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Every company wants to increase high-intent leads and closed-won deals to improve their year-on-year growth actively. But that often comes at a cost.
These days, you have sales enablement software specifically designed to help your sales reps do more—and sell more. From sales content management systems to sales intelligence tools, many options exist.
But with the rising cost of doing business, finding the budget to invest in a $50,000 contract every year on one tool is challenging. So, why do these tools cost so much, and are you only limited to expensive annual contracts? The short answer: no.
In this article, we’ll break down exactly what goes into the pricing model for such software and an alternative to consider if you’re in the market for sales content management systems.
It’s uncommon to see low-cost sales enablement tools in the market today. And there are several reasons for that:
As the demand for sales enablement solutions soared, venture capital (VC) firms recognized the vast potential for growth in this lucrative market. In 2022, the sales enablement market was valued at $4.02 billion—expected to grow at 15.8% each year from 2023 to 2030.
VC firms tend to base their decisions on four aspects:
And this market caters to at least the last three aspects, indicating a market ripe for innovation, attracting more investors.
As VCs are shelling out more money to promising startups, there’s increasing pressure to deliver. The expectation of generating profits as soon as possible makes companies feel like they **have **to achieve substantial revenue growth, resulting in high ticket contracts that come out of your pocket.
Many sales enablement vendors rely heavily on a direct sales model, deploying a team of sales representatives to engage with potential clients individually. They offer the most expensive option first, setting the expectations on your end—almost making you believe these are your only options if you want to improve your sales process.
You either say yes and spend that money or say no, and you’re back to square one. This puts you on the losing end of the straw in either case.
Most software vendors in this space require a minimum number of users for their plans. In reality, that number could be as high as 50. It helps them target enterprises with sizable sales teams to ensure higher average contract values (ACV) from each client.
While larger organizations might not have an issue, small businesses or mid-market companies might struggle with this—effectively putting it out of your budget.
If vendors want to justify the price tag, focusing on enterprise features is one way. From advanced analytics to customization options tailored to each company’s needs, they have much to offer.
But spoiler alert: these features are not enterprise-only.
For instance, scalable content management systems with advanced features like microsites are not an enterprise-specific need.
Many tools offer these options for a significant cost reduction with a complete suite of features you _actually _need. (We might know one 👀)
You’re not necessarily an enterprise team, so there are two things you need to consider: scale and sustainability.
As much as we’d like to subscribe to tools that can do everything, it doesn’t mean you need those. Instead of forking out $100,000 for a tool in which more than 75% of the features are irrelevant, think about what you need first—and then look for a tool that addresses that need.
For instance, as much as you’d like to spend on agent coaching and buyer intelligence, you won’t have enough data to leverage these features if you have less than ten reps. So consider the scale of your operations.
Do you have enough agents to justify that expense? Do you have enough budget to justify the cost? Does the vendor have a track record of positive ROI for organizations your size? If the answer is no, then move on to other options.
In terms of sustainability, consider if the tool’s impact aligns with current and projected growth. For example, if you choose an annual plan for $75,000 but drop product adoption mid-way, that’s money down the drain.
Also, the terms of the contract need to be clear-cut. For example, the cost seems doable now if you have a 10-member team. But would the price seem justifiable for a 25-member team—especially if that puts you in a higher pricing tier for the subscription? The commitment is a two-way street. If you can’t grow sustainably with the product and the contract has problematic clauses like no exit or downgrades, you’re in trouble.
Read the fine print, evaluate the potential ROI and usage, and only then decide. Monetary constraints are good, as they force you to critically assess each purchase decision and build a tech stack that’d be truly helpful.
Check out our buyer’s guide on sales enablement tools for more information.
Here are some of the most popular high-ticket solutions in the market today:
Showpad offers a content management product that lets you share content with prospects and internal teams through its platform or email. While they don’t have public pricing available, it could cost you $420 per user per year with only annual contracts available.
Even though the product is aimed at mid-market and enterprise companies, user reviews still indicate the following issues:
Highspot is a similar sales enablement tool with features like agent coaching and sales training. Like Showpad, they don’t have public pricing available, but our reports show that it could cost you $600 per user per year with a 50-user minimum and annual contracts only. It could be expensive if you’re unsure how it fits into your workflow.
Also, user reviews indicate the following drawbacks:
Paperflite offers multiple ways to engage with customers. You either use the content management tool or use their interactive content experience services to build custom end-user experiences. The former starts at $600 per user per year, but the latter can start at $500 monthly. However, you get a 7-day free trial—which might not be sufficient to test drive it.
Additionally, here are common concerns users have with their product:
What if you need a tool that can resolve _all _these issues for $162 per user per year? Enter Content Camel—your budget-friendly sales enablement solution.
We’ve discussed why expensive sales enablement solutions aren’t a good fit for your needs—mostly because of the barrage of irrelevant features they throw at you. But what should you be looking for? The ideal budget-friendly option has the following features:
Fixed contracts with confusing fine print can drain your budget. Instead, go for solutions that offer a pay-as-you-go model or monthly subscription. This allows you to test drive the tool before locking yourself into a long-term, expensive contract that may not be as useful as you thought.
Also, if the software has a free trial option—that’s even better as you can see exactly how it fits into your workflows before becoming a paid customer. At Content Camel, we offer a freemium pricing model where solo users can use the free option to manage content, engage buyers and monitor sales analytics for free. The paid tiers come with custom branding, more users (up to 250), and priority support.
Another benefit of signing up for flexible payment options is that the product scales up and down with your needs. Let’s say you work with employees and contractors; everyone needs access to your sales content management system. A flexible pricing model allows you to downgrade and upgrade without talking to a sales rep each time.
For example, we charge $15 per user monthly for the monthly plans. So you downgrade/upgrade based on the number of current users that month, making it easy to onboard/offboard users on the go.
That said, we also offer a 15% discount for annual plans—which is useful for those with a stable internal user base. So choose a solution willing to work with your current and future needs.
Every buyer wants to know one thing before considering choosing a product. Is it within their budget?
Often, companies say that a product costs a certain amount of dollars, only to present their customers with a bill with hidden costs. Some could be onboarding costs, additional integrations, extra user seats, or new product features. This destroys your trust in their product, leaving a dent in your budget.
Make sure your provider is upfront about every cost. Don’t sign up for a $75,000 contract only to be surprised that there are additional line items for onboarding and other features you thought were included.
For Content Camel, you pay what you see. Our simple subscription model moves with your current needs with no hidden costs.
On average, the product adoption rate in the SaaS industry is 33.7%. A part of why the other 66% is unable to achieve product stickiness is because of a lack of a user-friendly interface. If the user can’t navigate the product, how will they use it?
Also, labor costs are the most significant cost driver for any business. If you add individual onboarding for different types of sales enablement solutions to it, it becomes out of your budget.
Choose a sales enablement solution that is easy to use, quick to respond, and purpose-built for your needs. If a tool needs a 90-day onboarding plan, it won’t fit your small-scale needs. And if you pay upfront for such products and don’t use them or use them sparingly, it wastes time and resources.
With our product, you go through a simple onboarding workflow and can use it almost immediately. The dashboard shows your content collection and uploaded assets at first glance—along with recent activity, so you know what is being uploaded and when.
If you’re going to shell out a significant amount of money, you need something that fits your needs. Every software can’t agree with your workflow as these processes differ from one company to another. But they should be able to customize the tool to fit your workflows.
It should be easy to locate assets in a centralized location, tag and sort content based on your internal filters, and streamline your workflow.
For example, we offer branding options that let you customize the look of your dashboard and microsites based on your company’s brand assets. This creates a professional look when you engage buyers using Content Camel and keeps your brand top of mind.
Also, if you need content filter options besides the ones we’ve provided, add one using the Tags field.
So pick a software vendor that gives you this level of flexibility. After all, you’re paying for it to fit within your processes and not the other way around.
Search for a solution that prevents you from changing your entire tech stack. Ideally, it should seamlessly integrate with your current software setup, like the customer relationship management (CRM) system and email providers. Investing in such a product increases the likelihood of usage and reduces context switching between apps.
For instance, Content Camel integrates with marketing, sales, and email software like:
We also provide a Chrome extension to find content assets and create microsites on the go—without leaving your tab or browser.
Even though most people see sales enablement only from the perspective of sales teams, marketing has a huge role to play in it. Ultimately, the content they create _has _to convince prospects that the product they’re selling is worth the investment. This is where marketing and sales alignment comes in handy.
Your choice of software should bridge the gap between these teams and make cross-functional collaboration a breeze. Sales reps should be able to access up-to-date marketing collateral, content, and sales materials when needed—without asking for it every time. It lets them use the content assets in real sales deals. Eventually, you can attribute content-assisted revenue by tallying closed-won deals to specific content assets.
This is why we built our solution around this problem. We knew how hard it was for internal teams to collaborate and ensure content was used, so we created a product that lets internal team members search and find the right assets when they need it.
No more redundant content, wasted investment on content strategy, or miscommunication between teams.
While the costs of traditional sales enablement solutions have been a deterrent for many companies in the past, that’s not the case anymore.
Now you have flexible and scalable sales enablement solutions that offer enterprise-level features for an affordable price. Invest in a tool that grows with your needs for a fraction of the cost—allowing you to drive sales growth, create marketing-sales alignment, and improve your bottom line.
The era of affordable sales enablement is here. Want to test drive Content Camel today? Start a 14-day free trial and explore its capabilities.
Get the most out of your content and deliver trackable results
Content Camel is a sales enablement tool used for sales content management. High-growth sales teams use our system to quickly find and share the right content for each specific sales situation and measure content use and effectiveness.