What is Sales Enablement? ( A Complete Guide with Best Sales Enablement Tools in 2022)

Feb 10, 2020


sales enablement tools

In the race to build a successful business, companies are anxious to find ways to encourage growth. A sales team that is effective and efficient is essential to company growth. It’s no wonder, then, that sales enablement strategy has become a hot topic amongst sales managers, marketing teams, and top executives.

As awareness of sales enablement has grown, the software that helps accomplish it continues to rise in popularity. But exactly what are sales enablement, and sales enablement software? And why are they necessary for your company? Read on to learn out about sales enablement software, why you need it, and how to start using it today.

What is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is a constant, thought-out process that gives your sales team the ability to consistently engage with the right potential customers at each stage of the customer journey to get the optimal return on investment.

It’s all about giving your sales team what they need to successfully engage a buyer. This can be done through information, content, or tools. With sales enablement tools, reps can have active engagements with prospects throughout the customer journey.

Too often, when companies hear the term “sales enablement,” they hear “training.” Although that is an integral part of the enablement program, it encompasses far more than the initial onboarding process. Sales enablement means giving your sales team the tools that they need to engage potential buyers effectively.

The Benefits of Sales Enablement Tools

Sales enablement tools, like software, allow sales teams to keep in touch with those they need to within the organization, and to be sure they’re receiving ample sales collateral that helps them successfully engage their customers. Here are some of the top reasons you need to have sales enablement tools in your business.

Sales are Increasingly Competitive

The sales landscape has dramatically changed within the past decade. The sales team has become one of the last stops, rather than first, in the customer journey. Customers are far more likely to do all the research themselves and only approach a salesperson once they have already made their decision. In B2B sales, for example, customers are typically 70% through the buying process before they address a rep. B2C sales are not much different: 67% of their buyer journey is online, according to a SiriusDecisions sales enablement report.

This changes how your sales team needs to approach a buyer. They need to come with information in hand to give them the edge in engaging and understanding what their needs are. Sales enablement allows your team to make meaningful interactions.

Buyers’ Expectations Have Changed

Now that buyers can do most of the research themselves quite easily, your sales team must change what they bring to the table. Buyers want a rep that can add information and value that they may not necessarily be able to find on Google.

That’s why 74% of buyers move forward with the first person to show value and insight. Sales enablement allows each member of your team to have the information that they need to meet buyer expectations.

More Salespeople Reach Quota

No longer does your company need to rely on a few overachievers to make your quota. Sales enablement helps everyone receive what they need so that everyone can succeed, and the company can experience even better growth. Sharing useful content means that each member can win.

Better Communication Between Marketing and Sales

A problem that many businesses run into is a lack of useful communication between marketing and sales. Marketing is often left out of what goes on with sales and does not know whether their content and campaigns are helping or hindering the sales team. Sales enablement allows marketing to receive useful feedback through performance data.

This improved and meaningful communication allows marketing to produce more useful content. Sales enablement aligns sales and marketing on strategies and goals, which is essential for company growth.

Who Owns Sales Enablement?

In most cases, both marketing and sales do. Marketing creates content like videos, blogs, and guides that reps then use in their interactions with leads. Sales reps, based on their real-world lead interactions, can then get back to Marketing about what they need in each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Very large teams will have personnel dedicated to sales enablement. Smaller teams might put it under the purview of Sales Operations. If there’s no sales support staff like Sales Enablement or Sales Operations, it’ll fall to the manager of the sales team.

What are Sales Enablement Tools?

sales enablement tools
Sales enablement tools allow sales and marketing teams to communicate more effectively with prospects and customers.

Sales enablement requires deep insights not only into your customers but also your marketing and sales. Sales enablement tools can help.

With sales enablement software, your entire team can manage and utilize the material and content at their disposal. Both sales and marketing can collaborate to create, share, edit, and manage material for your customers. Tools can also help you personalize your information, which is vital for sales. According to LinkedIn’s State of Sales report, 93% of decision-makers value customized communication.

Sales enablement tools also help you measure the effectiveness of your content. Without proper metrics, your content creation could be missing your target audience. However, only 35% of sales teams measure the effectiveness of their content. The right software can give helpful insights into how well your content is performing to help you create effective campaigns.

With the right tools, your team can be more productive and create the kind of content that your customers want.

How to Implement Sales Enablement Tools

To set up your sales enablement software for success, leadership needs to implement sales enablement practices. But where do you start?

Review Sales Process

The first essential step is understanding your sales practices and how effective they are. You can target your sales enablement based on what needs improvement in your company. This is a process that never truly ends. Within every company, there are ways to improve, streamline, and produce newer and better content. By continuously reviewing your sales process, you can help to keep your business growing.

Organize Leads

As leads come in, you can tap your sales enablement software to score them. This handy feature included in most sales enablement software will enable sales to know who to reach out to first.

Whether your sales team is targeting a specific geographical location, business size, business type, etc., you can score each lead that comes through. Once the sales team reaches out to the most critical first, they can then make their way through the lower scoring leads in their extra time. Utilizing a CRM and scoring system will allow your sales team to be more effective with their time.

Organize a Content Library

Another handy way to implement your sales enablement software is to use it to organize and streamline your content library to share the best content across your sales team. Your content library can include:

  • White papers and eBooks
  • Demos
  • Pricing information
  • Articles and brochures
  • Case studies

Create Email Templates and Sequencing

Reps spend much of their time writing emails (33% of their day), and they have a good reason to: email is the second-best way to reach out to prospects, after the phone. But creating and sharing email templates on sales enablement software is a great way to implement it, and to save time.

Email sequencing also allows your sales team to follow up with customers in the most efficient way possible. You can use a sales enablement tool to set up automatic emails to send at set intervals, so your sales team can keep in touch without wasting their time. Instead, they can spend their time giving personal contact to those who respond.

The Best Sales Enablement Tools by Category

Every business is different and the needs for their software are diverse as well. Depending on your sales goals and company structure, you may need your tools to accomplish different tasks.

Thankfully, there are various types of sales enablement software based on the needs of your sales team. Here are some, ordered from most basic to most sophisticated. Meaning the more your sales and marketing team grows and matures, the more sales tools you’ll need from farther and farther down this list.

Best Contract Signing Tools

  • DocuSign: Perfect for sending and signing contracts directly, not as email attachments, electronically while working in outside sales. It’s a very non-clunky way of sending and signing documentation from, say, your phone.
  • Panda Doc: Create, edit, and sign documents using a quick and easy plug-and-play interface.
  • Adobe Sign: Adobe Acrobat Sign can be used on both mobile and desktop, so it’s good for enabling your on-the-go field sales reps. Your recipients don’t even need to sign up, speeding up your sales processes even more.

Best Prospecting Tools

  • ZoomInfo: Track who the visitors to your website are so you can pursue those intrigued by your business, and search for contacts and companies. Grow your pipeline and improve efficiency.
  • SalesIntel: Find your ideal customers, and get accurate contact information for them, so your team saves time on prospecting.
  • Seamless: At a lower cost than most of the competition, Seamless is best for small businesses. Users call it one of the best lead generation tools out there, and a quick way to find contact info for the right decision-makers and get sales meetings on the books.

Best Dialers

  • Ring DNA: Ring DNA integrates with Salesforce, and lets you automate your sales cadences and organize your outbound call, text, and email efforts.
  • Ring Central: Click-to-dial functionality. Works across office sites and mobile, so it’s a valuable tool whether your team works on-the-go or in-office.
  • TalkDesk: TalkDesk is a contact center solution that’s also available as an app, making for easy phone call transfer for field reps.

Best Video Meeting Tools

  • Zoom: Remote work during 2020 made this software ubiquitous. Zoom works well for large sales organizations, as it’s able to accommodate over 500 participants at a time.
  • Google Meets: If your team is smaller, you may want to opt for this one over Zoom, especially if you’re looking for just basic meeting software, not necessarily real-time extensive collaboration tools.
  • Go To Meeting: Good for very small teams. Clean, intuitive video tool, but offers few other features, especially in its free version.

Best Video Messaging Tools

  • Vidyard: Best for remote sales reps. Vidyard allows you to record and send sales videos, plus allows for an extra layer of security in the form of passwords for videos with sensitive information.
  • Loom: Best for standing out in a crowded inbox. When reaching out to a prospect, record a brief video as an eye-catching and perhaps more personalized alternative to a written note.
  • Hippo Video: Integrated with HubSpot, Mailchimp, Salesforce, and more, Hippo Video lets you send personalized videos at scale, but also present webinars and events.

Best Scheduling Tools

  • Chili Piper: You have better things to do than manual scheduling. Chili Piper can take care of it for you, scheduling meetings over email or through your CRM.
  • Calendly: Speed up your prospects’ time to conversion by making scheduling meetings quick and automated with this perhaps best-known of the scheduling tools out there.
  • HubSpot Meetings: Works well for small businesses, reducing the back-and-forth of trying to set up meetings, and integrates with HubSpot CRM.

Best Sales Engagement & Automation Tools

  • Outreach: Works dynamically with Salesforce. Outreach allows four channels of communication plus tons of features, like email, social media, voice, and text to begin more conversations with potential customers.
  • SalesLoft: Keep a closer eye on the status of your deals with SalesLoft. It’s a holistic tool that allows you to call and text prospects and track data to see which of your efforts are working and which aren’t.
  • Map My Customers: From charts and reports that allow you to get better visualization of key performance indicators (KPI) to data visualization and team management to route optimization and lead generators, Map My Customers provides you with all the information you need on your mobile device. Features a Cadence Management tool that tracks leads that need contacting, and a Smart Planner that organizes your agenda and charts your sales routes.

Best Content Management Tools

  • Showpad: Content can be difficult to access out in the field. Showpad helps make content mobile to optimize marketing’s impact and create better content management, training, and coaching.
  • Highspot: Perfect for field reps who need to pull up sales enablement content fast. Use advanced search and AI-based recommendations to find perfect personalized content.
  • Seismic: With the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, Seismic allows your sales team to have all the information that they need at their fingertips. Whether for scaling a business or as an enterprise solution, Seismic will enable bigger deal sizes and more time selling.

Best Conversational Intelligence Tools

  • Gong: Improve efficiency by referencing back to customer calls and learning from them. It also allows you to share recordings with the customer.
  • Chorus: Transcribe and analyze sales conversations. Promotes collaboration across sales teams and helps you manage your lead performance.
  • Jiminny: Makes coaching and other sales enablement activities easy by letting you search for specific moments and turning them into training and customer insights.

Most of these will benefit the field sales rep, while some are better suited for inside sales. For more field sales enablement tools, check out our piece on the 15 best mobile tools on the market.

Empower Your Sales Team with Enablement Tools

A sales team that is equipped with the right tools, content, and resources can work much more efficiently and effectively. Sales enablement tools give each sales rep the software they need to succeed. Companies that need to scale their sales team to reach a growing number of customers can also utilize enablement software to work with a widening group of sales reps effectively.

Sales enablement tools can also improve communication between your sales and marketing team to make sure that content and resources can more closely mirror the buyer’s journey. Give your marketing and sales teams the software that they need to succeed and reach new customers with the right sales enablement tools for your company.