Sales & marketing alignment: how to maximise sales enablement
In our last blog we looked at the importance of sales and marketing working together and the opportunities this presents for improving business performance. One crucial area where this alignment can take place is sales enablement.
What is sales enablement?
Put simply, sales enablement is all about ensuring that sales teams have the resources they need at their fingertips in order to win business. These should be both tailored to team’s needs and targeted to the specific sectors that prospects operate in. Any material needs to engage with prospects and customers throughout their buying journey at every touchpoint, pre-purchase, onboarding and post-purchase. This is particularly important for financial services businesses that are subject to Consumer Duty regulations.
So, what are the benefits?
A successful sales enablement program can deliver substantial benefits:
- Learning and coaching – ensuring sales teams always have the most up to date product or service information
- Strategy and planning – so sales teams can execute and measure efforts in one streamlined workflow
- Buyer engagement – the ability to create deeper relationships with buyers by providing relevant content for them across multiple channels
- Connection – build a sense of connection between sales and marketing teams, encouraging two-way communication and knowledge-sharing.
Let’s look at the different type of sales enablement activities that alignment between sales and marketing can create:
1) Insight-led marketing
Sales teams understand customer pain points and this insight can help convert leads or create new leads. Marketing teams are able to see what content buyers are consuming, helping identify the idea target customers. So, if sales and marketing join forces, they can gain a much better understanding of the ideal customers. They can then create accurate profiles and/or segments. This information can then be integrated with sales enablement software to generate tailored content and linked to inbound sales systems.
2) Marketing automation
Building an automated activity programme using Pardot, Marketing Cloud or a similar automated programme is a fantastic way to enable sales to do their jobs. Targeted communications can be created and added to a CRM system to be used by sales at the relevant time. These could range from a simple thanks for the meeting, here’s your quote, thanks for your business etc.; ensuring customers and prospects are nurtured and receive a seamless service, that’s on-brand and consistent in terms of tone of voice.
3) Lead qualification
Implementing a CRM system through Pardot, for example, means the quality of all leads can be scored and a priority assigned to them. The sales teams can then use this as part of their workflow management. Lead scoring systems work by assigning a positive or negative weighting to contacts. Businesses who use a CRM system are then able to allocate a priority to each on and place them in a CRM queue. Sales teams can then work on the highest scoring leads first. The scoring criteria can be adjusted as the programme runs, depending on the quality of the leads. And, a prospect nurturing campaign can be implemented by marketers to ensure all leads are developed to give them the greatest chance of conversion.
4) Case studies
Case studies provide critical content in a sales team’s document library. Whether these stories relate to sales, marketing, or any other topic, they can help drive conversion as they act as proof of the business’ success and credibility. Creating video content about case studies is a compelling way to reach your audience as four times as many buyers prefer video to written content.
5) Sales content organisation
For sales enablement to be successful, all existing sales content should be centralised in one location. A central content library by can be hosted using tools such as Google Docs or on a CRM. Typically, the marketing team will build, maintain, and control the content, and it could contain customer case studies, white papers and ebooks, product demo decks, pricing and discount information and competitor reviews.
6) Standardised reporting
The most immediate way to gain valuable insight from business data is to agree on a set of standardised sales reports. Reporting needs vary from company to company. Common reports include activities logged by salespeople, product demos delivered, deals won and lost, leads generated/worked, plus quality of leads, marketing qualified leads, and sales qualified leads. Implementing sales enablement is a great way to strengthen alignment between sales and marketing.
We’re a creative marketing agency with over 30 years’ experience delivering insight-led marketing campaigns that drive sales. Do you have a marketing challenge you need some help with? Or would you like some more information on how you can get your sales and marketing teams more aligned? Get in touch today!