Buying a sales enablement solution? Maybe you've heard the sales pitches or marketing messages about the rainbows and unicorns a sales enablement solution can deliver. But you're skeptical...
Or perhaps you've implemented sales enablement solution and are still waiting to realize the promises. You feel stuck and frustrated.
If these statements resonate with you, you are not alone. Many organizations have spent big on sales enablement but are not getting their expected return on investment.
As an entrepreneur, I've seen a lot. But what I've seen time and time again are 5 common mistakes companies make when investing in a sales enablement solution. Let me share them with you so you can avoid a negative return on your investment:
#1: Not giving sellers what they need
On average, most organizations implementing sales enablement really only utilize 35% of the tool purchased. That’s just not good enough. User engagement is critical to the success of a sales enablement deployment, so both your direct and indirect sales teams need to adopt the solution for sales success.
You may ask, why don't they use the shiny new sales tool you bought them? Often, it’s because it doesn't deliver what the salespeople want or need to help them engage buyers and close deals. Listen to your salespeople to discover what will help them achieve their and your revenue goals.
#2: Bad user interface
Our experiences with consumer software interfaces most definitely shapes our expectations for business tools. Netflix and Facebook-type experiences engage us and compel us to interact. So, why is it that sales technology software looks like something out of the 1990s? With everything we ask of our salespeople, we need to make it easy for them to understand and use the tools we provide.
If the UI/UX of the sales enablement you’re using or looking at is old and outdated (aka "it sucks"), then you are sacrificing users and ROI.
Lastly, make it attractive and easy to use without training.
#3: Outdated content
Managing a sales enablement solution takes time and resources. Having antiquated media and product information in your system is the kiss of death. Sales will turn their backs on it, and you'll have a hard time getting them back.
I know this seems obvious, but having current sales materials goes back to having the marketing resources to manage the content management system adequately. If it’s easier to add new media than to search and delete old stuff, the problem may be the sales enablement system itself.
There are sales enablement systems out there that are designed for large organizations with dedicated staff just to manage content. But is your business one of them?
As we know, more is not always better. Unless you have a large team of dedicated content managers, you may want to avoid complex platforms with dozens of features you don't need, can't manage, and are baked into your regular pricing.
Be sure to take a look at the total cost of ownership. A sales enablement solution that’s easy to implement and use, delivers solutions to the problems your sales and marketing teams are facing and brings a high value to cost, is what you need to hit revenue goals.
#4: Poor integration with CRM or marketing automation
You have enough silos without buying another one. Sales enablement is the glue that binds your sales and marketing technology stacks. Sales enablement represents that last mile that leads directly to the customer giving your reps what they need to meaningfully engage with their buyers. It pulls from and feeds both sales and marketing operations. This happens via integrations.
Imagine the customer engagement data that is lost because you haven't integrated your sales enablement solution with your CRM and marketing automation. Imagine how many leads are lost from trade shows because you couldn't track and follow up promptly. Don’t be left in the dust by competitors who have access to leads right away for quick follow-up. When sales enablement is combined with other intent data and engagement solutions, you have a complete solution for boosting sales.
#5: Not leveraging collaboration
There are two essential aspects to collaboration: external and internal.
First, external: As sales technology drives sales processes more and more, the salesperson's role increasingly focuses on developing relationships with customers. Successful B2B sellers navigating a complex sale engage and collaborate with their customers as a part of the buying process.
These successful salespeople position themselves to be a part of the buying journey by offering information that is helpful to the customer – not canned sales messaging. Your sales enablement solution needs to provide multiple venues for your salespeople to engage customers and build relationships. More than just email and video conferencing, it’s important to keep customers engaged with digital salesrooms and relevant interactive media.
Regarding internal collaboration, the key to the success of your sales enablement solution is alignment between your sales and marketing organizations. By collaborating as you explore solutions, manage media, and monitor the solution's analytics and performance, your teams begin working together.
I know you may think most of this advice is common sense. And I agree with you. Truthfully, hardly any organization does it well because it can be very hard work and takes time.
Sales enablement is a broad and ill-defined term. There are thousands of vendors with their unique perspectives on the market. So how do you cut through the noise?
Keep it simple and focus on results.
Give your salespeople a solution that’s attractive, familiar, and easy for them to use. If it contains up-to-date content and tools that help them advance the sale, you’ve done them and you, a favor.
Integrate the sales enablement platform with your marketing and sales tech stacks, so you get actionable data on customer and sales engagement.
And use sales enablement to foster better relationships with customers and inside your organization.
That's a pretty good ROI if you ask me.