Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts that will explore the questions that surround artificial intelligence and machine learning within the space of sales enablement. We all know there’s an overabundance of hype around these topics. When I joined Seismic to tackle intelligent technologies in 2016, it was important that we didn’t fall into the same hype cycle as everyone else. We’re here for one purpose, and that’s to solve big problems. Amazing technologies are of course a part of that. But we are setting out to separate fact from fiction, give you a way to determine if your sales enablement platform is smart, and how these smart qualities correlate to real-world values.

A sales enablement platform is an incredibly powerful tool that can do many different things. One of the best aspects of a sales enablement platform, in fact, is just how many people within an organization can benefit from its capabilities. However, not all platforms are created equal. Plenty of solutions can do basic functions that seemingly improve the day-to-day lives of sellers, but in reality, they do not go nearly far enough in providing sellers with the tools they need to be successful.

What separates the best from the rest of the pack when it comes to sales enablement platforms? We like to think of it in terms of smartness and intelligence. We’re not necessarily strictly talking about artificial intelligence or machine learning, either, although those do play a part in helping a sales enablement platform become smart. An intelligent sales enablement platform does many different things to help sellers be more successful. To truly determine if a platform is smart, you have to focus on its ability to solve big, hairy problems that plague your organization.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 ways to determine if your sales enablement platform is smart for sellers.

Powerful Search Capabilities

Looking for the right piece of content eats up way too much time of a typical seller’s day. 31% of a seller’s time is spent searching for or creating content. Extrapolate that number over an entire year and that’s an unfathomable amount of time lost to searching for content when a seller could instead be, well, selling.

So, a smart sales enablement platform will provide sellers with a strong search capability that greatly reduces the time they spend rooting around for content.

The kind of search we’re talking about isn’t just your ordinary Google search. Oftentimes sellers won’t remember the exact title of the content they’re looking for, and they shouldn’t be hampered by that. A smart sales enablement platform will give sellers the power to search based on any tidbit they want—an image, the color of an infographic, a statistic within the content, or even the words spoken in a video. With that powerful a search engine at their fingertips, sellers will never waste time looking for content again.

Taking it even further, that content must be organized based on actual real-world performance. Are your peers using it effectively? Do prospects engage with it in depth? Is it progressing deals forward? All of these factors contribute to which content the search engine surfaces. Only the best stuff on top.

Content That Finds You

What if a seller doesn’t know what piece of content they need? It’s one thing to know a piece of content exists and go find it, it’s an entirely different beast to not even know what piece of content would work to progress a deal to the next stage. What should a seller do in this situation?

If their organization has invested in a smart sales enablement platform, they won’t have to sweat not knowing the perfect content to send to their buyers. Because, with that smart platform, the content finds you.

The platform will know what pieces of content are effective in the exact situation any seller finds themselves. It then pushes that content to the seller proactively with relevant information about why that particular piece is effective in that situation. A smart sales enablement platform also gives the seller the content wherever they live. Whether it’s through email, CRM or a mobile device, a seller can be confident that content will find them, and they don’t have to change their behavior. This aspect takes away any guess work and allows sellers to focus on closing the deal.

Content Personalization

One of the most powerful and impactful things a smart sales enablement platform should do is enable sellers to quickly and efficiently create custom content. We live in a world of 1-to-1 communication and hyper-personalization and buyers have come to expect content that speaks directly to their needs and pain points.

The problem for sellers is that customizing content for every person they are attempting to sell to is a daunting task. Buyers will sniff out a piece of content in a second if it doesn’t accurately reflect what they care about, or if it feels ingenuine.

A smart sales enablement platform will provide sellers with their own tool for quickly creating a beautiful, custom piece of content. An intelligent platform gives sellers the ability to pull in data, logos, and any information they need from their CRM system. Content that is componentized provides sellers a way to quickly personalize based on persona, product type, or any other necessary criteria. Data intensive pieces can be quickly updated with real-time data from disparate sources. These are just a handful of examples of what personalization can do, the only limit is your imagination.

A sales enablement platform can’t be considered smart if doesn’t allow a seller to create personalized content in a few clicks.

Know What Buyers Care About

Sending content to buyers is great, but if sellers don’t have any insights into how buyers are engaging with content then that strategy is effectively useless.

A smart sales enablement platform empowers sellers to send content to their buyers and track exactly how they engage with the material. With these types of insights, sellers can learn the best time to engage with a buyer and what particular topics interest them the most. A seller that has access to an intelligent sales enablement platform is notified when the exact right time to reach out to a buyer is and exactly what they should discuss. This results in less time spent guessing and strategizing, and more time building relationships.

Get Better at Your Job With a Sales Enablement Platform

Everyone in every profession is striving to get better at their job. Sellers with access to a smart sales enablement platform just happen to have a leg up on everyone else.

These solutions leverage sales readiness tools to constantly provides sellers with the opportunity to learn and improve their understanding of content, the organizations offerings, and improved ways of selling. Wherever a seller is, they should have the opportunity to complete training on a piece of content exactly when they need it.

The ability to access training materials at exactly the right time within an intelligent sales enablement platform has profound effects on a sales force. It reduces the time to ramp, increases productivity, and allows sellers to focus at becoming a better version of themselves.

And in the end, that’s exactly what a smart sales enablement platform is designed to do: make you better at your job.