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Asa Butcher May 2021 8 min read

How to begin choosing the right sales enablement platform

‘Overwhelming’ and ‘daunting’ are two adjectives often associated with taking those first steps into the world of choosing the best sales enablement vendor. A Google search on the topic can return hundreds of seemingly similar results, so how do you begin narrowing down the options available?

 

Who to involve in the evaluation?

First, it’s not a solo journey. The evaluation process should be a team effort that involves dedicated members from C-level management, sales and marketing development, as well as somebody from IT. In many cases, it is also beneficial to include an actual sales rep.

This approach guarantees a variety of perspectives on a sales enablement platform. For example, marketing is often all about the content and brand, a sales rep wants plenty of freedom and ease-of-use, while a sales director has an eye on analytics and user behaviour.

Fall in love with the flow

Once a team is in place, the evaluation process can begin but be careful to avoid the classic mistake of only looking at the price, warns Mikko Hyppölä, Director of Customer Success at Showell. He adds that it’s quite easy to be enchanted by special features and lose sight of your core requirements.

Think of the flow and fall in love with that.

“While lightning-fast search capabilities and customizable branding are desirable, they are just tools. You must think of the flow that you are trying to achieve and then find the best possible solution. Do not fall in love with features, which, without a context, become gimmicks. Think of the flow and fall in love with that,” advises Hyppölä.

Through the eyes of the customer

With 10 years’ experience, Showell is well-placed to respond and adapt to the market demands of small and medium-sized enterprises in today's world. In addition, it means they have come to understand that an evaluation of a sales enablement platform should include the following:

  • How is marketing content being distributed through sales? Is it kept up-to-date and on-brand?
  • How is the sales process aligned throughout the whole customer funnel? Are sales reps supported with the right content in the right place for meetings?
  • How is the buyer experience included? What content do you use and how does your business look in the eyes of a customer when a sales rep shares their screen?

 

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Support and service matters

From his role on the customer success team, Hyppölä highlights technical support as another key factor when assessing the best sales enablement platform for your company.

It’s important to quickly provide easy-to-apply solutions.

“It’s extremely important for a vendor to quickly provide easy-to-apply solutions when customers need assistance or face unexpected technical issues. It is one of the areas in which Showell has regularly received positive feedback from clients,” he answers proudly.

Security and privacy importance

The same level of importance applies when evaluating a vendor’s approach to data privacy and platform integration security. It is also recommended to choose a vendor located inside the EU because they can better serve clients globally and offer the required level of GDPR compliancy.

US-based sales enablement vendors are often unable to fully provide compliancy due to a reliance on their cloud service operator being compliant with the EU-US Privacy Shield.

The result of a 2020 decision means that the framework is no longer a valid mechanism to comply with EU data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the European Union to the United States.

Book a demo or start a free trial

Once your team has completed the initial evaluation phase and compiled a shortlist of the top sales enablement platforms that meet your specifications, the next step is to see first-hand what really happens on the platform and study its analytics dashboard.

Showell is one of the few sales enablement vendors that offers a free trial via its freemium product, an option not offered by many of its competitors. However, you should book a product demo first to receive a personalized guided tour of the platform, so you can see it in action. 

“You can ask questions and challenge the performer. When you go outside the box, you can also see what is and isn’t possible,” says Hyppölä. He emphasizes that Showell is solid in that regard and covers the sales cycle in terms of preparing, presenting and sharing the content.

Read the customer reviews

Don’t forget to research customer testimonials for that extra reassurance and read reviews on G2, the world's largest independent tech marketplace, which Hyppölä notes rated Showell the best in Ease of Use and Ease of Admin in the sales enablement market.

It should have the same feeling as getting a new phone and setting it up.

He concludes by reassuring prospective clients that evaluating and choosing the right sales enablement does not need to be overwhelming or daunting. “It should have the same feeling as getting a new phone and setting it up.”