Hey, you, looking for sales enablement tools.

Yeah, you.

You have a big job to do.

Sales teams are the face of your company. They’re the ones on the front lines engaging with prospects and recommending solutions based on needs.

But without the right tools, they’ll struggle to provide prospects with the information they need to sway their purchasing decisions in the right direction.

So, we got you covered.

How can you help your sales team deliver more engaging customer experiences? 

How can you boost their productivity and empower them to close more deals?

This is where sales enablement tools come in handy — software that helps your sales team optimize their sales process.

This article will look at the top sales enablement tools on the market and features to look for when choosing one. We’ll also look at how you can build a sales enablement strategy.

First, let’s define “sales enablement” to make sure we’re on the same page.

What is sales enablement?

Sales enablement is the practice of providing your sales team with the resources, content, and tools they need to engage prospects across the sales cycle.

These resources can include customer case studies, whitepapers and ebooks, product demo desks, and tools (more in the next section).

Even the best athletes in the world need a strong support system to excel.

The same concept applies to sales. Without the right resources, even the most talented sales representative will struggle to connect with their prospects and meet their sales goals.

A survey from the Sales Health Alliance showed that 86% of salespeople had missed a revenue target, with nearly 10% often missing targets.

Failing to meet sales targets not only takes a toll on your sales team but also affects growth as you need a steady stream of sales to remain profitable.

So, why are sales leaders struggling to hit their sales targets?

Buyers in LinkedIn’s State of Sales report identified the following as immediate deal-breakers when engaging with a sales representative:

  • 48% delivering misleading information about a product
  • 44% not understanding their company and needs 
  • 43% not understanding their own product or service

By centralizing resources in a sales enablement platform, your sales team can quickly find the information they need to share with their prospects.

What are sales enablement tools?

Sales enablement tools are applications that help salespeople manage each step of the sales process — prospecting, qualifying, nurturing, following up, etc. 

The primary goals are to improve efficiency and increase sales.

Why is this important?

Because the buyer’s journey is longer and more complex than ever. 

77% of B2B buyers said their latest purchase was very complex or difficult. 

This isn’t that surprising, given that new technologies are constantly hitting the market. Most buying decisions also involve multiple decision-makers.

Providing prospects with the right information is key to closing more deals. 

80% of technology decision-makers say it’s important or very important for vendors to provide relevant content at each stage of the buying process.

With the right sales enablement tools, salespeople can track prospects across the sales cycle and provide them with the information they need to make a purchasing decision.

For example, if a prospect still has reservations about your products or services, a sales rep can quickly pull up a relevant case study to help overcome those objections.

That’s not all.

Sales enablement tools can also help companies leverage marketing automation and free up their team to focus on more strategic initiatives.

Let’s look at an example.

McCrindle, an Australian-based data analytics agency, uses automation in ActiveCampaign as part of its email sales funnel. Prospects receive a lead score as they move through the funnel and take actions like downloading a report.

By tracking lead scores and engagement activities, McCrindle’s sales team can reach out to prospects who are most interested in its services.

What to look for in a sales enablement tool

There are certain things you should look for before adding sales enablement software to your technology stack.

Let’s break these down.

Ease of use

The most important consideration of any software is its ease of use. 

While this may seem obvious, just consider that more than half of employees feel dissatisfied at work because of the software they’re using.

A sales enablement tool with a steep learning curve will only frustrate your team and waste valuable resources. Look for a sales enablement solution that your team can navigate with minimal training.

Content management

Your company already has sales content like whitepapers and case studies. But if these resources are scattered, it’ll make it harder for a sales rep to share timely information with prospects.

For this reason, you’ll want a sales tool with content management features. This will enable you to keep your content assets in a centralized location for easy access.

Automation features

When sales reps spend time on tasks like data entry, they spend less time on higher-value tasks like engaging with prospects and following up with leads.

By leveraging automation, your sales team can focus on higher-value tasks. As an example, you can use ActiveCampaign to automate lead scoring and assign scores based on certain activities. 

When leads hit a certain score, the system automatically notifies someone from the sales team so they can follow up.

Instead of manually tracking lead scores, sales teams can focus their efforts on other tasks. 

Data protection

With more sales taking place online, one thing is certain: companies are handling more data than ever. Protecting that data and complying with privacy laws is crucial.

A good sales enablement tool will offer strong data protection and security to protect against unauthorized access. Many will also include additional features to detect security threats. 

Analytics

To help you measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, you need a sales enablement tool that allows you to track key metrics in real-time. These actionable insights will help your sales team make data-driven decisions.

Integrations

Look for a sales enablement tool that seamlessly integrates with the software your company already uses. This will help increase productivity and ensure data consistency.

For example, if you’re using Salesforce as your CRM, you can integrate it with ActiveCampaign to create more personalized customer experiences. The data fields sync between both platforms, so your sales team won’t have to keep switching back and forth.

Top sales enablement tools

Sales enablement tools have a positive impact on your bottom line. They equip your sales teams with the resources they need to sell more effectively.

But with so many different sales enablement tools on the market, it can be difficult to choose which ones to implement.

Here’s a look at some of the top sales enablement tools.

1. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is a customer experience automation platform that enables you to personalize your email campaigns, manage your sales pipelines, automate lead management, and more from a central platform.

Features include:

  • A/B testing
  • Site tracking
  • Attribution tracking
  • Lead scoring
  • Goal tracking
  • Sign up forms
  • Advanced reporting
  • Third-party integrations

Pricing: $7.50 per month (Lite), $35 per month (Plus), $79.50 per month (Professional), $139.50 per month (Enterprise)

2. Salesforce Sales Cloud

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that lets you manage your customer data, track your leads, and boost sales productivity.

Features include:

  • Contact management
  • Lead management
  • Sales forecasting
  • Process automation
  • File sharing
  • Reports and dashboards

Pricing: $25 per user per month (Essentials), $75 per user per month (Professional), $150 per user per month (Enterprise), $300 per user per month (Unlimited)

3. Seismic

Seismic offers a sales enablement tool that helps you organize and share resources from one location. It also features engagement tracking, so you can determine what content resonates with your buyers. 

Features include:

  • Content management
  • Collaborative workspaces for content creation
  • Approval workflows
  • Advanced search
  • Sales content analytics

Pricing: Available on request

4. Highspot

Highspot is a sales enablement software that helps sales professionals provide buyers with the information that suits their needs. It delivers actionable insights that you can use to inform your content strategy and improve sales productivity.

Features include:

  • Content management
  • Customizable templates
  • Activity tracking
  • Workflow management
  • Collaboration tools

Pricing: Available on request

5. Showpad

Showpad is a sales enablement and marketing platform that helps companies centralize their content and visualize its impact on sales performance. 

Features include:

  • Content management
  • Customizable templates
  • Sales analytics tools
  • Sales engagement tracking
  • Third-party integrations

Pricing: Available on request

How to build a sales enablement strategy

Adding sales enablement tools to your technology stack is a great start. But you also need a strategy to maximize their value.

Follow these steps to build and implement a solid sales enablement strategy.

1. Create a sales enablement charter

The first step is to create a sales enablement charter — a document that details your sales enablement strategy’s goals, scope, and deliverables.

It should include the following:

  • Goals: Identify what you want to achieve with your sales enablement strategy. Examples include more upsells or higher average deals. 
  • Scope: Define the factors that define success in your strategy. This helps you set and manage expectations.
  • Stakeholders: Determine which members of your team will help support your sales enablement initiatives. These can include members of your sales and marketing team. 
  • Key deliverables: Set clear objectives with measurable outcomes that show what you’ll achieve. This will help you quantify success.
  • Metrics: List key performance indicators (KPIs) to track. Examples include sales readiness and increased productivity. 

Here’s an example of a sales enablement charter:

Creating a sales enablement charter will help you manage expectations and keep everyone on the same page.

2. Align sales and marketing teams 

Sales and marketing teams traditionally worked in silos — marketing would own the top of the sales funnel (creating brand awareness), and sales would own the bottom (converting leads).

But this misalignment puts companies at a huge disadvantage. Companies achieve 19% faster revenue growth and 15% higher profitability when sales and marketing teams are aligned.

For your sales enablement strategy to succeed, your sales and marketing teams need to coordinate their efforts to maximize their effectiveness.

Here are some tips for aligning your marketing and sales teams:

  • Share your marketing and sales goals
  • Develop buyer personas together
  • Centralized communications with a tool like Slack
  • Work on sales and marketing assets 
  • Facilitate file sharing and collaboration
  • Share reporting and analysis

3. Choose your sales enablement tools

73% of B2B buyers rely significantly on resources to inform purchasing decisions. 

The data shows the growing importance of sales reps providing the right content throughout the buyer’s journey. But they can’t do their jobs effectively if these resources are disorganized.

Give your sales team the tools they need to manage resources from a central location. This will help them provide the sales content that prospects need to make a purchasing decision. 

To recap from the previous section, here are the tools we recommend:

  • ActiveCampaign
  • Salesforce
  • Seismic
  • Highspot
  • Showpad

The sales enablement software you add to your stack will depend on factors like the size of your business, the industry you operate in, and your overall sales strategy.

4. Invest in sales training

Training is an essential component of every sales enablement strategy — it helps your sales team develop the skills and confidence they need to close more deals.

Equally important is providing training on any sales enablement tools you add. If your sales team doesn’t know how to use a particular sales tool, they won’t realize its full value.

Have your sales team go through onboarding for new tools and hold workshops that demonstrate their value to increase adoption rates.

Many sales enablement tools provide resources like guides and videos, so make sure to take advantage of these.

As an example, check out the learning videos that are available in our education center.

By having your team go through these resources, they’ll understand how a particular sales enablement platform works and will be more likely to use it.

5. Analyze metrics and track progress

Anytime you add a sales enablement to your stack, you need to constantly evaluate its performance. 

How does it impact your sales process? Does it help your sales and marketing team with its workflows?

Track sales enablement metrics to help you measure the effectiveness of a sales enablement platform. Examples include content effectiveness, conversion rates, and average sales cycles.

Be sure to also solicit feedback from your team. If a sales tool isn’t working out, consider other alternatives. The last thing you want is to waste part of your budget on a tool no one uses.

Sales enablement tools drive sales

When you equip your sales and marketing team with the right resources, they’ll be able to sell more effectively and bring in more customers.

Provide your teams with the right sales enablement tools and implement a strategy to ensure success by following the tips laid out here.
If you’re looking for a sales enablement tool with powerful marketing automation features, then talk to an ActiveCampaign expert today.