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It’s no secret that sales funnels and content marketing strategies are becoming more automated than ever. As they do, the potential for misalignment between sales and marketing grows as well, potentially costing your company time, morale, and, most important, revenue.
But using sales enablement solutions with the support of smart technology puts the power back in your hands, improving the effectiveness of your sales team and process, and positively affecting your bottom line. Sales enablement is all about empowering your sellers with the support, resources, and systems they need to find and compel the right buyers. Most companies, for good reason, turn to their CRM for this purpose.
However, this system is not scalable, and it doesn’t often allow for the analysis and analytics that would optimize your sales process. It frustrates salespeople, makes for siloed content, and often excludes the 60% of content created by those outside the sales team. So what is the solution?
What is sales enablement technology?
The term “sales enablement technology” refers to a software or system that allows the sales team to access content that is relevant to their target consumer and appropriate for the consumer’s position in the sales funnel. Furthermore, it ensures that content related to training, support, and analysis is accessible to salespeople and their managers so they can learn and improve over time.
Effective sales enablement technology is also incredibly smart. It uses AI-powered analysis to determine what content is the most relevant and most likely to compel the target consumer at any given point, not just what marketing says belongs at that point in the funnel. By putting the consumer first, it also makes the sales process more intuitive and effective for that consumer, building brand trust.
One of the most important roles of sales enablement technology is its ability to fill gaps in your sales and marketing content strategy. By using smart analysis, it can offer data-driven recommendations to help you make your content pool more comprehensive. It can also offer suggestions as to which pieces of content should be re-evaluated based on performance so that the consumer experience becomes even more seamless and intuitive. This allows you to review labor and budget spend, allocating more resources to filling gaps and promoting effective content.
How can sales enablement technology improve the consumer experience?
If your audience is serious about a purchase, you’re unlikely to be the only brand vying for their attention. Whether they’re actively speaking to other sales teams or simply browsing on social media, they will have content in front of them telling them why a competitor’s product or service is superior.
The right technology can help give you a competitive edge by identifying the most relevant content available and recommending the optimal time to introduce it in order to move customers through the funnel as smoothly as possible, and to make sure you’re not wasting any opportunity for additional content touch points. Ninety-five percent of customers buy from someone who gave them content at every stage of the sales process; sales enablement technology can help you identify if you are missing any of that crucial content.
Points of friction in the user experience can be identified through both manual and AI analysis as enabled by the right technology. Inconsistencies in brand, poor conversions, and misunderstandings of a consumer’s needs and behaviors can all be identified, fixed, and monitored in a centralized and efficient system.
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How can sales enablement technology improve my sales team?
One of the biggest barriers in sales, particularly in high-value transactions, is a misalignment of sales and marketing. The tension between marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads is well documented. To avoid this conflict, sales enablement technology prevents siloed content and instead empowers the sales team to manage the process and the relationship with consumers. Instead of assuming that a piece of content is appropriate, each seller can confidently select the right content to share at the right time.
At its core, sales enablement solutions do exactly as the name implies: they enable sales. This means efficiency, training, and collaboration must all be prioritized in order to make the most of the technology. By integrating as many sales-related portals and platforms as possible, salespeople no longer need to look in multiple places for the content they need, regardless of its purpose. It is all right at their fingertips, allowing them to jump easily from instructional materials like playbooks and scripts to consumer-facing content. They can also contribute to the 60% of content that doesn’t come from marketing, growing the wealth of information for the team and for the purpose of data and analytics.
What should I look for when researching sales enablement technology?
Investment in sales enablement doesn’t automatically mean positive ROI; the solution has to be fit for purpose. So when selecting technology to implement, it’s important to remember its primary functions of integration and analytics. Does it align with your current CRM and other platforms? Can it seamlessly bring together your marketing and sales content in one place? Is it easy to access and navigate? Are there AI or machine learning programs in place to help you make the most of your investment? Can it both evaluate existing content and sellers, and identify gaps in the strategy? Does it provide content analytics to give you a better understanding of who is consuming what content. An effective sales enablement solution should answer “yes” to all of these questions.
Sales enablement technology has the power to transform your entire organization. Empowered sales teams work more efficiently and effectively. Optimized content strategies reduce friction in the experiences of both consumers and sales teams. But, most important, identifying and rectifying areas that need improvement will result in more revenue.
April 6, 2019 at 12:37PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs