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Key features to have in your sales enablement software

11 minutes read

Sales enablement tools, when incorporated as part of a comprehensive sales readiness program can help your sellers close more deals.

It boosts your bottom line by,

  • Providing your reps with the resources they need to sell more effectively
  • Keeping them up to date with the latest sales, market, company, products, and customer-related information
  • Engaging them with their work and helping them be productive
  • Allowing them to successfully target valuable buyers and engage them with interesting content
  • And more consistently meet or even exceed their sales goals

While sales leaders around the world understand how important it is to have sales enablement software, the 2019 SalesTech Benchmark Survey Report reveals that only 40% of sales teams use sales enablement tools.

So if you fall in the category of that 60% of companies who are not using a sales enablement technology, and you are considering investing in a sales enablement software then this blog is for you.

Here you’ll get to learn all the features that you must have in your sales enablement tool

Defining a Sales Enablement Software

A sales enablement software is a tool that equips the sales teams with all the resources and support that they need to sell more efficiently and successfully. A perfect sales enablement software would have a wide range of features that would improve a sales team’s

  • Productivity
  • Efficiency
  • And the overall sales performance

Essential Features to have in your Sales Enablement Software

Choosing the right sales enablement tool is about finding the one that works best for your team and your sales process.

We do not believe in the idea of “one size fits all”. Because what works for a start-up might not work for an enterprise organization.

While you must consider your specific needs and use case during your evaluation process, here is a list of key features that you must ensure that you have in your sales enablement tool for it to be suitable for you and your team.

1. Easy to use and user-friendliness

This might seem like a no-brainer, but considering that 50% of employees are using the software that they hate at work, it’s important for you to check whether a particular sales enablement tool is easy to use or not.

One of the easiest ways to pinpoint which tools are easy to use is by reading online reviews of various software that are available in the market. Consulting review sites like G2 can open your eyes to what it’s really like to use these software solutions daily. You can easily bypass any marketing fluff and get to the truth of what real users think of the product.

It is also important for you to make sure that the software has a trial period. You must be able to test out the software to see just how easy-to-use and intuitive it is in your real-world use case. Because the software and its functionalities may be great in theory, but if the software is difficult to understand or requires additional skills to operate, then it won't be used efficiently, or at all.

Also, ensure that the software training is provided by the vendor as a part of the implementation. You and your team should be able to adapt the system yourself after the “go live”, without involving the vendor. However, if you need assistance, they must provide it.

2. CRM Integration

This one is non-negotiable! Any competitive sales team, no doubt, uses a CRM platform to monitor their customer relationships. You should only be investing in a sales enablement tool that integrates seamlessly with your current CRM system. It doesn’t make sense to do things any other way.

Imagine your sales reps are trying to close a renewal and they digging into different platforms to find the right data that they need to seal the deal. How frustrating would it be to have to go back and forth between your CRM and sales enablement tool to pull the information they need?

So, before you purchase anything, make sure the tool you choose can work with your CRM system.

3. Sales onboarding and training

Sales onboarding and training programs are extremely crucial for employee development in any organization. Sales onboarding provides new sales representatives with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their new roles. Apart from that, you would obviously want to conduct regular training to keep your reps up-to-date with the latest sales knowledge and skills and keep them sales-ready.

During the onboarding or training process, it can be a challenge to keep reps

  • Engaged in the training program
  • Track their readiness
  • And provide them with easy access to forms, manuals, and other training materials.

With an onboarding and training management feature in your sales enablement tool, your managers will have everything they need to set their sales representatives up for success.

This feature typically provides sales teams with:

  • Improve learning experience through
    • Presenting them twitter-like short feeds that help in regularly reinforcing crucial information
    • Testing their knowledge through short quizzes
    • Creating automated training paths which help the reps to follow a learning path and perfect their knowledge and skills
  • Automated sales coaching in order to help the reps to improve their messaging and communication skills
  • Knowledge repositories enable the managers to store all the informative and important documents at a single location and enable the sales reps to access the content they need at any time and at any place

Pro-tip: It would be a cherry on the cake if your tool can take it a step further and provide you with the analytics for all the content and reps. With this feature,
  • Your managers will know what content the reps viewed
  • How long have they viewed it
  • And give extra coaching to them when needed

4. Content management

One of the perks of a sales enablement tool is your ability to curate content and make it available for your sales team in a single location. It’s important to take note of how content management works for each software solution.

Check and see,

  • How easy is it for your marketing team to upload deliverables to the system?
  • Are files easily organized or is everything a bit of a mess?
  • Are the users able to easily navigate through the file?
  • Can they do a search and access a file quickly?

One thing that is non-negotiable is the ability of your reps to be able to easily navigate between all the case studies, whitepapers, and demo decks. If the system is too complicated and your reps can’t find the content they need easily, then they are going to miss opportunities to win deals.

5. Scalability

One of the numerous interesting points when purchasing software is whether the tool you pick can scale with you or not. Because one thing that is going to remain constant always is change. The world, business, and everything that we know today is going to change. Similarly, the tool that may work for you and your team today could obstruct you tomorrow as you develop.

So, ask yourself

  • Do you anticipate adding more sales reps this year?
  • How many client accounts do you oversee?
  • How many new client accounts are you going to add in the future?

So, make sure that the tool you select has the ability to scale with you

Pro-tip: Adaptability of the tool is also significant as far as an agreement with the board is concerned. Try not to secure yourself in a three-year bargain of the software you'll grow out of in a year. So, do some exploration and sort out which arrangement can develop with your group as your sales strategy advances.

6. Gamification

It’s not easy to keep your sales representatives engaged during sales onboarding, continuous training, and through their regular sales activities. That’s where gamification comes in. Through gamification, you can turn routine tasks into enjoyable activities that motivate and incentivize your sales reps to develop their skills.

Through gamification, managers can

  • Encourage friendly competition on the sales floor
  • Make learning interesting by gamifying and incentivizing the learning activities of the reps
  • Conduct theme-based contests to motivate sales reps to accomplish their sales goals
  • Add a social element to onboarding and training and promote open communication between sales representatives

Gamification can be used both by new reps during the onboarding process and seasoned reps who need to consistently build upon their skills and experience. It helps in creating a fun environment on the sales floor where reps can freely and enthusiastically,

  • Participate in continuous training
  • Fine-tuning their skills
  • And strive to achieve their sales goals

7. Data Protection

The cost of a data breach was about $3.92 million in 2019, and depending on your industry, it could cost you a lot more. This new digital era has changed the way we work. But it also changed the way we view and handle data. In today’s date and age, customers are concerned, more than ever, about their data protection. They would do business with you only when they are ensured that their data is safe with you.

So, make sure that you find a tool that offers protection for the sensitive information that you feed into it. The tool should provide data security in all aspects, right from internal data to client call recordings to sign-on permissions.

It should,

  • Prevent sensitive customer and company information from being accessed in the case of a data breach or hack
  • It should provide access controls and role-based permissions to access, create, edit or share the information that is present in the sales enablement software

Again, not all tools have the same level of data privacy, so do some digging to find the one that works for your needs or integrates with your backup solution.

8. Insights and analytics

Most organizations spend a great deal of time, money, and resources training or coaching or organizing sales contests for their sales teams. But without a way to measure those efforts, it’s hard to understand what’s working and what needs to be improved.

With a sales enablement tool that offers detailed analytics for key sales metrics, however, they can thoroughly understand the effectiveness of their sales activities: onboarding, training, coaching, and more.

With data and insights from your sales enablement platform, your managers can make data-driven decisions to improve their sales initiatives or develop specific skills in individual reps.

For example, a sales enablement platform allows managers to benchmark sales rep performance in a key area, like closing. After a large training session and additional 1:1 coaching designed to improve closing skills, the manager can track the close rate and other closing-related KPIs to see how his sales team’s performance changes. Based on those measurable results, the manager can adjust the continuous training program accordingly.

This way the analytics in the sales enablement software enables your sales teams to make smarter decisions, which in turn will lead to more sales and better overall efficiency.

9. Anywhere, Anytime, Any Device Access

You know the old saying –”ABC: Always be closing.” This means whether a salesperson is at his desk or waiting to board a flight at the airport, they needs to be ready to complete a sale. So shouldn’t the sales enablement tool that you provide them work the same way?

A mobile-friendly sales enablement tool allows your reps to access critical information wherever they are. It doesn’t matter if they are at a client lunch or a conference, a mobile-friendly sales enablement tool will help them reference whatever they need from anywhere.

ABC: Always Be Considering

While we consider these features as absolute must-haves, the most important thing you can do is your own research. Talk to your sales reps about what they need from a tool. Listen to their pain points and use their experience to guide your purchasing journey. Happy sales!

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Published on Sat Jul 9 2022

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