Did you know that 35-50% of sales go to the business that responds first? That means that if your sales and marketing team aren’t working together in unison to respond to potential customers quickly, you may miss out on potential sales. This is just one example of an internal issue your team may run into, but many other issues can pop-up if your teams aren’t thinking on their toes. So what can your teams do to make sure your sales processes are streamlined?
You can do this through what we call sales enablement. If your current sales enablement efforts need a facelift, you may need to make some strategic changes. Let’s discuss the biggest sales enablement problem B2B businesses face in 2021.
The Biggest Sales Enablement Problem in 2021
This article is not meant to talk you out of running a sales enablement initiative. We want to help you do it correctly.
So what is the biggest problem with sales enablement? The biggest issue with sales enablement today is miscommunication between marketing and sales teams.
Marketing & Sales Not Working Together
Sales enablement helps your team close leads and grow your business. It ensures your sales team gets the best resources possible from the marketing team to close qualified leads. Your marketing and sales team need to be in-tune with each other through “smarketing” to get deals closed and your company profitable.
All in all, marketing wants sales to close leads. Sales wants marketing to find leads. (Remember, it's a mutually beneficial relationship.)
3 Things Marketing & Sales Should Be on the Same Page About…
1. Target Audience
Marketing and sales need to work together to determine your company's target audience. What are their pain points? What solutions are they looking for? What are their demographics?
Everyone needs to be on the same page here. If marketing is creating content to capture the attention of "XYZs" and sales wants to work with "ABCs," your company's growth is limited.
Pro Tip: You can do buyer persona interviews with past customers to find out more about who your target audience is.
Content is a vague term. It can mean different things to different people. That being said, here are some examples. When we talk about content, we are talking about social media posts, emails, blogs, ebooks, case studies, product presentations, and videos. Content is any material across any medium that's relevant and helpful to your audience.
Once your target audience has been identified you have to make sure that your content is speaking the language of your audience. Who your target audience is will determine your brand voice, tone, and topics.
3. Marketing Delivery
Your next step is to figure out how your content will be accessed and delivered. Your marketing folks worked hard to create compelling content and your sales team should know how and when to use it to effectively close leads.
We suggest creating a standard delivery method that ensures the content is provided to your leads at the right time and that the recipient knows how to access it. An email template with detailed login or download instructions will make it easy for the lead to get the sales material.
Pro Tip: Make sure that the information you are sending to your prospects is easy to understand and content they are excited about.
Now that you know the biggest problem that many businesses face today when it comes to sales enablement, we wanted to provide you with tips and tricks to improve your sales.
Tips to Build Your Sales Enablement Strategy
Analyze the Data
If your teams are communicating about content and content creation, they should also be tracking how leads progress through the sales process. Are leads consistently getting stuck in the same place in the sales process? Is the sales team dealing with too many unqualified leads? Are leads' pain points never fully addressed?
Reporting on how leads are progressing through your marketing and sales funnels will reveal any areas in need of improvement. Your people can then fix the issues because they know problems exist!
Understand There's Always Something New to Learn
Coaching and/or training can be key to unlocking your business’ potential. Your sales team needs to be well versed in your products and your company's philosophy on selling while your marketing experts need to continually learn about marketing best practices. If your teams have a hunger to learn, it will pay off in the long run.
Utilize Your Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)
A customer relationship management (CRM) program is an important asset that shouldn't be overlooked. A CRM lets companies manage leads and all of the data associated with them. You can easily track a lead's website activity, timeline, calls, emails, meeting notes, etc. You can track closed deals and their size in an easy-to-see view.
When used effectively, a CRM can add transparency to your sales team, aiding in reporting. The key is making sure everyone is on board with it. That's where some companies have issues. It may take a mandate from high up the company ladder to make sure everyone is using it and is doing it correctly.
How B2B Businesses Handle Sales Enablement Varies
One company's success with sales enablement may not be repeatable for another. While you're researching how to get the most from your marketing and sales efforts don't be so quick to imitate or copy someone else's tactics. You're better off curating a custom plan specific to your business and people.
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* This blog was originally published on May 06, 2018, and updated on February 1, 2021 for accuracy.