Are you finding that your sales content is too generic and not personalized enough for your customers? Or do your sales reps not know how to fully convey the latest product message points?
Research from Gartner shows that sales reps are given roughly 5% of a customer’s time during their B2B buying journey. These few short moments mean that every second counts and that your sales team needs every advantage to get ahead.
A sales enablement platform could be the secret sauce in elevating the performance of your sales team to the next level. A sales enablement platform is an all-in-one tool that provides sales reps with the know-how, content and information they need to sell.
An advanced platform will help to provide personalized content and timely messaging to fit the customer’s needs and requirements and seamlessly assist them through the buyer journey.
An effective platform breaks down any major roadblocks in the sales process, for example, by automating content and relaying the right messages at the right time. This results in a more productive sales team working efficiently to achieve revenue goals. Essentially, the platform provides a competitive advantage enabling you to scale your organization and drive sales success as it frees up time to focus on selling.
Selecting a sales enablement platform is like any major purchase decision; it entails research, asking questions, and seeing what is the best fit for your needs.
How to choose a sales enablement platform
Looking for a platform can be somewhat overwhelming because there are so many options out there. Start the search by first looking internally (rather than externally) to analyze your individual business needs.
The following are the critical questions to ask around which you should gather intel. You want to get to the root of what your challenges and issues are and how you see a sales enablement platform helping to resolve them. Pull all the information into a comprehensive outline that summarizes your platform needs.
- 1. Why do you need a sales enablement platform? Name your top three priorities/needs.
- 2. What are you looking to accomplish by adding a platform to your business? Outline your top objectives and try to make them SMART goals as much as possible.
- 3. How experienced is your sales team and what are their strengths and weaknesses? Do a SWOT analysis to try and identify areas of improvement. Then, you can start to put together a strategy for what to tackle first.
- 4. Where does your sales team currently work (in-office, remote, or hybrid) and what are the future workplace plans? This is an important question, as it enables you to assess what type of platform will work best. For example, if your team is usually out on visits or mostly consists of hybrid reps, then it’s a fully offline, remote-enabled platform you need.
- 5. How well do you know your prospects and potential buyers? Create a few top personas so that you know what their main challenges are and what language they respond to best.
- 6. Are there any specific barriers to overcome when your sales team interacts with prospects? What challenges might they encounter? And how can you best overcome them?
- 7. What is your budget for a sales enablement platform?
5 top capabilities to look for in a sales enablement platform
When you have identified your needs, it is time to explore platforms that align with those needs. Here are some of the capabilities you should look for in a platform in addition to any items that are specific to your business.
1. Capacity to work offlineYour sales team works in a variety of physical locations and needs to be able to respond to any type of sales situation. They therefore require a sales enablement platform that adapts to their needs. They must have a remote solution that will operate efficiently whether they are online or offline, in a remote or disconnected area. Your team needs instant access to all content, data and any other information necessary to maintain productivity and make sales. Once they are back online, the platform should be able to update with all the info and notes they added while offline.
2. Ability to generate actionable customer insightsA McKinsey global survey of 2,500 B2B companies found that 72% of the fastest-growing B2Bs say their analytics are effective in helping them with sales planning – that’s compared to 50% of the slowest-growing B2Bs. The best way to achieve rapid growth is to have a sales enablement platform that allows for the collection and analysis of all your customer data and analytics. What you need is reliable data (and insights) to help you understand your seller (and buyer) behavior.
- For example, robust reporting functionalities enable your sales team to create and share informative reports. With real-time insights, sales management can monitor the ongoing performance of field teams at a glance. Plus, marketing departments have full oversight of which content is driving engagement and can deploy these insights to better optimize buyer journeys.
3. Content management and automation intelligenceAccording to a report from LinkedIn on the state of sales, 44% of buyers “strongly agree” that they are more likely to consider a brand when a sales rep shares content that is applicable to their role in the decision-making process. A sales enablement platform should be adept at organizing the huge amount of content you have, creating engaging content customized to your buyers, and tracking the results achieved by sharing the content.
4. High sales rep adoption ratesIf your sales enablement platform is easy to use, effective and helps your sales reps do their job better, naturally, the adoption rates would be high. But if no one is using it, there is no point in having it.
- A higher usage rate among reps also contributes to better data being generated, so you can measure factors such as content effectiveness. It can be a challenge to sell-in a rep on a new platform, so look for a user-friendly platform with high sales rep adoption.
- McKinsey recommends driving adoption by involving sellers in the process of finding a sales enablement platform. This helps to address their pain points and build trust in the system.
- For example, Pitcher has very high adoption rates, with G2 having listed Pitcher as #1 Highest Rated in Enterprise User Adoption for Sales Enablement in the Summer 2021 Grid® Report.
5. Cater to your industry criteriaYou need a sales enablement platform that has a high level of knowledge about your industry and how to best sell to buyers in that sector. For example, Pitcher focuses on the life sciences, consumer goods, financial services and manufacturing industries. Look for selling tools like sample management that are often used in the pharmaceutical space to help sales reps fulfill and track samples.
Key sales enablement platform features to look for
Seek out a platform that has its capabilities rooted in innovation. You want a solution that is prepared for future sales trends and is already designing for the future. A good sales enablement solution will listen to their client’s feedback and implement new, bespoke features based on their requests.
Also ensure that the platform meets compliance standards – such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for European compliance standards – and has the capacity to handle new rules and regulations.
These are some of the key features you should look for in a sales enablement platform:
- Omnichannel focused: Omnichannel integrates your company’s branding, messaging, and other customer touch points in one place. The buyer can connect with the sales team through any of their channels and each channel automatically ‘updates’ after the interaction to create one seamless experience.
- Multichannel and remote engagement: Multichannel differs from omnichannel in that the communication channels are not necessarily synchronized. Having multichannel features on a sales enablement platform allows your team to communicate with prospects through their preferred channels via one single interface, perhaps by text, email, social media, or other channels.
- Guided selling: Guided selling solutions enable sales teams to engage customers through automated and personalized digital sales aids and content recommendations that incorporate customer-specific information. The AI automatically analyzes previous actions that the sales rep or customer has taken and guides the rep through next steps with relevant recommendations.
- Analytics: In Gartner’s study of sales analytics, it found that 53% of surveyed organizations attribute poor-quality sales data to inaccurate and incomplete data. It is imperative that your sales enablement platform provides accurate and dependable data and reporting. (Pitcher Insights provides a deeper understanding of buyer behavior that can be used to optimize your sales team’s performance.)
- Sales coaching: Coaching enhances your sales team’s knowledge and drives their development so they can become better reps. Look for a tool that will support your team with specific features such as role play, sharing best practices, and personalized training paths for individual sales reps based on each rep’s individual needs. You can track reps’ progress regularly, anywhere and anytime within the sales enablement platform.
You now have the information you need to start your journey to finding the right sales enablement platform for your sales team. Start by looking internally at your team’s specific needs – this can also include producing SMART goals and a SWOT analysis – then look for a sales enablement platform that meets these needs. Soon you will be on your way to making your team more productive, efficient and successful.
Sales enablement platform FAQs
What is a sales enablement platform?
A sales enablement platform is a tool that is used by sales teams to personalize the customer journey from awareness through to purchase. A good platform works as an all-in-one solution that provides each sales rep with the know-how and information they need to sell more effectively. The platform provides relevant content, insights and analytics, coaching and training, guided selling, and other sales tools.
Why does your business need a sales enablement platform?
A sales enablement platform can help scale your organization and fulfill its growth objectives. It empowers sales reps to reach full productivity by automating tasks and avoid using different tools that result in silos. An advanced tool allows reps to access, track and measure sales content. Implementing a sales enablement platform has shown significant savings in time and costs.
What capabilities should you look for in a sales enablement platform?
A sales enablement platform should meet your business’s specific needs and cater to your industry. Look for a platform that has the capabilities to work offline (especially in remote areas), generate 360-degree customer insights from data, and provide content management customized for your buyers. Seek out a platform that is intuitive and user-friendly in order to increase the rate of adoption by the sales team.
Interested in learning more about Pitcher? Request your Pitcher demo and experience our sales enablement Super App in action.