Sales Enablement Buyers Guide

Sales Enablement Buyers Guide

As a marketing leader, it’s critical to enable your reps with the right tools.

These tools should support the team— and their skill set—to win more sales and excel at their job.

With so many sales enablement platforms on the market, though, how do you determine which one is right for your business? There is an abundance of different types of sales enablement tools and plenty of individual options in each product category.

The ideal software for your business should provide the best fit for your business, and should meet the following criteria:

  • Offers features that align with your needs and requirements
  • Aligns with the size of your business (both now and in your plans to scale)
  • Is easy to use so that your sellers can adapt to it in time

It seems like a no-brainer, but it can still be hard to whittle down your options just because there are so many out there. Fortunately, we’re here to help.

In this article, we’ll cover everything from understanding your business needs, to evaluating sales enablement tools, and what kinds of blockers to look out for when you need to make the final decisions.

Let’s jump right in!

Why do you need sales enablement tools now?

If you’re reading this guide, there’s a good chance that you’re already know that you need sales enablement tools.

These are the most common reasons:

  • You’re new in your role and are realizing that tools could help streamline the team’s workflow
  • There’s a new product line that’s required more advanced sales tools
  • There’s been a merger & acquisition and your needs have changed
  • Your team is scaling and/or the business has aggressive growth goals

No matter where your business and sales team is at, sales enablement tools can offer numerous benefits. These benefits include the following:

  • Strong sales enablement tech is a foundational piece that allows you to systemize the team’s process, making it more effective
  • These tools make your team’s jobs easier, and it often makes them more effective
  • In many cases, large companies regret not investing in sales enablement tools sooner, so there’s no time like the present

So, how do you determine exactly what you need? That’s what we’re going to discuss with the rest of this guide.

Consider Your Needs

Before you even start looking at sales enablement tools, it’s crucial to consider why you’re looking at sales enablement tools and what you need to get out of them.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • On what scale your business is operating?
  • Small team - you are small but plan on growing
  • Mid-size company that needs somewhere to put sales materials
  • Enterprise team - you care about more about success than budget, how you will implement, rally folks about it
  • What products or services do you offer?
  • What are your target markets?
  • What are your competitive advantages?
  • What is driving your needs? Examples may include:
    • Adding an SDR team
    • International expansion
    • Need to streamline your process
    • Need to provide more data or resources to your sales team
    • A belief that your team could operate at a higher level with the right tools
    • Roll up of different companies
    • Switchers, considerations about migrations, overlap time, training

Once you have a clear idea of your business, you can then start to look at the right sales enablement platform to fit your needs.

Here’s how we usually take the road by asking ourselves the most basic questions:

What is your scale?

One size does not fit all.

If you’re a small team, you may not need all the bells and whistles that come with a top-of-the-line sales enablement tool. A simpler solution may be all that you need to get the job done.

If you’re a mid-size or enterprise company, however, you need a tool that can handle your greater volume of sales materials and help you to rally your team around your sales goals.

What are your goals?

No one’s buying sales enablement tools without good reason. When building a sales strategy, you should set up some goals to hold your reps accountable.

You want to enable them to achieve those goals. Keeping that in mind, look for the tools that aid the process.

Some of the goals that businesses might have include:

  • Increasing traffic
  • Expanding into new markets
  • Increasing Team Collaboration
  • Winning conversions
  • Onboarding Customers
  • Increasing Customer Retention

Each of these goals requires a different type of sales enablement tool, so it’s important to know what you’re trying to achieve before you make a purchase.

Traffic goals might be best met with a tool like BuzzSumo, which helps you track the most popular content on social media.

Expansion into new markets might require a tool like Salesforce, which can help you keep track of potential leads from around the world.

Check out our curated list of Top Sales Enablement Tools to find out which tools fit your goals.

What Tools Are Most Urgent?

There are plenty of different types of sales enablement tools. You’ve got CRMs, sales forecasting tools, lead generation tools, automated email software, lead database tools, and many more.

You may decide that you want to add six different tools to the tech stack to fully support the sales team (and marketing and sales alignment). That being said, you may not necessarily want or be able to add them all at once.

Think about your hierarchy of needs. You want to start with a crawl, then walk, and then run.

Choose the tools that add the most immediate value and resolve the biggest needs first, even if they’re more expensive or time-consuming to implement.

If you’re struggling to identify high-value sales opportunities, for example, upgrading your CRM or investing in lead scoring software may be the way to go. But if one of your biggest pain points is that your sales and marketing teams aren’t aligned, or that sales isn’t getting the content they need, looking at sales content management software like Content Camel is the way to go.

Understand your timelines

Sales enablement tools aren’t necessarily something you should rush into; you want to take the time to make sure you’re choosing the correct tools the first time around so you don’t need to repeat the selection, adoption, and training processes again.

Make sure you’re considering the following:

Length of time it takes to evaluate and purchase

It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to fully evaluate and actually purchase a single sales enablement tool, let alone multiple tools. This process often includes:

  • Taking time to review different tools, which may include asking your network for referrals, checking out software review sites, evaluating product pages, and signing up for free trials
  • Booking demos and sales calls
  • Signing NDAs pre-demo or sales calls if some companies require them (keep in mind that many brands don’t have free trials)

Contract negotiations

Once you’ve selected a tool, the hard work isn’t over. It’s time for contract negotiations.

Many SaaS tools require annual licenses, especially when you’re looking at high-value sales enablement tools.

You’ll also need to negotiate based on how many users you need, the specific features or plan that you need, and whether you want to play monthly or annually.

You don’t want to overpay or underbuy, so this can be challenging. There’s also the reality that you may have unused licenses for awhile as you’re getting onboarded and training your team, so take that into consideration.

Length of time to train and roll out

Once you do finally have that sales enablement tool selected, you need to do the following:

  • Complete onboarding with the tool, including set up
  • Get team members added to your account
  • Create a systemized approach for how your team will use the tool
  • Train the team on how to use the tool (training videos that can be stored and accessed at any time are a great choice)
  • Troubleshoot and adapt usage if needed

Other factors to consider

After you’ve considered your business’s needs and time to roll out, there are a few more things that you absolutely want to consider when making your selection. These are all essential considerations that should directly influence which tool you select.


Even the largest and most successful enterprise businesses have a budget they need to stick to, and there’s no point wasting money on a tool that costs 3x as much as a similar competitor that offers all the same features.

Look at the pricing structure of the different sales enablement tools that you’re considering, and remember to assess the following:

  • The pricing model; is it priced per user, or per usage?
  • Are you charged monthly or annually? Are you given an option
  • Are there extra features, fees, or extra “fine print” that you may need to pay for that isn’t included in the monthly/annual fee?
  • Is the pricing accessible not only for the team that you have now but your future plans?

When in doubt, get quotes from sales. This can sometimes be a time-consuming and frustrating process, as they may require you to go through a demo or sales meeting before ever giving any indication about pricing, but it’s best to spend the time now rather than needing to make a change later.


Different solutions will offer different features, potentially for the same or similar pricing.

Some content management systems, for example, work a little like Pinterest. You can save or pin content from different sources, and you may be able to leave comments on it that anyone in your organization can view.

Content Camel, however, has features that allow for the following:

  • Wishlist creation so sales can communicate with marketing about what content they need and how urgent it is
  • Categorizing content by purpose, stage of the sales funnel, and type of content
  • Features to store internal content (like training videos and templates) and external content (blog posts, whitepapers, case studies)
  • Collaboration features for marketing and sales alignment
  • Store links, upload documents, and even browse for the content you want to save


Look at the specific features offered, and make sure that each tool has exactly what you need and at the price point you’re willing to pay.

Interface & usability

As a freelancer, I’ve worked with a variety of different sales enablement tools (including what feels like every project management tool under the sun), and I can speak to the fact that the interface and usability of the software makes an enormous impact on successful adoption.

You need to make sure that you like the interface of the tool and that it’s intuitive enough that your team will actually be able to use it. If it was in the budget, I’d hands-down pay more money for a tool with a great interface over one that wasn’t as good. I personally prefer HubSpot over Salesforce for this exact reason.

This is where product videos, free trials, images on product pages, and free demos are essential. It’s not just about the technology and the features available; it’s about how easy it is to use them.


There are plenty of tools designed specifically for small businesses. That’s great; they’re able to offer great software and often at an affordable price.

If your business plans to grow overtime, however, you may not want to consider “made for small business” software if it’s actually limited in what it offers.

When it comes to scalability, consider:

  • How much it costs per user and whether it’s affordable as you scale
  • If the tool is even capable of scaling and adding users to the level you think you’ll need
  • If the tool has the features you’ll need as you scale (like cross-department collaboration features, tagging features, and streamlined sharing)
  • The number of integrations the tool has, particularly with software you either already use or plan to use (and even the option for custom integrations)

Quickbooks is an example of software that has some use cases marketed to small businesses despite the fact that it can scale to be an enterprise-grade tool. It’s not truly a “small business tool,” they just have plans suited to small businesses, but other tools like Wave are truly designed for smaller businesses and would not be as well-suited to significant scaling due to its usecases and specific features.


Security should never be something that you compromise on. Make sure you’re choosing software that follows the highest security standards and protocols, ideally with the following:

  • Enhanced authentication
  • Data encryption
  • Oversight and vetting
  • Access management
  • Clearly-stated privacy and security policies
  • Regulatory compliance

You can read more about potential security risks for SaaS tools before purchasing so you can make an informed decision, but make sure to ask the sales team about this.

Documented History of Support

This is a simple one but a good one.

If your CRM were to drop in the middle of a busy promotion, you want to be working with a team that will get you back online immediately. You also want support if you’re confused about using a specific feature, need help with access concerns, or even want assistance onboarding.

Look at reviews carefully online. Customer support will be something that many clients complain about if it’s less-than-stellar. You also want fast guaranteed response times, if the customer support isn’t available 24/7.

Evaluating your tools

Now that you understand the kinds of tools that you will need, you must now seriously evaluate a number of options to determine the most appropriate tools for your business.

Let’s say you’re looking for a sales content management software, here are some of the key features you might want to look for:

  • Sharing: Can the tool easily share content with coworkers? Is there a built-in messaging system?
  • Tracking: Can sellers easily track buyer journeys through the shared content?
  • Advanced Search Filters: Can sellers find and search for content with just a few clicks?
  • Content Organization: Can sellers easily organize their content as per each stage of the sales funnel?
  • Content Library: Does it have a content library where you can get an overview of all your content?
  • Team Collaboration: Can sellers and marketers work together on documents and projects?
  • Price: What is the cost of the tool? Are there different pricing tiers for different users?

It’s also important to consider the value of the tool. Some tools may be more expensive, but offer more features, or be easier to use. Other tools may be less expensive, but may not offer as many features.

It’s important to weigh the cost of the tool against its features to see if it’s a good value for your team.

How to budget for sales enablement

Building a sales enablement budget can feel overwhelming, but it’s an important part of tool selection. You need to account for multiple different tools and determine which will be most valuable even after you’ve decided what your budget looks like.

You want to consider the following:

  • The fixed and variable costs of your business to determine overhead, along with potential risks and unexpected costs
  • The expected ROI of the tools themselves; it’s okay to expand your budget, for example, if you believe that you’ll be able to sell more at higher values, increasing your profit overall
  • What tools you need and what the “minimum” costs are

We’ve got an entire guide on building a sales enablement budget to help get you started, but remember that you should spend only what you can afford to. In some cases it can take several months (or potentially longer) to get your team up to speed with the new software, and it may take even longer to really see the results.

Lead ranking software, for example, can start helping you find high-value leads immediately, but it also may take a few months to build different models that accurately identify the type of leads that you want.

Be prepared for that, and remember to focus on the value and ROI you expect to receive when justifying the tool to your business’s decision makers.

Sales Enablement Blockers

The most common blockers that sales leaders encounter while implementing a new sales enablement program are:

  • No buy-in from executives
  • Reluctance to change the sales process
  • Lack of resources
  • Data loss or privacy breaches
  • Risk of system failures
  • Failure to meet goals

While all these risks are valid, you also need to take into account both short-term and long-term costs when implementing a sales enablement system.

One of the biggest implementation risks that businesses have fallen for is buying a system and onboarding 100 people all at once - that often leads to six months of downtime.

It’s better to first do a proof of concept with a small group to make sure the system is a good fit for your business.

In addition, you’ll want to consider the budget for the project and the timeline for implementation.

Sales enablement solutions can be complex, so it’s important to make sure you have the right team in place to support the project from start to finish.

Addressing these issues early on in the sales enablement process can help ensure a successful implementation.

Creating a Winning Sales Enablement Business Case

The success of a sales enablement initiative starts with a well-crafted business case.

The first step in creating a winning sales enablement business case is to do some upfront planning. This includes figuring out what content you need, interviewing your sales team to find out what they are using and where the gaps are, and running a pilot with a small group of users.

Once you have a plan in place, it’s important to approach your boss with a proposal for the program.

Your executive team needs to understand the following:

  1. The problem that you are trying to solve
  2. The potential benefits of a successful sales enablement initiative
  3. The costs of implementing and running a sales enablement program
  4. How the sales enablement initiative will impact other parts of the business
  5. The risks associated with a sales enablement initiative

Once you have answered these questions, you can begin to build your business case.

Quick pro-tip: Be prepared to answer any objections they may have, such as why can’t we just use Confluence or Sharepoint?

If your boss is on board, you can start looking towards implementation. Also, be sure to track the results of the program so you can show how it’s helping them sell more effectively. Showing continued progress and success should secure executive confidence.

By outlining the needs of your team and explaining how the new tool will help them achieve their goals, you can make a strong case for investing in any specific solution.

If you’re interested and liked what you read, you may want to check this out:
Sales Enablement Best Practices or Sharepoint