If businesses want to stay on top in today’s chaotic sales environment, they need to keep a pulse on the marketplace. There’s no department more important to have this tight grasp of knowledge than Sales. In a world of empowered, informed and tech-savvy customers, sales professionals need to be more adept than ever when it comes to streamlining the buyer journey—sales enablement tools enable reps to accomplish this.
Fortunately, hundreds tools have emerged to help sales professionals remain at the forefront of their customer’s mind. However, as with anything in business, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for sales enablement tools. While some companies access tools to create better alignment between sales and marketing, others will use sales enablement to deliver the right content to their sales department at the right time.
The key thing to remember is that implementing the right sales enablement tool can give you the strength you need to share content, boost productivity and enhance employee engagement. Eventually, this process will give you the positioning you need to streamline your sales funnel, and close more accounts.
What Is Sales Enablement?
Before we cover some of the most productive sales enablement tools on the market today, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re looking for. Sales enablement is a strategic process designed to optimize the buyer journey. Essentially, the tools you use in this approach are designed to give sales departments better interactions with their prospects, allowing them to close more deals.
Though sales enablement tools can be diverse, each offering a range of unique features, some of the most common elements of any platform are:
1. Content Management Features
65% of sales reps say they can’t find the right content to nurture prospects. In a world where content is produced more rapidly than ever, sales enablement solutions can help you to organize, store and publish content quickly and effectively. Ideally, you’ll be able to transform chaotic content into a manageable asset for driving revenue.
2. Customer Engagement Solution
Studies show that failure to align sales and marketing around customer engagement can cost B2B companies 10% of their revenue per year. Sales enablement tools create faster connections with customers, empowering businesses to share their best content at the most appropriate times.
Demand generation teams report the least alignment around analytics (31.8%) and content development (34.6%). Unfortunately, your marketing efforts need to be measurable if you want to learn from what’s working. Analytics can help you to fill the gaps in your sales solution and produce a more effective strategy for success.
For sales departments to thrive, they need to be experts in placing the right content in front of the right customers, at the right time. Companies that excel at this lead nurturing process can generate 50% more qualified leads at a 33% lower cost. Sales enablement tools simplify the sales cycle, allowing easier interactions with prospects and customers by minimizing the time it takes to place relevant content in front of your target audience.
Finding the Best Sales Enablement Tools
The purpose of the marketing and sales teams in any business is to drive sustainable growth. With the right sales enablement solutions, you can bring Marketing and Sales together while giving reps the technology they need to perform at their highest potential. The following tools will align cross-departmental processes while simplifying campaign management, providing the background you need to understand your key metrics.
A sales enablement strategy designed to assist teams in B2B environments. B2B sales often mean numerous stakeholders and longer sales cycles. Membrain provides a dedicated platform that meets the demands of more complex sales teams, making it easier to execute a powerful sales strategy with consistent guidance and performance analytics.
- Simplify complex B2B sales processes with continuous guidance and analytics
- Access a simplified coaching platform to improve team performance
- Integration with Salesforce available
- Access varied visual tools that improve the selling experience
- Track key metrics at every stage of the buyer journey
- Determine win rate influencers with graphs
Another simple yet effective tool for sales enablement, Unboxed advisor is a platform designed for enterprise sales teams working both online and offline. The solution cuts down on training time for sales representatives and can guide learners through their initial experiences with customers. There is also a range of add-ons to choose from.
- A range of interactive demos to help showcase services and products
- Guided selling engine that creates recommendations based on customer input
- Content library features to organize and share marketing and sales media
- Lightweight CRM capable of managing some accounts and recommendations
- Powerful metrics and reporting capabilities
Many organizations are realizing the impact their employees have in amplifying brand awareness to ultimately attract better, more qualified leads. Bambu aligns organizational goals to increase business revenue, scale employee growth, boost awareness and streamline internal communications. Bambu also engages prospects with exciting content straight from your employees, helping your team gain consumer trust and achieve stronger levels engagement.
- Manage user experience with simplified permission and access management
- Inspire stronger brand connections with built-in tools for social engagement
- Empower employees to advocate for your company by sharing content
- Reach more qualified sales prospects
- Inspire thought leadership
- Boost revenue with quality leads
- Improve sales with insight and visibility through analytics
- Ensure consistency and compliance with an advanced management platform
Check out a personalized demo of Bambu, centered around how your team can launch a social selling program and enable employees to be industry thought-leaders—ultimately driving new business that impacts your bottom line.
Yesware isn’t a standalone platform for sales enablement like many of the tools on this list. Instead, it’s a Gmail plugin that allows email marketers and sales professionals to discover more from their inbox. The system provides powerful insights into prospect and customer reactions in the email world, which could be useful since email should be accessed by 3 billion people by 2020.
- Email tracking features to align metrics and sales goals
- Customizable templates and demos
- CRM integration available
- Synchronize automatically between your CRM and inbox
- Access follow-up reminders so you don’t forget to nurture a lead
One of the key factors of sales enablement revolves around the ability to track goals and projects. After all, your Sales and Marketing teams both need to access projects that need management. Mavenlink provides a full oversight of your business operation so that you can see exactly how your company is working overall. It also permits different areas of the business to collaborate and connect easily.
- Improve collaboration by simplifying communication between groups
- Manage resources more effectively, and distribute content quickly
- Improve business intelligence with consistent tracking and metrics
- Get a complete view of your operation through spreadsheets and visuals
- Deliver better content with simpler planning and scheduling
- Enjoy real-time access to project profitability and performance
GetAccept is another of the most popular sales enablement tools on the market today, designed to help salespeople close more deals. It enhances business performance by organizing the sales experience into a streamlined set of stages, intended to stop prospects from slipping through the fingers of representatives. The platform provides tools for every level of the sales experience.
- Sign sales documents quickly and securely with e-signatures
- Create video presentations and introductions to enhance sales proposals
- Real-time discussions and messaging drives deals forward with quicker communication
- Smart reminders deliver notifications according to pattern recognition and document behavior
- Mobile apps for Android and iOS keep sales and marketing connected on the go
- “Deal Accelerator” uses intelligence to increase sales options
A sales enablement strategy that focuses on activity management, LevelEleven helps companies to generate more ROI by empowering sales teams with real-time visibility into the daily performance of their projects. The solution looks at key sales strategies and behaviors and keeps teams on track with contests, as well as monthly, weekly, and daily goal-setting options.
- Improve employee engagement with team performance scorecards
- Simplify training with a central coaching hub
- Personalized performance cards and “early warning systems” to track performance
- Activity snapshots provide insight into daily behaviors
- Sales contest automation options gamify the sales process
This sales enablement platform is intended to help teams push content across a range of different marketing channels at once. It features a simple and centralized management platform which helps to promote brand compliance and consistency, along with an end-to-end solution for measuring and tracking sales.
- Execute and manage omnichannel campaigns easily
- Customize everything according to your sales strategy preferences
- Integrate with Google apps, and go mobile with iOS and Android versions
- Write emails directly from Pipedrive
- Provide activity reminders to groups to keep the team on track
- View statistics and measure prospects that are “won” or “lost”
Content will always be an important aspect of business growth. However, placing the right content in front of your audience at the right time can be difficult. Fortunately, sales enablement tools like Showpad make it easier for companies to organize their content assets, with a range of intuitive features used by more than 850 companies worldwide today.
- Centralized content hub allows salespeople to deliver the right content to the right audiences
- Cross-channel content sharing is simplified, regardless of format
- Mobile access available for remote workers
- Built-in analytics and report track and measure content performance
- Examine engagement metrics for each content piece
The Future of Sales Enablement
76% of marketers responsible for content forget about the benefits of sales enablement. However, companies with strong Sales and Marketing alignment can achieve up to a 20% annual growth rate, compared to companies with poor alignment that face 4% annual revenue loss. Sales enablement tools can improve the performance of your sales department, enhance productivity and drive revenue to your business forward.
Fortunately, there are countless sales enablement tools on the market today. Finding the one that works best for you will often be a personalized experience, but it’s helpful to dig a little deeper into the capabilities of each platform before making your decision.
Kevin King is the Marketing Lead for Bambu by Sprout Social and film lover turned SEO geek. When he isn’t poring over massive Excel files, he can be found enjoying live music, superhero movies and select craft beers.
The 9 Ultimate Sales Enablement Tools to Streamline Your Buyer’s Journey
Written by Kevin King on October 27, 2017