When it comes to sales enablement, the name of the game is getting marketing and sales to work together to help businesses meet their goals. This means that processes, content and technology need to be fine-tuned to deliver maximum bottom-line results. How can this be achieved, and what are some of the pain points of marketing and sales teams, who have yet to align?
Sales Alignment is a goal for many organizations, and for some it is luckily already a reality. According to MarketingProfs, organizations who are in alignment can experience increased quarter achievements by up to 10%, 36% higher customer attention, 38% higher win rates, and 25% faster growth. While these benefits are appealing, the most important factor overall is that sales alignment creates a scalable, repeat revenue generating machine.
Sales Enablement by Definition
Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales organization or department with the necessary information, content or tools to help them sell more effectively. To achieve this, marketing and sales need to work together but also bring this partnership to fruition with the rest of the organization. By aligning marketing and sales teams, the sales team is supplied with content they require which can be used at the appropriate time during their sales cycles.
Being Aligned vs. Not Being Aligned
The key factor in ensuring your teams are aligned is communication. This should be at a leadership level all the way to the individual sales representative and marketer level. Another important factor is aligned goals. But, if your team doesn’t have a solid foundation of communication, no matter what process or technology you implement there will be hiccups. Once sales and marketing goals are aligned and effective communication is established, organizations can start building sales enablement processes and then automate them with technology.
Organizations who struggle with communication and alignment can experience the following challenges:
- New leads are not appreciated
- Content that is created is not used by sales teams
- Influx of last second demands
- Processes are not followed by sales, new technologies are slow to adopt
- Leads provided by marketing are not good
- Inability to find right collateral when needed
- Content and brochures are not relevant to actual buyers
- Marketing is incentivized on lead volume, not quality
- Marketing promo emails can negatively affect existing opportunities
Building Blocks of Sales Enablement
According to Forrester, brands are more likely to be successful if they have sales enablement practices in place. As buying cycles are becoming more complex, more individuals are involved in purchase decisions. Coordination of activities between marketing campaigns such as emails, having a digital presence, re-marketing and providing the sales team with high value content speeds up sales cycles and improves win rates.
These 5 components need to be established for an effective sales enablement program:
Goals: Ensure that the sales and marketing goals are aligned. This means that marketing is responsible not for just lead numbers, but the quality of leads and how likely they are to be turned into a pipeline and into revenue. Sales team must have clear SLAs around lead follow up and feedback.
Planning: it’s important that marketing and sales teams have group planning sessions to create a joint strategy that is aligned when it comes to target markets, ideal customers, buyer challenges, and buyer objections. This strategy can build a pipeline of ideal customers and content that should help create qualified opportunities and close them faster.
Content: Existing content and new content themes should be evaluated as a group, to ensure content gaps are identified. By having an open dialog, listening to sales challenges and existing bottlenecks, marketing can identify which efforts are working, and what needs to be created or adjusted to work more effectively.
Buying Journey: The buying journey should be mapped out as a joint sales and marketing exercise, starting from the lead, to opportunity to customer and beyond. Then relevant content should be planned for all stages of the buying cycle. The key is for marketing to deliver relevant content at the right time to groups of buyers and for sales to have highly specialized, high-value content easily accessible and easy to find whenever they need it.
Technology: now most teams will have established CRM and marketing automation systems, analytics and data sources. However, when it comes to content or collateral they are scattered between intranets, websites, Dropbox and individual desktops. No one knows where the right version is or how to effectively search across those systems to find the right resource. Digital Asset Management (DAM) is often used as a sales enablement engine, where marketing organizes their entire content and resource library. Sales can easily search for the resource they need, and marketing can update versions in one click. RFPs, PPTs and product shots are easy to browse and edit.
DAM for Sales Enablement
By using a digital asset management system companies eliminate some of the challenges that can create a sales and marketing divide and inefficiencies for both teams. Content can be discovered exactly when needed, and outdated resources are no longer used. There are also no last second requests for logo or file changes as sales can make their own changes, with one click right in the DAM. Effectiveness of content can also be reported on, and feedback or rating of the asset can be provided by the sales team.
To learn more, check out our webinar: “How to Build a Sales Enablement Engine” where we discuss the alignment challenges and shared stepping stones to success for sales enablement. Enjoy!