Up to 50% of sales go to the business that responds first.
This means if your sales and marketing teams aren’t working together to respond to potential customers in a timely manner, you may miss out on potential sales. And we’re not talking about one missed opportunity; you could be passing up closing sales with half of the leads in your pipeline.
While just one example of an internal issue your teams may run into, sales and marketing departments face numerous challenges when it comes to turning prospects into repeat customers. This is especially true if your teams aren’t thinking on their toes. So, what can your teams do to make sure your sales processes are streamlined?
The answer: sales enablement. Sales enablement ensures your sales team gets the best resources possible from the marketing team to close qualified leads and grow your business. That said, your marketing and sales teams need to be in tune with each other through “smarketing” to get deals closed and your company profitable.
If your current sales enablement process needs a facelift, you may need to make some strategic changes. Keep reading to learn about some of the biggest sales enablement problems B2B businesses face and how to address them.
4 Top Sales Enablement Problems
While this article discusses several sales enablement pain points, we don’t want to talk you out of running an effective sales enablement initiative — we want to help you do it correctly. Below, learn more about top challenges faced by sales and marketing teams and our “pro tips” to help you overcome them.
1. Marketing and Sales Aren't on the Same Page
Ultimately, sales reps want marketing to find leads, and marketing wants sales to close leads — it's a mutually beneficial relationship. But problems can arise if the two teams aren’t communicating thoroughly, effectively, and consistently.
This lack of or miscommunication between marketing and sales teams can happen when:
- Marketing doesn’t share with sales any new audience pain points they observe while researching and social listening, or vice versa
- Sales teams are unaware of new marketing assets or collateral to help them sell
- Neither team is well-versed in the company's products and philosophies
- Both teams have differing perceptions of the audience’s challenges, demographics, and ideal solutions
To help marketing and sales teams get on the same page, a great place to start is working together to determine or fine-tune your company's target audience. For example, if marketing is creating content to capture the attention of "ABCs" and sales wants to work with "XYZs," your company's growth will likely be limited.
PRO TIP: Conduct buyer persona interviews with past customers to find out more about your target audience.
2. Your Content Isn't Getting to Your Audience
Even if your sales and marketing teams know your target audience inside and out, you have to make sure your content speaks their language.
When we talk about content, we’re talking about any material across any medium that's relevant and helpful to your audience, including social media posts, emails, blogs, product presentations, and more. Who your target audience is will determine your content’s voice, tone, and topics.
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: Use Google Trends to come up with new content ideas, and make sure the information you send out to your prospects is engaging and easy to understand.
3. You're Underutilizing Your CRM
A customer relationship management (CRM) platform is an important asset that shouldn't be overlooked, as it will help your company manage leads and all of the data associated with them. You can easily track a lead's website activity, calls, emails, meeting notes, and more, and you can even 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.
PRO TIP: A CRM system is great for automating routine tasks like sending out emails, and you can set up marketing automations to nurture leads at just the right time — without you having to lift a finger.
4. Data Analysis Isn't Part of Your Process
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 team can then fix the issues because they know the problems exist.
Analyzing and reporting on data may not be a forte for your employees, but providing coaching and training can help unlock your business’ potential. If your teams have a hunger to learn, it will pay off in the long run.
PRO TIP: Data analysis goes hand in hand with data visualization, so jump into Google Analytics, Excel, or another favorite data visualization tool and get ready to clearly communicate your progress and success.
Avoid These Challenges and Enable Sales Productivity
Now that you know more about some of the top sales enablement challenges businesses face today, as well as tips and tricks to improve your win rate, we’d like to also remind you that 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 performance, 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.
If you’re ready to optimize your “smarketing” processes and want more in-depth sales enablement strategy help, download our free guide How to Move Leads Through Your SaaS Sales Pipeline:
* This blog was originally published on May 06, 2018, and updated on February 13, 2023.