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B2B Sales Enablement
The goal of any company, and especially the marketing and sales departments within a given company, is to increase sales and revenue for the business. It doesn’t matter whether your business is large or small; the goal will be to do everything you can to drive sales. The challenge to accomplishing this is figuring out the right approach for your industry, with your particular circumstances, and that is true with B2B companies as well. With all the information available for buyers today, businesses are spending far more time considering their purchases and looking for sellers who are providing them with the most perceived value. In order to satisfy this new wave of buyers, B2B businesses should look to emphasize B2B sales enablement.
What is enablement? Well, a short answer is that sales enablement means empowering your sales team with the tools and data they need to help more successfully engage with buyers at every step of the customer journey. This is a bit simplified but represents the overall premise of the incredibly strategic and knowledge-based sales approach.
To get a better understanding of the full breadth of sales enablement, you’ll want to continue reading as we break down the finer details of a sales enablement strategy and even provide sales enablement examples that you can offer to your sales team. Offering a more complete sales enablement meaning requires us to share information on specific things like platforms and tools that have risen to prominence in the digital age.
The goal of this guide is to make B2B Sales Enablement as accessible as possible, and by the end, you should understand the concept well enough to not only explain it to your team but to begin implementing your own effective sales enablement strategies.
Field Enablement vs. Sales Enablement
It’s important to distinguish between two similar concepts. Before you can establish what something is, you need to be able to define what it is not. When it comes to the discussion of field enablement vs. sales enablement, many question what the true difference is between sales enablement vs marketing. While there may be some overlap, there are notable differences in the sales enablement role.
When it comes to managing a successful sales enablement strategy, your team will absolutely rely on content created through the efforts of the marketing team. However, the sales team will not often be involved in the direct production of these materials. This is the significance of proper sales enablement tools and training. Many times, marketing departments and sales teams will not frequently interact, leaving the business approach disjointed. However, the philosophy of sale enablement means training your team to better utilize marketing materials in the pursuit of buyers.
So, when it comes to the difference between marketing and sales enablement, think of the two as complementary forces. Marketing produces the materials and will gather data that can be used to engage with buyers at all steps of their journey. The sales team, under an effective sales enablement strategy, will understand the process needed to effectively utilize these materials to increase buyer interaction.
Sales Enablement Tools
Understanding the meaning of sales enablement is one thing, but you’ll want to have a firm grasp on how these concepts are used in a practical setting. For this, you should consider getting to know more about sales enablement tools. Sales enablement tools and sales enablement platforms offer businesses enhanced capabilities for managing their sales enablement training, as well as data gathering and analysis and other features for furthering the goals of the sales team. There are many popular platforms to choose from that offer their own suite of features, so let’s highlight a few.
Some well-known B2B sales enablement tools are Seismic and Highspot, along with HubSpot and other notable names in B2B. What all of these top sales enablement tools have in common, no matter how their features may differ, is that they offer powerful and simple tools for sales engagement and thorough analytics. Sales enablement focuses heavily on being a knowledge-based approach, so data is one of the most important things you can have, on top of capable tools.
Another category of sales enablement tools is virtual sales demos. Among all of the advances in technology that have contributed to increased capabilities in sales, virtual sales demos may be the most important. As was mentioned before, with all of the information available to buyers now, selling a story and telling about your product is not enough. Buyers want to be able to experience your product and judge the experience. Virtual sales demos allow you the opportunity to preview your products for buyers without incurring the normal associated costs for in-person demonstrations.
Virtual sales demos are so helpful to sales enablement because it is one of the tools that contribute significantly towards engagement with your buyer. You may create a lot of marketing materials, and they may be very engaging and packed with informative content, but being able to preview your product offering to a potential buyer may be the most effective way to convince them. So, when considering the most effective sales enablement tools, a platform that offers the capability to host virtual sales demos is imperative.
A good practice for determining the most relevant tools for your business is to also observe the habits of competitors and companies you aspire to. You don’t have to start from scratch on every journey, and many other companies will have toiled away finding the right approach for their sales enablement strategy. Research to find the features that your team can take the most advantage of.
Sales Enablement Materials
Having the right tools are important, but tools alone are not what set a good sales enablement strategy apart from the rest. In order to really achieve a successful sales enablement plan, you need to manage your materials and tools intelligently, and for that, you need to support your sales team. When it comes to sales enablement, Salesforce is one of the leaders and offers some suggestions on the best practices that a B2B business should consider. Let’s discuss some of their guidance a little further.
Salesforce suggests a wide selection of different sales enablement materials that can make your sellers more effective and further engage your buyers. Things like customer stories allow your buyers to see why other clients have used your services and can also detail the benefits and outcomes they received due to their participation with you. Datasheets and product demos are a little more technical, but the wealth of information they can provide for a client is worth the labor investment in getting them made right.
Product presentations and e-book guides are other categories of sales enablement collateral that can go a long way toward swaying your potential buyers. Information on challenges, market trends, and thorough guides that focus on the solutions you will provide are great examples of how to use your data and content to make meaningful interactions with buyers. Salesforce also doesn’t leave out suggesting competitor research and notes how it is important to understand where you fit into the current market, so you can then understand how to stand out.
What is most important to consider with sales enablement materials is the need to manage a wide array of content that can appeal to the sensibilities of a wide range of customers. Not everyone will respond to the same content, so you should leverage your tools and data to create a thorough set of comprehensive materials.
Sales Enablement Training
On top of sales enablement material suggestions, Salesforce also stresses the importance of sales enablement training. Once you possess the materials you need and the tools to utilize them, you’ll need the training to make sure you can execute these goals effectively. Sales enablement training may not look the same for every organization, as your team has to consider what your goals are and what resources will best suit these goals, but there are some general suggestions you can keep in mind.
Typical sales enablement features on sales enablement platforms should offer you some ability to observe data regarding your sales team and determine the progress and outlook on your goals. Data is information, and information is power, so you’ll want to seek out platforms that offer the depth of data collection and analysis that you need to make the most informed decisions for your sales enablement strategies.
You may come across many examples of sales enablement tools and wonder how they effectively tie into sales enablement training, and that is due to the importance of awareness in this knowledge-based sales approach. With platforms offering you insight into the progress and outlook of your sales team, you can identify which approaches are effective and which are not. It is important to create a wide variety of content and learn many different tools for sales enablement, but not everything will work for every client. A lot of sales enablement training will come through experience, analyzing your moves, and determining which approaches were effective for who and what could be removed or adjusted for further success.
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