More so than ever before, businesses are relying on sales readiness software to help their reps achieve higher win rates and outsell the competition.
According to a recent Forrester Research report, “Now Tech: Sales Readiness Tools,” nearly 50% of B2B firms have bought or plan to buy a sales readiness tool in 2018.
The reason is simple: these powerful platforms help sales reps stay on top of their game in today’s hyper-competitive landscape. Pinpointing which sales readiness technology makes the most sense for your company, however, is not always simple. Each sales force has its own specific set of challenges, needs and goals, which will of course depend upon organization size, industry and customer base, among other factors.
So how are sales leaders supposed to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to arming their reps with the best tools? The answer begins with asking the right questions.
With that in mind, we’ve outlined 3 critical points to consider before you dive into the sales readiness swimming pool.
1. Are this technology’s capabilities tailored for my needs?
Sales readiness tools fall into the same broad category, but some address certain use cases and problem areas much better than others.
A few of the key capabilities highlighted in Forrester’s report include:
- Video-based coaching, which requires reps to practice and demonstrate mastery of key messages via video assessments.
- Micro-learning tools, which enable companies to create and serve sales training content to reps in easily-consumed quantities.
- Sales readiness assessments and analytics, which allow businesses to measure training completion and certify that users have met internally-defined competency thresholds.
Forrester considers micro-learning tools “ideal for the multitasking millennial (sales) rep,” an especially important feature given that millennials will make up 75% of the U.S. work force by 2025. The research firm has previously highlighted the value of video training, as well, reporting that 75% of employees were more likely to watch video lessons than read a document, email or web article.
2. Which type of technology vendor would make the best partner?
All software providers are not created equal, and that’s especially true as startups seemingly pop up left and right.
In some cases, the rising stars give entrenched players a serious run for their money and force the entire space to rethink its go-to-market strategy. Other times, however, the new competition only ends up reaffirming why an existing market leader held that position in the first place.
This should factor prominently into your decision, because B2B technology consumers really are partnering with their vendors. Is the one you choose an expert in its space? Does it have a proven track record? Is there a cultural fit? You’re making a significant investment, so you need to be sure all the boxes are checked.
Forrester recognizes Brainshark as one of the top “large established players” in the sales readiness market. We’ve been in business since 1999, developing a comprehensive solutions portfolio that makes sales training, video coaching and content creation features accessible to sales organizations wherever and whenever they are needed. More than half of the Fortune 100 relies on our platform.
3. Does this platform align with my sales enablement program?
This question is just as important as the first two, if not more so.
B2B decision-makers should understand that a comprehensive sales enablement strategy extends well beyond sales content management – that is, giving sales reps the ability to access the right content quickly and easily. Many tools are positioned to primarily address “the sales content problem,” but in truth, solving those issues won’t matter if your team cannot make use of those assets in a practical setting.
In order to maximize the value of their sales content, sales leaders need to be certain that reps possess the knowledge and skills needed to capitalize on buyer interactions. This is why top sales enablement programs are first focusing on sales readiness, which is achieved through effective onboarding, sales training and sales coaching. Technology tools of course can and do support those efforts.
So if your sales enablement strategy centers around sales readiness, rather than content management, it’s vital to invest in a sales readiness platform that compliments your priorities.
Want to learn more about sales readiness software? Read this exclusive Forrester report for a breakdown of the benefits these tools deliver and the top vendors providing them.