As the technology industry matures and solutions become more and more complex, the need for an effective sales strategy to cope with longer, complicated sales cycles is increasing rapidly. Let’s look at a few reasons why you should take the next step and set up your company’s sales enablement portal sooner rather than later, and how it can support your sales strategy.
1. Your competition are doing it.
More and more technology companies are now recognising the need for a sales enablement strategy, and are starting to collate all of their enablement resources into one, easy to access portal. Your competition have probably already started to do this, and they may be well on their way to getting everyone in their organisation clued up on their key sales messages and how to compete against you. The quicker your competition can take their products and solutions to market in an effective and clear way, the harder it will be for you to sell against them in your customers. Take the leap now before your competition does, and set up a sales enablement portal that can support your sales strategy.
2. Don’t make your sales enablement process more complicated than the products you sell.
Many organisations fall into the trap of overcomplicating their sales enablement approach, and therefore end up with a myriad of sales enablement content distributed across their organisation; it’s often hidden in folders which are difficult to find, some documents are printed out and some are only available on an intranet site. This makes your sales enablement process much more complicated than even the products you are trying to sell in the first place. By centralising all of your sales training and product information into one easy to access place, you ensure that the content reaches the right person at the right time to clinch the sale. It also prevents your sales people from becoming frustrated with sales training when they can’t get access to important information for their customers in a timely manner.
3. Sales enablement is too important not to be formalised and managed centrally.
A centralised sales enablement portal gives you the ability to control the content being used across your organisation for sales teams and customer interactions; making sure that your teams are always using the most up to date information. There’s nothing worse than sales people using outdated info on products and services – old content may not apply to the challenges customers are facing today or the product features may have changed since that particular battle card was written. Either way, you want to keep your sales teams up to date and well informed, and the only way to do that is to put in place a centralised sales enablement portal that teams can access, whilst you have the necessary control when documents need to be updated. This ensures that your sales messaging stays consistent and on target.
4. You want sales people out in the field having conversations, not stuck in an office looking for paper copies of your sales enablement documents.
Your workforce is probably becoming more mobile, and sales people expect to be able to access information on the go, whether they are travelling or at client sites. What could be better than a sales person needing information about a particular solution feature when he or she is sat in front of the customer, and being able to respond instantly because they can look it up on your mobile, ubiquitous sales enablement portal? Without a centralised portal, your sales person might have to make a few calls, search through their computer’s documents and folders, and go into the office to find the right brochure that explains the product in detail. If you had your sales enablement portal set up, all of this info would be available in one place where your sales person could access it from the customer site, saving time and preventing the potential loss of a sale.
It’s also cheaper and easier for you not to have to print copies of your sales content for employees – as with a sales enablement portal they can print off what they need or access it via their tablets and phones on the go.
5. It should underpin your channel enablement strategy
Your sales enablement portal isn’t just for your internal sales teams. It’s for your resellers. It’s for your distributors. It’s for your entire channel ecosystem. The more people who are effectively communicating your message in the correct way, the better. Don’t reinvent the wheel when putting your channel and reseller plans together, give your partners access to your sales enablement information to boost their understanding of your sales solutions and to aid them in their conversations with clients. A single sales enablement portal also means that you don’t have to worry about producing double the amount of information for your own company, as for your channel community – and it also ensures that all of your channel content is up to date, rather than languishing on a long forgotten reseller portal.
Importantly, a sales enablement portal that is updated regularly with information and tools to help your channel community sell, creates a reason for channel sales people to keep coming back to your site. It keeps you at the top of channel sales teams’ minds, and is a great element to talk about when signing up new channel partners as it shows your commitment to your channel sales force.
If you don’t have a sales enablement portal in place already, then I suggest you start looking into how you can start creating a central, accessible location for all of your sales enablement content, with control and an updates governance framework to ensure that all information is kept up to date so that it remains relevant and useful for the sales force.
Thanks for reading my post. I regularly write about Sales Enablement and sales management best practices here on LinkedIn, Business2Community and The Sales Way blog. To keep up to date, please sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of the page, connect on Twitter or via our website.
If you enjoyed this post then have a look at The Sales Way’s interviews with sales enablement leaders and articles on sales enablement best practice: