Sales Enablement Tools: 7 Features To Look Out For
As selling becomes virtual, sales reps today need to have better conversations with their clients to convey value effectively, respond to queries of an increasingly informed customer, and effectively navigate the ever-changing demands of this competitive landscape. Enter sales enablement .
Ever since its big breakout in 2017, it has become a dedicated function in many sales organizations, creating a tangible impact on the business results. In a past article titled “Five Sales Enablement Trends To Look Out For In 2021,” we discussed in-depth the five underlying trends that we believe will further accelerate the rise of sales enablement in the coming years.
There are countless sales enablement tools available in the market, and therefore to streamline your search, we have created a checklist of 7 important features you should look out for in a sales enablement tool before signing on the dotted line.
1. Just-In-Time Learning
Just-In-Time learning is having access to information just when you need it. It is like looking on Google to find a good place to eat. It is all around us, learners have become habituated to “knowing” at the click of a button. Why should your sales reps expect any different? Sales reps are always on the go, their days packed with client meetings. Therefore, sales reps must have access to insights, tools, and information that can enable them to personalize conversations to the client’s interests.
Microlearning modules with bite-sized content increase the accessibility of learning content by breaking down the training barriers and enabling sales reps to access training whenever it best suits their needs and just before the moment of application. A sales enablement tool should equip a sales rep with the right information at the right time to increase the quality of customer engagement, which could lead to faster sales cycles, increased revenue, and higher target completion.
2. Reinforcement And Retention
A recently published study by the Technical University of Denmark suggests the collective global attention span is narrowing due to the amount of information that is presented to the public. We are living in an era of cognitive overload. Sales reps tend to forget newly learned skills by 50% within just a few days post a conventional sales training program! This has given rise to the popularity of microlearning. When investing in a sales enablement tool, it is important to assess the efficacy of the medium of sales training the tool utilizes.
By breaking down the traditional sales training content into microlearning experiences, there is a reduction in the cognitive load and perceived investment of time for the sales reps. A microlearning sales training experience enables the sales rep to view the same material repeatedly and reduces the time taken to pull the information from their long-term memory.
Seller engagement is crucial to the success of any sales enablement initiative. With the level of pressure involved in the job of a sales rep, it’s often difficult for them to engage with the learning content. This is where gamification comes in. Gamification of the learning content introduces a fun factor that enhances sales reps’ focus and motivation to keep going further and achieving the set goals or objectives. For instance, the sales onboarding process can be gamified to boost knowledge retention and application of skills for recruits by incentivizing them to consistently learn through rewards for successful completion, repetitive testing, and mastery of the given skillset. It can also add a social element to the onboarding process and allow friendly communication between the new sales reps.
4. System Of Intelligence
Traditionally, sales enablement tools were built as systems of integrations with an organization’s ERPs, CRMs, and LMSs, the systems of record. However, in today’s world, the sales enablement tools are becoming systems of intelligence with AI-driven feedback. Sales trainers can refer to enablement data to constantly improve and update sales training content. Data can also be used to make the learning journey of sales reps adaptive based on their learning curve or ramp-up time as well as performance on the job.
5. Content Management
Buyers in today’s world are more knowledgeable than ever before, and they need information that will provide them with relevant insights. This means that the sales representatives also need access to great content at the right time to position themselves better. Therefore, to create a practice of delivering superior customer experience, sales organizations need to invest in platforms, tools, and services that can enable not only their salesforce but also their post-sales support to keep pace with their customers’ knowledge, buying habits, and expectations.
Streamlining and categorizing the learning content into categories such as product knowledge, selling skills, etc., can enable a sales rep to easily navigate the tool and find the required selling content with minimal clicks and minimal frustration. In addition to the streamlining of the content, a sales enablement tool with built-in content authoring functionality to enhance sales reps’ effectiveness can enable rapid content creation and reduce the number of follow-ups required by learning managers to upskill or reskill the workforce.
6. Manager Enablement
Sales enablement can prove to be an expensive investment for any sales organization, especially if they have no way to measure the success of their sales enablement initiative. A sales enablement tool that provides insights and analytics into the learning of the sales reps could be a key to manager enablement as well. Micro-assessments can help sales managers determine whether the sales representatives are ready to apply learning to actual sales interactions. They can identify skill gaps and embed the resulting insights during the daily huddles, weekly reviews, and other internal sales discussions.
A data-driven approach to microlearning can further bridge the gap between a sales manager’s intuition and actual results about their sales team. Having access to distributed and personalized reporting, dashboards, and analytics can help a manager to personalize the learning for individual sales reps, leading to better learning outcomes.
7. Manager Coaching
Sales managers are the key element in every step of the sales enablement journey. This makes manager coaching a crucial feature to look out for in your next sales enablement platform. A sales enablement tool should enable managers with coaching tips and skills to coach their reps better and should aid in tracking the impact of coaching on sales reps’ performance.
Whether your organization has already embarked upon this journey or is just setting up its sales enablement practice, the sales enablement tool you adopt must be successful in accelerating your sales.