Sales enablement. An umbrella term. One that can mean lots of different things to lots of different brands and sales teams—but one that describes tools and practices that, at their heart, accomplish one goal: help salespeople sell better.
As a marketing professional, you’re surely familiar with your brand’s sales team and their chosen sales enablement tools. Your roles and sales’ are inextricably linked. After all, the next step in the customer journey—once customers have connected with you via campaigns, ads, and other content—is for the sales team to swoop in, capturing leads who’ve been prepped using your savvy skills.
But does your sales team know exactly how linked they could be with the marketing team? Do your team members know how indispensable they could be to their sales colleagues? And, in your opinion, does the marketing content lifecycle stop as soon as potential clients shoot a message to sales reps? If your answer to any of the above questions is “no,” we’d like to humbly submit a counterargument. We’re confident that marketing and sales enablement go hand-in-hand. And we’ll show you how.
First off, embrace collaboration.
We may be preaching to their choir, but we can’t emphasize enough how critical it is for sales teams to know that they can collaborate with marketing teams on sales enablement. It’s a powerful combo.
In fact, studies show that in many companies, both departments already work on sales enablement strategies and tools. The winds of change are blowing, and they’re blowing straight toward a world where sales enablement powers a large portion of all external communications.
Second, know your stuff.
You might be new to sales enablement tools. If you are, read on. If you aren’t, skip below for our ideas on how marketing can help leverage it.
Sales enablement, quite simply, is the term for tools, practices, and people that analyze and improve the customer’s buying journey. In service of that goal, sales enablement empowers sales team members to do their best job. The eventual result? More leads captured, more happy customers. It’s a worthy goal, and it’s one that ultimately helps match the perfect clients with the perfect brands. Everyone wins.
We’ll talk about some common sectors of sales enablement below, but first, here are some statistics in case you need to be convinced of sales enablement’s effectiveness.
Teams with sales enablement programs in place achieve 32% higher quota attainment and 23% higher lead conversion rate.
Teams with sales enablement programs in place achieve 32% higher quota attainment and 23% higher lead conversion rate. The vast majority of companies who use sales enablement tools report higher sales and rapid growth, even over a period of a year or less. And sales enablement tools often drive higher retention and customer loyalty, making them a valuable resource for sales reps who want to take their relationship-building to the next level.
The types of SE
Let’s detangle the nature of sales enablement a little more. In this section, we’ll define a few of the main types of sales enablement so that you can decide which sectors your brand is using well, underutilizing, or not yet using at all.
Sales enablement strategy could include people or ideologies all designed to help your sales team be the best they can be. In strategizing sessions, make sure you answer these key questions:
- What single resource would help the sales team connect better with potential clients?
- In what part of the sales journey do our potential clients stay the longest?
- What content can we use to answer clients’ basic questions and free our sales team up to create deeper connections?
Analytics and Reporting
This angle of sales enablement involves tools and practices that focus on customer data—how often they interact with the sales team and for how long. Analytics are powerful in helping the sales team tailor their strategy. If customers all gravitate toward a specific video, sales can request that marketing make more of them. If they don’t reply to emails for an average of 4 days, the sales team can pivot to phone calls instead.
This type of sales enablement describes content libraries and other deployment tools. These types of software are all focused on getting the sales team what they need when they need it. With simply categorized content and easy use controls, sales team members can use this type of tool to send and show all the very best content your brand has made.
The SE world is constantly advancing. New technologies have harnessed the power to track sales rep use of content, categorize pitches and important forms, and even create personalized microsites to host content so that sales reps can interact with customers easily.
Every step forward means a more powerful stack of tools for sales reps, more leads captured, and more growth for everyone in the company.
Know how marketing helps sales
Now, here’s the fun part: sales enablement strategies and tools are a wide gateway between the world of sales and marketing. It’s a two-way street—we’re sure of it.
First, how can marketing help the sales department via sales enablement?
Through the power of narrative—marketing makes compelling content that sales can use to fill out their content libraries. Storytelling is potent, and sales reps can draw on the stories crafted in marketing to help sell their ideas.
Through the power of persuasion—marketing is adept at selling a feeling and can help sales retain that emotion. Even when discussing hard numbers, sales reps can use content from marketing to help soften the edges of their pitch.
More content means more ways to for sales to connect to their leads.
Lastly, through the power of numbers—more content means more ways to for sales to connect to their leads. Marketing is uniquely positioned to turn out huge libraries full of rich, innovative content. The more sales reps have to choose from, the more confident they can be.
And how sales helps marketing
Lastly, let’s discuss how sales is able to help marketing in specific ways.
They can help boost ROI by deploying your marketing content through the entire sales team. When marketing content serves double duty in sales enablement, it reaches a larger audience than the marketing audience alone. This audience—leads specifically put through the sales funnel—may be smaller, but it’s also more captive and more engaged than the average web browser or general shopper.
They can help you get fresh ideas: let sales needs drive the creation of new types of content, tailor-made for sales enablement libraries. Every marketing professional goes through content plateaus. Sales can help marketing break out of those spells with specific requests for content that serve a specific purpose for a specific section of the sales funnel.
Marketing and sales are a match made in heaven. And with how sales enablement has progressed, centering great content and great deployment, sales teams need marketing’s content more than ever. Let synergy between these teams shape your sales funnel and drive growth, with the help of sales enablement tools best suited for your brand. The result might blow you away.