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Sales Enablement: The What, Why, and How

Michelle Calhoun
Jun 12, 2020 3:07:49 PM

Are you tired of dealing with tire kickers? You know, the prospects who appear to want to buy from you but never seem to make up their mind? Maybe even worse, you think they're interested, but they outright ghost you? Does your sales team waste company hours calling potential leads who are not actually sales ready? 

Often times marketing and sales will pass the blame back and forth which may explain why quarterly goals are not being met. Marketing might blame the sales department for not closing enough deals, while sales might blame the marketing for sending them poor leads.

Worry no more! There is a way to end this vicious cycle. Queue sales enablement!

sales enablement graphic (1)

What

Sales enablement is more than just a fancy buzzword that marketers like to throw around. It is the actual process of providing tools and training to help salespeople sell more effectively and the strategy that marketers need to use to engage and nurture potential customers through the buyer’s journey.

There are many paths to sales enablement. (Check out this list of 71 of the best tools to arm your teams with.) But the end goal is always the same: a shared revenue goal between sales and marketing, attracting more good-fit clients, and closing deals in the most efficient amount of time as possible.

Why

Sales teams need sales enablement in order to be more successful and efficient with their time and resources by qualifying leads that come through their website. When marketing and sales work together, the process attracts, nurtures, converts, and delights more customers than when goals are not aligned. 

This process also benefits your customers as it nurtures them along in their buyer's journey they get their questions answered before even speaking to a salesperson. 
Likewise, salespeople can find easily accessible content to guide their prospects.

How

Your first step is to develop a sales enablement strategy. Having a shared revenue goal in between marketing and sales, and creating content to attract good fit customers and close more deals, are the first steps in creating your sales enablement strategy.

If you haven’t already, you will want to define who your good and bad fit customers are. Defining this with research and data will determine the kind of content you will need to create. Need help with this part? We got you covered

Next, you can download our lead qualification matrix here to help you hone in on which prospects marketing needs to nurture along and which ones are sales ready. To use this template, you will need your buyer personas completed. Then, fill out each box with descriptions of which actions taken by prospects qualify them to be in each category. For example, if someone clicks on a CTA asking for more information and their company profile matches with your good fit customers, they would fall under the Sales Ready/Good Fit box. You will want your sales department to contact them right away. However, if you have noticed a prospect is viewing your blogs regularly but they are currently a poor fit lead, you will want marketing to nurture them along.

Aligning your business around content is powerful and can have a noticeable impact on your bottom line. The leads that you get are only as good as the content you put out. The goal with inbound marketing is to attract more buyers to come to you by establishing yourself as a valuable resource. See our post on how content creation creates clients. Many of the predictions for sales enablement in 2020 include using your CRM as your guiding compass, using AI (such as chatbots), and investing in sales training.

How do you know if your sales enablement efforts have been successful?  Let’s say you have started to see the results of producing lots of content online and the phones are ringing off the hook. Only, 75% of these calls are from tire kickers, or bad fit customers. Analyzing the types of content you produce and aligning them with the goals you want to achieve will attract more of the good fit clients that you want. When marketing and sales work together this is what can be achieved.

Holding regular “Smarketing” Meetings will ensure that your sales and marketing teams stay aligned. Many companies even keep marketing and sales departments in close physical proximity to each other. It can help when marketing hears some of the conversations and day to day interactions that the sales team has with potential customers. What questions are salespeople frequently asked? What are the most common concerns of potential customers? These answers can be powerful tools when used to fuel content.

Keeping your teams accountable with an SLA or Service-Level Agreement is another great way to achieve alignment. Have your marketing department agree to provide x amounts of leads per month to sales and a sales department that then agrees to contact each one of those leads within x amount of minutes. 

Remember content creation is essential to attracting more customers, but if marketing and sales are not aligned, it can be a wasted effort.

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