An Introduction to Sales Enablement: Why Marketers need to step up.

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The term ‘sales enablement’ has been floating around sales and marketing circles for several years now, and is rising in popularity with an increasing number of solutions on the marketplace developed by Salesforce and their partners.

However, there’s still confusion over what sales enablement actually is, why it’s important, and what it can do for your business.

“Prodly”

That’s where we jump in, to give you a thorough understanding of Sales Enablement. By the time you have finished reading this piece, you will understand:

  • What sales enablement is
  • Why it is important for businesses.
  • How sales enablement can help if:

– Marketing is struggling to create content
– Sales can’t find the content they need to share
– Managers need to justify marketing budgets
– Sales can’t see which prospects are most engaged
– Sales and marketing teams aren’t working well together

What is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is the term used to describe any tools or processes that enable you to make more sales.

It’s the systems you put in place to help you capitalize on the leads in your pipeline and close more deals.

At this stage, it’s also useful to think about what sales enablement is not. It isn’t about attracting leads through inbound marketing, and it’s different to marketing automation.

Instead of focusing on getting more leads, the aim of sales enablement software is to get more customers from the leads you’ve already generated.

It does this by positioning your content more effectively.

Why is it important for businesses?

Sales enablement is essential because it’s the process that helps your business convert more leads. If you want to improve your close rate and make more money from prospects in your pipeline, you need to focus on sales enablement.

If you have any kind of customer-facing content, sales enablement can help you refine it, as we said before: to position your content more effectively.

Most importantly, sales enablement is the solution to many of the problems your marketing and sales team typically face.

How Sales Enablement can help you

Sales enablement can be a huge asset to team members and sales processes, helping to streamline tasks, leverage content more effectively, and get in front of the best opportunities without any delay.

There’s a real value-add if your marketing/sales teams face the following problems:

Marketing is struggling to create & curate their content

Marketing teams face a constant battle to create new, fresh content to help sales teams convert prospects into customers. But if they’re just tasked with churning out generic content, crafting focused pieces of creative marketing collateral can fall to the wayside.

Sales enablement allows marketing to look at a specific point in the middle of the funnel where a lead might be, and create unique pieces of content for that stage.

In addition, marketing can also create and assign content based on specific lead personas or specific industries. Using profile information and objects, fields and records in Salesforce, marketing can match the content to the opportunity, with unique material based on a prospects job title, industry, geographic region or even their previous behavior.

The result? Marketing have a greater influence over prospects and can encourage more conversions with specific, highly relevant content.

Sales reps can’t find the right content to share with prospects

In most businesses, marketing shares content with sales reps in many different ways – shared drives, Dropbox, emails, Google Drive etc. There’s no logic to the system, and time is wasted by reps trying to find the specific content they need.

They don’t know if this is the right file, if it’s the latest version, or if there’s a better option available from marketing.

With sales enablement, the content is right there. Every piece of content is assigned by marketing directly into the pipeline, so whichever stage the prospect is at, sales reps can see the appropriate range of marketing collateral they can share with one click.

The best sales enablement software will be native in Salesforce or the CRM a business is using. That way, the whole platform is stable, and reps are familiar with the interface; no time is wasted switching around between apps.

Managers need to justify marketing budget

Good marketing does drive sales and conversions, but sometimes, it can be very difficult for marketing managers to justify their budgets. Sales close the final deal, and often get all the credit, but marketing have facilitated this with their content.

The best sales enablement software gives insight through analytics. Pieces of content are tracked and measured, so managers can see the ROI a piece of content gets, based on how it was used and how it affected conversion rates.

With this information, managers can prove the effectiveness of content marketing, and prioritize those pieces which directly generate the most revenue.

Sales can’t see which prospects are most engaged

Any experienced sales rep knows that whoever gets in front of a prospect first is most likely to close the deal. However, knowing when a prospect is active, engaged and ready to buy, is a difficult task when sat in the middle of the funnel.

Deciphering the middle of funnel is where sales enablement is valuable. Sales teams can see engagement scores for each of their prospects, based on how they’ve interacted with previously sent content.

Using software like Data Dwell, they can see beyond whether an email was just opened and track how far a prospect read into a pitch document, whether they shared it with other stakeholders, or how long they watched a video for. Sales enablement uncovers hidden buying behaviors.

Sales can also set up notifications for when a prospect interacts with a piece of content. That way, they can prioritize exactly who is most likely to convert at any given time.

New sales reps need extra help to close deals

When new sales reps are brought on-board, the learning and adjustment process can be long and arduous.

Sales enablement is a huge help here too. It can be used to help new hires through a ‘guided selling’ process, by delivering playbooks, cheat sheets and essential marketing material straight into the pipeline. All they need to do is follow along at each stage of the prospect’s journey.

It’s also ideal for product marketing, as managers can use sales enablement tools to ensure all new hires (and existing team members) know about any new products, can promote them correctly, and can maximize upselling opportunities.

Sales and marketing teams are not working well together

Last, but not least, is the challenge of coordination and cooperation between sales and marketing teams.

It’s easy for the two functions to be completely separate, and not work well together, with one blaming the other for the lack of conversions.

Good sales enablement solves this problem too. It creates a direct link between both teams, that functions both ways. Marketing can engage directly with the pipeline and prospects in it, whilst sales can liaise with marketing on the effectiveness of their content.

Reporting can be automatic, and feedback can be constructive. The result is more adoption across the company and a more collaborative approach.

Summary

With the right tools, sales enablement can be seamless and highly effective

Once you have a sound understanding of what sales enablement is and what it can do for your business and your pipeline, it’s hard to see why you haven’t embraced it before.

Even if you were to just implement a few of its many features, you’d see the differences in your conversion rates and revenues in no time at all.

We’ll be posting more content on the topic of Sales Enablement, to help guide you as you embark on your implementation, adoption and ROI.

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