The sales enablement industry has reached the point where there are many different vendors that offer some unique tools and features. It can be difficult to sort through all the vendors and determine what’s the best fit for your organization. This task is made even more difficult when you realize that investing in a sales enablement solution is a huge step for any organization. It will impact many different stakeholders, reallocate resources, and upend traditional processes.
As you go through the rigorous process of deciding what platform is best for your organization, you will run across features that you realize are must-haves. Non-negotiables will begin to pile-up and you will begin to whittle away vendors that don’t meet your needs. Getting to a shortlist of potential vendors is an exciting step. It means you will soon begin taking meetings and diving deeper into exactly what your organization hopes to get out of a sales enablement platform.
So what are the qualifications and features you should be looking at for when you are trying to shortlist vendors? The author over at the Sales Enablement Market Size and Vendor List blog has come up with some qualifications. The author tracks the overall state of the industry and the major trends.
Below is a quote of some of the qualifications we wanted to highlight, we’ll discuss why these are important and some that were missed after:
- Will they integrate content from existing repositories or upload copies (of what you have in your repositories) into the cloud? You’ll want one single source of truth!
- How does the solution integrate with the given CRM system?
- Are there social features that allow feedback from sales to marketing (ratings/comments) & uploading/sharing of content?
- Can documents be auto-generated to be highly customized for the specific sales situation – yet look polished?
- Is content intelligence (As in BI for Content Lifecycle) available? (Where in its life cycle is my content? What gets bad ratings? What needs to be retired? What is not being used? What is missing?)
All of the above qualifications are crucial for determining what sales enablement solution is perfect for your organization. They include ensuring data and content can flow seamlessly through the platform, integrating with a CRM, allowing Sales & Marketing to collaborate easily, create customizable content efficiently, and utilize artificial intelligence & machine learning to improve Sales & Marketing activities.
One area that the author is missing is a sales enablement platform’s capability for analytics. One of the hallmarks of any solution worth its weight is the ability for sellers and marketers to have insights into how content works and moves buyers along their journey.
Marketers need the ability to track how sellers use content across various stages of a deal. With that information they can ultimately begin tracking the ROI of their content efforts, a holy grail for all marketers. Additionally, sellers need to have insights into how buyers engage with content and what sections they find most interesting. When they have that data, they can begin understanding the buyer’s motivations and pain points.
Searching for a sales enablement solution is an exciting time. You have so many options with many different features. But it also requires due diligence because you want to ensure that you make the right choice for such a large investment. When creating a shortlist of vendors make sure they check all the boxes.