Sales Enablement Technology Checklist for Financial Services
Two Types of Technology Financial Professionals Should Add to the Arsenal
Financial services firms are the ideal case study for sales enablement technology. Financial professionals deal with people’s hard-earned money, and when they engage with prospective or existing clients, they need to enable their sales force with a customer-first mind-set. Whether that means readily available data, frequent engagement, or customized forms of contact, financial professionals can benefit significantly from implementing both sales enablement strategies and tools.
Here’s what you need to know about implementing sales enablement into your firm and what tech can enhance that process.
3 Steps to Implement Sales Enablement in Your Financial Services Firm
1.Think about Sales Enablement and Your Organization
Especially in today’s buying landscape, sales enablement is key to success. It’s a somewhat broad term, though, and it can mean something a little different for every company. First, make sure you understand the spirit of sales enablement, and then make sure you understand how it impacts your organization specifically, down to individual roles within that company.
Successfully implementing a sales enablement plan starts with understanding the premise of enablement and then applying those ideas to your individual employees, departments, and organization as a whole.
2. Define Your Stakeholders and Roles
Sales enablement is about how best to empower your sales team for success, and in order to do that, you need an accurate and thorough understanding of every relevant stakeholder in your financial services firm. Identify and define their roles and then think about how sales enablement directly affects them.
Without taking all your stakeholders into account, including their challenges, goals, and pain points, your sales enablement initiatives are at a disadvantage from the beginning. You’ll be less likely to achieve individual, team, and overall goals, and you won’t have an accurate sense of whether you’re succeeding or not.
3. Create an Ecosystem for Success
To have success with sales enablement, financial services professionals shouldn’t just think about adding one initiative or one program. It’s about holistic, system-level changes.
Here are 5 Keys to Get Started:
Align Your Technology to Your Overall Sales Enablement Strategy
Too many companies see a problem and throw technology at it. For successful integration, start with the strategy and processes first. Create the ecosystem in which sales enablement technology can succeed, and then start selecting technology that aligns within your system. Not the other way around.
For more information about how this process applies to financial professionals, check out our article here. Want even more details about successful tech integration? Here’s our top 10 list of practices to avoid.
Prioritize the Customer and Value Selling
In this evolving financial landscape, the customer journey is more essential than ever. Obsess over the experience you’re providing to your customers. When selecting a sales technology tool, consider how it’s going to impact your customer. Will it improve their experience throughout the buying journey? If not, reconsider if that’s the right application.
When it comes to the selling process, don’t lead with your specific offerings and services. Instead, think about what is going to be of value to your customer. What information or education do they need to solve a problem they’re having? If you start there, subsequent selling conversations are going to be smoother and more successful because you’ve positioned yourself in that customer’s mind as a valuable asset and a thought leader in your space.
Align Your Messaging to Roles
Messaging should be tailored not only to different personas but to individual roles within an organization. The more personalized and specific the content of your messaging, the more likely it is to resonate. If you can accurately identify challenges people are experiencing and offer genuinely valuable solutions, you’re going to start seeing more success within your sales team.
Harness the Power of Analytics
If you’re not measuring the relevant metrics of your sales enablement tools and initiatives, you’ll have no accurate, unbiased way to assess performance. Know what you’re measuring, track those analytics, and compare results against your established goals and objectives.
Align All Your Departments, Especially Marketing and Sales
Eliminating siloed working environments is essential. (Not sure how? Get some high-level tips here.) When departments work in individual teams, there tends to be a lack of communication, cohesion, and unified goals. While the ideal situation is an entire organization that works as one functioning unit, a pivotal place to start is with your marketing and sales teams. These two entities need to be in constant communication and alignment.
Sales is the most client-facing department. They have the most insight into what customers are thinking, saying, and feeling. Marketing can use that inside information to tailor their messaging, branding, and content collateral. (Remember, everyone should be prioritizing how to provide the customer with real value!)
Eliminating silos ensures everyone is on the same page and working together toward the same objectives. Financial professionals who are implementing this strategy are invariably the ones enjoying the greatest success right now.
Don’t Shortchange Coaching and Training
Coaching and training are essential pieces of sales enablement, but the content needs to be easily and readily available. If a sales rep has to search through complicated databases or spend a significant amount of time just to find the content he or she needs, that material is essentially useless. Sales reps in any vertical are always short on time, so the content needs to live in an organized system. It also needs to accommodate just-in-time learning, meaning pieces are available on demand when and how the rep requires.
This applies to initial training material, but it’s equally relevant for everboarding (ongoing learning).
What Sales Technology Can Help My Financial Services Firm?
In the financial sector, two tools are making significant inroads: sales enablement content management resources and portal software.
Sales Enablement Content Management Resources
The first thing a financial services firm needs to determine is what content looks like not only in their vertical but in their organization. What is the definition of content to you? What does content look like in your sales process?
Once that’s solidified, content management resources can help you maximize how content works for you. It allows you to gain visibility into how prospects and clients are consuming your content, which lets you know what material is most important to them. It can even help you score and qualify leads to better understand the potential of those interacting with the content.
All this can be tracked with reports and analytics, giving you tangible, objective data from which to make decisions.
If your looking for a sales enablement solution that is cost effective and can be implemented quickly and easily:
Sales Enablement and Content Management Technology solutions in this space include the following:
For “Portal” or “Deal Room” software, here are just some of your options:
This solution provides the most capability, but it is native to Salesforce. If you don’t have Salesforce, Journey Sales won’t be an option.
These solutions are quickly growing in this space.
This is a good example of a solution that’s aiming to address sales enablement as a whole, incorporating elements of portal tech, coaching, and content management.
What to Prioritize in Sales Tech
Whatever sales enablement tools you’re considering, just make sure you start with the processes and strategies first. Once you’re certain you’re ready to implement technology, the tools should do the following:
- Help you provide value to your customer throughout the buyer’s journey.
- Enhance your ability to engage with prospects and existing customers.
- Ease those interactions.
More than anything today, that engagement piece is pivotal. Customer engagement used to be largely email and maybe fax, and there was little to no creativity, marketing, or branding impact in those engagements.
Today, a tremendous amount of thought goes into these strategies, and there are usually multiple layers of communication happening concurrently, including email, voice, and text.
Again, since you want to always lead with the customer in mind, consider how these individuals want to be engaged and interacted with and incorporate that into your engagement strategy.
If you need help determining what tools best align to your biggest priorities, check out our free, simple sales technology selector tool. If you feel you’d like more overarching guidance about implementing processes and creating an ecosystem that lends itself to succes, our consulting services are here to help. Contact us any time to discuss your business needs.
Interested in learning more about Sales Enablement and how to strategically advance your program? Register for our upcoming webinar and hear from industry experts their thoughts on alignment and integration between departments, the orchestration role of sales enablement, and why you need to be having value-based, outcome-driven conversations with your customers.