Sales Enablement - Everything You Need to Know

Sales Enablement in simple terms is any technology, process, or software that helps the sales team increase their efficiency. This may vary from giving your sales team the right information to move the sales acceleration forward, tools to handle their leads better, tools that help the sales team reach the prospects in a better way, or even the tools that help in sales training.

If you have been following the stock and crypto markets lately, you know that something unprecedented has been working its charm. Nobody in their right mind would have predicted that a global shutdown in the 21st Century would ignite an investment frenzy that would put the Tulip mania of 1637 to shame.

Total global equity traded in 2020 alone stood a whopping $137.64 Trillion, a steep 54.8% rise when compared to 2019 (according to Statista).

So what made investors jump onto the money wagon? It takes a keen eye to understand all the factors that contributed to this bullish growth:

  • The pandemic caused massive behavioral changes due to lockdown and free time.
  • People were spending way less due to no social life and saving more.
  • Relief packages from governments left them with some extra cash.
  • The proliferation of digital apps and devices has made trading child’s play
  • Growth in support ecosystems, such as digital banking and online media, has contributed to superior accessibility.

In other words, it takes an entire ecosystem working in tandem for any major market movement to flourish and sustain, a prerequisite that Key Account Managers should aim for in the context of Sales Enablement.

There is no denying that if you create the right ecosystem for your sales reps to succeed, they will naturally close more deals and drive higher revenues.

But where do you begin? How do you find the right sales tools that foster sales enablement to the point that you can have a revenue squeeze of your own? Today’s blog aims to answer all this, and more.

What is Sales Enablement?

Sales Enablement is a framework that provides the sales team of the business with the necessary tools and resources that they require to close more deals and, in turn, drive more revenue. 

Let’s start with the basics and understand what it is about and the importance of Sales Enablement.
The tools and assets that are leveraged can include knowledge, key information, content, and anything and everything that makes the sales process more optimized and geared for better conversions.

It is a great practice for Sales Enablement to be owned by both Sales and Marketing teams as a function. While the marketing team often contributes with collaterals such as blogs and product guides, sales teams leverage them to the maximum by driving more contextual conversations with prospects.

What is Sales Enablement Strategy?

A Sales Enablement Strategy is aimed at helping sales reps to add more value at every customer touchpoint by defining a framework through which they can acquire all the necessary resources they need to effectively sell.

In practice, it defines and lays down the entire path of reaching the target sales figures with the best change management and process adoption strategies.

5 Ways to Track and Measure your Sales Enablement Efforts

If you look at the Sales top down, you will see that things are pretty measurable. As you travel down the funnel, things don’t seem so clear. We talk about increasing the sales pipeline, about white space opportunities, traffic, leads, warm, hot, cold but once we get to those numbers, no one can tell how to prioritize the projects on hand. This is the Sales Enablement Measurement conundrum.

Organizations are uncertain about how to measure sales enablement efforts. How do we measure the alignment between marketing and sales? We have tried to resolve your conundrum here to some extent, using both, qualitative and quantitative methods of measurement. These are at best taken as indicators but will help your sales enablement efforts stay on track.

1. Track the lead-to-deal rate or lead-to-conversion rate

The Sales Enablement team should be more focused on the bottom end of the sales funnel. This means tracking the lead to conversion rate. This is what will indicate the impact of your sales enablement strategies. Although not entirely, because the conversion rate depends on the number and quality of the leads. Besides this, this can be a good measurement index that also helps to identify trends over a period. Ask yourself the question “Will this project help me close more deals?” If the answer is “yes”, put it on priority. The others can be taken up later or delegated.

2. Measure win/loss rates against key competitors

Sales is a race to the finishing line for every lead to be cracked. Your sales team needs your help and support all the time as they face the toughest of competitors. Monitoring your wins and failures and comparing them with your competitors’ wins and losses, will help you identify the gaps and fill that in. It will help you even further to know where you need to put your energy. Your CRM system will help you with this metric.

3. Amplify your content so that it influences a decision to buy

Content is a universal weapon in the sales arsenal; right from the top end of the funnel to the bottom end. Supply your sales team with the right documents and decks but also, leverage the online medium to publish content through visual media. Then monitor it to see which one is more influential as the buyer is in the last stages of his buying decision. Scaling up online with content is good as you can measure the results of what works and what doesn’t. A good CMS and an analytics tool will help you in this task. This will be a perfect time to go for a sales enablement tool. Also, keep a track of and measure your content production – how many pieces of videos, infographics, newsletters, blogs, etc. produced in what month. This will help you measure the time invested and resultant output from these.

4. Do not dismiss attribution reporting

Attribution reporting helps you to see what content helped influence the buyer in the latter stages of his buying journey. This helps in building more content that was successful and cutting down on content that produced weak results.

5. Sit with your sales team

We mean ‘physically’ sit with your sales team regularly. Maybe for some time, every single day. This helps you to know what content they are sharing with customers, what they are saying to leads, how they are doing their demos. By physically being there, you also absorb the underlying vibes, energy and understand a lot that is unsaid or unseen to the naked eye. The team also finds you more accessible and is more inclined to share feedback openly. This helps them voice their needs when it comes to sales enablement efforts.

What are Sales Enablement Tools?

Now, this is where it gets interesting. Sales Enablement Tools bring everything together under one roof to cohesively drive content analytics, sales automation and analysis, customer experience, and other critical functions.

With the right winning strategy, they are bound to give your sales team enough oomph to boost the bottom line sales productivity. All you need to do is correctly analyze your needs and map them to the right solutions.

Sounds promising? Sales Enablement platforms have such huge market penetration today that the global market size was $988.9 million in 2019 and is expected to reach 3.075 billion by 2026, as reported by MarketWatch! But what does the right solution look like?

Key Capabilities to look for in Sales Enablement Tools

No matter which sales tool you use, there are some basic capabilities that you should not compromise with at any cost. All leading tools have certain features in common that include:

  • Performance Analysis: Tracking the performance and development of sales reps against set benchmarks and expectations.
  • Training: Helping sales reps understand and access training modules and product documentation at the click of a button.
  • Performance Tracking: Ability to record and track key performance metrics that provide more visibility into gaps that can be improved.
  • Alignment: Synchronizing and aligning sales and marketing functions to promote a single version of the truth.
  • Upskilling: Empowerment of cross-selling upskilling and virtual training to always keep reps up to date with the latest market moves.
  • Standardization: Standardized reporting that includes key metrics such as deals won vs deals lost, leads generated, reps activities, and more.
  • Sales Review: Sales process review that looks at the gaps in the sales process by finding correlations between key metrics.
  • Lead qualification: Features that help reps to qualify the maximum number of leads in the least possible time.

How the Right Tools can Positively Impact Sales Enablement

With the right tools, your sales process can come out of the rabbit hole of manual tasks, be automated, and empower sales reps to leverage technology to better sales enablement, especially when it comes to key accounts. Some ways in which this can be done include:

  • Automated prospecting: Sending calendar links to qualified prospects that directly schedule appointments with the sales reps.
  • Contextual sales conversations: Driving conversations at the right place and time with contextual strategies, such as when the prospect is on the website.
  • Automated email sequences: Creation and implementation of email sequences that are automatically triggered if a prospect has not replied for a set period. Personalization tokens even help to tailor the message to specific prospects.
  • Centralized sales dashboard: Having a single dashboard for ‘all things sales’ with the right tool that allows reps to manage all their collaterals with ease. Reps can collaborate with the marketing teams or connect with customers at a click.

All such features help reps to save valuable time and avoid bad fit contacts with filtering criteria.

If you don’t want to miss sales targets in FY-2021, you will have to choose the sales enablement software that is right for your sales team. We are here to help you in this endeavor.

But before we rank our choice of top sales enablement tools, let’s take a look at the different categories of tools. Here, we have divided the sales enablement tools into various categories to help you find the tool you’re looking for:

1. Account Management

This type of tool helps the account managers with up-selling and cross-selling. Key Account Management of your accounts via this tool the helps sales team win more deals.

  • DemandFarm - DemandFarm is a Key Account Management software that helps Key Account Managers identify, manage and grow Key Accounts. Up-selling is an efficient selling method but is many times overlooked in an organization. This tool helps the account manager in finding selling opportunities in their existing Key Accounts which leads to sales.

2. Sales CRM

Sales CRM helps an organization manage its interactions with current and future customers efficiently. This helps the organization analyze this data to build and implement a better sales strategy.

  • Salesforce - Salesforce is the king of sales CRMs. Its cloud-based solutions provide ease and it is ideal for almost all types of organizations - whether it is SMBs or large enterprises.
  • Insightly - Insightly is an ideal CRM software for small businesses. Insightly understands all the needs of small businesses. It is highly scalable if the business were to grow in the future.

3. Sales Intelligence

Sales intelligence is any information given to the sales team that would help them in making the sale, thus improving the sales process. We have divided sales intelligence tools into data enrichment and sales analytics tools.

4. Data enrichment

  • Experian - Experian is an excellent data enrichment tool. Experian adds demographic data points to your lead from different sources. This helps you segment and understand your leads better.

5. Sales Analytics

Sales Analytics provides insights that help you plan better and implement your sales processes.

  • Tableau - Tableau is a business intelligence software that helps you pull data from different sources to provide meaningful insights. Further, it uses data visualization to help you understand these insights in a better way.
  • InsightSquared - InsightSquared is a sales performance analytics solution. It combines data from various sources to provide pre-built reports on every sales metric.

6. Customer Experience

Customer experience is the cumulation of all the experiences a customer has with an organization. A better customer experience leads to better customer retention and hence an increase in sales.

  • Zendesk - Zendesk helps companies improve the way they interact with customers. Zendesk does this by setting up ticket support on multiple channels like chat, email, web, phone, and social media.
  • IBM Tealeaf - IBM Tealeaf helps you monitor your customer experience on the smallest level. It does this by a collection of your server-side requests and responses along with browser-level customer behavior (i.e. user’s behavior on your website). It does all this without affecting your site’s performance.

7. Sales Management and Operations

Sales management operations refer to the practical implementation of sales techniques and sales processes in an organization.

  • Infusionsoft - Infusionsoft is a small business marketing automation tool that helps you simplify your sales cycle. It helps you to track and segment your leads by features like lead scoring and pipeline management. Further, this helps you to prioritize your leads.
  • HubSpot sales - HubSpot sales is a module in HubSpot’s inbound marketing software and works alongside with HubSpot marketing module and HubSpot CRM. This module helps you sell better by providing rich insights about your prospects while helping you connect with them via all relevant channels.
  • Clari - Clari is a sales enablement platform that helps you in making better sales plans and does better sales forecasting. It increases sales forecast accuracy by doing pipeline management, hence providing better visibility.

8. Sales Productivity Tools

Your sales team’s time is precious, don’t let it go to waste. Also, see our top three picks for sales productivity apps.

  • DocuSign - DocuSign is an electronic signature software. This helps you stay productive by facilitating the exchange of electronic documents with ease.
  • GoToMeeting - GoToMeeting is a conferencing software that can help your sales guys make prospect calls with ease. It is easy to use and feature-filled.

9. Mail-Related Tools

E-mails play an important role in the life of sales teams and are an important channel to reach out to prospects.

  • Sales Handly - Sales Handly is a sales enablement tool that helps you track your recipient's behavior. It does this with features like email and document tracking. Along with this, also provides a mail merge campaign and is easily integrated with your existing CRM.
  • Boomerang - Boomerang is a Gmail plugin. Boomerang helps you to schedule email and set a reminder for follow-ups. It is a simple but very effective tool.

Sales Enablement Software has been undeniably catching on with the enterprises at a very fast pace. It helps companies increase revenue by harnessing the resources and knowledge of the company to support the selling process. It also helps in empowering sales management to identify and immediately improve costly mistakes and missed opportunities that the sales teams make every day. Sales processes continue to evolve and sales enablement is critical in helping your sales team close deals faster. So, you must make your choice with ample evaluation.

Top Sales Enablement Tools

Having covered the nitty-gritty of Sales Enablement and the various categories of Sales Enablement tools, now let’s talk about the best Sales Enablement tools that you can get your hands on today. They will empower you in sales transformation by boosting the productivity of your sales teams and improve all aspects of your selling cycle, such as marketing missions and sales missions. So let’s get to the chase!

1. DemandFarm

The top sales enablement platform on our list, DemandFarm comes with two primary offerings - Org Chart and Account Planner. Account Planner empowers sales leaders to create and execute next-gen key account plans that are data-driven and performed in real-time. It is integration-ready and native to both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. On the other hand, Org Chart helps reps to monitor their key accounts with a hierarchical organization chart. It provides them with a visual representation of the organizational chart structure and the ensuing relationships, taking the guesswork out of the equation.

Key features:

2. Mind tickle

A great data-driven sales readiness and enablement tool, Mind tickle empowers sales leaders to improve the performance of their sales reps via coaching. The goal is to impart better win rates and increased deal sizes to the sales bottom line. All this and more provides a scalable ecosystem to prepare sales teams in fast-growing organizations, always keeping them up to date with the latest developments.

Key features:

  • Sales Knowledge Base
  • Real-Time Updates
  • Coaching Card
  • Leaderboards and Triggers
  • Profiles and Dashboards

3. HubSpot Sales Hub

A straightforward and user-friendly sales CRM tool that comes equipped with numerous features such as configure-price-quote (CPQ), sales analytics, pipeline management, and tracking, and much more. Built on the HubSpot CRM platform, Sales Hub takes key inputs from the same in terms of customer data to create a single source of truth. This will not only help you to drive excellent sales rep efficiency, but it will also lead to healthier insights, warmer leads, and better sales alignment on the whole.

Key features:

  • Contact & Account Management
  • Opportunity & Pipeline Management
  • Campaign and Lead Management
  • Marketing ROI Analytics
  • Sales Reporting and Forecasting

4. Seismic

Seismic is another great and unique sales enablement tool that is driven by powerful content intelligence and analytics features. It empowers marketers and sales reps alike to understand what is driving their revenues and improve the impact of day-to-day functions on the bottom line. With various collaboration features, it enables sales reps to manage their documents in real-time, control the versions of the documents, implement customized templates, drive change management and compliance management, track the interactions of sales reps, and much more.

Key features:

  • Content Import
  • Advanced Content Search
  • Account-Based Engagement
  • Live Presentation
  • Email Tracking/Automation
  • Workflow Management

5. Highspot

Highspot is one of the leading sales enablement tools that puts reps at an advantage by helping them drive more relevant buyer conversations. It does this with the help of some amazing features such as guided selling, AI-powered search, in-context training, and much more. The USP of Highspot is that it functions as an intuitive library of useful content with powerful filtering options. Not only can it host sales-related content but key training materials as well. It integrates with over 70 apps and seamlessly syncs with the standard workflow of your sales team.

Key features:

  • Content Creation and Import
  • Account-Based Engagement
  • Email Tracking/Automation
  • CRM Integration
  • Advanced Content Search

6. Showpad Content

A unification sales enablement tool that brings content management, training, and coaching under one roof, Showpad Content creates a centralized database that lets sales rep access and shares the latest content collaterals from the marketing teams. With key bottom-of-the-funnel insights, it lets leaders drive more valuable and intelligent discussions. Sales reps can connect existing CMS or DAS platforms, import key files, and synchronize their entire file library.

Key features:

  • Account-Based Engagement
  • Content Utilization
  • Alerts and Analytics
  • ROI Reporting
  • Pre-built Templates

7. Guru

A real-time knowledge management solution, Guru thrives to help your sales reps always be up to date with the latest knowledge updates without the sales reps having to look for them. And the best part? It is a self-learning platform that gets better every time you use it. Guru smartly captures all the information that sales reps need to close more leads, including the ones that exist in Google Docs, Slack threads, and more!

Conclusion

With the creation of a powerful sales ecosystem that is driven by the right resources, sales reps may suddenly find themselves in the middle of an institution that is created for the sole purpose of making them succeed! This can only translate to one thing - an increased trust in your business and overall brand value.

And as the past year has taught us, this can easily translate into a sales enablement trend that would be hard to resist!

Milind is CEO & Co-Founder of DemandFarm. Having practiced and evolved the ‘account farming’ principle for over a decade he established DemandFarm and is passionate about delivering the best B2B key account management tool to serve the needs of key account managers. Milind also serves on the Board of LeadEnrich & is a Strategic Adviser.

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