Both sales and marketing play integral parts in the revenue and success of businesses. When they are working from two separate points, there will likely be a decrease in that success. Even those companies that have chosen to put sales enablement marketing to work may be confused about how to proceed.
Though the B2B sales enablement process will vary in how it looks from company to company, there are some steps that the marketing team can implement now to get the process rolling.
Understand the Sales Team’s Pain Points
It is imperative that you recognize your sales team as the front line of the business. Salespeople have direct contact with the clients, and they are the ones who interpret the marketing materials into a conversation with those clients. If there is an area in which the sales team is struggling, the marketing team needs to help find a solution or explain the concept better.
For instance, a large mattress retailer was rolling out their new line of mattresses. The marketing materials described each mattress with scientific terms and the technical specifications. However, the sales team was unsure of how to use those terms to makes sales. Most people who came in to purchase a mattress were not really interested in the technical aspects of mattresses. They were concerned with how the mattresses felt and how they would benefit from sleeping on each one.
Once this information got to the marketing department, the team turned those technical words into descriptive phrases that both the salespeople and the customers could understand. Sales began to increase due to the marketing department understanding where and why the salespeople were having difficulty making sales.
Get Input from the Sales Team on the Content You Provide
As an extension of the previous point, it is a wise idea to put your content before the sales team for critiquing long before it is used. In the case of the mattress store, the company would have saved a great deal of time, money, and lost sales had the sales team looked over the marketing department beforehand. Getting their input on your materials is a great way to achieve higher sales. At times there may only need to be small tweaks. Other times may require a complete overhaul. Either way, it is best to know before sending that content out to be used.
Agree and Collaborate on the Language of the Materials, Products, and Services
Marketers and salespeople need to agree on the language that will be used throughout the entire buying process. Since the salespeople are the ones having conversations with customers, their knowledge in this area is invaluable. Work together to form a language that can be used in all marketing materials that will translate well during conversations with customers.
Provide the Sales Team with Useful Data on a Simple Platform
Sales is a very competitive and high-energy field. On some days, salespeople may be face to face with customers from the time they clock in until they clock out. For them to take the time to read lengthy, difficult to understand copy is a poor time management move for them. However, they do need training and data that can assist them in sales.
A much better option would be to set up a very easy to navigate platform that sales and marketing can both use and receive the data they need. On this platform, marketing should add bite-size chunks of information regarding any new products or relevant customer data. They can then log on when they have pockets of time and learn the latest.
Additionally, this platform can be used as a means of communication for both departments. It should be set up so that salespeople can easily send marketing and questions, feedback or concerns. It would also be a great place for the marketing department to pose different questions and scenarios to salespeople that will help in the creation of new marketing materials. This one-stop shop can be a centralized hub for training, account data, and communication and collaboration between sales and marketing.
Try to Understand Both Salespeople and the Buyer’s Journey
For businesses wondering how to improve sales, a very simple answer is to broaden your understanding of the sales process. We talked previously about how important it is to understand your sales team. It is also important to understand the relationship between the salesperson and the buyer, the types of questions the buyers may ask, and the steps the buyer takes through the sales journey.
An understanding in these areas can help marketers create more relevant and easier to understand the content. This can be done by listening in on conversations during the business-to-business sales, accompanying salespeople to sales calls, or even role-playing with the sales team as if you were buying the item.
B2B sales enablement can empower your sales team with the tools they need to succeed in account-based marketing. Utilizing the sales enablement process is a very wise move as it can open many doors, improve customer relations, and increase revenue. As customers’ needs change and the world continues to change, sales enablement will require frequent updates and refining. Gather your sales and marketing teams to discuss your goals for b2b sales enablement and plan how best to get it implemented.