Sales enablement tools help sales teams and channel partners convert leads and close customers by delivering the right message at the right time. As a result, organizations use sales enablement tools for providing sales support and sales training, developing customer journeys, identifying buying trends, measuring customer behavior, and so much more.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to use the Posts Table Pro plugin to create a WordPress sales enablement tool for your business that’s capable of providing just-in-time sales support to your sales team and channel partners.
We’ll set up a content library in WordPress that allows sales teams to get quick access to marketing collateral from a centralized platform. Finally, we’ll show you how you can use your bespoke sales enablement tool to view a complete document download history, restrict user access, and let users add documents.
Let’s get started.
Note: Since publishing this tutorial, we have released our purpose-built Document Library Pro plugin. This lists sales documents in a searchable table just like the screenshots in this tutorial, but makes it easier for you to add documents in the back end
What are sales enablement tools?
According to a recent study conducted by CSO Insights, nearly 60% of organizations have sales enablement in place as compared to ~20% of organizations in 2013.
For those unfamiliar, sales enablement is the process of providing sales teams and channel partners with the information and tools they need to engage prospective buyers and sell more effectively. These tools are designed to increase the sales team’s productivity and help them guide prospective customers through various stages of the sales cycle.
Here are some of the sales functions these tools can help with:
- Provide sales support and sales training.
- Gather customer feedback.
- Carry out sales operations.
- Manage projects and sales i.e. project/sales management.
- Access and distribute content i.e. content management.
Traditionally, businesses would equip their sales teams with heaps of battle cards, presentation slides, and case studies. These were all essential to prepare them for making a sale. The problem with this approach is that the salesperson often ends up with a lot of information that they need to familiarize themselves with beforehand. Without doing so, they wouldn't be able to deliver the right message at the right time or prepare for any question the prospect might have.
Sales enablement tools provide sales teams with the information they can use in sales cycles in a neat and organized way. Hence, the key benefit of opting for a sales enablement tool for providing sales support and sales training is that it makes it easy to find and consume information.
How can you use WordPress sales enablement tools to increase sales
With the right sales enablement tool, you’ll be able to provide your entire sales team and channel partners with the right information, best practices, and tools and resources needed to achieve quota – directly from your company's WordPress website.
Here are just some of the ways you can use sales enablement tools to increase sales in your organization:
- Provide just-in-time sales supportProviding sales teams with on-demand sales support when they’re engaging prospects throughout their buyer journey increases the likelihood of closing. This allows the salesperson to address the prospect’s unique concerns instead of giving them a generic sales pitch.
- Offer content sharing and managementContent-focused sales enablement tools make it easy for businesses to organize, manage, and share the content sales teams use in their sales cycles. By doing so, they're able to update the information they’re delivering without having to worry about accessibility issues.
- Build a publicly-facing site Having a publicly-facing site with a hidden section that sales teams can access on the go is pretty useful. It enables businesses to empower teamwork, make it easy for salespeople to find information, and seamlessly collaborate with the marketing department to harness collective knowledge. Later in this article, we'll show you how you can achieve this with your bespoke WordPress content library.
- Increase sales team productivity A centralized content library that’s searchable, sortable, and filterable accelerates productivity through improved accessibility and ease of use.
Depending on your specific sales practices and cycles, having a content-focused sales enablement tool might benefit your business in other ways. Regardless of the type of business you’re running, the sales enablement tool you use should have some basic features and functionality.
What should you look for in a content-focused sales enablement tool
At the bare minimum, a sales enablement tool should help your sales team deliver the right message at the right time and engage prospective buyers. It needs these key features:
- Accessibility. The tool should make it easy for the sales team to access marketing collateral and other important information on the go. We’d recommend going for a tool that lets you build a mobile-responsive interface that doesn’t take up too much bandwidth. This way, your sales team will be able to access documents and files from a mobile device on the go.
- Ease of use. Sales enablement is all about getting the right information to your salesperson at the right time. Having all of this information in a centralized location that’s searchable, sortable, and filterable is essential.
- Compatibility. Ideally, you’d want a tool that supports your business’ most-used file formats (documents, images, PDFs, audio tracks, etc...). This way, you won’t have to worry about integrating with third-party document or file hosting services.
- Content consumption. Simply having all of your documents and files in one place just doesn’t cut it. Your sales team also needs to have multiple ways to be able to consume content. Opt for a sales enablement tool that allows users to preview documents live or download them to their devices.
By now we know what sales enablement tools are, how you can them one to increase sales, and what features and functionality to be on the lookout for. Next, we’ll walk through a step-by-step tutorial on how you can use the Posts Table Pro plugin to create a bespoke, WordPress-based custom sales enablement system for your business.
How to use Posts Table Pro as a sales enablement tool
In this section, we’ll show you how you can use the Posts Table Pro plugin as a WordPress sales enablement tool for your organization. It lists your sales support and training materials in a tabular layout, with various navigation elements including filters and keyword searches.
Your sales staff can quickly find the sales enablement materials they're looking for. It improves their efficiency, so they can get on with selling your products and services - armed with the vital tools they need.
Once you’re done, your WP content library will look something like this:
Here’s a quick breakdown of the step-by-step instructions:
- Install and activate the Posts Table Pro plugin.
- Add documents and files to your website.
- Create a content library for sales enablement documents.
Step 1: Install and activate the Posts Table Pro plugin
The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Posts Table Pro plugin on your WordPress website. If you haven’t done so already, purchase a license for the Posts Table Pro plugin.
- You’ll receive the plugin files and license key in a confirmation email. Download the plugin from the link provided in your order confirmation email. This will save a zip file to your computer. T
- Then, go to your WordPress admin dashboard, then navigate to Plugins → Add New → Upload Plugin.
- Click the 'Choose File' button and select the posts-table-pro.zip file you downloaded earlier.
- Once the file has finished uploading, click the 'Activate' button to enable the plugin.
- The Posts Table Pro setup wizard will automatically open.
By now you should have the Posts Table Pro plugin installed, activated, and ready to go. In the next step, we’ll begin adding sales material, documents, and resources to the website.
Step 2: Add sales enablement documents and files to WordPress
We’ll use the free WordPress Download Manager plugin to add documents and files to our website. The reason for doing so is that the plugin has a built-in custom post type for documents. This makes it easy to organize and manage all kinds of documents on the WordPress back end. This stores them in the WordPress database, and in a minute you'll learn how to display them in the front end using Posts Table Pro.
- Head over to Plugins → Add New from the WordPress admin panel and search for the WordPress Download Manager plugin.
- Install and activate the plugin to proceed.
Since we’re creating a bespoke sales enablement tool, it’s a good idea to take a step back and plan out how you’d like to organize your files in the WordPress back end.
Creating categories and tags for organizing your sales enablement tools
How you decide to organize your documents and resources on the back end may vary. It depends upon the type of business you’re running and what sort of content your sales teams or channel partners need. That said, it’s important to remember that your sales teams will use these categories and tags to sort and filter the sales enablement tools. As a result, it's important to keep it structured and organized from the outset.
Here’s a list of categories you might consider creating to organize content the sales team will use for sales enablement:
- Sales training material.
- Sales knowledge quizzes.
- Downloadable overview sheets.
- Competitor comparison matrices.
- Sales support material e.g. how-to-sell pages.
Head over to Downloads → Categories to create new categories for the documents you’ll be uploading to your WordPress website.
Similarly, you can head over to Downloads → Tags to add tags.
Adding documents to the content library using the WordPress Download Manager plugin
Now that you have a document organization structure in place, head over to Downloads → Add New to add documents and files to your website.
From the Add New File screen, enter your document’s information:
- Give the document or file a title.
- Upload the file using the Upload/Browse/URL box in the sidebar.
- Add an excerpt in the Excerpt text box.
- Select appropriate categories and tags for the document.
- Optionally, upload a featured image to make it easy to determine the file type at a glance.
Once you’ve done that, add a link (or button) to the main content area. I’ve simply linked the word Download to the URL https://www.test-site.com/?wpdmdl=512 since the ID of my downloadable document is 512. Remember to replace the ID with those specific to your downloadable document.
Note: You can get the ID from the Add/Edit Download URL.
Click the Publish button to continue. Repeat these steps to add all of the documents to your website.
Pro tip: You can create additional custom fields and taxonomies to display any further information about your downloads (such as file type, size, author, etc…). This is ideal if you need extra fields that don't come with the WordPress Download Manager plugin.
Step 3: Create a WordPress content library for your sales enablement tools
By now we have all of our documents added to our WordPress website. Next, we’ll create a content library using the Posts Table Pro WordPress table plugin as a sales enablement tool. We already installed the plugin in Step 1, so now we can quickly customize and add the content library to a page.
The Posts Table Pro plugin comes with a setup wizard that assists you in creating your first table upon installation. In case you need to create more tables, you can navigate to the 'Add New' option in the Post Tables section of your WordPress admin.
When you first install the plugin, a setup wizard will open automatically. This guides you through a step-by-step process to create your first table. You can then customize your table's appearance. You can also create new tables at any time by navigating to Post Tables → Add New.
- Start by giving your table a name and selecting the post type you wish to display.
- Next, select the posts or pages you would like to include in the table. You can select from posts, pages, and custom post types. For this instance, the custom post type for documents.
- Customize your table to suit your preferences. You can determine which columns to display and in what order. For your database, you can add a column for images, title, download link, summary, categories, and last updated date. To add a new column, choose the column type from the dropdown menu and click "Add".
- You can add as many filter as you like. For a database, you can categories and tags as filters.
- Then, you can customize the sorting options for your table by choosing the default sorting option and the sort direction. This allows you to control the order in which the table is displayed to your users.
- Enable lazy loading to improve the table's performance, even when containing hundreds or thousands of items.
- Lastly, you can choose how to sort your database. You can set the default sorting option and the sort direction.
All we have to do now is create a new page and add the content library to it. You have two options for displaying your table on your WordPress site:
- You can either use the 'Post Table' block in the Gutenberg editor, or
- Copy the shortcode generated by the plugin and paste it anywhere on your site. This allows you to have the flexibility of placing the table on any page, regardless of its content.
The content library will automatically be generated on your WordPress website's front end and it should look something like this:
You can then use Post Table Pro’s knowledge base to further configure and customize the sales documentation library to your preference.
Bonus: What else can you do with a custom Posts Table Pro-based WordPress sales enablement tool?
Building a bespoke sales enablement tool using the Posts Table Pro plugin with WordPress certainly has its advantages. For instance, you can extend its functionality to fit your business needs whenever you'd like.
View download history
The WordPress Download Manager plugin enables users to see a complete download history. This lists everyone who has downloaded a document from the content library. In addition to this, it gives you the option to export the download history in a CSV file or clear it.
You can access it by navigating to Downloads → History from the WordPress admin panel.
Control who has access to the resources
With our Password Protected Categories plugin, you can easily control who has access to the documents in your WordPress content library. It gives you the option to restrict user access to specific categories. This makes them accessible only to logged-in users with the correct privileges.
Let users add documents
You can pair the Posts Table Pro-based content library with the Gravity Forms plugin and let users submit their own documents and files. Check out our tutorial on how to accept user submissions for complete instructions.
Where to get the plugin
By setting up a custom content library as a WordPress sales enablement tool for your organization, your sales team can access the information they need without delay. The best part is that all of your sales material and marketing collateral will be in a centralized location that’s incredibly easy to use.
What are some of the features you find valuable in a sales enablement tool? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!