The internet has changed the way buyers approach purchases. With free access to information, easy interaction with existing customers – and more power than ever to shop around – prospects may have little interest in your sales team until they’re almost ready to convert.
According to data from Forrester, 60% of business buyers prefer not to use a salesperson as their primary source of information. That places more pressure than ever on any interactions salespeople do have with potential customers. And when the sales journey is customer led, conversions come through consistent messaging, powerful branding, and salespeople who can act on personalised customer insights.
If that sounds like a crossover with marketing, it is. Today it’s more vital than ever that sales and marketing teams work together to generate leads, nurture prospects and help people convert. But doing so means ensuring everyone is using the right resources, and getting the most from everything that’s available. That’s the role of sales enablement.
What is sales enablement software?
Sales enablement is all about providing salespeople with the tools, information and resources they need to support bids and close deals. This includes everything from information describing your products and services, through pricing models or discount calculators, through to tools like phones and CRM software.
There’s a lot of information involved. From the sales team itself, from marketers who want to keep everything on brand, and from external partners who might, for example, update their product range on a yearly cycle. With thousands of regularly updated assets, supporting products, services, campaigns and inbound marketing, sales and marketing teams need help to ensure everyone’s on the same page.
Sales enablement software exists to solve the problems, by ensuring that sales teams have access to the digital resources they need to do their job. By acting as a single source of truth for marketing, product and sales materials, sales enablement tools ensure that salespeople are using the right resources, and that they’ve got access to them whenever and wherever they need them.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because the core features of sales enablement tools often overlap heavily with digital asset management (DAM) platforms. In fact, the right DAM is ideally suited to a sales enablement role.
Why is DAM at the heart of effective sales enablement?
A modern, cloud-based DAM solution solves all the fundamental challenges of enabling your sales teams to achieve their best results. Primarily, the DAM’s centralised secure storage space provides a universally accessible repository for all the sales, marketing and product collateral the organisation might want to store. Photos, brochures, templates, videos – there’s room for everything.
Next, fine-grained access controls ensure that the right teams get the right level of access to content. For example, allowing everyone to access a product’s approved brochures, photos or case studies, but only sales and marketing managers can update them. With the ability to organise materials by project, service or team – or for users to search based on metadata such as product name – it’s easy for salespeople to find and use the right collateral.
Crucially, a DAM’s flexibility ensures that sales enablement is a two-way street between sales and marketing. By supporting collaboration through features like commenting and annotation, it’s easy for sales and marketers to feedback and contribute to continuing improvement. Branding becomes more consistent, and assets can be refined. For example, the sales team might pass on customer feedback regarding information missing from a case study.
A DAM’s organised storage supports an ordered and consistent sales process. Working from a central asset store ensures that salespeople can find the right information to guide prospects’ sales decisions. It’s easier to assemble personalised asset packs, picking from the authoritative versions of supporting documents, photos or other media. Teams avoid cobbling together collateral from locally saved resources, with the risk that customers end up with wrong or outdated information.
Add intelligence to your sales enablement strategy
Getting everyone on the same page is part of the battle, but DAM-based sales enablement can do more to give your sales teams an intelligent edge. With the ability to share client-facing asset packs via a customisable, branded web portal, bids can be highly personalised and crafted. Instead of an email bending under the weight of multiple attachments, prospects can visit a tailored web experience and download files at their leisure.
Aside from integrating better with a customer-led sales approach, sharing assets directly to leads opens up a source of valuable intelligence. In a world where customers may be more reluctant to open up to a salesperson, a DAM’s metrics provide insight into the customer journey. For example, knowing which product brochures were downloaded helps a sales rep better understand and appeal to a customer’s interests. Knowing which videos have been watched – and to what point – can reveal pain points or other areas to target. If a prospect is mostly focused on your company ethos or post-sales support, it might be an invitation to offer reassurance and tell more of your brand story.
The metrics from sales enablement software can also play a more general role in refining your brand, and improving its sales messaging. If a particular format is well received – particularly among those who convert – it might be a good reason to create more of it. Conversely, if customers prefer manufacturer brochures to in-house datasheets or assets, it may signal that the budget should be spent elsewhere.
Accelerate to better results
Using a DAM to power your sales enablement solution pays off, not just by improving consistency and customer insight, but in real savings. Less time is lost to chasing round after sales assets, and with assets less likely to be lost altogether, you’ll waste less time duplicating them.
The average company can save nearly $189,000 (£134,000) over five years by implementing digital asset management to support sales. The right software solution can easily (and quickly) pay for itself.
With consistent and approved sales materials readily at the hands of the people who need them, sales teams spend less time chasing collateral, and more time executing sales strategy. Productivity and professionalism go up, helping ensure that the people who represent your organisation during the customer journey’s most crucial phase are fully living up to your brand promise.
Discover more about digital asset management, and what Imagen’s DAM solutions can do to support your sales enablement strategy.