Yes – Sales tools make sales teams more effective.  Sales Enablement is defined as being:

Right Content > Right Time > Right Person > To Progress a Sales Opportunity.


The operative word is RIGHT content as it relates to this post.  So how do you know it’s the right content?  Download the Sales Content Audit Guide to identify what ‘good’ looks like.


What you don’t want to do, is create tools that are ineffective and not used.  Producing numerous ‘tools’ and masking them as a form of “Sales Enablement” is counterproductive.  Which leads us into our first question.


What are Sales Tools?

Sales tools can take many shapes and forms.  Let’s look at them from two different lenses:


1.  External Facing Tools: These are pieces of content that are shared with your customers/prospects.  Examples:  Product/Service White Papers, Case Studies, Industry Articles, Presentations, etc. The true objective should be to progress the buyer through his/her buying journey. 


These tools are typically produced by the Marketing team.  With a specific focus on the Buyer Persona and the Buyer Process. 


2.  Internal Facing Tools:  These are tools and job aids used by the sales team.  They are designed to make them more effective.  These tools are not shared with your customers and prospects.  Examples:  Sales Playbooks, Sales Automation Technologies, Call Plans, Account/Territory Plans, etc.


The tools above are implemented and created by the Sales Enablement team.  The purpose is to aid the sales team through the sales process.  The list above can be infinite.  In fact, it’s difficult to discern which ones are most effective.  Which leads into the next question. 


How Do You Know if You Have the Right Sales Tools?

It’s straightforward.  You ask the people using the tools and content.  The sales team is on the front line every day.  They are in front of your buyers, who are consuming this content.  They will be the best source of feedback.  Leverage this tool and follow this simple process below to rate your sales tools:



A few things you should be cognizant of when creating the auditing process/visual above:


  • Reduce subjectivity by defining ‘effective’ for the sales team.
  • Use the same scoring taxonomy for both effectiveness and frequency.  Example: A score from 1-5, with 5 being the highest.  This is described further in this tool.
  • The sum of the two scores will be what ‘good’ looks like.  Example:  If you have a tool that is scored a 5 in terms of effectiveness.  And it scores a 5 for frequency of use.  It has a 10 out of 10.


Having content and tools just to ‘check the box’ is pointless.  It just creates more work and clutter for your sales team.  But the RIGHT content, drives effectiveness in the field.  The RIGHT content will aid the sales process.  


What Now?

You now know that sales tools should be looked at from two different lenses.  You also have a tool to identify what ‘good’ looks like.  Leverage that and conduct a content and tools audit.  This will help you identify where you have gaps.  Again, the sole purpose of the tools is to make your sales team more effective.  And give your buyers content to help progress them through the buying journey.   


If you are seeking further information and clarification on Sales Enablement.  I would suggest you to download this report. It is SBI’s 8th Annual “How to Make Your Number” Research Report. The focus is on what top performing sales teams are doing today. There is an entire section devoted to Sales Enablement programs.  For additional insight on the report, sign up for the “How to Make the Number in 2015” Workshop


Stop throwing tools at your sales team and masking it as sales enablement.  Ensure the team has the RIGHT tools and content toSales_Content_Audit_Guide1 be more effective.  More isn’t always better.  But no tools and content creates a heavier lift for your sales team.  Remember:

Right Content > Right Time > Right Person > To Progress a Sales Opportunity.




Eric Estrella

Helps clients grow by creating innovative go-to-market strategies.

Eric specializes in helping clients solve some of the most prevalent go-to-market problems in today’s complex selling world. He is an expert in many industries including software, telecommunications, ecommerce, manufacturing and technology. He helps them align strategies and develop go-to-market programs to lower the cost of customer acquisition and increase customer lifetime value.


Recently he developed corporate, product, marketing and sales strategies for an emerging telecommunications solution provider that resulted in a quadrupling of revenue and EBITA in two-year span.


Eric’s background in strategy, sales operations and enablement allows him to provide thought-leadership in emerging best practices in sales and marketing.

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