According to CSO Insights Fifth Annual Sales Enablement Study, 61.3% of organizations report having sales enablement, representing a steady increase from the previous year. In the study, sales enablement was shown to be even more prevalent in organizations with more than 25 sales reps. With this continued increase and value placed on sales enablement, many sales leaders are asking themselves what tools they need and how to make buying decisions.
Let’s take a closer look specifically at sales readiness tools. These powerful platforms help sales reps stay on top of their game in today’s hyper-competitive landscape. Determining which sales readiness technology is right for your organization can often feel daunting. Your sales force is unique and comes with its own specific set of challenges, needs and goals, which of course differ depending upon your organization size, industry and customer base.
In order to arm your sales organization with the right tool you must first ask yourself these 3 critical questions.
1. Are the technology’s capabilities tailored for my organization’s needs?
Sales readiness tools generally fall into the same broad category, but that doesn’t mean they each come with same set of features and capabilities. Some are geared more toward certain use cases and problem areas better than others. Here are a few of the common capabilities found in sales readiness tools.
- Video-based coaching requires reps to practice and demonstrate mastery of key messages via video assessments. The value of video training has long been known, with many employees being more likely to watch video lessons than read a document, email or web article.
- Micro-learning tools enable companies to create and serve sales training content to reps in easily consumed quantities. 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.
- Sales readiness assessments and analytics allow businesses to measure training completion and certify users have met internally defined competency thresholds. Clearly, sales enablement leaders are interested in better ways of using data to measure and improve their strategies. But nearly as many have still struggled to succeed in implementing a truly data-driven approach. 2021 may be the year this truly changes. Technology has evolved and shed new light on sales content impact, call intelligence, digital buyer engagement and more. As a result, sales enablement leaders have never been in a better position to make data work for them.
2. Which type of technology vendor would make the best partner?
All software providers are not created equal, and that’s especially true as new players seemingly appear overnight. In some cases, these startups are able to innovate and force the entire space to rethink its go-to-market strategy. But often times, however, the new competition ends up reaffirming why an existing market leader held that position in the first place.
As with any B2B technology decision, it is important to really understand the vendor you are partnering with. Are they a true expert their space? Do they have a proven track record of success, stability and growth? Is there a cultural fit? You are making a decision that requires a significant investment, not only in dollars, but also resources and time. It is important to make sure all the boxes are checked.
3. How does this platform align with my sales enablement program?
This question is just as important, if not more so, as the first two.
B2B decision-makers need to understand how a comprehensive sales enablement strategy extends well beyond sales content management. Yes, it is important to address “the sales content problem,” but in truth, solving those issues won’t really matter if your team is unable to use of those assets in a practical setting.
In order to maximize the value of their sales content, sales leaders need to be certain their reps possess the knowledge and skills needed to capitalize on buyer interactions. This is why top sales enablement programs first focus on sales readiness, achieved through effective onboarding, sales training/coaching and by putting key data into a ‘coachable’ context.
Ready to invest in a sales readiness platform that compliments your priorities? Learn how the Brainshark Platform aligns with your organizations needs.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.