Sales enablement technology is fundamentally changing the way financial services firms relate with their clients. Rather than spending hours on back-office research, compliance reviews and presentation separation, workers can automate the research, preparation and presentation process. In a sea of technology offerings, however, it can be hard to determine which software will offer the best bang for your buck, and how best to arrange your new sales-enablement infrastructure.

I researched 60 sales enablement programs from leading financial institutions. Here are three best practices to consider.

Leverage Existing Sales Assets from Across the Enterprise
In order to achieve measurable sales results, you need to leverage assets and information from across the enterprise. By finding tools that combine customer information, third-party research, sales content and data from operating systems, you can improve everything from conversion rates to presentation quality and consistency. Because you don’t have to spend hours manually researching and compiling data, you also free up sales capacity and decrease cycle times. 

Manage, Package, and Organize Sales Content
Sales and marketing organizations spend impressive amounts of money managing, packaging and organizing sales content. They do so because content determines the effectiveness of investments in sales training, coaching and programs to support go-to-market strategies. All types of sales— solution selling, challenger selling, social selling, and multi-channel sales programs—depend on content.

The “garbage in-garbage out” data problem that plagued early database marketing efforts still applies. Only now, that garbage is being plugged into the highly targeted sales playbooks, presentations and solutions content that fuel sales enablement programs. The only real answer is to create cross functional project teams to set up a centralized content “hub” with the goal of repackaging, reorganizing and systemizing the delivery of your sales and marketing content. That is the quickest way to better support solution selling, mobile devices and sales playbook programs.

Reinvent the Six Key Areas of the Face-to-Face Relationship Model
In order to scale your services to high value clients – notably high net worth investors, mass affluent consumers, commercial and institutional clients – you must reinvent the entire advisory experience. By scaling high-touch services, you set a new standard for the client experience. In order to provide those services, however, you need the right tools. Look for platforms that address mobility, analytics, solution selling, presentation automation, content management and CRM—ideally in an integrated platform, but at the very least, include those six components. They, in turn, will optimize the six highest value face-to-face client interactions: relationship reviews, policy renewals, new business meetings, investment reviews, and customer retention interactions.

Sales enablement is actually simple: It’s the act of automating the research, data collection and customization processes that used to be done manually. The more complicated part is choosing the best-in-class tools to facilitate those efforts, such as Seismic, BrainShark, or Savo Group. When you keep the three best practices above in mind, you’ll set a foundation for success.