If sales enablement is the process of helping salespeople sell better…Then sales enablement tools are the execution of that process.
These tools provide a repository of easily accessible marketing collateral and playbooks they can use at certain points in the sales cycle.
And they enable your sales reps to deploy content in meetings, on calls, or during presentations.
We’ll show you 15 outstanding sales enablement tools later in today’s post.
First, let’s take a look at how these tools were developed over the years.
A Brief History of Sales Enablement Technology
Before we show you the new tools available, we want to take a trip back in time to see how sales enablement tech has developed over the years.
Of course, the greatest invention for salespeople and the rest of humanity in the last 50 years was the internet.
The real start of the internet happened with the U.S. government’s invention of ARPANET. The first ever message was sent in 1969 from computer science Professor Leonard Kleinrock's laboratory at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to the second network node at Stanford Research Institute (SRI).
Then in 1977 Oracle was founded, producing widely-used database programs.
In 1978 email was being used extensively by military personnel, and started to be adopted by people who could afford computers.
That’s when sales enablement technology really started heating up.
Big, ugly mobile phones came out in the 1980s along with a multi-function keyboard and digital Rolodex.
The early 1990s saw the invention of the world wide web. That’s also when IBM created Lotus Notes, the first document storage and communication platform for salespeople.
Then Salesforce is founded in 1999. By the 2000s, business intelligence is gaining traction and giving sales organization the ability to organize and visualize data.
In 2007, Salesforce releases the first cloud-based CRM. At the same time, 100 million smartphones are sold.
And here we are in the 2010s and everything has taken off.
Smartphones can do everything a laptop can do and more.
204 million emails are being sent every minute.
And everything from your CRM to your content management system is tightly integrated to maximize your productive power.
Organizations have more freedom to pursue complex sales enablement strategies thanks to all of the tools available to you today.
A Condensed List of the Best Sales Enablement Software Tools
Beyond content, salespeople need powerful tools to be successful.
Our history of sales enablement covers the commonly used tools.
But the ones we’re going to list below all focus on enhancing and heightening the sales enablement process.
We’ve broken them up into 3 categories:
- Sales Management Tools
- Sales Communication Tools
- Sales Talent Tools
Let’s dive in and check them out!
Sales Management Tools
Clearslide is committed to “creating amazing customer experiences” so that every interaction with customers counts.
Clearslide helps sales reps manage their presentations but it goes quite a few steps further, dragging in everything from web conferencing to email campaigns.
One of its most notable features is the cloud content library that acts as a “single source of truth.” It houses sales content, marketing materials, various tools, and customer-facing materials.
Sales teams can draw from this wealth of knowledge to prepare for big meetings, write an email, or impress a prospect in the middle of their conversation.
Bloomfire enables sales teams to create, share, find, and analyze content.
From a single, simple search in their AI-powered search engine, Bloomfire will help you find the exact keyword or phrase you’re looking for, including in videos.
You can turn questions and answers into searchable content that anyone in your organization can benefit from.
And you can create a single repository for all your information. When you need to update anything, Bloomfire allows you to archive the old and plug in the new.
You can even allow trusted suppliers and vendors to add information into your knowledge hub - increasing the intelligence and expertise of every salesperson instantly.
Highspot is a total sales enablement platform that gives sales teams deep insights into how their content engages customers. And they claim they’re “The highest customer-rated sales enablement platform with the highest rep adoption.”
Pretty impressive, if true. How does Highspot actually work?
Well, they deliver insights to sales teams and individual reps on what content and assets are getting the best and worst responses from prospects using machine learning. And content performance is synced with your CRM.
If any of your content is modified and updated (which it will be periodically), Highspot keeps a record of changes so nothing is lost.
And your content is scored based on its use by your sales team, how well it engages customers, and how much revenue it helped drive for your organization.
Qvidian focuses its software squarely on the proposal stage of the buyer’s journey. It’s the only one of its kind that seeks to automate and streamline the request for proposal (RFP) process.
Qvidian prides itself on being available to sales reps on the go. You can access their system from your laptop in your hotel or your tablet on a train just as easily as your desktop in your office.
Qvidian also boasts a centralized content library. It acts as a “single source of truth” that sales reps can access in the cloud.
All presentations and documents can be customized with your approved branding, creating consistency between all members of your sales team.
Plus, you can track your top opportunities, identify any workflow bottlenecks, and keep up with your KPIs using Qvidian’s analytics tool.
5. Bigtincan Hub
Bigtincan Hub focuses heavily on mobile-friendly content creation and dissemination along with dramatically boosting salespeople’s productivity.
The software was designed for mobile first. Has a clean interface that makes it easy to create and edit content on the go. Delivery of content is automated. And content is available on-demand.
You also receive insights into how impactful each piece of content is on your customers and prospects, along with how they consume the content you provide them.
On top of all that, users get tools that simplify collaboration and improve communication internally and between salespeople and customers.
Sales Communication Tools
And it’s been ranked by G2 Crowd as one of the top sales enablement tools.
What is it? CloudApp.
CloudApp allows your salespeople to present your products in the best light, engage customers with the right content at the right time, and communicate visually - increasing the likelihood of turning prospects into customers.
Discover how CloudApp creates better sales enablement content today.
Atlassian has heaps of sales enablement tools available to you.
The one to know about right away is JIRA. It’s a project management tool for teams practicing agile.
It gives you Scrum boards for fast iteration, kanban boards for visual understanding of where a project is in development, and features a “roadmap” that reveals the bigger picture of the project you’re currently working on.
If you like JIRA, you can integrate it with some of Atlassian’s other tools such as Confluence.
Confluence allows you to keep your project plans, meeting notes, product requirements, marketing plan, and everything else you need when collaborating with other salespeople.
Slack has become a household name for sales teams in virtually every industry from enterprises to SMBs.
It makes communication between all members of your organization extremely easy.
You’ll have numerous “channels” that can divide different teams, different projects, different clients. However you choose to categorize your conversations, Slack lets you customize it all.
And unlike long email threads, your salespeople can pop in and out of channels as needed - allowing you to continue a conversation with other team members, while allowing that same salesperson to pop back in at any time.
Every conversation in Slack is searchable, including the ones you’ve archived.
And if you need to integrate Slack with your other tools, like JIRA that we just discussed, you can. Slack makes it simple to connect all the services that power your business.
Outreach allows salespeople to develop and deploy sales sequences using email and phone.
The idea behind Outreach is to increase the likelihood of successfully booking a meeting.
Whatever application you’re using, you can make calls with their sales dialer. And then combine calling with text, email, and social to reach out to prospects in whatever way they prefer or is most likely to get a response.
You can personalize messages at scale and use Outreach features within your Gmail or Outlook inbox.
Then follow up through SMS messages without ever leaving your Outreach workflow - making your phone and email conversations more effective.
Tellwise combines phone, text, email, and presentations into a single platform accessible from your CRM.
One of the coolest sales enablement tools they offer is their “live activity feed.” It watches what your customers do with your content.
So when they’re engaging with a piece of content you sent them, whether it’s a video or blog post, Tellwise will open up a live feed wherever you work, Outlook, Gmail, Salesforce, etc. and tells you exactly when and how they’re using your content.
If you see them interacting with your content, you now have an opportunity to instantly reach out to them and talk with them when they’re most interested in your content.
Tellwise delivers the customer to a personalized portal that supports various collaboration features, including messaging.
Or instead of messaging, you can decide to call them at that moment. Regardless, you can capture the customer when they’re most engaged.
Velocify is a set of strategic tools and resources salespeople can use to create an effective workflow.
Their major sales tool is Velocify Pulse.
It features multichannel communication that allows salespeople to call prospects, create personalized emails, use templates from their template library, and a lot more.
It also gives you a workflow builder, which is a drag-and-drop design tool. It allows your salespeople to automate workflows within other integrated software such as Salesforce to practically guarantee the right action is being taken for each lead.
Sales Talent Tools
Quip hosts a suite of productivity tools: documents, slides, spreadsheets, and a chatbox.
It’s biggest selling point is that it has been designed to perfectly integrate with Salesforce in order to cut down on time spent doing other tasks and more time spent on selling.
So everything is centralized in Salesforce and every part of every deal lives there. They also provide you with templates for consistent branding across documents.
All of your data is always up to date. All you have to do is open live Salesforce reports in Quip with a single click and it’s ready to display for a meeting or discussion.
And with the Record Live App, you can view, update, or discuss Salesforce data directly from your phone so deals move forward when you’re on the road.
2. Strategy to Revenue
Strategy to Revenue is unlike any other sales enablement tool on this list. They don’t just give you a tool or software platform.
They provide customized training programs designed to fit any sales methodology or sales tool, like the ones we’ve already listed.
They’ll work with you to ensure your sales strategy will help you achieve your stated goals. To accomplish this, they look at your total market, current and potential wallet share, and find “white space” opportunities.
Or they’ll assist you in the recruiting and onboarding process.
They’ll first look to see if your organization has a clear definition of what the required roles and competencies are for success in every sales position. They’ll look at the impact of your existing sales team on new recruits.
And then they’ll look at your environment and determine ways to make sure it enables your staff to develop the skills and knowledge to achieve the results you’re looking for.
HireVue is entirely focused on the talent hiring process.
The HireVue platform uses artificial intelligence to gather insights about candidates and enable you to make informed hiring decisions.
It also features video interviewing, allowing candidates to answer pre-scripted questions that you can watch and evaluate anywhere. On top of that, you can conduct a real-time video interview and include your whole team.
HireVue also automates the candidate scheduling process within whatever calendar service you use.
Brainshark is all about empowering salespeople to always be ready with just the right content for whatever sales situation they find themselves in.
It helps you easily create your own video training content that can be accessed anywhere. It allows you to turn PowerPoints, PDFs, or webpages into voice-enhanced presentations.
You can add attachments, embed surveys, or add in exam questions to documents.
Brainshark also offers sales coaching solutions that make it easy to create coaching and practice activities. It helps your sales reps retain the information they learn during training.
Mindmatrix lets you create and deliver a standardized sales process - offering visibility into your sales pipeline, engagement metrics, and performance of sales campaigns.
Essentially, you can manage, monitor, and measure how your sales and channel partners are doing.
You get a customized sales dashboard that delivers all the information you need to run your sales operation in one place.
You can access your sales assets, playbooks, and reports at any time, from anywhere.
Your salespeople can automate lead nurturing programs and sales campaigns.
And all the tools you need to create powerful training and onboarding programs are built-in.