Thinking of starting a Sales Enablement RFP?
Many organizations are either realizing the need for, or are unhappy with, their current Sales Enablement platform. And it makes sense – with buyer journeys becoming more complicated and consumers increasingly looking for more information before making a purchase, the ability to find and share content is more important than ever. But If you’re looking to choose a sales enablement software – where do you start?
To help you navigate a huge (and growing) industry, we’ve put together a helpful guide on what to look for. This RFP template is complete with over 60 detailed questions addressing the 4 functional groups that will be most invested in this software: Sales, Marketing, Product Marketing, and Sales Enablement.
Over the next 4 weeks, we’ll be posting detailed breakdowns of each section of the RFP complete with discussion points for buyers in each group and how the RFP is to be used by each group. In this post, we’ll highlight what each group will need from SE software, and detail some of the unique concerns of each organization.
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The primary end-user and consumer base of any sales or content enablement software will be the sales staff, as they are tasked with accessing and sharing all content. The functional requirements for the sales team center around the ability to find and share content, and how to measure the content’s impact on the sales cycle.
- Content Access: The most important aspect of a sales enablement platform for sales users is the ability to easily find and access the content. How do sales reps search for content? How is it organized?
- Stay In Their Workflow: As we’ve written before, sales teams don’t have the time or energy to learn yet another tool to find content. Integrations with downstream sales software such as Salesforce, SalesLoft, and Outreach.io are going to be critical.
- Guided Selling: Why should the sales rep be making decisions with limited information? Your sales enablement platform should have active content suggestions for reps based on deal stages, customer personas, and other key data points.
- Buyer Experiences: It isn’t enough to send an email with 4 links to content, regardless of how good it is. Reps need the ability to create digital experiences or “deal rooms” for prospects that are both attractive and easy to use
Isn’t concerned with:
- Content Strategy: End users aren’t going to really care about how the tool guides their content strategy or how future assets are influenced by engagement – they’re too busy focusing on what they’re doing today
- Ease of Maintenance: Similarly, sales reps won’t be concerned with how easy the platform is to maintain, or its cost of ownership.
Often the key content contributors to the platform, the marketing team must have a 360- degree view of everything in the platform. The functional requirements for marketing center around the ability for content marketers to provide content for sales reps, understanding how content is performing, and help shape the content strategy based on feedback from the sales team.
- Content Coverage: Marketing’s top priority should be making the right content. The platform needs to have the ability to show where content gaps are, and the kinds of assets sales need that they don’t have.
- Content Performance: What’s doing well? What isn’t working? Using both high and low-level engagement analytics to shape content strategy is key for marketers.
- Effective Feedback: What does sales think of the material they’re given? The ability for sales and marketing to collaborate within the platform is going to make better content and, ultimately, more revenue.
Isn’t concerned with:
- Guided Selling: Marketers are too heads-down in content creation to put an emphasis on AI-led content suggestions.
- Back-End Integrations: As long as sales reps can find content in the platform, they won’t be concerned with where the assets are stored, or if the Sales Enablement platform becomes yet another system of record.
Product Marketing’s involvement in the choice and usage of a sales enablement tool will vary by the organization and the role of PM within that environment. In many cases, Product Marketing will act as the ‘administrators’ of the space and will be concerned with cross-functional alignment as well as the production and success of content.
- Cloud Storage Integrations: Buying a sales enablement solution to fix content problems with Sharepoint or Google Drive isn’t going to work if you have to copy all your data into yet another system of record. The platform needs to have native integrations with wherever content is stored (Drive, Sharepoint, WordPress, etc.) to solve access problems without creating storage problems.
- Easy-to-use Metadata Management: How does product marketing create a metadata structure that is both easy to use, but also makes it specific enough that reps can narrow down to the right content instantly?
- Content Verification Process: It’s important that each sales rep have the ability to contribute to the content library… as long as it’s approved by product marketing. How reps can have their content ‘verified’ is going to shape whether they feel they can contribute.
Isn’t as Concerned with:
- Guided Selling: Although it’s definitely interesting, product marketers aren’t going to be too concerned with the ability of reps to be programmatically guided to the right content
- Creating Buyer Experiences: The ability to create digital salesrooms is going to be a little disconnected from the admin and content issues that product marketers will solve
Sales enablement is growing in popularity as enterprise sales become more complicated and content-driven. The SE team will be concerned with viewing and improving engagement, as well as using content for training and, perhaps obviously, enablement.
- Integrations with Training/LMS: How can content in the sales enablement platform be put into their Learning Management System (LMS), and how can assets in the LMS show up in the content platform?
- Sales Playbook Creation: How can various pieces of content be assembled to create a playbook for reps? This saves a ton of time and effort when searching for content after a meeting.
- Content Recommendations in Sales Funnel: Content suggestions and guided selling are going to be worthless without taking into account where the deal is in the sales cycle.
Isn’t as concerned with:
- Content Coverage Analytics: How the organization’s content is distributed, and whether the assets have proper coverage for sales reps isn’t going to be a concern for sales enablement
- Content Expiration Workflows: The existence of ‘stale’ content won’t really affect sales enablement, as they will be more focused on assembling content into playbooks/learning modules
Stay tuned for a more detailed analysis of what each group wants out of a sales enablement software and, as always, Let Us Know if you’re looking for a platform yourself.