This post was originally published by Connor Rice on lessonly.com.
Can you imagine if Tom Brady had stepped out onto the field for Super Bowl LV without a helmet, shoulder pads, or cleats? To be honest, he’d still probably find a way to win, but that’s beside the point.
In reality, even the greatest of all time wouldn’t be as effective as he could be without the right gear supporting him. He’d also be competing against an opponent with the proper gear, making it even more of an uphill battle to win. Like a helmet, shoulder pads, and cleats are for a football player, so too is software for fast-paced businesses. Leaders purchase software to help move their business forward, and investing in the right software gives teams the ability to do their best work. So, what is the best software for sales?
I’m glad you asked…
Sales teams, in particular, require the proper “gear” to increase revenue for their company. There are several examples of sales software out there that leaders like you and me call on to help us solve business problems, but the question we’re all asking ourselves is this: What is the best software for sales?
I know you all are expecting a silver bullet answer, but in reality, all sales software is valuable for a rep to exceed expectations. Tom Brady’s helmet, shoulder pads, and cleats all give him the support he needs to play the great game of football, and we should look at all sales software in the same light. Sales teams need a variety of tools in order to accelerate performance. In this blog, I won’t write about which software is best, but I will advocate that there is value in investing in a particular type of tool. I’ll spend time unpacking the value sales enablement platforms have for reps and the benefits that defining a sales enablement strategy can have for revenue goals.
Before we dive into the impact that sales enablement technology can have on our businesses, let’s set up the problem that a proper sales enablement framework solves.
Our friend, Todd Caponi, has defined sales enablement in a simple phrase: “The words that come out of your reps’ mouths determine success or failure of your business.” This quote not only helps us see the importance of having a sales enablement plan, but it shapes the daily pressures sales reps are under. Oftentimes, sales reps are finding themselves in a juggling act. They have to balance the knowledge required to be considered expert-level. They work to understand your product or service inside and out. And they do these things all while honing the skills needed to speak to the value of said product or service. We refer to this as “the knowledge burden,” and every sales rep is faced with overcoming this.
Alleviating the pressure
Sales reps are under constant pressure to perform and overcome the knowledge burden associated with their company, but how can we alleviate this pressure? It all begins and ends with the proper sales enablement tools and great sales enablement software.
The best sales enablement tools are built with learners in mind. Meaning, they’re designed to support the rep with the daily pressures to perform and overcome the knowledge burden. We’ve found that high-performing sales teams are leveraging tools and platforms that allow learners to understand what good work looks like, by giving them access to the valuable information they need, when they need it. Having access to knowledge is just one step of the enablement equation. Your tool should go beyond knowledge management and into practicality.
Back to Brady
Let’s go back to our example with Tom Brady. Instead of thinking about his gear, let’s think about his playbook. Imagine before Super Bowl LV that Tom and his coaches come up with the best gameplan to win. They put together the keys to victory, and the plays that would lead to touchdowns. Now that the game plan is set, let’s say Tom and his teammates don’t practice with the game plan whatsoever.
They simply read over keys to victory and go into the Super Bowl with the knowledge, but not the repetitions. What do you think happens? I can guarantee that Tom Brady and his coaches won’t see the outcomes they desire. This is why your enablement software should go beyond knowledge management.
Your enablement tool should give your reps the ability to access your latest and greatest playbook, and the ability to practice and engage with it as well. By practicing, reps can make mistakes in a low-risk environment, while building the confidence and competency needed to develop the key skills they need to close more deals. Your sales enablement software isn’t just a benefit to the rep; it’s making an impact on how sales managers and training practitioners lead their teams. Your enablement tool should allow for managers to track progress and measure performance. When sales leaders are able to highlight what’s working and identify areas for improvement, then teams work toward greatness.
I began this post by asking you to imagine if Tom Brady went into a game without the necessities, and I want to conclude by asking you to imagine what it would be like if your sales enablement toolkit isn’t where it needs to be. What would it mean if your reps couldn’t learn, practice, or perform at the speed your business moves at? What would it mean if your managers and leaders couldn’t measure your training impact? It’s tough to win if your players and coaches aren’t supported. If you’re fighting this battle, let us support you.