Today’s technology empowers marketing and sales teams to work together to improve sales effectiveness, and they do so in ways that were unfathomable just five years ago. The thing is though, there are a lot of solutions on the market claiming to be “sales enablement”, and while you may know your organization needs a sales enablement solution, finding the right one for your company’s unique needs can be a confusing process.

SD-Sales-Asset-Management-Report-Landing-Page-290x175-03042016Recently, SiriusDecions published a report that compares the leading vendors in Sales Asset Management—the foundation of Sales Enablement—and calls out specific capabilities you should look for when selecting a solution. According to the report, here are the minimum requirements to consider in your search:

  • Content Management: The solution must have a central repository and external content retrieval method that allows tracking, tagging, and archiving content native to the tool. It needs integration with other content repositories to retrieve content (e.g., Box, Google, SharePoint, etc.), and should enable offline access.
    The Highspot difference: Compare vendors on ease of management, versioning and modifying content organization to meet changing business needs. As we all have experienced; A platform may have all the bells and whistles, but if its not easy to use, it’s not making your life easier.
  • Content Creation: A quality solution lets users create content in native apps (e.g., PowerPoint, Word, Excel) within the application or as a plugin to the native app and enables sales reps to assemble new content by compiling pieces of existing content. It also gives administrators control over which reps can edit which content.
    The Highspot difference: Sales Enablement should actually, well, enable the sales force. You pay them the big bucks to bring in the sales. Enable them to personalize content for their customer, providing a better buyer experience.
  • Content Delivery: Getting the right content to the sales rep at the right time is the most important piece of the entire equation. Solutions should match how reps look for content by providing search, browsing, recommendations and integration with their CRM. The solution should integrate with the CRM to deliver content that matches the opportunity parameters. Teams should be able to deliver sales playbooks, guided selling, training content and tools to the sales rep based on the specifics of the sales opportunity.
    The Highspot difference: Here too, design and ease of use are key. If sales reps don’t use the product—because it’s clunky, or search doesn’t work, or they can’t save their most-used content—then nothing else matters. It has to help sales reps be more efficient.
  • Content Sharing: The end-to-end platform will include the ability to deliver content to the customer. Solutions that included email delivery, online presentation and customer content portals make the rep more effective and enable the tracking of customer engagement. Advanced systems have integration with corporate email clients such as Microsoft Outlook. Top solutions allow for creation of a secure content link embedded in email and creation of a microsite for the purpose of content delivery, as well as the ability to create a collaboration portal for partners or customers.
    The Highspot difference: Make it easy for sales reps to find the right content and then deliver that content to the customer efficiently. Systems that provide notifications when the customer has opened, read, downloaded or shared that content enable the sales rep to follow up in a more informed manner.
  • Reporting and analytics: Proper Sales Asset Management solutions should include reporting and analytics on asset usage, views and shares by client. Advanced systems will use predictive analytics to compare content usage with deal closure or other success factors to automatically recommend content at a specific stage in the deal.
    The Highspot difference: A Sales Asset Management system without complete reporting and analytics is still a black hole with no ability to measure how content is performing, what is being used, or what is effective in moving deals forward. Highspot provides the most advanced analytics across the full suite of metrics to help marketing, sales and sales enablement organizations continuously improve content quality and sales best practices.

While this is just the tip of the spear for “2.0” Sales Enablement platforms, but when it comes to deploying a solution, you want to get it right out of the gate to ensure maximum adoption across the organization and long-term value. Every business is different, so really taking the time to understand your organization’s specific needs upfront will pay dividends when it comes time to select.

To help make the process a little less daunting, we’ve put together a Sales Enablement Evaluation Tool, which you can download for free. This tool lets you put in parameters that are important to your organization and helps guide you the best solutions available. You should also check out the SiriusDecisions report on Sales Asset Management in 2016 to see how the top 12 vendors in the space stack up. The report is very thorough in providing differentiators, pricing models, client lists and more.