When designing, developing and implementing enablement campaigns, you should leverage the power of technology to support an effective roll-out of your campaigns to the field. It can be a game-changer. But when building an enablement tech stack from scratch, the question quickly becomes where to start and how to make the right decision what technology will be most efficient to help drive your objectives or planned campaigns that shape your annual roadmap? Decisions should be made wisely to ensure the best possible outcome for your team and company, but especially to create a great enablement experience for your reps that allows them to know, learn, and access everything they need at the right point in time.
1. Understand the enablement technology landscape
I admit it, picking the right technology to support your enablement efforts is quite frankly…overwhelming. Especially if this is your first rodeo. A great way to make yourself more comfortable is to understand what enablement tech stack categories are out there so you can start understanding the vendor landscape in each of them and kick off your initial research. On a high level, we can distinguish the following core categories:
- Sales content management
- Sales training software/LMS
- Sales readiness technology
- Sales engagement technology
- Sales coaching
- Sales productivity
The trick is to know that it’s not all black and white. Some vendors will be able to support multiple categories effectively and also provide strong integrations with other vendors that will allow you to grow a fluid enablement tech stack over time. Besides your own initial research to get an understanding of the landscape, it’s always helpful to speak with other enablement experts who can paint a great admin and user experience and use case picture.
2. Align to your enablement strategy
Your established enablement charter, roadmap, and campaign priorities for the fiscal year will determine what sales enablement tool or platform selection aligns with your overall enablement strategy. Every business varies so your approach to picking the right enablement technology will vary from other organizations. Sales teams have different levels of maturity and experience. Your industry determines specific enablement needs, and your company has its own set of objectives and key results. There is no one-fits-all approach. Start with the biggest need in mind that aligns with your enablement strategy and charter to identify which vendor category you should explore first.
3. Build your business case
Once you identify the right vendor in the right category to support your enablement objectives and prioritized campaigns, it’s time to think about how you will get the money to pay for it. Be prepared to receive significant push-back from your CFO unless you present a strong business case that justifies your need to purchase. In a nutshell, your goal should be to structure a business case driven by your identified needs as well as the benefits of your purchase and expected ROI. Be sure to clearly highlight the current pain points the organization and your reps suffer (provide qualitative and quantitative evidence), for example:
Based on a survey, you identified that your reps spend about 2 hours each day searching for content across different content sources. Reps state they actually lose significant time to sell due to sorting through content chaos.
Once your decision-makers understand what problems you are facing, the goal is to show how the chosen enablement technology will help you solve these identified issues. A focus on “increasing” or ”decreasing” either a number, percentage, amount of time, money, retention and so on is generally a strong approach that speaks well to your executives. Work with your vendor to discuss specific ROI for your organization and collect as many quantifiable outcomes as possible. Be sure to give an honest ROI estimate rather than promising something your new enablement technology won’t be able to accomplish. Finally, present a strategy for how you will actually measure ROI on an ongoing basis after the technology roll-out.
4. Create an effective implementation and adoption plan
As with every enablement campaign, planning upfront before rushing into roll-out is a great way to ensure you make this experience a great one for your reps. When building your plan, remember to consider if the implementation will disrupt any established processes, what possible hiccups you could run into, and what push-back you might experience so you can prepare for it early. Consider running a pilot before rolling out your new enablement technology to the masses, this allows you to gain win-stories and create a team of advocates that can help drive implementation and adoption.
5. Measure, measure, measure
No matter which technology you choose to support an effective roll-out of your enablement campaign, it is important to focus on the added value. Technology is one of the largest expenditures for companies today, and it’s very common for businesses to implement new technology and completely forget to track results and outcomes of their new tech initiative. Setting specific outcomes and goals prior to rollout will help you drive adoption accountability and understand if the investment was worthwhile.
The actual challenge starts weeks after your enablement technology rollout with sustaining adoption and driving ongoing accountability. Possible excitement has slowly gone away, employees fall back into their ‘old way’ of doing things and your entire initiative can slowly fade away. The key is to reconnect with your reps’ users to understand what works and what does not work. It is crucial that end-users know their feedback has been heard. Look for trends, make changes accordingly and communicate about them, so your roll-out can be a success!
If you’d like to learn more about how to build your enablement program, watch our on-demand webinar, 3 Things I Wish I Knew: Lessons Learned About Building Enablement Programs.