Sales enablement is a common-sense strategy – aligning the sales and marketing goals of a business and use the marketing campaigns and plans to support both the immediate needs and overall insight of a sales team. Marketing has always been a driving force the brand awareness of a business. Advertising brings the business into the customer’s orbit and makes them curious to learn more. Marketing assets support this continued customer research with the goal of ultimately bringing the customer to sales for conversion.
How can you create better sales enablement processes for your marketing team?
Bringing marketing and sales together, then, sounds like it would be the goal of every company, but more often than not, these two teams work siloed and focused on their own individual goals instead of how they can work together to grow the business. Marketing might focus on engagement through clicks, signups, and leads, where sales will mark success by quotas and revenue.
When these teams communicate more effectively, they can create goals that make sense to support the whole business as opposed to just each individual department. Sales enablement starts in marketing and there are several methods that marketers can use to increase their sales enablement success, support the sales team, and grow the overall business.
The top sales enablement marketing methods
The most important methods your business needs to focus on to increase your B2B sales enablement effectiveness.
1. The right software
Better sales enablement starts with better software. In order to empower the sales team with a host of material that helps them inform their customer and ultimately sell more, the marketing team needs to start with the right foundation that helps keep everything from goals to content organized. Software solutions like Seismic help teams create and deploy customer-centric materials that are not only effective but help save time for both marketing and sales teams.
2. Use customer testimonials
One of the best sales enablement marketing materials, particularly for B2B buyers, is the customer testimonial. Creating content and marketing assets, like whitepapers and case studies, help businesses showcase how their solution worked for other organizations. They can be created based on the account that received the solution or what specific problem the product helped with, illustrated by several business cases. These assets can make a big impact when it comes to potential customers engaging in the research process for their own needs. If your sales team is asking for materials that they can use to create more connections with their clients, consider the customer story as a part of the sales enablement toolkit.
3. Consider Context
While creating specific content, like whitepapers, can be extremely useful for the sales team, part of the sales enablement process between marketing and sales is to align the teams better – which means not just creating content and shoving it in a folder with no context. If sales are asking for a specific piece of collateral and the marketing team develops it, it should be handed off with some kind of context, such as explaining, even just in an email, how this content meets the ask. Providing the best content for sales to use with their accounts is key, but sales need to know the intent behind the piece and have an understanding of what marketing envisioned it for.
4. Ask for questions
Sometimes sales don’t know if they need a presentation or a one-sheet PDF or an ebook. Marketing can help figure out the best format if they know more about what the customer ask is. What are the most common questions your sales team gets asked, either over the phone, through email, or in live chat? Sometimes, a business is too close to their product or service to know what is the best way to deliver a customer’s message. They may think they know what customers need to know and why but listening to the customer is your best way to plan your content strategy.
5. Conduct an audit
Is the current content getting used? Is it outdated? Is there current content in your existing content library that isn’t being utilized? Is there something that can be repurposed – like a case study into a helpful infographic that cannot just serve the sales team but also be used in content marketing distribution through social channels, emails, and more. Regularly assessing your content – what you’ve made, what needs to be made, what can be made better, and what sales teams and customers are using – is a key component to effective sales enablement marketing.
Communication is the key to success
More communication and transparency between sales and marketing teams create the foundation for sales enablement and creates a more successful customer approach. It opens up the door for the sales team to learn new skills and the marketing team to meet more customer needs with sales collateral. The sales enablement marketing process isn’t a one and done mission. Businesses will need to regularly revisit their sales enablement plans to adjust for the changing nature of the industry or the overall business goals. It’s also important to remember that sales enablement is just one part of your overall marketing strategy – growing brand awareness through social media and other advertising, for instance, will likely still be a part of your overall marketing department’s job, so plan your resources accordingly.