5 Steps to Creating Seamless Sales Enablement for Marketers
As a marketer, one of your primary goals is to “enable” your sales team to close more deals by providing them with the support they need; from results-driven campaigns fueled by data, to customer insights gleaned from market research. Although sales and marketing teams are often located in the same department, many work independently of each other, which is a foundational reason why Forbes reported earlier this year that 45 percent of sales people don’t make their quota. Of course, this dismal statistic is as much a marketing issue as it is sales. It’s also a reason why sales enablement is quickly becoming the B2B buzzword of the year. Below, we’ve gathered five steps marketers can take to foster a seamless sales enablement process.
Step 1: Reinstate the Buddy System
Back in the day, senior sales staff used to train new sales people by allowing them to tag along on calls. It was a great way to teach someone what works and what doesn’t. It also enabled newbies to become innately familiar with every aspect of the sales process, from cold calls and presentations, to customer questions and beyond. While there are numerous tools that allow marketers to digitally witness the sales process, we recommend taking a brief tech break and connecting personally with sales people on a semi-annual basis. To launch a buddy system at your company:
- Meet with the sales department leaders and tell them upfront you want your people to better understand their needs, process and daily experience.
- Host a team bonding event (i.e. scavenger hunt, bowling, etc.) and pair each person in marketing with a sales representative.
- Have each marketer meet individually with their sales rep later and ask questions, such as:
- Tell me about your process.
- What marketing tools are your favorites? Why?
- Which ones do you never use? Why?
- Describe your ideal customer.
Note: Be sure marketing team members understand their goal in this process is to listen, understand, take notes, and learn. Coach them not to be defensive if sales reps criticize a piece they created. By engaging everyone in this process, you will not only form strong and healthy relationships between marketing and sales, you will gain a wealth of perspectives that could lead to some major breakthroughs in both marketing creativity and sales quotas.
Step 2: Interview Current Customers
This step can be done in-house or outsourced to a research firm, which may aid customers in giving more honest answers. The goal of this step is to find out from people who just signed on with your company what motivated them to do so. Learn what was most and least important to them, what they felt differentiated your company from the competition, and what they thought of various marketing pieces, etc. In addition to new customers, it’s a smart practice to conduct autopsies on prospects that ultimately choose a competitor. In both cases, you will want to provide the interviewees with an incentive for giving you the 411, such as a gift card or product/service discount. Once you have gathered all insights, share them with the sales team so they can hear firsthand what is motivating customers to say yes or no.
Step 3: Take Inventory of Content
Once everyone in marketing has had a chance to consider all findings from sales, as well as current customers and lost prospects, it’s time to take stock of all marketing materials and decide what’s staying, what’s going, what needs to be revamped, and what new pieces need to be developed. Ultimately, every piece in your arsenal of content should help move prospects through the pipeline. When you have aligned content with sales objectives, you should begin to experience a significant increase in quotas being met.
Step 4: Get Technical
In the same way you evaluated all of your content to establish its usefulness, it’s also wise to take a hard look at the technology you have in place and decide which tools are indispensable and which ones are gumming up the works. People love simplicity and gravitate toward solutions that are, so asking them to log into multiple tools to accomplish various goals is unrealistic and sets everyone up for failure. Ideally, you want the tools you use to integrate seamlessly with your CRM so that sales can quickly access and use marketing tools with ease. For example, Sureshot’s sales enablement tool embeds in CRMs as a tab and empowers sales to send marketing-approved cross-channel communications. It also allows marketing to control who has access to what content and whether or not they can personalize it.
Step 5: Review Data. Adapt. Repeat.
In addition to accommodating smart tools that allow you to customize and automate various steps in your sales process, your CRM should help marketing enable sales by providing data that:
- Measures content usage by sales team members throughout the sales cycle
- Analyzes content and reveals which pieces are moving customers through the pipeline
- Connects content to revenue generated
A good platform enables you to learn what’s working and adapt your strategy accordingly. This empowers both sales and marketing to focus their efforts on proven winners and experience more success.
Seriously Seamless – At SureShot we develop custom and prebuilt tools that enable marketing and sales to get more value from their CRMs. To see our solutions in action, sign up for a demo.