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What Is Sales Enablement Software and Do You Need It?: Page 2

By Drew Robb     Feedback
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In this article, we attempt to clear up some of the confusion by discussing:

Sales Enablement Software's Role in Training

Sales enablement software can play a major role in training, by placing training materials at the sales rep's fingertips, offering learning libraries for self-paced skill development and permitting coaches to easily assess opportunities and situations requiring intervention. This can be a big step up for those organizations that still rely on classroom training and national sales meetings to brief their sales reps.

"Event-based training is costly and highly ineffective. Not only is 80 percent of the information learned forgotten within the first 30 days, but this type of training leave reps without a means to continuously practice their pitch, resulting in them practicing in front of prospects," said Magnacca.

As a result, video is being integrated into sales enablement platforms as it is an easier and faster way to absorb new content. This can save sales teams up to 35 percent of the time that would otherwise be required for in-class training, Magnacca said. Aberdeen Research backs this up, finding that video-enabled sellers have 9 percent better customer retention and 8 percent more reps achieving their quota.

Sales Enablement Software Helps Managers, Too

For managers, sales enablement software should detect risk areas within opportunities, deliver greater accuracy in forecasting and provide better reporting.

"Sales enablement reporting should be able to highlight the number and level of buyers engaged, challenges uncovered, number of meaningful conversations generated, value messages delivered," said McChrystal. "It can also aid managers in diagnosing and delivering analysis on what strong performers do versus average or weak performers."

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In many ways, sales enablement is a hybrid of sales and marketing. It even fans out into a diverse set of functions such as human resources, branding and corporate communications.

Other Sales Enablement Software Benefits

Additional sales enablement software benefits include:

  • Fix gaps in the sales process
  • Increase sales performance
  • Free up sales people's time by automating repetitive tasks
  • Unified messaging

One way companies can utilize sales enablement tools to improve their business is by isolating where deals lose control and implementing measures to remedy it, thus fixing gaps in the sales process. This might entail improving the team's ability to understand the customer, presenting their sales pitch, building engagement or getting deals closed.

"Once you understand what needs to be fixed, then you can start to try out new tools to address those weaknesses," Smith said.  

Most traditional sales force platforms tend to focus on providing visibility into sales activities. Sales enablement tools, on the other hand, may assist sales staff to perform better. They can improve the efficiency of the many necessary but time-consuming and repetitive sales tasks, increase close rates by helping staff understand which assets do best in which situations and give staff the tools they need to be flexible and responsive to common purchase barriers.

"A sales enablement platform gives reps more time to sell by reducing the effort required to search for materials and information to use with buyers," said McChrystal. "It also surfaces or recommends content and other resources based on the sales situation. On average, a good platform will give reps about more 10 percent more selling time."

Unity of messaging is another gain. Sales people are famous for devising their own presentations, sales tricks and pitches. At times, this can lead to tremendous variation in messaging.

A sales enablement software platform provides approved content and messaging to mobile devices, laptops and other devices without having to ransack the website to locate it. Thus the temptation for reps to create their own content is greatly reduced, which keeps value message and branding in line with approved standards.

Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering. Currently living in Florida, he is originally from Scotland, where he received a degree in geology and geography from the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).

This article was originally published on August 12, 2016
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