How to Make Sales Technology a Competitive Advantage

By Chanin Balance, YPO Member

In every generation, new technologies arrive that can rightly be called game-changers. From advances in marketing technology to the rapid proliferation of customer relationship management (CRM) systems, we’ve seen an incredible shift in the last 10 years. Now the sales technology landscape is feeling the ripples of this transformation. While many new platforms have the potential to improve your team’s efficiency, recent advances in sales technology promise much more.

If you want rapid growth, you need to look at how your sales team uses technology today. Simply adding a new tool to their workflow isn’t enough. If you put yourself in their shoes, you’ll arrive at solutions that can drive results for your entire company.

If you don’t want to get left behind, adopt your sales reps’ perspective

Salespeople want to win, and every day they are monitoring their progress. But there are two major issues preventing sales reps from performing at their best. For starters, reps spend less than 40 percent of their time actually selling. And what’s worse, many companies struggle to achieve sales and marketing alignment.

What does this look like in practice? Consider a typical day in the life of Jeff Smith, a fictitious sales rep at imaginary venture Acme Inc.

First, Jeff wants to practice for his upcoming sales calls, but he doesn’t have a central source for training. Then Jeff gets an email from marketing about a new product launch. He scans the email for coaching tips on how to upsell the new product to prospects, but the email only talks about features.

Jeff wants to win, but these daily frustrations drain his confidence and productivity. He can either spend time he doesn’t have to get the resources he needs, or risk being unprepared for calls and demos. Unless Jeff creates his own processes to make up for the tools he lacks, his progress will grind to a halt.

Now multiply these two challenges across Acme’s sales team of 100, and it’s no wonder sellers feel so overwhelmed.

According to McKinsey, leading companies use technology to deliver clear sales plans and build predictable sales pipelines. Your sales team is already using multiple technologies to close deals. But with challenges like the ones above, it’s all they can do just to maintain their current results. Leading companies create synergies among their current technologies and adopt new platforms to accelerate growth.

This is where sales enablement platforms stand apart. These systems increase revenue by enhancing the technologies your reps already use. And in doing so, sales enablement technology can unlock the full potential of your team.

Use sales technology to improve seller productivity, increase revenue

What would happen if all your reps had the confidence and selling skills of your top performers? The right sales technologies can make this a reality. While some platforms simply improveefficiency, this doesn’t matter if your reps aren’t focused on the right activities. Instead, look for software that gets better the more your team uses it.

This is where sales enablement technologies can really close the gap in your team’s performance. The best sales enablement platforms use machine learning to recommend the right content for each sales stage and buyer persona. Accenture, for example, has recorded a 14 percent drop in seller productivity due to distraction at work. But sales enablement platforms can reverse this trend, by delivering the right content directly into your sales reps’ workflow.

Sales enablement tools also promote sales and marketing alignment with robust reporting and engagement metrics. Now your sales and marketing teams can tell what’s working and what needs to be fixed, and make changes in real time. Finally, with the right sales enablement program trainings become much easier to deliver, monitor, and update.

As with anything new, your sales reps will be cautious about this new technology. They want to know how this technology will help them improve, but the last thing they want is another time-waster. Sales enablement technologies give your reps all the answers they need:

  • If they want to know which content pushes deals across the finish line in a specific industry, they don’t have to search for it. The system will automatically serve it up so they can replicate past successes for their open opportunities.
  • What if they want examples of winning pitches from top performers? Let them learn from video coachings submitted by your A-players.
  • When new products launch, how do they promote their value right from day one? Today’s sales enablement platforms let you create microtrainings specifically for new product launches, complete with battlecards, quizzes and role plays.

Sales enablement technology can dramatically improve your reps’ performance, but it’s not a magic wand. No technology is, because sales growth depends on a number of complex variables. That said, you can’t grow any faster with the same tools that got you to where you are today.

The next revolution in sales performance is already here. You and your team have set ambitious goals for your sales reps, but it takes more than a compelling vision to deliver the results you expect. Look to sales technology and specifically sales enablement to help more of your reps win.

YPO member Chanin Balance is Founder and CEO of Veelo, a single, easy-to-use sales enablement platform that improves onboarding, enablement, and sales performance. Built on brain science principles and powered by machine learning, Veelo gets sellers the content, coaching and productivity tools they need to win.

With more than 26,000 members in more than 130 countries, members of YPO are peers who share in common the achievement of success at an early age; a commitment to learning as a lifelong adventure; and a desire to connect authentically in an environment of trust and confidentiality. If you are a member interested in contributing, please email blog@ypo.org.