Welcome to the second in a series of blog posts that will explore the questions that surround artificial intelligence and machine learning within the space of sales enablement. We all know there’s an overabundance of hype around these topics. When I joined Seismic to tackle intelligent technologies in 2016, it was important that we didn’t fall into the same hype cycle as everyone else. We’re here for one purpose, and that’s to solve big problems. Amazing technologies are of course a part of that. But we are setting out to separate fact from fiction, give you a way to determine if sales enablement solutions you use or are considering are intelligent, and how these smart qualities correlate to real-world values.
Marketers, by their nature, are constantly looking for ways to improve everything they do. Marketers are constantly reading industry publications, participating in events, and always on the hunt for the latest technological innovations. Sales enablement solutions are one of the areas we can see marketers’ hunger for constant improvements shine through.
However, not all sales enablement solutions are built the same. There are plenty of platforms that can do some things very well. But to truly get the most out of a platform, sales enablement solutions need to exhibit characteristics of smartness and intelligence. We’re not necessarily talking about just artificial intelligence, but rather sales enablement solutions that are built from the ground up in a smart way that ultimately improves the day-to-day lives of marketers.
Here are the top 4 ways smart sales enablement solutions move the needle for marketers.
If you’re a marketer you’ve undoubtedly handled countless calls, emails, and instant messages from sellers asking where, or if, a piece of content exists. You then have to take the time to dig through your repository or explain to them where to find it. This isn’t an efficient system to say the least.
Smart sales enablement solutions solve this headache by providing marketers a way to make content situationally aware. Situational awareness means that the system knows who the user is, what opportunities they’re working on, what stage they’re in, what industry (and more). That awareness assures that a smart solution can surface content for that situation without 1-on-1 interaction with a marketer every time.
Marketers can rest easy knowing that sellers will always receive the exact right recommendation for content to send to buyers, because the smart sales enablement solutions leverage the vast amount of data they capture to make the perfect recommendation. The sellers will be notified about the latest and greatest pieces of content no matter where they are – CRM, their email application, or out on the road.
Targeting the content to the right personas and surfacing the perfect piece at the exact moment is the power that smart sales enablement solutions offer marketers.
Too much of marketers’ time is spent creating one-off request for sellers. There is always going to be a need for a personalized piece of content and the due date is yesterday. Buyers, now more than ever, require highly-customized content that speaks directly to their needs.
The bad news is that there are simply not enough hours in the day to fulfill all these requests. The good news is that smart sales enablement solutions completely solve this issue for marketers. Any solution worth it’s weight will provide marketers with a tool they can use to componentize content. For example, a marketer can take a presentation, lock down important brand assets that can’t be edited, and give sellers the power to customize certain fields with data from outside sources, different offerings, or any other piece of information relevant to the buyer.
Automation and componentization make impossibly hard tasks incredibly easy and save countless hours for both marketers and sellers. With a few clicks a compliant, data-driven, highly-personalized piece of content is created. By tying into different data sources like CRMs or any other data platform, marketers no longer have to manually update data-reliant content on a consistent basis.
Empowering sellers to create their own approved custom piece of content is one of the most powerful things smart sales enablement solutions offer.
Proactive Content Management
Content management today is very reactive. Many times marketers are only clearing away old material or updating management structures when a problem crops up. That simply won’t cut it nowadays. Global sales forces need to know that the content they have access to is the most up-to-date and effective as it possibly can be.
So how do smart sales enablement solutions solve this problem? Smart solutions once again leverage the vast amount of data they collect about content to generate informed recommendations about what to do with content. Most organizations are data rich and insights poor, real value is derived by taking that mountain of data and gaining insights into what it all actually means. Using this information marketers can properly target the right content, to the right team personas, in the most effective way(s) possible to increase engagement. Converting data into actual value is incredibly hard, so your platform should do this for you.
Additionally, smart sales enablement solutions empower marketers to collaborate within the platform, establish workflows, and manage approval processes. If you shudder at the thought of content management, smart sales enablement solutions completely remove any worry you have. Spend more time focused on getting things done vs. figuring out what should be done.
Insights that Drive Business Decisions
As a marketer, imagine getting a pop-up recommendation that a piece of content hasn’t been used in months. Makes it pretty clear cut that it should be tossed. Or, even better, imagine getting a notification that one piece is going like hotcakes—sellers love it and buyers are engaging with it. All of a sudden you know what content performs best and can begin devising strategies that reflect real world results.
One of the holy grails of marketing content is deriving the actual ROI of a piece. Smart sales enablement solutions give marketers the tools to finally unlock those numbers. By connecting content to how it moves deals through the buying cycle, marketers can finally point to their content and say exactly how much revenue it’s driven.
Smart sales enablement solutions give marketers access to tools and insights that will literally change their lives. These platforms drive valuable business decisions by using real-live data, converted to insights, to make better and more informed choices. Doesn’t that sound pretty good to you?