Tad Travis, a Director in Gartner Research, is responsible for the CRM sales research agenda. Tad cut his teeth in pharmaceutical sales enablement before joining Salesforce, so he knows his stuff on both the demand and supply side.
In a recent briefing, I asked Tad what he sees as the biggest challenges sales enablement professionals face when selecting a solution. Here’s what he had to say:
1) Justifying a growing technology stack
Well-equipped sellers have more solutions than ever in their technology stacks. This includes CRM, SFA, Sales Content/Asset Management, Sales Enablement, Sales Readiness or LMS, Interactive Tools, and more. While it can be argued all of these solutions help contribute to increased sales productivity and effectiveness, the costs add up. As a result, today’s solution providers need to better justify the investment in their solution up-front to help economic-focused buyers overcome executive and procurement resilience. Once deployed, these solutions must directly tie back to improved sales outcomes to prove realized value and drive continued investment and expansion.
2) Rationalizing mobile device compatibility
Before selecting a sales enablement technology, it’s imperative to understand how that technology works across every channel. All too often, companies select a technology that sounds great in theory but fails to run consistently from desktop to tablet to mobile device once the application is up and running. Today’s sales conversations aren’t just happening in boardrooms. Sales enablement professionals need to ensure any sales application they deploy provides a consistent and unified experience across every channel. This is especially true for B2B sales organizations that rely on channel partners to sell their products or solutions. If your sales application provides a poor experience in even one channel, limiting a seller’s flexibility in moments of truth with buyers, you’re going to see a dip in adoption and engagement.
3) Quality of content and resource recommendations
How good are the search results in your sales application? Are sellers receiving too many content recommendations or too few? Do they receive proactive recommendations relevant to unique selling situations and engagements? Is it difficult to tag or index content for improved search effectiveness? Today’s buyers expect a personalized buying experience with relevant and contextual content at every stage of the buyer journey. This means your sellers need always-on access to the right content at exactly the right time. As you select a sales enablement technology, bear in mind that automatic tagging, natural language processing, popularity, and ratings all contribute to the effectiveness of search and your ability to optimize content recommendations.
As you complete your evaluation of various sales enablement technologies available in the market today, I urge you to take Tad’s considerations into account. Work with a vendor that can quantify the value their solution will bring to your business in the context of your business goals or challenges to drive the best possible sales outcomes. Select a multichannel platform that improves the efficiency and effectiveness of your sellers anywhere, anytime, and on any device for improved buyer engagement everywhere you engage. And finally, ensure the sales enablement platform you choose can help your sellers curate the knowledge and content buyers need to inspire confidence and motivate purchase decisions. Incorporating all of these considerations into your sales enablement evaluation can only lead to increased adoption and maximized return on investment of your sales enablement solution.