Customer management devices

The World of Sales Enablement Technology

The World of Sales Enablement Technology

In the era before the Internet, salespeople held the keys to information. If a buyer wanted to learn about a product’s features or pricing, they had to get in touch with a salesperson. Consequently, it was the salesperson who was in the position of power.

Then came the Internet. And, along with it came easy access to information. The position of power shifted dramatically in favor of the buyer. Buyers can research the company’s website, download white papers and case studies, read online reviews, and perform other types of product research.

It was this and other underlying causes that lead to the development of the first customer relationship management system (CRM). Because the salesperson is in pursuit of the buyer now more than ever before, the goal of the CRM is to help salespeople be smarter about tracking the buyers they are selling to.

Organizations that leverage technology to create repeatable and scalable sales processes will be the winners in their marketplace. That’s the thrust behind sales enablement technology. They are the tools that can help streamline workflows and eliminate tedious tasks, thereby saving steps so that reps can devote more time to driving revenue.

Just like in the case of CRMs, like the mega-CRM Salesforce.com, other sales enablement technology arose to overcome the challenges faced by today’s salespeople. Marketing automation arose to automate repetitive marketing actions such as email marketing, social media, and other website actions.

Video conferencing platforms such as GoToMeeting and WebEx emerged as a tool reduce the cost of face-to-face meetings. These platforms also add efficiencies to meeting such as recording and screen sharing features.

Think of a marketing action and there is a software platform or Salesforce.com app that automates it.

The Age of Artificial Intelligence Is Here

What if a computer could collect thousands of leads, interact with them in a personal manner, and pass on to sales reps just the hot leads by setting up appointments? Thanks to a company called Conversica, that “what if” has become a reality.

Billing itself as the only provider of AI-driven lead engagement software for marketing and sales organizations, Conversica automatically contacts, engages, qualifies, and follows up with leads via natural, two-way email conversations. At the appropriate time, the platform seamlessly hands off the conversation to a human salesperson, presumably without the lead even knowing it was interacting with a computer.

To be sure, Conversica is on the cutting edge of AI for marketing and sales, enabling sales reps to talk to the right people at the right time. And, because of Conversica’s ability to eliminate thousands of hours that would otherwise be spent by humans to achieve the same results, you can be sure that marketing and sales AI is here to stay.

How to Decide What Tech You Need for Your Company

Think of a simple task that you want to accomplish in the sales enablement arena and you’ll find that there are dozens, or even hundreds, of software platforms and Salesforce apps that can do the job—some better than others. The world of sales enablement technology has become so cluttered that it’s easy to get overwhelmed to the point of not moving forward with finding a solution.

How, then, can you ever be sure that you’re choosing the right sales enablement technology for your company? The answer is that you can’t be sure. Not unless you take a systematic approach to your decision-making process.

The first step is to understand the relevant business issues. This involves determining what key performance indicators (KPIs) are needed across the organization—by the CEO, VP of Finance, and Sales Manager—that drive the revenue process. Is the focus on increased revenue? Growth? Customer acquisition? Customer retention? Or, a bit of each of these things. Once you’re clear on what your KPIs are, get specific by ranking their importance and deciding on numbers, dollar amounts, and timeframes.

The next step of your decision-making process is to figure out the processes or handoffs between departments that you need to facilitate, and how you can eliminate friction within those processes. You may find considerable friction between sales and marketing. Perhaps there is an issue involving reps feeling that they are not getting the content support they need, when they need it. With this situation, and any other issues that you identify, develop practical solutions before applying technology.

Only after these first two steps are completed can you begin to decide upon the right technology. One important thing to keep in mind is that the technology must be easy to use so that the sales team will adopt it and put it into action.

Regardless of how things my change in the world of sales enablement technology in the years to come, following these steps will ensure that you select the optimum technology for your organization.

Acquirent Is Your Sales Enablement Technology Provider

As you consider what sales enablement technology best fit the needs and processes of your organization, think about Acquirent. Being a leading provider of outsourced sales solutions for corporations ranging from small startups to Fortune 500 companies, we specialize in getting our sales enablement technology right so that we can deliver measurable results to our clients. We’ve done the research. We’ve done the testing. We know how the technology works. Let us help you.