Like many types of technology solutions, the value of a channel sales enablement solution is largely a function of user adoption. A channel sales enablement solution has the potential to deliver significant benefits to both companies and individual salespeople, but for those benefits to materialize, the solution must be consistently used by a company’s sales reps.
Convincing salespeople to embrace technology tools can be a challenging undertaking. By temperament, most sales reps are independent-minded, and the real-world demands of the job make them highly protective of their time. Therefore, many salespeople are inherently skeptical of any technology that requires a change in their established and “proven” methods of working.
In order to gain wide-spread adoption, the channel sales enablement solution must be easy to use, and it must provide tangible benefits to individual sales reps in order to win salesperson buy-in. We have identified six key elements that help to achieve the balance of these two core attributes of a successful technology implementation. Over the next six blog posts, we will take a look at each one of these in detail.
Key Element #1 - One-Stop Shop
The first key attribute of a successful channel sales enablement solution is that it provides a centralized repository for all sales-related content resources. The last thing a busy sales rep wants to do is rummage through multiple repositories to find the content resource that he or she needs.
Despite the common-sense logic of having one place for all sales-related content, evidence shows that most companies have sales content scattered across multiple devices and systems, which can include local and shared drives, cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Box, digital asset management systems, and enterprise content management systems. One recent research study found that 68% of companies use five or more distinct repositories to store and manage content resources.[i] Given this fragmented approach to content management, it shouldn’t be surprising that many sales reps fail to discover and use content resources that would be persuasive with potential buyers.
A capable channel sales enablement solution is able to ingest, store, and manage the full range of sales content resources, including:
- External content resources—white papers, case studies, videos, marketing collateral materials, etc.—that are designed to be shared with potential buyers; and
- Internal content resources—sales “playbooks,” competitor intelligence materials, etc.—that are designed to help sales reps prepare for interactions with potential buyers.
In addition, some companies make regular use of promotional items (coffee mugs, T-shirts, etc.), and some use point-of-sale displays and related materials. An effective channel sales enablement solution will also be capable of managing these types of sales-related resources.
In our next post we will look at how an impactful and highly adopted channel sales enablement system will include powerful search and content effectiveness ratings.
If you would like read about all six key attributes of a successful channel sales enablement solution actually used by sales, click here for a FREE COPY of our white paper on the subject.