These days everyone is talking about sales enablement. But when you start digging in to the term you realize it can refer to a whole spectrum of technology solutions that serve very different purposes.
I read a recent article that outlined six different categories of sales enablement software solutions. Each of these categories serves a unique purpose within the sales process:
- Customer Relationship Management
- Marketing Automation
- Knowledge Management
- Configure, Price, Quote
- Sales Intelligence
- Communications Solutions
Chances are, your team already has solutions in place in several of these areas. So maybe it’s time to fill in the gaps or replace a solution that isn’t delivering results.
Where do you need help most?
Start by evaluating your biggest business challenges and decide where you need help most. Do your sales reps spend too much of their time looking for materials and answers to questions? You may want to look into a platform with a strong knowledge management component. Are your reps struggling with giving demos online? Then a communications platform may be what you’re looking for. By understanding what the biggest pain points are for your business, you can start to cut through the sales enablement clutter.
What’s working with your current solutions?
Before you start to look at new vendors, it’s important to analyze the existing tools your team is already using. Where do they fall short? What can’t you live without? Are people using the solutions? Why or why not? Why are they successful or failing? Once you’ve done this internal analysis, it’s time to start considering new or replacement technologies.
What is your plan for evaluating options?
As you narrow down the list of solutions you’re interested in, come up with a common set of questions to ask potential vendors. And as you’re evaluating technologies, don’t overlook the hidden costs like lengthy implementations or added technical support if a solution is difficult to use.
Is everyone onboard?
Lastly, remember, any sales enablement technology you implement will only be successful if your leadership teams are onboard and your employees have incentive to use the solution. This means involving them in the decision making process and having a strong rollout plan measured by adoption.
The bottom line to strategically implementing sales enablement within your company is: understand the landscape, have a game plan, evaluate your options, and hold your team accountable for success. Do these things, and you should have a strong solution to help drive your future growth.
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