If you want your sales strategy to be successful, you need to invest in sales enablement tools that empower your sales staff to do their best.
Okay. So what the heck is sales enablement?
Glad you asked.
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What Is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is the process of making sales easier. Enabling sales, if you will. Maybe “facilitate” is a better word than “enable” for our understanding.
You set the stage for sales to happen faster, more consistently, and with higher close rates.
Think of it as the set before the spike – if sales were a volleyball match.
You can “enable” sales with things like:
- Content. Great content is often exactly what it takes to close the deal. Showcase a demonstration of your product, create a custom video, or provide a detailed whitepaper, and your prospect may be convinced to move forward.
- Training. Good salespeople need training and education if they’re going to succeed. Even if they have a good set of sales skills, it’s going to take time for them to become familiar with your business and your product. Knowledge bases and training are the best ways to prepare them.
- Tools. Getting access to the right tools and technologies can help your salespeople coordinate with other people, simplify tasks, centralize information, qualify leads, and much more.
What Are Sales Enablement Tools?
So what are sales enablement tools?
In short, they are tools or platforms that help your salespeople sell.
These days, sales enablement tools are usually apps or software platforms that can be accessed from any device.
They offer features like:
- Content creation. Use sales enablement tools to create new content from scratch, build customized content from templates, share content with your customers, or trade content with other salespeople. It’s the ultimate content hub.
- Sales training. Sales enablement tools often have built-in training resources. You can guide your salespeople to read resources that will help them sell better, guide them through established processes, give them a chance to practice, or even introduce them to mentorship and coaching.
- Workflows and guided selling. Sales enablement tools often feature workflows and “guided selling” features. New salespeople can follow along with your established process and get tips along the way, helping them close more deals in line with your overarching strategy.
- CRM. We’re all familiar with customer relationship management (CRM) software, right? It’s software that helps you collect, share, and access information related to your customers (and maybe-someday-customers like prospects and leads). Well, the best sales enablement tools give you CRM-style functionality immediately – or else connect with external CRMs to make your life easier.
- Sales automation. Good sales automation tools will save you hours of time by converting manual tasks into automatic ones. Chances are, if it’s simple and predictable, you can design an algorithm to handle it for you. Give this type of tool to your salespeople and they’ll be able to spend far more time on what truly matters – selling.
- Internal communication and delegation. Many sales enablement tools also provide you with features for internal communication and delegation. Sales team members can exchange information, provide direction, and work together to achieve mutual goals.
- Analytics. And of course, most sales enablement tools have baked-in reporting and analytics features. You can gather data to determine how your sales strategy is unfolding, evaluate areas of strength and weakness, and find new ways to improve over time.
The Best Sales Enablement Tools
Let’s take a look at some of the best sales enablement tools on the market today:
Sure, I’m biased, but here’s the thing. Emails are a huge part of making sales these days. In fact, salespeople spend 21% of their workday emailing. So doesn’t it make sense to measure and optimize all that time?
That’s what EmailAnalytics does for you. It tells you critical sales KPIs like email response time, so you can work on reducing it. After all, 35-50% of sales go to the first-responding vendor, and lead qualification goes up by 7x if you respond in under an hour. How will you know how quickly your team is responding to leads unless you measure it?
EmailAnalytics makes it easy and automatic to measure and report on these metrics and more.
LevelEleven is a sales enablement tool that focuses on activity management. You’ll get to analyze the behavioral patterns of your leads and customers, which you can then use to figure out which conditions are most likely to lead to a closed sale.
It also provides you with real-time analytics, so you can see how your sales team is faring any day of the week.
Highspot comes packed with features, including an AI-powered central search tool, contextualized employee training, and a guided selling platform to help your salespeople sell better.
It also has a dynamic content management platform that makes it easy for salespeople to create content, share content, and find exactly the content they need to close a deal.
Seismic is a sales enablement tool that’s meant to serve as the ultimate centralized resource; here, you can collect and review all relevant sales resources, such as content and workflows.
Salespeople can use the search feature to find what they’re looking for easily, curate content, and ultimately close more deals.
Showpad helps connect sales reps to the tools and content they need most – and when they need it. It’s designed to provide sales reps with intelligent content recommendations, given data inputs, and relies on machine learning to continuously improve.
EmailAnalytics Visualizes Your Team's Email Activity
- 35-50% of sales go to the first-responding vendor.
- Following up within an hour increases your chances of success by 7x.
- Salespeople spend an average of 13 hours per week on email.
Guru is a kind of “knowledge management” platform, enabling sales by giving your salespeople all the knowledge and resources they need to close deals. It collects data and content from all over your organization and consolidates it in a centralized location.
With it, you can provide better communication, streamline the sales process, and win more business.
An incredible all-around sales platform, Zendesk helps you track every interaction that occurs between your salespeople and your prospects – throughout the entire buyer journey.
It also provides you with useful tools for creating, storing, and sharing content, and can even be used to onboard new agents.
Attach, a product by Cirrus Insights, is designed as an analytics tool for sales enablement. With it, you can objectively measure how your prospects are engaging with the content your sales reps are sharing.
In other words, are they actually reading it? It also serves as a fantastic central hub, where you can store, share, and send content no matter where you are.
Reply.io is designed to make sales outreach streamlined and automated. It allows you to create automated sequences including emails, phone calls, SMS messages, LinkedIn interactions, and more.
This allows you to focus on sales engagement, equipping your sales team with all the tools they need to be successful, while ensuring they get a steady stream of qualified leads.
With SalesLoft, you’ll be able to automatically record all your team’s sales activities, making it much easier to track the average customer’s journey. You can also make use of automation, eliminating manual processes and making your sales team’s lives easier.
And of course, it comes with built-in analytics, so you can evaluate your results.
Ambition is designed to collect data from almost any source, then evaluate user performance in real-time; your sales reps will be able to see how they’re performing compared to their peers, which can serve as an excellent tool for stimulating friendly competition.
You can also use triggers, goals, and milestones to perfect your sales strategy further.
There’s also Membrain, another sales enablement tool with built-in solutions that allow for strategy optimization, process execution, and more.
With it, you can develop perfect strategies for each new opportunity and integrate directly with other tools in your sales tool suite (such as Salesforce, Hubspot, and Zendesk).
Hoopla is a sales enablement tool designed to help you gamify the sales process. With it, you can create contests, host competitions between sales reps, showcase leaderboards, and pull CRM-relevant metrics for ongoing reporting.
It’s a great way to keep your sales team motivated to do their best.
You want to be a better salesperson. And you can be, with the help of these sales enablement tools. Especially EmailAnalytics!
Now I know what you’re thinking. That I’m just saying that because it’s my product and I want to sell it to you. And yeah, that’s where I’m coming from.
But I truly do believe in this product. It can tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about your email habits – so you can figure out where your email sales strategy is going wrong and correct it, before it’s too late.
Me talking about it isn’t going to do the trick. So please, try it for yourself. Sign up for a free trial today – and see, with your own two eyes, what it’s capable of.
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.