Every business is selling something, whether widgets or expertise. Regardless of the product or service you offer, your team needs to be able to sell your wares to both new and existing customers, yet we find that many are hampered by a lack of appropriate resources. Research shows that an effective sales enablement framework can increase sales conversion by as much as 30%, yet recent data reveals that only around a third of companies have a dedicated sales enablement programme.
Clearly, investing in this area could give your organisation a distinct commercial advantage, but first let’s look at what we mean by sales enablement. Put simply, it means giving your sales people the tools, content and information they need to sell more effectively. For the sales manager or sales director, it also means having access to analytics which help them understand the sales process better and identify how it can be improved.
Based on years of building sales enablement apps for our clients, here’s our guide to the essential elements to look for:
The most important aspect of any sales enablement system is accessibility. It’s likely that your salesforce isn’t entirely office-based, so whatever tools you employ must be easy to use remotely. Whether your team is working from home, a train, a hotel room or a client’s premises, they need to have full and easy access to all parts of the system. It should be able to work offline too as there’s nothing worse than a presentation crashing due to inadequate Wi-Fi. It should also be device-neutral, operating effectively from desktop, laptop or tablet.
The purpose of a sales enablement system is to sell better, which means you must be able to customise it to suit your business. Making do with a one-size-fits-all tool which doesn’t meet your needs or reflect your offering accurately could actually make sales harder rather than easier, so pick a system which you can tailor and adapt easily. For this reason, our Presenter app uses HTML so that each presentation functions like a mini website which is fully responsive and interactive, rather than being a static set of slides. We can imbed a host of different customisable features so your content is dynamic and engaging.
A key part of sales enablement is saving time. Helping your team to work more efficiently – whether spending less time on creating sales materials, being able to share resources easily, or collaborating with colleagues – is one of the most powerful ways to drive sales. By having a central depository, accessible from everywhere, presentations and sales collateral can be managed, used and stored securely. Out-of-date materials can be deleted or archived at the click of a mouse and new items disseminated just as simply. Having a library of approved slides and materials means that new presentation combinations can be put together in minutes too.
While sales enablement is about empowering your salesforce to be more effective, an element of control is also imperative. Experience tells us that, like a forest left untamed, a system which isn’t monitored or managed can quickly get overgrown and out of control. Sales managers and directors need to have full oversight of the sales enablement process so an easily accessible content management system (CMS) is a must. There is enormous value in being able to see which sales materials are performing best for you, how your salespeople are using the system, as well as identifying any under-used resources, so make sure that the back-end analytics tell you what you need to know.
There is no shortage of sales enablement systems available, so arguably the hardest part is picking the right one for you. If you have a field sales team of 10 or more and you’re not yet taking advantage of the benefits of sales enablement, call us on 020 7378 1446 to talk through your options.