Open up a new browser window (seriously try this), go to Google and type in Sales Enablement tools or maybe even Sales Enablement software.
What are the promises made to you via the ads you are being served from Google?
Let me guess:
- “Make complex demos simple”
- “Increase your sales team effectiveness”
- “Always deliver the right content to your prospect”
- “Elevate customer conversations to drive strategic growth” – my personal favorite… joking!
For the record, that last one seems like someone tried to fit as many buzzwords into the character limit as possible.
As we dive into Sales Enablement Tools, it is a bit different in that it generally tends to focus its application on training, call coaching, and enablement leading up to the point of interaction with the prospect.
Learning Management Software (LMS) solutions also have some crossover applications here as well. However, much of the emphasis is put on training. This includes making sure reps know which Case Study to use at which Opportunity stage, or which part of a demo should be shown based upon the pain point or problem the prospect is describing
Conversational Intelligence platforms on the other hand seeks to provide insights into what was done after the call or demo happened.
Identifying the Tech Stack (Call Coaching, Conversational Intelligence, etc.)
Basically, companies are investing in two types of technologies. One that helps prepare someone before an interaction takes place and the other that coaches them after it has happened.
When you think about it, everything of value during the actual interaction is left to the whim and skill of the sales reps. Seems like a reasonable approach to scaling a sales team, right?
(P.S. I hope you sense my sarcasm)
Tools like Seismic or Mindtickle are awesome. Really they are, they’ve become massively successful by embedding functionality from their Sales Enablement platforms into customer CRMs.
For example, maybe your opportunity is at a Qualification Stage, with the end customer being in a manufacturing vertical. These types of platforms will tell the representative exactly which case study to send to the prospect.
The idea is genius, enable the rep with the right information based upon the situation or scenario they are in. Who wouldn’t want that for their sales teams?
Right, those leaders who are looking for real-time call coaching. But don’t worry, we’ll get to that later.
But What Is Sales Enablement Tools Lacking…
Sales Enablement tools have even gone so far as to build conversational intelligence or call analytics into their platforms. This is a way of helping sales leadership understand what type of content they should be producing or where sales reps are not deploying the content that has already been used.
Have you noticed the theme here yet?
Everything is still REACTIVE!
That is the problem with these tools, it’s doing nothing to enable sales reps in the moment. When stress, friction, distractions, bad hair days, faulty zoom settings, and dogs barking in the background are all fighting to prevent your team from handling an objection the way they should.
What good is it if the software only prompts you to use a G2Crowd comparison report after the call has ended?
Given the compliance and legal concerns sales leaders are faced with today your sales team might not even have call recordings to review. So that causes an even bigger problem for the conversational intelligence and enablement tools that rely on that!
This is why Sales Enablement might be better tagged “sales disablement”. Yes I said it. It still has not tied a bow on the real problem, enabling live human to human interaction.
Any type of tool or service that does not provide value in the milliseconds after it is needed is the antonym of Sales Enablement.
It is disablement.
It is a disservice to the sales reps using the software because it tells them, “Hey, now that the hard part of this opportunity is over (the sales call itself), and knowing the answer is now not needed, we are going to serve it up to you anyway.”
So What’s The Solution?
Here at Abstrakt, we believe Sales Enablement happens in real-time, not after the call or demo.
Are you faced with a competitive situation? Well in 0.2 seconds, you will be directed to a G2 Crowd GRID report. Yes, 0.2 seconds. It’s that fast.
A question comes up around a specific customer use case, you will be immediately directed to a relevant Case Study.
That is what Sales Enablement should be.
Everything else is just an antonym of it.