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Choosing Sales-Enablement Tools? Choose Wisely

March 12, 2015
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

If the number of products that debut in an enterprise sector are any indication, sales enablement is hot right now. Research from Forrester (News - Alert) has found that during the second half of 2014, the number of companies offering sales enablement products more than doubled. It seems a lot of people are interested in facilitating the relationship between marketing automation and sales, and a large number of companies are hoping to be the choice for that facilitation.

If you’re a sales organization look for an enablement solution, however, the number of choices can be a bit scary. Chances are, there are products out there that have features you don’t need, and there may be other solutions that simply aren’t a good fit for your company. But how to tell which is which? According to Fritz Mueller of LiveHive, writing for Destination CRM, there are a few basic requirements for sales enablement that can make or break an implementation. Among the most important is how the solution handles data via its analytics component. This is particularly critical with a software-as-a-service (SaaS (News - Alert)) solution.

“Because SaaS providers can see how people connect, engage, and interact with their solutions, they can generate an enormous volume of interesting and useful data,” wrote Mueller. “But to deliver value, this data must answer a specific and important question for your business — and be presented in a way that answers that particular question quickly and intuitively.”

Many solutions present overview data but no details. Others do not allow users to customize their views of data, and this is a mistake if the goal is achieve real sales enablement.

“Good analytics are interactive,” wrote Mueller. “As a user, you want the ability to easily click and have your next anticipated question answered. For example, sales engagement analytics might show actively engaged prospects. But of the prospects who are engaged, what have they done? What are they looking at? Are they sharing this information and, if so, with whom? Analytics must be delivered within an interactive format, so you can click and easily get your next question answered — with everything presented in an easy-to-understand format that clearly answers the question.”

The primary reason why many sales software solutions fail is that employees aren’t using them, and this is often due to complex products with an overly steep learning curve. Ensure any sales enablement product you look at complements your current processes and doesn’t require too much training, or sales personnel simply won’t use it. Software-as-a-service solutions often have more user-friendly interfaces than premise-based solutions, and the added bonus is that they can be easily used from anywhere: remote offices, home offices and even mobile devices on the road.

The goal is to facilitate and enable the sale process. If the solution you’re looking at seems complex or full of features you don’t need, you’re doing the precise opposite of enabling. 


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