Sales Enablement is a hot topic—it seems like everyone is talking about the latest tools, bells, whistles you should be using to make your sales strategy so much easier. Understanding the need for the right sales enablement tools can significantly streamline your sales process.
But the challenge is there are so many options out there it can be overwhelming. You try every new thing that comes on the market, so you spend more time playing with tools and technology then making actual sales calls. Or, like I did in the past, you just shut down and don’t try any new tools and technology so you find yourself struggling. Struggling to keep up in a market where using sales tools can make you more efficient, more effective and get you better results. And we all want better results!
What Sales Enablement Tools Should You Choose?
Along this journey, the most important thing that I learned is that it is not about using great sales tools, it is about choosing the right sales tools for you.
Before diving into the myriad of options, it's important to understand exactly what 'sales enablement tools' mean in the context of your business strategy. There are so many different definitions. But the takeaway is this: Sales enablement is a broad term encompassing all the information, research, tools, technology and training you and your sales organization need to be effective.
It could be a hot new Customer Relationship Management System, a powerful marketing collateral or an amazing virtual sales training. Sales enablement allows you as a rep to be better at what you do: finding leads, engaging prospects, and closing deals.
So with so many options on the market how do you know where to start and what to choose?
Start With A Gap Analysis
Again, with so many tools to choose from, you need to first figure out what you need. In other words, when choosing sales enablement tools, start with a gap analysis to identify your needs.
Ask yourself the following questions to do a quick gap analysis that can answer that question.
- What parts of your sales strategy are working? What is opening doors, getting you in the door, and getting the deal to close?
- Where is your sales process stalling or just not working?
- What could you improve with your sales system? What could be more efficient or effective?
When I did this gap on myself, it was easy to see that some parts of my process were working pretty well.
Where my process was struggling was in organization: keeping up with clients needs and circling back with prospects. As well as my own consistent training and development, I also realized that I needed better tools to connect with clients and get them engaged in this virtual world.
What Sales Enablement Tools To Use
That simple gap analysis should lead you directly to the sales enablement tools that will best serve your business. I knew, and you know, that trying to integrate too many tools is a recipe for disaster. So I needed to understand where to start, and that would point me to what sales tools to use. Again, with so many tools to choose from, you need to first figure out what you need. In other words, when choosing sales enablement tools, start with a gap analysis to identify your needs.
For me, I needed to fill the gaps of:
- Client Engagement
- Easier ways for clients to book meetings with me
Look for sales enablement tools such as a powerful customer relationship management system, online scheduling software, video platforms, and tools for virtual client engagement.
- A strong customer relationship management system that could deliver campaigns and powerfully organize customer data
- An online scheduling tool so I could track, and keep up with appointments, and one that would communicate with clients on my behalf
- A video platform that I could use to make sales calls and close deals
- And a more effective tool for talking and engagement clients virtually
The point is, there are so many great tools out there, but you have to find the ones that will add the MOST value for you. Once you identify the gap of what you need, go to successful sales people and ask what they're using. Do your research, ask successful salespeople about their preferred sales enablement tools, and even consider a 30-day trial of a tool that seems promising.
What To Stay Away From
And no article on recommending sales tools would be complete without recommending what sales tools to stay away from. The reviews, and your peers' recommendations, will always tell you the tools that just don’t deliver. My advice is to stay away from sales enablement tools you just don’t need.
Chasing shiny objects or adding tools that you don’t have time for will just complicate and elongate the sales process. Two things you do not want.
So start small, and just incorporate a few tools to get you started. Then consistently review and reflect on your sales process and your goals. Constantly ask yourself: what is working, what is not and what new things you need to try.
Never worry about letting go of sales tools and technology that don’t serve you anymore (anyone remember using a simplistic CRM or portable credit card machines?)
Sales, like most industries, is changing at such a rapid pace, and as sales professionals we need sales tools and technology if we are going to keep up and serve our customers.
Tools and technology allow us to do what we do best, and that is interacting with our customers. No tool will ever do that as well as you can.