Sales Enablement or SharePoint: Empowering Sales Teams in Life Sciences

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Maintaining compliance with your sales and marketing content in today’s dynamic life sciences industry is not a simple task. The landscape is ever-changing due to the regulatory and disclosure aspects of personal data, pharmaceutical disclosures, and medical device representations. For organizations navigating this multifaceted industry, efficiency in availability and use (speed) coupled with the need for compliance in the sales environment are crucial.

Microsoft’s SharePoint has been a go-to, typically for IT departments wanting to manage content security across various organizational functions. However, SharePoint has proven that it just isn’t equipped to meet the demands of sales in an industry with ever-evolving regulations. This deficiency has created the emergence of sales enablement solutions tailor-made to help enterprises of all sizes navigate the complexities of the life science sector. Let’s delve into the solutions.

What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is a web-based document management and storage platform that those using Microsoft 365 can easily access. It is customizable for different organizational needs and integrates smoothly with other Microsoft 365 applications. For small teams or individual users, it’s a great way to store documents, track changes, and generally enhance collaboration. What SharePoint typically lacks are unique features and functionality needed to drive results in sales and marketing.

What is a Sales Enablement Platform?

A sales enablement (or revenue enablement) platform streamlines the sales process by equipping salespeople with all the current and relevant resources needed to engage prospects and customers at any stage of the selling cycle. In addition to focusing on content availability, organization, usefulness, and specific functionality, these platforms also empower marketing teams to maintain control of versions and usability of the content used by sales.

Sales enablement platforms typically offer features such as content management and security, learning functionality, content usage analytics, and integration with other sales and marketing technologies.

By leveraging the right platform, your organization can enhance the productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of sales teams, ultimately leading to increased revenue. But which should you choose?

Here are six benefits sales enablement solutions provide over SharePoint that increase efficiency, ensure compliance, and better equip sales reps to focus on the task at hand: selling.

6 Ways Sales Enablement Platforms Differ From SharePoint

1. User Interface and Usability

SharePoint and sales enablement platforms serve different primary purposes, which are reflected in their user interfaces.

SharePoint, primarily a document management and collaboration platform, offers a broad, web-based interface for managing documents, content, and collaboration across all groups in an organization. Its features include document libraries, lists, site navigation, and customization options to support various business processes. 

Sales enablement platforms provide a more targeted UI designed to optimize sales processes. The interface (web or application) is generally tailored for ease of access to sales materials, content organization for selling, and presentation tools to enhance the efficiency of sales teams. With unique functionalities to access sales content, straightforward content organization, and analytics to track engagement, companies can streamline the sales cycle with a more meaningful approach to content access and usage.

2. Offline Access

SharePoint and sales enablement platforms both offer capabilities for accessing content offline, but their approaches and effectiveness in this area differ.

SharePoint allows users to sync documents for offline access through the OneDrive sync client, providing a basic level of offline functionality. However, this process can be more manual and less seamless, especially for sales teams who need instant, reliable access to a wide range of sales materials and presentations in environments where internet connectivity is uncertain.

Sales enablement platforms are designed with the sales process and revenue generation in mind, offering robust offline access features that ensure sales materials are automatically synced and readily available on mobile devices. This is critical for sales professionals in the life sciences industry who often find themselves in settings without reliable internet access, such as hospitals, ERs, or remote clinics. By ensuring that sales materials are always available, regardless of internet connectivity, sales enablement platforms enable reps to deliver consistent, effective presentations anywhere, anytime.

3. Compliance and Security

SharePoint and sales enablement platforms both prioritize compliance and security, but their approach to these critical aspects differ due to distinct operational contexts.

SharePoint offers a comprehensive suite of security features, including data encryption at rest or in transit, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) measures that detect and control the treatment of sensitive information like credit card details or social security numbers, and insider risk management tools that identify unusual activity and potential security breaches. Additionally, it has a centralized Compliance Center, allowing administrators to oversee compliance ratings, manage data protection strategies, and address notifications for possible security threats. While expansive, these compliance capabilities are broad and intended to support regulatory requirements across different sectors.

Sales enablement platforms are tailored to meet the rigorous compliance and security demands of industries like life sciences and healthcare. Features such as secure content distribution, detailed tracking of interactions with materials for compliance auditing, and the ability to control and revoke access to content remotely ensure that sales materials are not only managed securely but also compliant with industry-specific regulations such as HIPAA.

4. Rich Media Capabilities

SharePoint and sales enablement platforms both support the use of rich media content, but they cater to different user needs and scenarios with their capabilities.

SharePoint supports storing, sharing, and managing various types of media content, such as videos, images, and documents, all within an organizational context. While content can be integrated into sites, pages, and libraries, SharePoint’s rich media functionalities face many challenges when it comes to presenting in the field. Performance issues with large files, limited media management tools that make it hard to manage and retrieve media, playback compatibility problems, and suboptimal mobile experiences typically require custom solutions or integrations with other products like Azure Media Services for use.

Sales enablement platforms provide streamlined and optimized rich media capabilities to create engaging presentations and promote effective communication with prospects and customers. Furthermore, using these platforms, sales representatives can easily access, present, and share rich media content (including e-detailing materials) from their devices, even offline, making it better suited for dynamic sales environments. 

5. Analytics and Feedback

The analytics and feedback capabilities of SharePoint and sales enablement platforms serve distinct purposes tailored to their core functionalities.

SharePoint provides broad analytics features that focus on user interactions within the platform, document usage, and site activity, offering insights into internal collaboration and content management. However, when it comes to the specific needs of life sciences sales teams, SharePoint is not designed to measure and enhance sales effectiveness. 

Sales enablement platforms track engagement with all collateral to help sales and marketing teams understand what’s being used and offer insights that inform sales strategies. For example, Sharepoint will show you that someone viewed the file, but a sales enablement platform can also tell you how long someone viewed it. This focus on sales-related metrics is critical in the life sciences industry, where understanding the impact of sales interactions and materials on healthcare professionals influences product adoption and ultimately drives better outcomes.

6. Real-time Updates and Control

SharePoint provides an environment where documents and content can be updated and managed in real-time, supporting internal team collaboration and ensuring that organizational knowledge is current and accessible.

Sales enablement platforms take control a step further by giving marketing teams precise control over the distribution and presentation of sales materials. With the ability to push content updates directly to field representatives’ devices, marketing teams can ensure sales teams always have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips. This capability is crucial for maintaining compliance with strict industry regulations and effective communication of complex product information to healthcare professionals, as presenting out-of-date information can lead to hefty fines.

Choosing a Solution

Selecting between a sales enablement platform and SharePoint depends on your company’s unique requirements regarding usability, reliability, compliance, collaboration tools, and content management. A sales enablement platform’s dedicated functionalities provide a significant edge, especially for those needing offline access, strict adherence to security and compliance standards, and streamlined content management and distribution. While SharePoint may feel like a more convenient option, a sales enablement platform really enables life sciences sales teams to boost efficiency, maintain compliance effortlessly, and drive sales with minimal integration needed.

vablet is recognized as the leading technology for sales and revenue enablement. Since 2010, vablet has provided life science enterprises in over 60 countries with unique features and functionality needed to provide an easy-to-use, customizable, and secure solution to sales teams. Check vablet out at, email us at, or call us at 800-615-4583.




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