It’s no secret that buyers today don’t want to be “pitched” or “sold.”
With a wealth of information and resources at their fingertips—buyers have a shrinking need for traditional sales interactions. Modern buyers want to be nurtured, educated, and guided through the buyer’s journey—not distracted and pressured.
To create a modern and compelling sales experience that resonates with buyers, sales teams must adopt sales enablement tools.
With the demands on salespeople growing ever more intricate, the sales enablement industry has boomed. There are now thousands of SaaS solutions that support and empower sales operations. The sales enablement software market will only grow more crowded as it’s projected to reach $2.6 billion by 2024!
With such an expansive landscape of sales enablement tools, how do sales leaders know which ones to pick to create a more effective buying experience?
Before we jump in, let’s get a couple of basics out of the way.
What Is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is the iterative process of providing your business’s sales team with the resources, tools, and sales collateral they need to close more deals. These resources may include content, tools, knowledge, and information to sell your product or service to customers effectively.
What Are Sales Enablement Tools?
Sales enablement tools refer to the different technologies that support a more efficient and effective sales process by empowering salespeople with automation, workflows, tracking, data, and insights.
There are thousands of sales enablement tools out there. The tools that are the best fit for your sales strategy depend on your industry, sales process, market, prospects, culture, region, and technical chops.
Rather than create a comprehensive list, we will identify some core enablement tool types—and some specific favorites—that every B2B shop should be using.
We will break down the sales enablement tools by sales stage, the prospect’s desired experience, the challenge faced by sales teams, and the solution.
Disclaimer: We use the inbound sales method to structure our sales process. If you aren’t familiar with that sales method, you can read about it here.
Jump List: A quick list of the tools mentions in this article.
- CRM – HubSpot
- Prospect Insights – Crystal
- Market Intelligence – Linkedin Sales Navigator
- Sales Intelligence – 6Sense
- Outreach Automation – Outreach, Mailshake.
- Video Outreach – Vidyard, Wistia
- Socialization – LinkedIn
- Email Finders – Hunter
- Sales Content Management – Guru
- Scheduling Automation – Calendly
- Requirements Visualization – XMind, Lucid Charts
- Sales Presentations Tools – Prezi
- Virtual meeting – Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom.
- Proposal/Contract Management – PandaDoc, Hellosign
- Sales Coaching – Chorus.ai, ExecVision
- Communication Tools – Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Chat
- Sales Analytics – 6Sense, Lattice
- Customer Feedback – Typeform
- Deal Planning – Playboox
Simplify Your Sales Enablement Tools
The sprawling landscape of digital tools can quickly complicate a sales process and cause more harm than value. Creating disparate systems silos data, introduces manual processes, expands tech debt, and increases the technical burden on your sales teams’ (and IT).
Create a sales data and tech ecosystem with a powerful, sales-centric, and easy-to-use CRM. A master record of customer data is essential to ensuring accurate data, analyzing deals, and understanding buyers. Your CRM is also the backbone of your sales process by which all tools, workflows and resources are built on and integrated.
With an integrated CRM and single sales workflow workflow, sales operations become easy to manage and easily adopted by sales team members. If you never want to have a discussion with your sales team about data entry and keeping accurate records, we suggest using a CRM like HubSpot.
HubSpot is a fantastic CRM built for sales teams. It’s easy to use and does not require thousands of customization hours or special teams to maintain. With HubSpot Sales Pro, the majority of the solutions and features outlined in this article come standard. Plus, its app marketplace has thousands of integrations, add-ons, and tools that seamlessly weave into your buyer-centric sales process.
Give your sales team what they need to succeed. Start with a great CRM.
The Identify Phase (Prospecting & Lead Generation)
“At least 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell. (salesinsightlab)”
Modern buyers and decision-makers want tailored and personalized interactions. This means that your sales team needs to know their challenges, offer insights, and speak their language. Blind pitches and copy/paste value propositions are just spam. You’ll achieve higher engagement rates— and ultimately sales—through personalization and finding good fit leads.
Gathering insights on and determine if a lead is a good fit can be a tricky proposition. How are you supposed to know things about strangers? When faced with this obscurity, often, sales teams rely on blind pitches and mass outreach. These strategies are time-consuming and waste considerable sale resources.
Prospect better! Leverage market intelligence and prospecting tools to qualify leads and gather insights before sales teams engage.
Sales Enablement Tools
Prospect Insights – Discover your stakeholder’s and prospects’ personalities with Crystal. This solution enables your sales team to glean information about a prospect’s personality (DISC) from their LinkedIn profile and tailor their approach.
Market Intelligence – Tools like Linkedin Sales Navigator, provide insights from one of the largest aggregators of business data on the planet. Explore ways to connect with your prospects before engaging to size them up for fit. By learning about their competitors, employee size, growth, and activity, you’ll gain a better understanding of their market position as well as how to best position your solution.
Sales Intelligence – Sales intelligence tools like 6Sense help qualify leads and provide insights into WHEN, HOW, and WHY prospects have interacted with your brand. These types of solutions will help identify where prospects are along the buyer’s journey so you can determine WHEN and HOW to engage.
The Connect Phase (Engagement & Outreach)
Reps typically spend 21% of their day writing emails, 17% entering data, and another 17% prospecting and researching leads. (Hubspot)
People are inundated with and quickly ignore sales calls, cold emails, and blind sales pitches. Prospective buyers want interactions personalized and tailored to their needs. They want engagements to happen in a time, place, or channel they feel most comfortable with.
Connecting is arguably the most challenging step in the sales process. It often takes multiple attempts over several mediums just to get in touch with a potential lead. How do you manage the sheer volume of sales activity required to connect with people?
The solution is to automate rote work, make your outreach more effective, and communicate on channels your leads are active on.
Sales Enablement Tools
Video Outreach – Make your emails stand out with an embedded personalized video that speaks to your lead’s needs. Video tools like Vidyard and Wistia increase email open rates by 8X and make video creation quick and easy.
Socialization – Connect with prospects over chat and engage them in their online communities. LinkedIn is a great social network for engaging leads and establishing future engagements.
Email Finders – Gather contact information on leads with tools like Hunter. Check out their browser extension and find prospect emails in just a click.
The Explore Phase (Discovery & Qualification)
95% of customers choose solution providers that offer relevant content at every stage of the buying process. (DemandGenReport)
Prospects want help finding solutions to their problems. They are looking for knowledgeable and informed advisors to help guide their decision-making. People want to be heard and understood—and they’ll quickly determine if you can assist them with achieving their goals.
Educating prospects requires a myriad of content, resources, and insights tailored to the stakeholder’s specific needs. How do you keep your sales process informative and streamlined while managing meetings, content resources, and capturing requirements over several interactions?
Make it easy for your salespeople to schedule meetings, share valuable content, and explore customer needs.
Sales Enablement Tools
Sales Content Management – Guru makes organizing and finding your sales content easy. Find and share helpful content from your browser or slack channel in a straightforward workflow. Plus, each resource shared can track prospect engagement and compile reports.
Scheduling Automation – End the back and forth of setting up meetings and calls with solutions like Calendly.
Requirements Visualization – Capture customer thoughts and requirements with visual tools like XMind and Lucid Charts. Formal capture of requirements reduces miscommunication, limits back and forth, and reduces the chance of last-minute surprises.
The Advisory Phase (Propose & Challenge)
79% of business buyers say it’s “absolutely critical” or “very important” to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor. (Salesforce)
Modern buyers want solutions that fit their needs. They also want a simple, streamlined, and easy-to-understand sales process. When sales processes needlessly introduce complexity, deals stall. When presentations don’t capture attention or speak to stakeholder needs—similarly—deals are lost.
Virtual sales are here to stay. How do you make presentations flawless and negotiations easy in a world with fewer (or even without) face-to-face interactions?
Make it easy with virtual presentations, collaborative proposals, and contracts.
Sales Enablement Tools
Sales Presentations Tools – Virtual meetings are the norm. Make your presentations pop, and virtual engagements go smoothly with tools like Prezi. If you need to fall back on tools like Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint, remember to limit text, repeat crucial points and use visuals. These will make communicating your value and ideas easy regardless of your organization’s meeting tool (Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom.
Proposal/Contract Management – You have already closed the deal. Why add hurdles? Effortlessly create proposals, collaborate and edit contracts in real-time, and route signatures with PandaDoc and Hellosign.
Sales Management (Deal Management, Performance, Leadership)
Successful sales leaders develop an ecosystem of high-quality information and tools to ensure that customers navigate the purchase process easily. (Gartner)
Modern buyers want the sales process to be about them. They want seamless, informative, and value-added sales experiences that help them make complex decisions.
Sales are only growing more complex, driven by the increase of business and stakeholder needs. For sales leaders to understand where deals are, how to support reps, and make improvements— they need deeper insights.
Enhance insights and identify coaching opportunities, increase communication, and enhance transparency.
Sales Enablement Tools
Sales Coaching – Gather deep insights into how reps are selling over the phone. Search for keywords, identify interchange frequency (who’s talking more), and check for talking speed with Chorus.ai and ExecVision.
Communication Tools – Get your teams working together with chat and workflow tools like Slack, Teams, or Google Chat. Email won’t cut it.
Customer Feedback – Even after a sale is closed—valuable insights exist. Typeform increases customer feedback with custom-built, beautiful, and conversational surveys.
Deal Planning – Playbooks give your reps the tools to know what strategies work, what resources to use, and when to engage. Playboox is an excellent tool if this feature doesn’t come standard in your CRM.
Being an advisor to modern buyers and guiding them through the sales journey is no simple task. Particularly in complex B2B sales where multiple stakeholders, nuanced business needs, and long sales cycles are commonplace. Today’s salespeople need more than a charming personality, grit, and determination to win deals.
The changing sales landscape has ushered in a myriad of sales enablement tools and resources to empower sales teams and create a better buying experience. Picking the right ones for your sales ecosystem is essential to building an effective and compelling sales process and team.
If you’re looking to streamline your sales stack and approach, SequoiaCX can help.
We build prospect-centric buying experiences that empower sales teams—without creating tech debt and cumbersome processes.
We can help you sell the way modern decision-makers buy.
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Optimize Your Sales & Revenue Ops By Mapping Your Ideal Buyer’s Journey
We’ve designed this resource to help you build the foundations of a streamlined and enjoyable buying process. Shorten sales cycles, empower your sales reps, and wow buyers with a buying experience that makes your competitors jealous!