According to InsidesSales.com, the number of internal sales representatives in the U.S. has increased by 4.6% since 2017. In other words, companies are increasingly seeing the importance of building strong sales teams to bring in new clients. In order to help companies acquire prospects faster, however, salespeople need access to the right tools. That’s where sales enablement platforms come into play. For this reason, competition within the sales enablement industry is fierce. Rolling out new, high-quality features as fast as possible can stand between a sales enablement solution's success, and a platform being overshadowed by competitors quicker to develop and release new additions.
So, what does it take for a sales enablement platform to succeed? We’re breaking down the major challenges and solutions within the sales enablement industry below.
What is Sales Enablement?
Hubspot classifies sales enablement as “the technology, processes, and content that empowers sales teams to sell more efficiently at a higher velocity.”
The most effective sales enablement programs combine traditional sales training programs with technology, like sales enablement platforms. Key features of sales enablement platforms include:
- Content management
- Customer management
- System integration
- Marketing tools
Sales enablement platforms provide plenty of benefits for both sales and marketing teams. But, as the industry develops, sales enablement platforms must continuously evolve. Here are the top 3 challenges sales enablement platforms face when it comes to keeping up.
1. Content Development & Management
According to Square2Marketing, 95% of consumers buy from brands that keep them engaged throughout the buying journey, namely through relevant marketing content provided each step of the way. However, the same study showed that 65% of sales reps can’t find content to send to prospects and 90% avoid using content because it’s outdated and not customizable.
Now, the question is not if buyers want content, but rather, how sellers can find suitable content personalized for their prospects throughout the sales process. Ideally, from a sales enablement platform, sellers should be able to do two main things:
- Access and manage on-brand, relevant content that will also effectively apply to each selling situation
- Gain actionable insight into what kinds of content are more effective in advancing deals
Quick Tip: To make your platform’s content development and content management solutions stand out from the competition, consider features that will improve users’ search and their ability to optimize content recommendations. This could mean incorporating features such as “automatic tagging, natural language processing, and machine learning,” Mediafly CEO, Carson Conant, recommends.
2. Mobile Device Capability
Today’s sellers are always moving. Now, sales are commonly taking place outside company walls. With sellers regularly working in the field, it's crucial that sales enablement platforms can keep up with them by serving users in a variety of settings (think mobile, tablet, and desktop).
Though a platform may look appealing on paper, if it’s not readily accessible in all forms, the solution likely won’t hold as much value throughout the everyday activities of sellers.
Here’s how a few platforms are making the most of mobile for sales:
PandaDoc: PandaDoc, a document automation software, has a mobile app, which allows sellers to close deals on the go and obtain customers’ esignatures out and about.
Lessonly: Lessonly’s sales solution allows businesses to build mobile-friendly training lessons and enables reps to do their best work on the go.
SalesRabbit: The SalesRabbit app is the ultimate answer for sellers on the go. Labeling itself “The Complete Outside Sales App,” SalesRabbit makes field sales easy by optimizing sales and management processes, tracking leads, collecting data, and more with their “field-proven approach.”
Quick Tip: If you don’t have the internal resources to make your entire sales enablement platform mobile-friendly, partner with a company that can — particularly one with the right type of expertise and a lean, agile development methodology to ensure your product updates happen iteratively.
3. Proving Platform Worth With Innovative Features
It’s no secret that the majority of sales, productivity, and marketing tools from which companies can choose are growing. Company budgets, on the other hand, are not necessarily evolving at the same pace. So, what can you do to prove that your sales enablement platform is the one worth a company’s hard-earned money?
To enable sales teams to sell as efficiently as possible, platforms like Pipedrive are doing more than simply developing new ways for salespeople to never miss a sale. Instead, they’re doing just that but with new customizable capabilities. For instance, Pipedrive offers customizable dashboards to allow users to tailor reporting and forecasting features in a way that makes sense for their approach.
Not only do sales enablement platforms have to prove themselves worthy of the initial sale but, in order to drive continued use after it’s deployed, it needs to demonstrate a valuable ROI over time. Offering features that users can customize allows platforms to adjust with user needs and preferences over time. And, all without making any internal changes themselves.
Ready to take your sales enablement solution to the next level with custom technology development? Lineate has 15+ years of experience developing technology and getting solutions to market faster to help platforms like yours stand out from the competition. Contact us here to learn more.