By Jen Spencer
Sales and marketing are two different departments doing the exact same thing with the exact same goal, but they’re incredibly different animals with different perspectives and approaches. The solution for better alignment? Sales enablement.
If you’ve been noodling sales enablement, you’re not alone. Google searches for “sales enablement” increase roughly 61 percent year over year, according to Google Trends. Sales enablement is about closing the loop between marketing and sales to ensure everyone has the intel and content they need to meet customers wherever they are on the buying journey.
After all, marketing can produce the most brilliant marketing campaigns and write fabulous, persona-driven content, but if your sales team doesn’t achieve its goals, all of that effort, creativity, and energy is for naught. With sales enablement in place, companies can benefit from better scalability, shorter sales cycles, stronger data collection, happier customers, and more.
How Marketers Can Enable Sales for Success
Marketing must step up and play a larger role in sales enablement in order to not only help buyers buy but also help sellers sell. If you’re a marketer focused on filling the sales pipeline, you have to ask yourself whether you’re preparing your sales teams to support customers throughout the Buyer’s Journey. Marketers understand company brand messaging, buyer personas, and so on better than anyone, which makes them the best resource for the sales team.
Here are some tips for how marketers can help their companies achieve better balance and alignment through sales enablement:
1. Give sales insight into marketing activities.
It can be helpful for sales teams to see what’s happening on the marketing side. Consider using quick video recordings to share campaign updates, explain how to find sales enablement assets, and create more transparency about what marketing is up to.
2. Give sales reps a byline on your blog.
If you want your sales team to share content on social media and send it to potential customers, it helps to have their name on it in order to show thought leadership and build buyer trust. If you’re concerned about getting sales reps onboard with writing blog content, never fear—your marketing team can easily ghostwrite an e-book or blog article for sales.
3. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
As the saying goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Assumptions can break down the relationship between sales and marketing, which can lead to missed opportunities and a failure to reach set goals. Marketing may assume that sales knows where to find strategic content assets, but sales may be in the dark on where to find documents. Sales may assume that marketing knows it needs a vendor comparison chart, but marketing may have no idea that such collateral is needed.
Marketing needs to find out exactly what sales needs, which can open the floodgates of communication and help correct and guide the entire relationship in a positive direction. Also, if sales can’t find what it's looking for, then your buyer personas likely can’t either. Championing sales enablement can uncover powerful insight into how to market to prospects better and fill the pipeline faster.
4. Reach sales reps where they are.
Marketers need to leverage the right medium for engaging with sales, whether that’s sending updates and assets over email, in a Google Sheet, a monthly newsletter, or some other avenue. Essentially, as a marketer, you need to approach sales reps like they’re one of your buyer personas, and feed them the right content at the right time for the greatest impact and best outcomes.
5. Brief sales reps on what they need to know.
Whether you use an infographic, short video, or battlecard, be sure to give your sales reps the information and talking points they need so they can accurately and easily reflect brand messaging, persona pain points, and so on when they’re selling.
6. Share details about marketing campaigns.
Oftentimes, marketers will lament that sales reps don’t trust them because messages have been sent out to the wrong person in the past, and this friction makes it harder for marketing to send out nurturing campaigns. The solution is better communication about what campaigns are going to which prospects.
Marketing can boost sales’ confidence by showing them that campaigns are sales driven, by letting them know when they’re launching a campaign and what metrics are being tracked. Then, update sales on how the campaign performed so sales can follow up with leads properly.
Get Started with Sales Enablement
Embrace better sales and marketing alignment with sales enablement by creating a sales enablement playbook. With a sales enablement playbook, marketing and sales can collaborate to set goals and strategize, define buyer personas, plan lead routing and nurturing, draft a content calendar, and more. Download the sales enablement playbook template now.