Enabling Technology Sales: How Do Your IT Solutions Stack Up?

cloudshare logoFor sales leaders, it feels like there are never enough hours in a day. The inbox is overflowing, quotas must be met and executives want ongoing detailed reports, data, and updates. If this isn’t challenging enough, sales leaders concurrently need to manage and enable their teams, which is their biggest priority.

Tired of this balancing act? You’re not alone.

It’s why Sales Enablement solutions have become the largest technology investment for driving Sales Productivity and helping streamline sales ops teams. According to a 2018 survey of 500 industry professionals by CSO Insights, Sales Enablement has grown quickly in importance; 61% of organizations reported having this function, nearly double from 2016. As a result, these companies can expect wins on deals and quota attainment typically two digits higher than ones that go without.

In addition to accelerating Sales Cycles, Sales Enablement technology provides time-saving benefits. For example, the CSO Insight report also noted the value of providing all content to salespeople in a single system – a strategy that could lead to a 12.2% increased win rate. When Sales Managers are freed from time-consuming tasks like ensuring content consistency and quality across their teams, they can focus on more impactful activities like coaching, hiring and strategizing.

Perhaps the best way to look at the impact of Sales Enablement is through the lens of the most vigorous of sales environments  – the selling of complex B2B software solutions. Today’s typical B2B buyers are more inclined to self-navigate through the buying process as they learn about new vendors and solutions. In fact, they’re 57% through the buying process before speaking with a Sales representative, according to CSO Insight’s report.

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How can prospects truly understand the value of a technology without experiencing it for themselves? For this, Sales Enablement tech must provide real-world environments and test drives, giving teams the ability to easily offer powerful demos and full-featured proof of concepts (POCs).

As you’re assessing the tools in your stack, here’s how Sales Enablement solutions like cloud-based demos and POCs will help you stand out from competitors:

Level up your POCs

Companies spend extraordinary amounts of time and money on product development, as well as accompanying messaging and assets, targeted for a clearly defined market need. And today’s software updates are constant, with new features that prospects will likely value coming more frequently than in the past.

Keeping track of the countless field demos and POC environments in circulation with Sales Engineers (SEs) and teams can be the bane of a manager’s existence, especially when they include outdated information that doesn’t showcase how your solutions outshine a competitor’s.

To solve this ongoing challenge, sales leaders in SaaS and IT environments can leverage a cloud-based solution that centralizes demos and POCs, letting teams easily standardize and control usage. For example, templates can be created to keep teams on the same page, while still giving SEs and ops teams the customization that some prospects need. This allows Sales teams to focus on closing deals.

Leverage the cloud for real-world scenarios

Customers have high expectations. They want the ability to test your product before signing contracts. This is where cloud-based POCs come into play. When you deploy software in a cloud environment for a POC, sales personnel can get instant access and scalability, as well as spin up instances to as many prospects or participants they want.

For SEs, cloud-based POCs mean no more frantic requests for assistance or set up and the ability to illustrate real-world scenarios and full product features. They also can eliminate potential roadblocks with prospects whose IT team may express concerns about granting an outside salesperson access to their company’s infrastructure.

Plus, there’s no more costly and time-consuming equipment shipments and travel arrangements, or not knowing where your sales team is, other than “somewhere on the road.”

Get the right POC KPIs and analytics

One of the more frustrating aspects of complex sales is the “black box” scenario – a complete lack of visibility in to how a leave-behind trial or POC is going. According to Recurly Research, six in 10 trials convert to paid subscriptions. Unfortunately, Sales teams are traditionally left wondering if a prospect has even checked out the solution, never mind what they found valuable.

That’s all changed.

There are solutions that now offer POC analytics – the ability to monitor prospect engagement and gain actionable information that can go a long way toward closing a sale. This allows SEs to understand details like how much time is spent on a particular feature, what piqued interest, is the prospect stuck or confused, and more.

When you’re strategically enabling an SE’s visibility into the entire POC process, it ensures that a prospect experiences the product’s full value and hot button features. No key capabilities are overlooked – and they can step in as needed. This empowers sales teams by reducing the guesswork and giving them actionable insights to the sales process.

More importantly, you’re able to provide prospects value with every interaction, which has become a necessity when you need to exceed the modern B2B buyer’s high expectations and demands.

Stacking Up

Sales leaders need to spend more time on the important things – like ensuring their teams are solving customer problems, cultivating relationships with prospects and showcasing the true value of their technology.

Continuously assessing tools and knowing how you stack up will help you control and empower your organization. B2B sales and selling have become synonymous with continuous change at an increasing speed. A strong sales stack will help you keep up, shorten sales cycles, and put you ahead of the competition.

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