Sales enablement is a fast-growing space. Look up sales enablement software, and you’ll find hundreds of proposed solutions. Most of them are rep-focused and provide information like lead data, sales presentations, and marketing collateral. These features can definitely help sales reps be more efficient, but if your sales enablement software doesn’t support interactive product demos, you’re missing out.
In this article, we explain how you can deliver a better customer experience, onboard faster, and close more sales when your sales enablement software includes interactive product demos.
First things first: if you think sales enablement is just for geofencing and tracking sales calls, expand your definition of sales enablement. Think of sales enablement as a smart mix of technology and training. When you include interactive demos throughout your sales enablement tool, reps have everything they need in one place. They can quickly learn about your products and services, and then sell them the right way—faster.
What are interactive product demos?
In this context, interactive product demos are highly visual pieces of sales presentation content that explain the features and benefits of a product or service. They help the viewer understand how something you sell works—and how it stacks up against the competition—in a compelling way.
I’ve seen two demo formats work really well: short videos and interactive, highly visual learning modules. Videos support storytelling and demonstrate benefits. Interactive learning modules simulate how product features work and explain how they benefit the customer.
Short videos support storytelling and demonstrate benefits.
Interactive learning modules simulate product features and explain the benefits.
What can interactive product demos help my sales reps do?
Deliver a better customer experience
In my experience, the most effective interactive product demos can explain a product or service in 10 seconds or less. 65% of your customers are visual learners, so when you show how something works (rather than tell), you seriously upgrade your customer experience.
Your customers are also busy, and they don’t have time for clunky PowerPoints and outdated brochures. They want to learn new information quickly so they can make a buying decision.
Forrester shares that interactive product demos change the medium of video from a “lean-back to a lean-forward interactive experience,” empowering and informing customers as they move further down the sales funnel.
Here’s what Hubspot says:
“When customers feel like they’re in control, they will often take risks, such as trying new services or taking a chance on a new product.”
If you want to share your value propositions with your customers in an exciting, visual way, see if your sales enablement software can support interactive product demos. You’ll help your customers understand how you can solve their challenges and why they should buy from you.
Onboard reps faster
You want your new sales reps to be more productive, faster. In fact, we’ve found they’re actively looking for short, to-the-point ways to explain your products and services. Reps want to deliver accurate information and hold their customer’s attention.
Interactive product demos allow sales reps to gain expertise with very little time commitment. In the same way product demos help your customers learn, they help your reps learn, too. There’s an assurance in knowing their sales enablement software has helpful product information, right there when they need it. I’ve seen reps who have access to interactive product demos achieve quota as soon as Month 2 or Month 3.
When sales enablement tools include interactive product demos, reps have more confidence during their customer conversations. They also have access to consistent, helpful content for each customer, regardless of their location and level of experience.
Close more sales
Time is a sales rep’s most precious resource. Selling Power says the average rep spends just 10 percent of their time selling. When your sales enablement software doubles as a sleek interactive product demo, reps gain time to devote to their core objective: selling. No more late nights formatting PowerPoint slides.
On top of that, interactive product demos make it easier for customers to make a buying decision. Customers are more engaged and can understand key benefits more quickly. You heard it from Forrester and HubSpot—this leads to a better close rate.
See it in action
Want to see examples of sales enablement software that doubles as an interactive product demo?
Check out Advisor or contact us to talk more.
Google what is sales enablement, and you’ll find varying definitions alongside dozens of companies offering apps that claim to be the silver bullet. We’ve seen first-hand that companies are often grasping at technology as a quick fix, rather than slowing down to align on a comprehensive initiative. However, making it easy for an entire sales force to use consistent messaging, keep up with product knowledge, add value to the customer experience, and drive sales growth can’t be accomplished with a single app. We must think bigger.
According to CSO Insights, while sales enablement is a growing trend, overall sales performance is not improving. In fact, while sales enablement as a discipline grew from 19.3% in 2013 to 32.7% in 2016, quota attainment actually decreased from 63% to 55.8%.
How can you expand your sales enablement efforts into a 360-degree strategy? We have some ideas.
What Is Sales Enablement: THe Unboxed Definition
To start, here’s our answer to the what is sales enablement question.
We define sales enablement as:
A strategic initiative that aligns sales, marketing, and training to equip sales teams with the training, technology, content, and ongoing coaching they need to increase productivity, sell more, and improve the customer experience.
Let’s break that down.
IT’s a strategic initiative
Sales enablement is a comprehensive, forward-thinking initiative that employs a smart mix of technology and training. It’s not a quick-fix or a shiny new tool that lacks staying power.
If every employee company-wide embraces a mindset that they are either salespeople or sales support, your success will skyrocket. According to Salesforce’s State of Sales Report, 60% of sales professionals say collaborative selling increases their productivity by 25% or more, and over half say it also increases their pipeline.
It aligns sales, marketing, and training
In our experience, sales enablement originates in marketing. It’s marketing’s responsibility to position products, create talking points, and create a value proposition to make the customer experience more consistent.
Sales reps are your organization’s frontline revenue drivers. They build strong relationships with customers, provide solutions, and close deals. But it takes all three departments―sales, marketing, and training― working together to cultivate a successful, cross-functional sales enablement initiative.
Marketing typically owns the budget, sales executes the strategy, and training fosters the necessary skills and behaviors to sustain it. When this powerful trifecta aligns, the ultimate customer experience emerges.
It demands training
Sales reps require knowledge, skills, and behaviors to effectively sell to modern buyers. Without great training, they won’t share your value proposition with ease or overcome difficult objections.
Unfortunately, 80% of marketing content is rarely or never used by sales, according to ITSMA. Without strategic, insightful training on how to use them, high-end sales enablement tools and content are useless—but with the right training, these tools are priceless.
And with microlearning, reps can make the most of small chunks of time and train on the go. They can access training information whenever they need it. Quick refresher course before a big customer meeting? Yes, please.
It’s powered by technology
CSO Insights explains your organization can create the right tools, training, messaging, and content, but if your sales team can’t access them easily, you’re effectively fighting with one hand tied behind your back.
The sales productivity gap―widened by administrative tasks, manual data entry, and time spent searching for the right content―means less time for what sales reps do best: selling. Selling Power says some reps spend as little as 3% of their time actually selling. That’s shocking!
That’s where sales enablement technology comes in. And remember, don’t look for a silver bullet. Your reps will likely use different tools for different tasks. From rep-facing tools like CRMs and sales training platforms, to customer-facing solutions like guided selling tools and customer feedback platforms.
It centralizes content
Message consistency is vital to your organization’s brand. Sales enablement gives every rep access to the same high-caliber marketing content. Customers in every region are guaranteed to receive the same (stellar!) level of information and service. Marketing consistency thus becomes reality.
Easy access to interactive demos and content serves a dual purpose: they’re customer-facing (hello, customer experience) and also help keep your reps’ knowledge on point.
Let the content do the talking: interactive demos can explain your products quickly, while some sales enablement tools recommend the right training content at the right time to help reps close a deal.
Enablement? We’d call that empowerment.
It requires ongoing coaching
According to Topo, “Most sales training programs suffer from a fatal flaw―they happen once a year. As a result, salespeople forget what they’ve learned.”
Products change, messaging evolves, and competitors encroach. The solution? Make sales enablement training a continuous, cyclical effort.
Conduct regular training sessions and provide reps with refresher training to maintain their competitive edge. The more modern and interesting you make it, the more your team will engage with it.
And coach, coach, coach. Observe your reps in action and provide feedback. They want to be better. Help them.
The Goal: Increase productivity, grow sales, and improve customer experience
When sales enablement is done right, the benefits are three-fold.
First, reps are more productive. They spend less time on administrative tasks and more time selling. And don’t forget about onboarding. Getting new reps up to speed is a challenge. With the right sales enablement strategy, reps are more productive, sooner. Often twice as fast.
It empowers reps to educate customers and make smarter recommendations about the best product/service for their needs. When customers experience this transparency and see that a rep isn’t just suggesting a solution to meet quota, they start to trust. And trust quickly morphs into increased sales.
Finally, it simplifies the increasingly complex buyer’s journey and adds value. A comprehensive sales enablement strategy makes it easy for your reps to sell and easy for your customers to buy from you. When you create a unique and exceptional customer experience, customers will buy from you again and again, and tell their friends to do the same.
Think before you launch
Without a well-planned strategy to accomplish your organization’s sales enablement objectives, you could waste time, effort, and money on so called “silver bullets” without achieving results.
Avoid failure to launch. With good planning, and a smart mix of training and technology, your sales force will be enabled, empowered and unstoppable.
So what is sales enablement to you? Share your definition in the comments below.
When you think of sales enablement, what comes to mind? A CRM? Content management tools? Refresher training and coaching?
People are quick to name the usual suspects. But these sales tools are often rep-focused. And reps are only one part of the equation. The other mission-critical part? Your customers. The customer experience is crucial and if you don’t win their trust, you don’t win sales.
Enter guided selling. Guided selling software weighs the rep experience and the customer experience and creates a win-win for both parties.
Benefits of Guided Selling Software
Unlike other sales tools, guided selling software isn’t just for reps. It benefits both your reps and customers. Here’s how.
Guided selling software is configured to reflect your sales process and provides a consistent framework to guide customer interactions and needs assessments.
Benefit for reps
For new reps, this framework can help them learn the ropes faster. For experienced sales reps, this is a reminder of “true north” that helps reinforce best practices over time.
Benefit for customers
According to the CEB, buying decisions typically involve five to six stakeholders. When a rep encounters multiple stakeholders, consistency needs to be the name of the game. Wildly different interactions with your team mean your reputation’s shot and customer confidence is shattered. Guided selling software will help ensure each and every stakeholder receives a consistent experience and message—and the customer trusts you.
In sales, information changes at a rapid-fire pace. There’s a lot to keep up with, like new product launches or changes in pricing or availability. With guided selling software, both reps and customers have access to current product or service offerings, features, specs, pricing, and resources.
Benefit for reps
Guided selling software can help support reps’ training. To be clear, this isn’t a crutch or a replacement for product and sales training. It’s a supplement, reinforcing overarching messages while also keeping reps on top of the nitty-gritty.
Armed with current information, reps feel better prepared and more confident.
Benefit for customers
Would you buy from someone who seems unsure? Confident reps mean confident customers.
Guided selling software also helps convey credibility and expertise. Customers see their rep is in the know and using the latest insights, not outdated information.
The output of guided selling software is a product or service recommendation for the customer. This recommendation is generated dynamically. An algorithm behind the scenes weighs customer inputs to build the best solution whether it’s products, services, or other options.
The recommendation summarizes the customer’s answers and shows how the solution meets the needs expressed by the customer. The sales rep can edit and fine-tune the recommendation on the fly if the customer has additional feedback. Once the recommendation is finalized, the rep can send an email summary to the customer, if desired.
Benefit for reps
Guided selling software simplifies the process of proposing solutions. Plus, reps position themselves as customer advocates because they’re equipped to clearly and consistently summarize, confirm, and respond to the customer’s needs.
Benefit for customers
There’s transparency about how and why certain products or services were recommended. So instead of feeling like a rep is pulling a fast one, or pushing something just to make quota, customers instead see their best interests are at heart.
Digital, Mobile Presentations
Guided selling software makes selling less clunky. Content is digitized and available on mobile devices. This includes presentation and recommendation tools, as well as reference materials and collateral.
Benefit for reps
Reps save time because they don’t have to hunt for printed brochures and catalogs or create yet another PowerPoint deck. Everything is built into a single, digital resource and is already designed and styled. Going paperless is more convenient, too. Reps can pick up their tablet or phone and get working.
Benefit for customers
Customers receive a polished presentation every time. And there’s the undeniable wow factor of getting to use a tablet to do a needs assessment and review a recommendation. Plus, customers can get in the driver’s seat and explore interactive modules—for example, they could tap and swipe through a product demo instead of thumbing through yet another brochure.
||Benefits for reps
||Benefits for customers
||Reinforce sales process and best practices
||See a reliable partner with stable team and strong, shared vision/story
||Stay on top of ever-changing details and feel more confident and prepared
||Feel confident by working with an expert
||Simplify process of recommending a solution
Be seen as customer advocate
|Understand how a product or service meets a business need
|Digital, Mobile Presentations & Resources
||Spend less time on non-selling tasks and more time working with customers
||Enjoy a more interactive and engaging experience
Add Guided Selling Software To Your Sales Toolkit
Guided selling software helps both reps and customers feel supported and empowered to achieve their goals. Guided selling isn’t an extra burden or out to undermine other parts of your sales strategy. It supports and bolsters other sales enablement initiatives, like training.
Don’t let guided selling software fly under the radar; integrate it into your sales enablement toolkit. Your reps and customers will both benefit.
Want to learn more? Check out Unboxed Advisor, a sales enablement platform with a guided selling tool that connects reps to customers in a high-tech way.