Optimizing the Enablement Tech Stack to Drive Adoption
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In the modern selling landscape, technology is an inevitable part of every sales organization. That’s why it is especially important to intentionally curate the sales enablement tech stack to make it easier for reps to do their jobs. Beyond just ensuring the team has the right tools, however, optimizing the tech stack also means ensuring that reps are equipped to effectively leverage the tools at their fingertips.
With tools that are purposeful and user-friendly, enablement can use the tech stack as a key lever to increase productivity, accelerate deals, and boost revenue. When reps understand the value of specific tools and then implement them into their daily sales activities, they increase their ability to generate success through increased efficiency.
“Technology is not going anywhere and it’s going to be only more and more important to have that expertise inside the organization,” said Gerald Alston, platform enablement manager at Varonis. “I think that’s really the biggest opportunity moving forward, leveraging the expertise to make sure that when sales reps come on board, they don’t really have as much of an uphill battle that they may have experienced in other places.”
Enablement can ensure that reps have a high degree of comfortability and confidence with the tech stack to improve adoption and ultimately drive results. Through targeted practice and individualized training, enablement can optimize use of the tech stack and aid sellers in their journey towards success.
Below are five considerations to keep in mind to drive tool adoption and curate an efficient tech stack.
Understand Role-Specific Use Cases
Leveraging the strengths and experiences of sellers based on role type provides enablement with a full scope of knowledge on who the tech stack is targeting, and how to most effectively integrate it into the appropriate sales workflows based on role.
For example, teams that prioritize prospecting versus those that are focused on closing deals may need to leverage the same piece of technology in different ways. Having awareness of these differences allows for more tailored tool implementation based on the function of the team, leveraging the impact of strategically defined roles in achieving goals.
“What it takes to sell in say New York or in Seattle may be different than what it takes to sell in North Carolina or Georgia,” said Alston. “When I meet a rep, first and foremost before I look at any metrics, I want to look at the art of what they’re doing.”
If reps understand how a tool can be leveraged with consideration of the nuances of their work, they can more easily apply it to their day-to-day workflows. This also benefits enablement, as in-depth knowledge about specific roles and how the current tech stack serves each role makes it easier to comprehend what types of tools are needed to improve outcomes.
“If we don’t really reinforce with our tooling what we’re trying to accomplish and make the tooling effective enough for users to either want to use it or to actually have an easy time of using it, we’re not going to have the adoption,” said Chris Wrenn, senior manager of experience delivery at Adobe. “We’re going to have people leveraging different tooling for doing the same job, all that sort of stuff that makes it much more difficult to manage at an enterprise level.”
Open lines of communication with reps allow enablement to encourage new tool adoption while simultaneously gauging whether tools are having the desired impact. Taking this feedback and operationalizing it can result in new and improved content strategies, educational opportunities, and feedback cycles, all aimed at increasing and improving tool adoption to further individual and team selling success across the entire organization.
“We’re looking at things a lot more now across different teams and folks who are trying to use any of these multiple tools that we have,” said Wrenn. “What’s their experience going to be like and how do we optimize that? How do we increase the velocity of all of those things that everybody knows are important and infuse more of that into the design of our systems?”
Engage Champions Early
Sales reps need to have a certain level of comfort with tools to get the most out of it, especially when tools in the stack can be leveraged in a multitude of ways. To become comfortable using a tool, however, reps need to spend time in it, practicing how to use it effectively. One way to encourage this from the start is by involving reps from the very beginning of the process.
For example, by involving a select group of reps in the evaluation process of new tools, reps are able to get a head-start and build excitement early on. Those early adopters can then serve as champions during the implementation. Enablement can further build excitement by celebrating these champions, sharing their success, and showing how other reps can emulate them to in turn drive adoption.
“It’s always healthy to have a level of ownership from the line of business,” said Kunal Pandya, senior director of global revenue enablement at UserZoom. “If the end-user of the solution perhaps is within the sales team, then having a champion account executive or solution consultant, whoever the end-user may be, is something that I’d also recommend as part of this.”
Integrate a User-Centered Design Approach
More often than not, tools are influenced by a focus on intricate features and technological capabilities. This can cause teams to overlook the most important aspect of the process: the end-user. Incorporating a user-centered design approach allows businesses to reinforce their initiatives through tools in a way that expands beyond the boundaries of features and functionality.
“The value that we’re trying to add is making things easier for users in a way that it really reinforces the business,” said Wrenn. “The business gets what they want out of it, the users get what they want out of it, and we’re in that happy place.”
Enablement can prioritize users at the center of their tech stack by focusing on the following three key areas:
- Accessibility: The tech stack should streamline access to content and information to increase productivity, helping reps access what they need, when they need it, within their typical workflow.
- Governance: Ensuring that the stack is up to date and relevant ensures repeatable, consistent experiences for sellers to thoroughly digest resources through consolidated and focused access.
- Structure: Having a clear structure to the tech stack, including defined purposes for each tool so that reps know what to use and when, integrations when possible to streamline usage, and organized systems architecture within each tool to ensure smooth navigation, can help reduce redundancies and maximize the impact of each investment.
With a user-centered design approach, reps are more easily able to navigate their daily selling activities, allowing them to efficiently work towards larger initiatives and quickly recognize the value of their work.
“Find ways to ensure that your end-users not just have to use a solution but actually want to use a solution and are enjoying the solution,” said Pandya. “That comes by then clearly seeing the benefits and the value that a solution brings, not just from a long-term perspective in terms of results or numbers, but also on a day-to-day basis.”
The optimization of a fully formulated tech stack tends to all of a seller’s needs, ranging from finding sales-qualified leads, having value-added conversations, and closing effective deals. To ensure that the tech stack is properly functioning, enablement can strategically incorporate foundational principles into their tooling to maximize accessibility and performance of it among reps. By targeting all components of the tech stack, enablement can ensure that sellers are effectively incorporating the tech stack into their daily workflows, leveraging all of its functionalities to ultimately succeed at their roles.