It’s clear that organizations of all sizes are investing heavily in sales enablement technology. In a recent study on the State of Sales Enablement, sales enablement budgets increased at 47% of respondent companies. Of respondents indicating a rising budget, over 30% cited gains of greater than 11% year-over-year. Companies with sales enablement personnel, processes, and technology are increasing their budget allocations, an indication that the high ROI expected by sales enablement is being achieved.
While that’s an impressive stat and shows the importance of a measurable, structured approach to sales enablement, without a plan to drive adoption amongst sales reps, technology can only do so much. According to a study from CSO Insights, just over half of all organizations lack a formal sales enablement vision.
The fact is, in order to maximize the value of a sales enablement platform, you need both the right technology and the right plan to drive and maintain adoption. Here are five critical components you should consider when searching for a sales enablement platform to improve adoption.
1.) Let Sales Reps Sell
One of the easiest ways to help sales drive revenue is to reduce or remove non-selling tasks from their days, and a sales enablement platform can help immensely. According to research from McKinsey, an average sales rep spends sixty-five percent of their time on non-selling activities. Removing some of their administrative tasks and wild-goose chases looking for content only helps performance.
A good sales enablement solution eliminates a lot of the administrative tasks like tracking activities, email pitches, and live online meetings in your CRM system against the lead, account, or opportunity record. The platform should automate this work to let sales reps sell instead of processing data all day.
2.) Keep it Simple and Reliable
To avoid having your sales enablement platform become “just another” piece of technology that sales is “required” to use, it should make life easier for them. Solutions that force sales reps to work outside of their preferred methodology are less likely to be adopted.
For example, when it comes to ensuring your reps can find the content they need for a particular selling scenario, don’t assume they’ll search how marketing has categorized something. They may think about content completely differently than marketing. Your sales enablement platform should make it simple for reps to find what they need—when they need it—with intuitive search that works, automatic language filtering, and intelligent content recommendations.
3.) Work Where Your Sales Reps Work—and Make it Seamless
Just like anyone, sales reps generally have a preferred workflow and typically like to use one or two systems (at most) to get their critical tasks accomplished so they don’t have to flip between siloed systems. Focus time to work is rare and fleeting, so seamless integration across CRM systems, Outlook and other email platforms, 1-click live online meetings, and 1-click Microsoft Office editing capabilities is critical. If they have to learn a new workflow, odds are high that adoption will suffer.
4.) Help Sales Reps Prioritize Prospects Based on Buying Indicators
As the saying goes, “knowledge is power.” When sales reps know how, when, and for how long a prospect has engaged, they can better prioritize where to focus their time and energy to close deals. A good sales enablement platform offers the ability to see how much time a prospect spent on certain content and if they forwarded it to their colleagues, as well as the ability to organize and filter that engagement all on one holistic pitch dashboard.
5.) Align Content to Sales Goals and Targets
It’s no secret that sales reps live and die by their quotas. Solutions that don’t help them sell better simply get in the way and will never be adopted. Your sales enablement platform should be able to measure content usage throughout the sales cycle as well as analyze content’s effectiveness in moving customers through the buying process including its impact on revenue.
The platform should offer closed loop analytics that let you understand which pieces customers respond to with absolute certainly, enabling mapping of content back to revenue results and letting you optimize content over time to help sales hit their goals and targets. When sales and marketing know what works, they know where to focus their energy to better drive revenue. It’s a win/win, and it makes both teams happy and successful.
When it comes to selecting and deploying a sales enablement platform, these five items are critical to successful sales team adoption. Robust solutions fit all of these requirements—and more—with easy and intuitive interfaces, but not all solutions are created equal. From a sales enablement professional’s standpoint, it’s also important to have a platform—and platform provider—that understands the importance of user adoption.
There are three ways to measure user adoption: By number of people who have adopted, breadth usage (how many people used the solution over a period of time), and depth usage (how many people have used the product to accomplish something of value).
Okay, now what?
Now that you know how to set sales up for success with a sales enablement platform, check out this recent report from SiriusDecisions that provides an evaluation of the capabilities of 12 sales asset management vendors, including a comparison of the available features, strengths, and challenges of each provider. This report is very informative and thorough, and if you’re searching for a new sales enablement platform, it will undoubtedly help.