Sales leaders have spoken: 73% say sales enablement training, onboarding, and coaching are their top priority in 2023. In today’s economic environment, leaders across the industry agree that maximizing our people is future-state, and the future starts now. Although headcount has decreased for many, enablement leaders are focused on more effectively enabling the people they do have, and they’re leaning on sales enablement tools to do this. When it comes to choosing from different sales enablement tools, where should you spend? The resounding answer is sales coaching software. Let’s unpack why.
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How Sales Coaching Software Connects Your Sales Enablement Tools
There are three pillars of sales enablement: content, training, and coaching. These pillars must work together for enablement to be effective; content, training, and coaching can’t happen in a vacuum. When choosing sales enablement software, especially with leaner budgets, we need to think about which sales enablement tool can support each pillar the most.
Sales coaching software connects each pillar. A content management system (CMS) or learning management system (LMS) alone (or even together) can’t ensure your enablement is actually put into practice. Sales coaching software serves as a single source of truth for managers, reps, and enablement leaders to ensure that training is implemented properly and consistently to drive better business outcomes.
The enablement function has a responsibility to empower every part of the sales org: sales teams, greater GTM teams, and the full lifecycle of the customer. A CMS or LMS can’t provide the cross-functional alignment an organization needs to succeed, but coaching is the connective tissue.
Help Reps Improve Upon Enablement Training
While a CMS can measure and track content usage or training completion, it can’t measure the long-term adoption of your enablement strategy. Similarly, reps can complete training programs and review resources in your LMS all day long, but just because content and training are available doesn’t mean sellers have actually retained or applied what they’ve learned.
In order to see enablement through, reps need to consistently practice and implement the knowledge and skills gained during enablement training programs, and it’s up to frontline managers to make sure this happens via consistent sales coaching. Sales coaching software enables managers to reinforce the right behaviors in a 1:1 or group setting, strategize with individual reps, and help remove roadblocks.
🔥 Hot tip: If you’re just building your enablement function or need to cut down on spend, use a simple file sharing system as your CMS, and pin training docs or marketing materials to 1:1 coaching sessions for reps to review.
Want more ideas on how to elevate your enablement efforts? Download the Enablement Audit Framework template to help you decide what to prioritize next.
Ensure Enablement is Applied and Coached on Consistently
Measuring enablement effectiveness begins with consistency. In addition to consistently applying relevant skills, content, and messaging to every buyer interaction, how managers coach must also be consistent. Is every manager coaching in the same (or nearly the same) way? Are reps applying strategies correctly and utilizing the same messaging to customers?
🔥 Hot tip: In our recent webinar on training sellers to articulate purpose, Mallory Lee, VP of RevOps at Nylas, talked about the importance of coaching consistency as a control variable in enablement. “One thing I try to measure up front is: Are we all doing this the same way, or at least close to the same way? If I can't understand whether or not everyone has adopted a practice, I can't tell you if the result is due to that adoption, or if it could be due to many other things.”
From discussion topics to follow-up items, sales coaching software provides detailed documentation of each coaching check-in, so managers, reps, and leaders have a record of who’s being coached, how often they’re being coached, and what they’re being coached on. You can also create templates for managers and reps to follow, so everyone has the same coaching experience. To accurately measure the success of enablement, how people are coached must be consistent across the board.
Analyze Enablement Performance to Optimize Your Strategy
When you have a consistent approach, you can begin to make sense of trends in performance and productivity. Sales coaching software allows you to pull in relevant data and performance metrics during each coaching session. Keeping metrics visible and reviewing progress week over week keeps reps motivated and engaged with their own development, but it can also help you identify whether a certain training program, piece of content, or messaging approach is successful.
Enablement managers can be added as co-coaches on any coaching check-in. This gives them access to documentation and performance metrics that indicate where training has been applied and how well it’s working. This level of visibility and specificity allows enablement teams to effectively make conclusions about what’s working and what’s not, so they can optimize their strategy accordingly.
16 Questions to Ask Potential Vendors When Assessing Sales Enablement Tools
- Can your platform measure the success of my enablement programs?
- What enablement effectiveness metrics does your system track?
- As Head of Enablement, will I have visibility into the coaching conversations? The goal here would be to ensure sales managers are holding each rep accountable to concepts presented during my last training.
- If we’re seeing a rep fall behind, does your platform allow me to pin or attach relevant content to their upcoming 1:1 (i.e. battle card, call recording, or sample contract), so they can review it as skills practice prior to their weekly touchpoint with their manager?
- Does your platform allow me to build custom enablement programs with step-by-step modules including interactive assessments, rating scales, Q&As, etc?
- Will I have a way to see at-a-glance which sales reps have completed which enablement programs/coaching cadences?
- Is there a way to templatize my sales managers’ 1:1 agendas so everyone gets the same type (and level) of coaching?
- Do you have a recommended coaching agenda for each role within my GTM org?
- Does your solution pull real-time rep data into the coaching moment?
- Is there a way you can help me incorporate enablement into team or group meetings like Pipeline Reviews or Forecasting?
- Does your platform encourage peer<>peer skills training or ways my team can motivate each other?
- Does your system alert the cross-functional team when a rep has completed a training to help celebrate their accomplishment?
- How does your solution solve for new hire onboarding?
- What would an enablement scorecard look like? How do you build that into your platform?
- Could I speak with one of your current customers about their experience with your tool from an enablement perspective?
- What’s your PoV on sales coaching, and how do you see coaching fueling enablement?
Measure Enablement Effectiveness with Sales Coaching Software
Sales enablement is a long game. It doesn’t yield overnight results, but when the right behaviors are reinforced consistently, you can begin to measure the outcome. Want to learn more about how coaching software can take your enablement function to the next level? Book time with an Ambition expert here.