So You Purchased a Sales Enablement Technology – Now What?

So You Purchased a Sales Enablement Technology – Now What?
August 12, 2016

You just completed the process of selecting a new sales enablement technology – congratulations! You’ve probably spent months researching solutions, speaking to countless salespeople (OK, hopefully not that many), and securing executive buy-in and budget for a game-changing software system.

But now that you’ve chosen your software, there’s work to be done before results start pouring in. In order to get started and see value from your sales enablement technology, not to mention make your investment worthwhile, you must get your ducks in a row internally and in collaboration with your vendor. (And FYI – this process should start before your implementation as well!)

Here are 4 tips to help you see the most success from your sales enablement software:

1. Set up your internal dream team

The person who acted as the decision maker at your company may not be the same person that will be appointed as the champion or administrator of the technology after it’s been purchased. When you’re ready to buy a sales enablement technology, assemble a team of people, including an admin, executive sponsor and several key players that can keep the implementation on track internally and help with day-to-day tasks.

Ideally, these people have some experience in the purchase and launch of major technology systems. The main point person should be the executive sponsor, who is in charge of promoting the vision and strategy of the technology across the organization. This person is the critical stakeholder that will oversee and ensure the success of the project.

But don’t forget that your vendor is also your partner throughout the implementation process. They’re experts on the product and know it inside and out, so collaborating with them will lead to the best outcomes.

From Forrester: 5 Keys to Sales Enablement Automation Success

2. Define your success criteria

You and your internal team should be thinking early on about what success would look like based on the goals of your sales enablement technology.

To define the criteria, think big picture and revisit the reason you started looking for a solution in the first place. What do you want to get out of your investment? What are the business challenges you are trying to solve? How does it tie into broader business objectives?

For example, maybe you need faster, more effective sales onboarding that cuts the time it takes new reps to close their first deals. Go through this exercise with your team and come up with 2-3 major success criteria that will guide you through the implementation and launch. Keep them visible, on a whiteboard or bulletin board, and remind yourself of them throughout the project and daily usage of the technology.

Related: How Technology Can Help with Sales Coaching

3. Develop a change management plan

Humans are creatures of habit, and introducing a new sales enablement technology will inevitably change workflows. That’s why creating a change management plan is key to a successful launch.

Define the scope of the project, such as how many people will be using the solution and how much training will be required. Be sure to communicate with your user base early and often about the changes. Put yourself in the shoes of reps and managers by developing documents that will address the “how will this affect me” or “why should I care” questions. When training your user base, try to boil down the process into a few easy steps or create a theme around it so users won’t feel daunted.

Lastly, make it fun! Consider a gamified plan where users compete to set up their accounts quickly and try to beat out their colleagues in completing training courses.

4. Stay committed to the technology

The roll out process does not end when the solution is adopted by your reps and managers. The technology should be treated like a living thing; always look for ways to continuously improve your workflows and new ways to use the technology. Collaborate with your customer success contact to stay on track with your success criteria. Your vendor is just as invested in your success as you are!

Check in with your front line sales managers and your internal team periodically to reinforce the value they’ll get from the solution. Consistent communication among all parties will put you in the best position to achieve the value you set out to find in the beginning of the process.

For More on Sales Enablement Trends and Technologies, View the Latest CSO Insights Report

In short, be engaged with the process and stay committed to your goals. When you define ways to measure your success, you can show the business the fruits of your labors. Collaborate with your internal stakeholders and your vendor as well and as often as you can. Remember, if you stop using the technology, you most certainly won’t get any value out of it, so make it easy, make it fun and most importantly, always keep your goals in mind! 

Here's a look inside CareerBuilder's sales enablement technology needs and implementation story: 

Check out sales enablement stories from GE Digital, Veritiv and more, here.