Recently, we talked about why you need a sales enablement strategy, pronto, and how to create actionable and effective sales enablement content. Sales enablement creates a bridge between your sales staff and your marketing team, optimizing that relationship to usher buyers through the customer journey and win conversions, fast. But to build a bridge that’s strong and supportive, you need the right tools. Before you grab that hammer and start looking for nails, let’s go back to the beginning: the blueprint.
Designing a Blueprint for Sales Enablement Success
We’ve got a toolbox overflowing with software programs, services and platforms that will help you maximize both your sales and marketing teams. But first, we have to create a blueprint – in this case, a sales enablement strategy – that will guide you to choose the right tools for the job. We’ve broken it down into three key functions of sales enablement:
We’ll take a deeper dive into each of those functions, and highlight some of the tools that will help you build a bridge that’s sturdy, reliable and transformational to your teams.
Sales Enablement Blueprint Builder: Organization
First up, in creating your sales enablement strategy, you’ll need to decide how you want the process to work, and where you want to house your sales enablement content. Sales reps report spending upwards of 43 hours a month just searching for content to share with their leads. That’s time they could be using for growing relationships and converting those leads into sales. But, if your sales people have access to a hub of resources that puts the information at their fingertips and makes it easy for them to get it in front of the right audience at the right time… you’ve successfully made sales enablement magic.
Sales Enablement Tools for Organization:
Sales Content Management: Also called sales asset management tools, a sales content management platform will offer a portal to your sales enablement content that is easily accessible, searchable and shareable. SCM platforms can integrate with your CRM to help you track customer data and metrics, but also provides an archive of materials and resources your sales team can pull from whenever they need content. Platforms like Seismic and Mediafly help you build a content library that is consistent, on-brand and multifunctional. Whatever the need, whatever the audience, and wherever they are in the funnel, an SCM will help your sales staff find exactly what they need. Of course, if you're looking for a budget-friendly way to manage your sales enablement content, you can try free options like creating a spreadsheet or a folder to house all content in Google Drive or a work management service like Asana where you could list out a "project board" for your sales team with different scripts, content links, etc. or easily loop them into conversations when there are new content launches.
CRM: It’s likely your sales staff already has a CRM they’re familiar with, which makes this a great jumping-off point for sales enablement. They’ve been trained on inputting customer information, and use the CRM as a repository of key data. Many CRMs like Salesforce or HubSpot, integrate with sales enablement software, making it your gateway to other tools. If you're currently using a tool such as SalesForce, consider a solution that allows all of your marketing and sales efforts to seamlessly integrate (this is why we prefer HubSpot at First Page).
Sales Enablement Blueprint Builder: Connection
Remember what we said about building a bridge? Sales enablement is that bridge — the one that exists between your marketing team and your sales team. But it also represents the bridge being built between salespeople and customers. Sales enablement content is all about connections — the internal connections between your employees, and the external connection with your audience. Creating a sales enablement hub, like we mentioned above, and populating it with worthy content, will help build the bridge between sales and marketing. But there are other tools that will connect your employees to the buyer...
Sales Enablement Tools for Connection:
Automation: The simpler your marketers make the process, the more likely your sales staff is to use it. Creating automated content, like email sequences triggered by buyer behaviors, will help save your sales team time, while ensuring the right message gets through, every time. Prospecting can also be automated, so you can be sure your leads are warm, while your sales folks stay cool as a cucumber. You may also want to consider an automated SMS text service like VoiceSage, which will allow your marketing team to create strong brand messaging your sales team can deploy automatically to optimize customer engagement.
Live Chat: The best time to interact with a buyer is when they’re toward the end of the decision-making process. For many shoppers these days, that means they’re on your website. Utilizing a live chat feature allows your marketing team to control the message, while your sales staff maintains the relationship. Services like Zendesk, or this tool from HubSpot, provide a live chat platform that integrates seamlessly with its sales enablement tools.
Social Selling: This is pretty much a requirement for brands today. It’s kind of like that, “if a tree falls in the woods…” analogy: if a brand markets offline, is there anyone there to notice it? There are a ton of social management platforms out there that cater to B2B and B2C audiences, but one of the best for both prospecting and social listening is LinkedIn Sales Navigator, with real-time prospect updates and customized demographic searches.
Sales Enablement Blueprint Builder: Tracking
The best way to implement a winning sales enablement strategy is to fully understand what works… and what doesn’t. Not every tool or content type will be right for your sales team, but knowing what they’re most likely to use (and use successfully) will help your marketing team with messaging and efficiency.
Sales Enablement Tools for Tracking:
Customer Interaction: Sales tools like Attach provides data on how prospective customers are interacting with your content. This is a great tool to show sales people what types of content work the best, and show marketers how to adjust their messaging to maximize impact.
Accountability: There’s no ambition without a little (healthy) competition. That’s the premise behind Ambition, a sales enablement tool that helps you monitor, track and benchmark sales performance. It also provides you with gamification tools that make excelling fun and exciting. And you can’t win if you aren’t inputting data into your connected CRM… so it’s a perfect motivator for otherwise tedious tasks.
Scorecards: There are no participation trophies in sales. The truth is always in the numbers, and products like Brainshark supply them, in conjunction with custom coaching and training content that will take your sales team to the next level.
HubSpot: Your All-in-One Sales Enablement Toolkit
As a Preferred HubSpot Agency Partner, we always recommend HubSpot's robust and accessible toolbox full of sales enablement software, services and products. We use them internally at First Page because most of the features and tools for sales enablement listed above are all provided by HubSpot's Sales Pro platform and integrate easily with what we're doing with SEO, Content and other inbound marketing tactics to pull in leads. HubSpot can get you started with all you need, from CRM to email sequencing and automation. You can read more about their take on sales enablement here, plus find their recommended products and services in this comprehensive list.
If you feel like there’s a chasm between your sales and marketing teams, a solid sales enablement strategy – like a great blueprint – will help you build a bridge. And the tools we’ve listed here are ready and waiting. If you’re feeling like you need more help, consider our Sales Enablement Expert the architect to your success! Contact us today to get started.