Selling is a lot more complex than it used to be. Gone are the days when a little wit, a few product samples, and a firm handshake would close the deal. Sellers today need more. They need marketing materials and content to help them communicate and win the attention and trust of buyers. They need to “make the sale,” but do it in a way that upholds the integrity and image of the brand they represent. And they need to move fast. They need 24/7, on-demand access to the latest marketing brochures, demo videos, one pagers, sales decks, and more.
The pace and demands are dizzying — even for the most well-oiled operations. As a result, more and more businesses are turning to sales enablement tools to help them close the gap between sales and marketing. But with zillions of platforms out there, how do you decide which tool is right for your team? Let’s discuss.
What makes a great sales enablement platform?
A great sales enablement platform facilitates stronger and more efficient marketing-to-sales collaboration. It'll help your salesforce attract more, win more, and keep more customers. And, over time, it will more than pay for itself in business gains.
But, the platform that’s right for one organization isn’t always the answer for another. Only after assessing your unique needs and workflows can you identify the best solution for your team. With that said, there are a handful of defining characteristics that separate the platform “greats” from all the rest.
The best sales enablement tools will:
- Provide sales teams with a quick and reliable way to find and discover the most effective materials for a specific application, need, or buyer.
- Reduce friction by enabling the smooth distribution and sharing of information and resources from marketing to sales and beyond.
- Give organizations peace of mind that their teams are only using approved materials that are on-brand and up-to-date.
- Automate and accelerate workflows throughout the entire content lifecycle, from creation to preservation.
- Offer scalable solutions that can grow with you and meet the storage and management needs of a growing content library.
- Safeguard your valuable content library to ensure that it's safely stored and that only the right people have access to the right assets.
- Empower sales to tailor marketing materials to meet the needs of unique prospects, regions, and audiences — without the risk of going off-brand.
- Reduce reliance on individuals (aka the “finders of stuff”) by giving users 24/7, self-service, on-demand access to the materials they need.
- Integrate with your other key marketing and sales tools to reduce duplicate efforts and inefficient workflows.
- Help you optimize your content efforts by providing insights into who is using particular sales materials, when, where, and how.
- Have a helpful and knowledgeable customer support team behind it, so you never have to go it alone.
- Dedicate a product team to maintain and enhance the software, so it meets the needs of users today and in the future.
Turn your DAM system into a sales enablement tool
An effective digital asset management (DAM) strategy can make all the difference in your marketing success. Without it, the efficiency of your efforts may suffer. Without the right tool and plan in place, it’s more challenging to support and empower your teams with the content they need to communicate with their audiences. When positioned at the center of an organization's marketing technologies, a DAM solution can serve as the backbone and central source of truth for the entire organization — including the sales team.
But for the majority of organizations, DAM and sales enablement live in somewhat different worlds. In fact, our 2018 Marketing Technology Survey revealed that only 32.7% of respondents are using DAM “to provide salespeople with the most effective content at each step in the buying process.”
That’s a huge missed opportunity. What’s the reason for it? Well, for starters, many businesses don’t think about DAM software as a type of sales enablement. They know there’s some overlap, but the different nomenclature tends to throw people for a loop.
What many don't realize is that DAM software is powerful enough to stand on its own as an organization's core sales enablement technology. After all, it’s built to facilitate the streamlined management, organization, and distribution of assets. Many DAM solutions also integrate with other sales enablement tools.
Look at our DAM platform, the Widen Collective®, for example. Thanks to integrations, you can connect it with other sales enablement tools like Showpad. Sales folks benefit from an integration like this because they can move faster. They have instant access to the same consistent, accurate, and up-to-date content across systems, so no duplicate efforts needed. Everything is right there in Showpad. This means that they can quickly pull brand assets into sales presentations, without needing to download and upload between systems.
Jay Wooley, Director of Marketing at HARMAN International (a Samsung Company) said it best. “The Widen-Showpad integration will save us hours and hours of moving assets around. This will allow us to get key assets to our salespeople faster, which is a win for everyone,” Jay stated.
Try Templates today
By giving your salesforce the support materials they need, you’re helping them drive more sales and retain more business. But as a marketer, it’s tough to scale and customize your content efforts to meet the unique needs of every salesperson and their buyers.
Salespeople need flexibility. They’re on the front lines hearing about the challenges and priorities of different buyer groups. To personalize the experience, salespeople can’t always rely on standardized marketing materials. They need the ability to create their own materials or adapt existing materials. Only then can they meet the unique needs, cultural expectations, and language requirements of different buying groups.
So, how can marketers maintain control over their brand, while still giving salespeople the flexibility they need? Our answer: Templates.
Templates are a powerful Widen product that allows sales teams to customize marketing materials. Creative teams simply create a template for a piece of collateral and specify which elements are static and which are editable. Then sales teams can get to work! This gives organizations the best of both worlds — brand control with flexibility.
Finding the right sales enablement tool for your team takes time. Start by understanding your goals and researching your options. When you’re ready, request a demo to learn more about how the Widen Collective can extend the value of your marketing tools and empower your sales team.