected product features. When you think about the perspective of sales reps, it’s one thing that helps them to perform at the top of their game, and helps them to always be growing their skills.

The full spectrum has to demonstrate connection and consistency from practice, to reinforcing FLASH drills, to ride alongs, to recorded sales calls and web meetings with actual customers.

Allego’s is the only solution that includes AI virtual coaches that ease the burden on sales managers while also increasing their effectiveness.

When we saw these connections, we saw opportunities to use AI and machine learning to get your reps to the highest levels of mastery faster and to the highest levels of sales performance, more consistently.

We see opportunities to manage these things in consistent ways, too. Like using the same taxonomy and the same natural language processing and the same topic recognition logic. Conversation intelligence can actually be the lifeblood, flowing through all of this.

So when market dynamics shift again, some major news event happens, which it will, how many systems will you need to reconfigure and realign in order to get the team and the coaches moving in the right direction?

Finding those connections, finding those efficiencies, finding those opportunities to set up a culture of coaching and collaboration, and connecting all of those to sales goals—that’s being strategic.

Trend #4: There’s a greater need to measure sales enablement impact on business outcomes.

In 2022, we want teams to shift their focus to the top two tiers of The Kirkpatrick Model: behavior and results. Are you getting reps to apply their training and change behavior as a result of coaching? Are your efforts actually affecting the job performance metrics in positive ways?

Executive leaders are going to be asking enablement teams to answer these questions, both with trustworthy numbers but also with powerful, relatable examples that they can see firsthand. That’s going to involve connecting the data from your CRM system and the data from your sales enablement technology.

You can start by thinking about this from a tactical level. For example, you may start by looking at the operational reports that show content adoption and usage. With the right setup and integration, they also show effectiveness at engaging prospects and actual dollar values for opportunities that were influenced.

According to Forbes, “This may help you pinpoint the content that’s most likely to result in a purchase at any point in the buyer funnel, giving you a strong competitive advantage.”

You can also look at operational reports that show team member engagement and achievement. With the right setup and integrations, you can see how qualified they are to succeed at each stage of the funnel or each sales KPI based on their strongest and weakest skills.

Or you can look at team member behaviors and conversational patterns that are directly affecting your buyers in your recorded voice calls and web meetings. With the right setup and integration, you can see what behaviors set certain reps apart and what coaching you can do to improve the rest to make them more like the best.

Or you can look at operational dashboards in your CRM system that look for correlations between job performance and things like measured skill levels or measured levels of engagement in different areas of the enablement platform.

Conversation Intelligence gives you unique opportunities to coach, to spot patterns, and to let AI help you optimize sales outcomes.

Allego thinks about deal intelligence holistically and this is part of our roadmap. It’s building on concepts that are in the foundations of our Conversation Intelligence product—measuring engagement patterns and behavior of observations across all of your virtual selling touchpoints, the calls, the meetings, the content you share, the digital sales rooms.

Sales enablement leaders have to be able to benchmark and compare all sorts of scenarios. They have to know how to coach average reps to operate more like the top performers—their behaviors on calls, how they use marketing assets in their selling differently, and how they engage with their own personal development differently.

Learn More

To find out how Allego can help you take your strategy to the next level, reach out to us today.

Download our new research report Who Owns Sales Enablement? to get the latest insights into this emerging function.

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