It makes me very happy, that again we are dealing with a campaign other than the ones described so far. Sales enablement is about what you can do for your sales team in order to increase motivation and interest in the company’s offer, and thus sales. There are many interpretations and definitions of this term, but they usually come down to the statement that it is the implementation of tools, strategies and processes that are to allow the sales team to be better at their job. It is also a method that helps bring sales and marketing closer together and improves the quality of cooperation between these two very important parts of your company.
This can be achieved by creating and providing your employees with materials supporting lead nurturing, which are valuable resources, such as datasheets, white papers, eBooks or videos that might, for example, provide some tips from other sales representatives. Most of these materials are created anyway because it is the same content that marketing teams all over the world create to make customers aware of products and services. After all, sales reps should know them much better than customers. All these elements make up the knowledge base, which turns out to be extremely important in the sales process (and not only), although at first, it may seem like an addition. Placing an article on this topic in the section on customer journeys may seem unreasonable, but I assumed that if the same marketing materials that are directed to the customer can also be a source of knowledge and inspiration for the sales department, then it is an essential element of the whole journey.
What is Sales Enablement?
It is said that sales enablement is one of the most important functions that marketing has to fulfill. The marketing department should provide the sales department with materials to aid them in conversations with leads. It is often a neglected function, because the marketing people forget that in addition to the customer audience, they also have specific tasks within the internal company audience and this job is equally important. All the departments of the company must support each other because only this allows them to operate effectively on the same front. This also applies to marketing and sales and can be achieved by creating, constantly updating and providing an accessible knowledge base that will significantly increase the level of competence of the employee with whom the potential customer has contact. Such a knowledge base must be a joint work of various people. Sales reps should signal which specific materials they need. The task of marketing people is to express it in words and match materials to the needs of sales. Marketing managers are responsible for creating content and putting it in the right hands to make an impact. IT should use the tools available on the market in such a way as to adapt them to the requirements of sales and marketing. Of course, there are some out-of-the-box solutions, but in principle, they always require at least minor customization. Sales enablement is therefore definitely teamwork.
Marketing and Sales
You can also hear voices that marketing does not have the best relationship with sales and that historically they didn’t really get along. Sales teams often do not pay enough attention to materials received from the marketing department. The problem is that at times when customers often make self-discoveries and product researches on their own, the sales team must be really fast and efficient in updating knowledge, and the most help in this matter they can get from the marketing department. Let’s put some logic in it for a moment. What is the point of distributing any information from the marketing department if the customer would hear other information from the sales team? What would be the point of marketing people’s work? That is why it is advisable that sales and marketing follow the same path. It is worth organizing some activities to help achieve this goal:
- Determine the person (or group of people) responsible for ensuring that all the messages from the marketing department are passed on to the sales department. Such a person will take care of the efficient and regular flow of information.
- Set up regular training meetings in which marketing and sales teams will be involved. Such meetings will allow getting the whole org up-to-date with new marketing messages.
- Introduce the principle that advertising materials go to the sales teams before their official publication, so that salespeople can read them before they are implemented, so they have the right knowledge and be even more cognizant.
- Organize bonuses for sales reps who finalize deals thanks to new marketing information. Bonuses always bring an element of excitement and they can run some positive competition between sales teams.
- Initially, this may seem a slightly unusual approach but think about introducing a wall of glory and shame, because it is a method successfully used in many companies. It’s a place everyone has access to and can see which sales reps have satisfactory results and which do not. This motivates people to look for ways to improve their results and thus new marketing materials may become very desirable here.
- Make sure that your company gets the most from all the data it has. Both internal, e.g. regarding sales statistics, and external (from the market).
- Optimize the content that is created in your company. It’s not about overwhelming everyone with tons of new information. It’s about the quality of the materials your people create.
- Search, keep informed and implement new solutions that automate marketing activities. This is the basis for optimizing the functioning of the marketing department, which improves the quality of the entire company operation.
All the materials listed in the first paragraph, created by the marketing department and eventually available to clients, are exactly the same materials that can be used by sales reps to broaden their knowledge, learn about new products or services in the company, and search for inspiration for even more effective sales. That is why good marketing-sales relations, joint meetings and trainings are important, as well as the conviction of sales reps to get acquainted on a regular basis with materials in social media, newsletters or information provided in regular advertisements.