Jump to section
You’ve put together a solid sales enablement strategy — now you’re ready to see it come to life. But executing the plan will be a lot easier with the right sales enablement tools on hand.
It can feel like there are a lot of tools on the market. And your sales team is facing new challenges and changing working conditions (not to mention customer expectations) almost every day.
The right tools can make life a little easier for them and supercharge their performance.
Learn the ins and outs of sales enablement software, how it differs from a CRM, and how to choose the right tools for your company’s strategy.
What are sales enablement tools?
A sales enablement tool is a system that connects your content, marketing, and sales cycle. These tools allow you to follow the sales process from start to finish, tracking analytics and content usage to determine what works and what doesn’t.
You can think of sales enablement software as a dashboard for your sales funnel. With the right tool, your marketing, content, and sales analytics are easy to find, track, and cross-reference.
Why is it important to choose the right tool?
Every organization is different, and that means that every organization has unique sales enablement needs. If you have a less expensive product, your customers likely spend less time in the sales funnel. You may want a tool that focuses on prospecting and lead generation.
On the other hand, you may offer a high-ticket product or service. In this case, your funnel is longer and may depend more on building relationships. If that sounds like you, your sales enablement software may need to have a robust content management and delivery system.
While all sales enablement tools generally offer some capabilities in each of these areas, finding one that’s designed for your needs is important. The right tool will affect the experience of your sales team, your customers, and ultimately impact your bottom line.
How to choose the right sales enablement tool for your company
There are thousands of sales solutions out in the world. So how do you know which one is the best for your team, and where do you even start?
The first and most important step is to get a handle on your sales organization’s unique needs. Once you have a good idea of your sales enablement strategy and what you’ll want to focus on, you can begin to focus on the following areas:
- Ease of use
What is the actual user experience like for this product? Is there a long learning curve? How much time will your sales team need to dedicate to mastering this product? If the platform solves a lot of your challenges or can be customized to your team, it might be worth investing in training. Taking the additional time to master it could pay dividends in the long run. However, if it’s needlessly complicated, you may be better off moving on to another platform that’s easier to learn.
- Analytics and data
Does the software report on the data that you’re interested in tracking? It’s easy to get lost in the variety of metrics that most sales productivity tools offer. You don’t need to know all of them — at least not yet. Start by looking at your sales enablement strategy and determine which functionalities are the most important to your goals. Make sure that the tool you’re using tracks these and any related numbers in an easily accessible way.
- Integration with your CRM
Many people are surprised to learn that a CRM and a sales enablement tool aren’t one and the same. While there are tools that combine both functions, a CRM, or customer relationship management software, is designed to track new leads and store customer data. A sales enablement tool, on the other hand, provides an overview of the entire sales life cycle. The most comprehensive ones optimize training and content delivery at specific points in the cycle to close more deals.
Some programs are specifically designed to integrate smoothly with a number of leading CRMs. If you already have a sales CRM that you love, you may want to consider going with a tool that’s been designed with it in mind.
- Content creation and management
Content is at the heart of sales enablement. The right piece of sales content at the right time can make or break a deal — or the client’s trust. Sales leaders often complain about inconsistencies in messaging or the availability of content. Knowing where to find everything when you need it is a gamechanger.
Ideally, your sales enablement software helps you organize and deliver relevant content effortlessly. Some tools, however, also allow you to create new marketing content with ease. This can be especially valuable as you look to scale your impact and address the needs of new market segments.
Everyone’s attached to their phones nowadays, but no one has a better relationship with their devices than a busy sales professional on the go. Since your team will likely need to add notes, new prospects, respond to emails, and deliver content remotely, look for tools that are optimized to work on-the-go. Your sales engagement platform should never slow your team down.
While pricing is an important factor, many sales performance tools offer a free trial and various pricing tiers. They’re designed to scale with your sales operations as you grow the organization. If a sales enablement solution isn’t in the company budget right now, you may be able to create a customized, affordable solution with a little creativity. Try combining an app that you already have, like Slack, with sales enablement app integrations. Tools like this can help you manage sales opportunities and set up marketing integrations. You can get a sense of your workflows, which will help you when you’re ready for a fully-optimized solution.
11 sales enablement tools every team should be considering
It isn’t easy to give examples of sales enablement tools, mainly because there are so many and they’re all so unique. You can search tools by feature, by industry, and even by its compatibility with other types of sales enablement solutions. Below are 11 of the best sales enablement tools on the market today.
Known for sales coaching and gamification, Ambition is a sales enablement tool that tracks performance in a fun, visual way. It’s great for teams that want to be able to improve the performance of both in-person and remote sales staff. Ambition helps sales managers smooth out the onboarding process and personalize training for more seasoned salespeople. In addition to sales training, it also supports CRM integration, communication tools, and even a dialer.
Spend all your time doing email outreach? Boomerang elevates email marketing to an art form. It utilizes data and analytics on what makes people most likely to open their emails, maximizing your chances of response. It keeps an eye on response patterns and open rates, with an automation that resends emails at a time they’re more likely to respond. In addition to email templates and marketing support, it has a built-in calendar integration, working seamlessly with Google Suite and Outlook.
If you frequently communicate with the same clients across multiple platforms, like email, social media, and LinkedIn, Cloze will be a game changer. Cloze pulls all of your customer interactions into one easy-to-navigate page so you can get an overview of your relationship with the client. It eliminates the need for data entry, prompting you to follow up with your clients based on a holistic view of your communication. It also keeps track of documents that have been shared between you and the client, making it easy to recall what content was shared and when.
If you have a good idea of who your ideal client is, but just need to streamline the process of finding them, Datanyze might be a good fit for you. It offers a unique “eyeball” system that can scan a client’s public information — including their website — and give you important qualifiers and relevant information. Some of the information included are annual revenue, number of employees, and existing solutions. It’s perfect for B2B sellers who do a lot of research.
If you think all sales enablement tools are basically the same, think again. Emissary eschews a traditional, AI-driven approach in favor of person-to-person connection. Once you have access to the Emissary network, you can get real-time advice from live, high-level executives from every industry who will clue you into how leaders think and the right way to close deals. If your salespeople have ever complained “I just wish I knew what they were thinking,” Emissary is for you.
An all-in-one sales enablement platform, Fision makes it possible to send out highly-customized campaigns from one central dashboard. Sales reps have control over who, how, and when they send out content and presentations, while marketers keep an eye on branding and compliance. All of this data is aggregated into a detailed analytics platform, making it easy to tell what works and for whom.
While Hubspot is popular for its industry-leading CRM, it also boasts a robust suite of content creation and management tools. For companies that need to manage a large amount of content as well as track conversion, Hubspot is a great all-in-one tool. It’s also designed to work with a seemingly endless number of integrations, so there’s a good chance it will play well with your existing system.
If you have a need for ongoing training, but you’re short on time, your team might be… well, “tickled” by MindTickle. Designed for ease in both training and tracking, the program allows admins to publish short, easily digestible trainings. Once sales reps complete them via a mobile-friendly app, the results are published to an internal dashboard so you can analyze performance.
You can’t really talk about sales enablement or CRM without talking about Salesforce, and for good reason. Salesforce offers a truly comprehensive CRM that, in many ways, sets the standard for all other products in the field. However, it’s still a CRM — not a standalone sales enablement tool. It earns a mention, however, for the number of SE integrations available. If sales performance analytics are a core part of your sales enablement strategy, Salesforce is a strong contender for a data-based platform.
For companies who already work with the Microsoft system, SharePoint is an ideal complement to your existing software. Available as part of an Office 365 bundle or as a standalone product, SharePoint allows you to create and sort content. It’s great for sales readiness, and the wiki feature lets marketing teams collaborate on training and proposals.
Going (semi)old-school and customizing Powerpoints for each and every client? There’s nothing like offering a bespoke solution, but it eats up a lot of prep time. Software programs like Templafy keep your sales team on brand, creating archives of pre-approved, on-brand templates that they can use to create presentations with ease. Once you get out of the contact and into the presentation phase, digital asset management (DAM) tools make it easy for your sales team to craft or find the right content at the right time.
The variety of sales enablement tools out there are as varied as the number of companies that benefit from them. The most important factor to consider when choosing the right sales enablement software for your organization is your strategy. The most comprehensive tool may not always be the best one. Choose two or three capabilities that matter the most to you, and build from there.
Supporting your sales team
At BetterUp we believe that while tools, training and content are important elements to enabling the field, companies must also prioritize investment in the mindsets and behaviors that impact sales performance.
BetterUp Staff Writer