There are an incredible number of sales enablement tools currently available on the market, to the point where there may simply be too many. That’s why it’s important to choose your sales enablement tools wisely: trying to use too many of these tools can leave you overwhelmed and make your business less efficient. But, the question remains: “How do you choose?”
Getting To Your Goals
Part of choosing sales enablement tools is knowing what your ultimate goal is; what do you hope that using these tools will help your business accomplish? If you’re using Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software, for example, your focus may be on increasing quote production efficiency. That’s an important part of sales enablement, but what else can the software do? Investing in a program to do one task when it can really do many is a poor choice.
Before you pay for CPQ software, talk to the experts to find out what else these programs can do. You may find that the software can displace other systems that you already have in place – doing the work of collecting and archiving client information more efficiently, for example. What’s more, such software often does this work nearly automatically, so it’s important to make sure that you aren’t duplicating work as you go about your daily business.
Additionally, many sales enablement programs, including CPQ software, can be integrated with other programs already in use. The better integrated your sales enablement program is, the more staff will utilize it. Don’t allow the considerable power of these programs to be set aside because they integrate poorly with your current systems. A smooth combination of systems is vital.
Start Big, Not Small
With the new emphasis on software as a service, it’s standard practice to allow companies to try out a new service – typically for a 30-day period – before they commit to a subscription. Use this fact to your advantage. Pick up several new strategies, and give them a go all at once. This can give you a clear sense of what strategies work well for your business. The fact is that not everything will be successful. By putting more strategies out into the world, however, you multiply the likely number of hits. Then you can weed out the unsuccessful systems before your trial is up.
Another way that size and scale matter when choosing sales enablement tools is related to growth concerns. Your sales enablement tools should be able to grow with your business, since, if they’re working correctly, you should be increasing sales at a significant rate. Luckily, since many of these programs are software subscriptions based in the cloud, they tend to scale easily: just increase your subscription, and the program can grow with you.
The Human Element
When using sales enablement tools, it’s important to remember that it’s still just a tool. At the end of the day, even if you work on a B2B basis, sales is still the process of humans selling to other humans. This means that your sales team needs to have a good handle on how to use the tools that your company has adopted. Commit to training your team properly in order to get the best results.
Great trainings tend to start before staff enters the room. By giving them work to do before training starts, everyone is engaged and ready to go on training day – or, rather, training days. Effective training takes more than one session. You want your team to feel confident using your sales enablement tools so that, when they interact with clients, they can comfortably navigate the programs and speak with authority.
Math And Maps
In addition to crafting a broad spread in your use of sales enablement strategy, it’s important that someone on your sales team be able to do a little math. Calculate how many sales you need to execute in order to be successful, how well each system seems to work, and what the gap between those two things might be. It also helps to have a calculation of how well your sales were going before implementing these tools; this allows you to measure growth properly.
Alongside the numbers, a clear map of all of the steps in the sales process can help your staff facilitate the process more effectively. What steps does a sale need to move through to get from initiation to completion? Hand out these maps to all sales team members, noting key contacts throughout the process and areas where there have historically been problems. Figuring out how to overcome these problem areas is an important part of making your sales enablement tools work for your business.
It Takes A Village
How is your sales team broken down? Are there members who are specifically committed to sales enablement? While you don’t need a large force committed to this task, 59% of top performing companies report that they have a defined sales enablement sector, although the majority of companies with such a function have fewer than four employees doing this work. It doesn’t take hundreds of people to increase your sales capacity – just a small, committed group that fully understands the process from start to finish.
Part of what makes sales enablement tools so powerful is that they not only improve your business’s efficiency, but they also feature strong predictive capacities. Make sure to assess the tools available to you based on what they can tell you about what comes next. Too many companies focus exclusively on what’s already happened, on manipulating knowledge of past results to make predictions. If you choose the right sales enablement tools, you won’t need to make these predictions. The software will do it for you.
The iQuotexpress Advantage
At iQuoteXpress, we specialize in software as a service programming with an emphasis on sales enablement. Are you unsure of which programs will work best for your business? Contact us today to speak to a representative. We can help to guide you through selecting appropriate software, managing training and implementation, and transitioning and integrating old practices.
Once you start enhancing your sales enablement process, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your business can grow. Start streamlining your sales process today, and don’t delay; your competitors are embracing the power of sales enablement. It’s time for your business to get on board.