This blog is part of a series focused on Sales Enablement, a modern business solution designed to help sales and marketing teams sell more effectively using information, content, and tools. Each blog will focus on a topic in the transformational technology space that can help sales and marketing become more efficient.
Sales is a complex profession, with many tasks competing against actual revenue-generating activities. The typical sales team spends only about one-third of their time actually selling. Resources are therefore a common challenge for sales departments.
Ask yourself the following questions about the sales reps in your organization:
- How much time does your sales team spend looking for documentation?
- Are you frustrated with the time spent on RFPs or pitch decks?
- Do you often feel as if there is a Grand Canyon between marketing and the efforts of your sales team?
These are all standard concerns of the average sales manager. Competition is increasing, and the overall percentage of sales reps meeting quota has declined from 63% to 54% over the past five years. Your target audience is likely more wary of a canned sales call, which is probably why the current average is 18 touches to actually connect with one prospect.
Tough times call for new approaches. In the case of sales teams, the latest innovation is sales enablement software.
What is sales enablement software?
In 2014, Entrepreneur began discussing the efficacy of “sales acceleration technology.” These tools have come a long way in the past five years. Today, a sales enablement platform connects activities, systems, processes, and information to promote knowledge-fueled sales interactions between prospects and sales reps. The software is designed to increase the productivity of sales teams, and equip sellers to deliver a better buyer experience as today’s buyers demand more from sellers.
Sales enablement software provides a consistent repository for sales and marketing collateral, allowing for the creation, sharing, delivery, and integration of content. Think of it as an ultra-intelligent digital filing cabinet. While sales enablement software houses tools for the sales team to use, it’s more than that. Functional artificial intelligence (AI) powers the query process, speeding up the time your sales team spends hunting for the data they need.
Typically, sales enablement software fulfills five functions:
- Serves as an online holding tank for marketing content
- Tracks prospect and customer engagement
- Allows the end-user to upload or build content within the software
- Facilitates the sales process by increasing access to relevant content
- Integrates with systems of record (CRM, CMS, and more)
But what are the practical applications for sales enablement software? How can these tools help your team spend more time selling?
How can sales enablement software empower your team?
As Sales Enablement software hits the market, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find functional differences between them. Ultimately, user functionality and product capabilities are most important.
When analyzing software options that various vendors offer, you should first consider the problem you are trying to solve. Many vendors focus capabilities specifically to one function, like sales coaching or document management. Other vendors broadly enable teams through the creation, sharing, and reuse of knowledge to help people make better decisions.
The more your sales team is enabled to reduce rework and solve problems on their own, the faster they’ll close. Sales enablement software takes the busywork out of selling, quickly linking reps with the information, content, and experts they need in a few clicks.
It also can give marketing peace of mind that the right content is being shared with the right customers. Sales managers see how content is being used, make improvements, and add information they feel will help close more deals.
The enterprise is not the worldwide web. It’s not a well-known, well-structured, standards-based environment where content is easily indexed. The enterprise is chaotic. Systems have grown over time, data is spread across countless systems, it’s duplicated time and time again. Unika embraces this chaos and aligns the lifecycle of experience, know-how, and expertise within the enterprise.
How often does your sales team send out emails looking for subject matter experts (SMEs)? How often do they email asking for the latest pitch deck? How about the newest case study, or documents from a past pursuit? Unika makes this content available in a way that turns tribal knowledge into everyday practice. If you’re intrigued by the concept of sales enablement software, you’re not alone. The worldwide platform market for these tools is expected to go from $1.57 billion to $5.59 billion by 2023.
Webinar On-Demand – Sales Enablement Platform 101
Whether you are new to Unika’s Sales Enablement Platform or interested in the latest sales enablement innovations, attend this webinar to learn how to get started with Unika to enable your sales team to be more consistent, more productive and win more deals.
Unika was built to help organizations easily create, discover, and use knowledge to enhance employee productivity and increase business outcomes.
Leverage your organization's collective experience for better decision making; easily search for internal experts by skill sets, industry expertise, and more.
Unika’s Intelligent-Knowledge-Assistant searches through your Unika environment and other connected systems to help answer FAQs, find people, find assets, or support complex research scenarios.
Create easy-to-read profiles that include biography, skills / expertise, employment history, certifications, affiliations and other key information about your employees.
Organize and populate knowledge into a consolidated page that can be shared internally or externally with clients.
Deploy knowledge campaigns to inform employees about active pursuits, new clients, or firm news.
Connect your document management systems, CRM, and other popular applications with ease and confidence.