Prioritizing sales enablement is more than just a burgeoning trend in the modern sales world. Over the past five years, it’s seen a massive growth surge to a 343% increase in adoption. That may have your leadership team concerned about keeping up and ensuring your sales team (and your sales enablement team) can compete. But while a little bit of competitor analysis may push you toward more sales enablement resources, focusing on the direct benefits and possibilities is even more exciting. Companies are buzzing about these three key reasons for implementing data-driven sales enablement as part of their strategies for the following year.
1. Objectivity Is Essential
Sales enablement—specifically, sales training—can have a murky, subjective undertone. Conventional training and assessment practices were based on the trainer’s impressions and feedback. Everything from outdated sales principles to a poor work relationship to simply an off day can have a massive effect on input and the sales rep’s understanding of core competencies. This can result in several downstream harms, including less robust sales performance, lack of motivation, and poor insight into actual employee performance.
Instead, companies are starting to turn to sales training platforms that can objectively assess dozens or hundreds of individual metrics with AI. Well-trained AI algorithms can objectively evaluate a salesperson’s baseline capabilities, improvement over time, mastery of unique concepts, and even conversational IQ. Because the information is objective, salespeople respond more positively to constructive criticism, and managers can rely on the insights to guide promotions, performance reviews, and assignments.
2. You Can Build Robust Performance Profiles
Sales enablement and training should teach your sales managers as much about each salesperson as it teaches the reps about best practices. When your tools are rooted in gathering data, measuring changes in performance, and analyzing selling behaviors across dozens of simulations, you are equipped with robust profiles for each of your employees.
Picture the performance review sheets your organization has used in the past, with a handful of critical areas scored on a scale of 1 to 5 and a few boxes for improvement suggestions or comments. But with an AI-powered sales training and enablement platform, you get far more data points that can granularly measure performance and growth across countless areas. Even better, an intelligent training platform can analyze and repackage those data points into meaningful profiles that include each person’s top skills, areas for growth, and commitment to training.
3. Forecast the Needs of Your Team and Organization
A smoothly running sales organization will grow over time to reach new markets and achieve bigger revenue goals. But forecasting the suitable growth models for new hires and team expansion is tricky. Your team needs to consider dozens of factors, such as:
- Potential turnover among existing employees
- Lags between onboarding and assigning clients to new hires
- New hires that quit shortly after hiring
- Opportunities for internal promotion versus outside hiring
- Ensuring workforce growth happens quickly enough to secure growth opportunities without exceeding available revenue
Data-driven tools can help you accomplish this with much more precision by assessing the efficiency of your team and likely candidates for advanced roles or more complex clientele.
Along with these three benefits of shifting to a more significant focus on data and analytics, your organization may see other, more unique advantages of data-driven sales enablement, such as gathering data for key investors and stakeholders or increasing sales within a new market or product line. With the correct data, the possibilities are endless.
Use These 5 Data-Driven Sales Enablement Tips to Power Growth and Stronger Performance
Whether you’re growing your organization’s sales enablement efforts or starting a program from the ground up, developing a plan can give you a strong start for the quarters ahead. We’ve compiled five tips for making data-driven sales enablement a reality.
1. Use AI to Create Personalized Coaching and Enablement Tracks
Refrain from relying on human power when you can turn to artificial intelligence. Not only can AI measure and retain dozens of different metrics at once, but it can also build personalized learning tracks for hundreds of salespeople—simultaneously. This ensures new entry-level salespeople, experienced salespeople from different industries, and legacy salespeople can all learn something of value. Whenever employees have five to ten minutes to spare, they can dive into training without wasting time on information that is too basic or too advanced for their needs.
Just as importantly, AI-based sales enablement can align the learning tracks with the needs and goals of your overall organization, not just a generic sales curriculum based on average sales organizations. It can even learn what metrics and learning concepts you prioritize and spend more processing power diving into those categories of learning and performance.
2. Prioritize Objective Sources of Feedback and Assessments
Earlier, we discussed that objectivity is essential in performance assessments, internal reviews, and even for creating cutting-edge curricula instead of outdated or biased ones. Subjectivity is demotivating and prone to errors. It can make a toxic workplace and increase employee turnover rates. But investing in a training and assessment tool that guarantees objectivity can significantly mitigate these risks.
Look for a sales enablement platform that:
- Gives objective assessments of specific objectives, skills, and performance
- Provide real-time feedback and coaching that allows sales reps to refine their approach in a simulation, redo an assessment, and see immediate improvements
- You can trust to provide reliable data for hiring forecasts, employee reviews (including for raises and promotions), and sales forecasts based on increased capabilities and expertise
It’s even more potent if you provide a transparent sales enablement platform: allow employees to see their objectives, performance, and assessments over time so they can control their learning and growth.
3. Focus on Finding the Right Data-Driven Sales Enablement Software
The right software makes all the difference, so start your sales enablement initiatives with a hefty period of research. Find top-performing platforms that guarantee the features, training, and support you need. Also, explore promising solutions through extensive demos to ensure the platform aligns with your existing processes and tech stack. G2 recently found that up to 84% of an organization’s salespeople will achieve their sales goals when they have the right strategies and software, so it’s worth dedicating a significant portion of time to this exploration phase.
How can you ensure you’re zeroing in on the right platform option? Follow these steps:
- Look for software with five-star reviews, many positive testimonials, and high ratings on trustworthy third-party review sites.
- Ask every team in your RevOps department what resources they feel they need. Extend this opportunity to give feedback outside of the sales department so you can see where tangential teams, like marketing and customer success, think salespeople need additional support to succeed.
- Create a checklist of must-haves and wishlist features. This organizational strategy can help you determine the essential features, such as customized learning tracks while keeping everything in mind.
4. Make Practice and Learning More Convenient
Your sales enablement resources must be easy to use if you want to ensure high adoption rates and performance improvements. If the tools are clunky, hard to use, or take a lot of time out of client-facing activities, sales reps may avoid them, and you’ll continue to see poor results. Long lessons that don’t save in-progress milestones, lots of remedial content, and long delays between assessment activities and feedback are issues you should avoid. Instead, look for more versatile learning and enablement platforms that:
- Provide completely personalized learning courses based on baseline behaviors and capabilities (but which also change over time)
- Lessons and simulations that reps can complete in just five to ten minutes during slow periods throughout the workday
- Real-time feedback and prompting to reinforce lessons, practice new skills, and keep motivation high
- Can be utilized on desktops, laptops, tablets, and even smartphones for convenient learning in any environment
5. Put Salespeople in Control of Their Learning
A top-down structure often limits conventional training courses. Training managers require a new method, have to be present for a practice simulation, or need more time to curate learning opportunities based on an employee’s actual needs. A modern learning platform with an individual dashboard and learning track for each salesperson solves these problems. Employees can access the platform at their convenience, learn skills on their terms and schedule, and progress as little or as much as they want. Competitive or ambitious salespeople are much more likely to gain new skills because they aren’t being held back; this increases their investment in the company and their value in revenue goals. Managers can also quickly identify the go-getters who want to fast-track their careers and earning potential.
Put These Sales Enablement Tips and More Into Practice With Quantified
Sales enablement will become increasingly critical as sales environments become more competitive. Investing in the right software solutions can help you give salespeople the tools they need to thrive and grow continually. At Quantified, we build robust, AI-powered sales enablement platforms for streamlined learning, objective feedback, and in-depth analytics. Schedule a demo today to see how AI coaching and training can spearhead your sales enablement approach throughout 2023.