Higher demands in the sales field create higher standards for marketing content, and the sales enablement tools used to manage, deploy and measure it. Unfortunately, not all sales enablement platforms are created equal. There are a number of requirements that go into an optimized sales enablement solution that align its capabilities and functionalities with what reps need to sell.
1. Optimization for All File Types
Companies need the ability to leverage the flexibility and functionality of rich media, especially HTML5. These, along with videos and multi-media PDFs, drive engagement and conversion potential among prospects and can be valuable sources of data-gathering for marketers and executives.
Because this rich media content can be large and sophisticated, marketers need a centralized platform that enables them to store, manage and deploy these file types securely and efficiently in the field. Elements like file encryption, rights restrictions, and mobile and wireless optimization help ensure that no matter which file type a rep uses, they can access it immediately. In addition, having a platform optimized for a variety of content formats gives marketers the ability to better track and measure how their content is being used in the field, rather than be limited by a “sent” or “shared” date.
2. Offline Functionality
The right platform helps marketers ensure that sales results aren’t limited by global networks or WiFi dead zones. Reps need to be as mobile and wireless as the environments they’re selling in, without sacrificing prospect engagement and conversion potential by using print materials or pitch sheets. Purpose-built sales enablement technology enables marketing teams to bridge the gap between deploying large, sophisticated content files and keeping salespeople agile enough to sell wherever they are.
3. System Integration and “Big Data” Optimization
The right sales enablement solution will fit into existing business systems, workflows, and processes seamlessly. It should be flexible enough to support a company’s sales process, the makeup of the sales organization, and the needs of marketing. Integration with existing systems like ERP, CRM, CRP, BI (business intelligence) ensures that the data and insights collected from the sales field contribute to tangible business results from top to bottom – databases are up to date, external outreach is accurate, execs get the reporting necessary to greenlight decisions and sales managers receive alerts and notifications that help them manage teams in the field. In addition to gauging the integration capabilities of a platform, marketing teams also have to consider how much development work is necessary to set up and maintain the integration. While IT involvement certainly helps in this regard, most quality platforms shouldn’t need it.
4. Presentation Metrics
Without specific and relevant metrics for marketing content and sales presentations, marketers lack the visibility necessary to optimize the sales enablement process. A purpose-built platform enables marketers and other executives to track not only what content is used in the sales field, but also how it contributes to sales conversions. Having this visibility informs decision making regarding content development, sales training and even personnel.
5. On-demand Training Capabilities
Sales enablement is an active process that should empower and equip salespeople to close, and that should include providing them with the knowledge and skills necessary to be more effective in the field. It’s expensive and time-consuming to recall reps from the field for in-house training – and training manuals and instructional materials are easily lost and don’t always align with reps’ individual learning and retention styles. Marketers can leverage sales enablement tools to not only give reps the content they need to sell, but also the video tutorials, product demonstrations and learning insights they require to become more predictive salespeople.
Platform Features Are Only the Start
The right technical features and platform requirements are essential for optimizing the sales enablement process. But marketers can help their companies make smarter investments in sales enablement tools and technologies by taking the time to ensure every element of the platform aligns with what drives sales conversions. Using the right platform, companies can streamline the sales enablement process and empower reps to close and save their companies on the time, hassle, and resources required to manage multiple devices, features, and content assets.