There are no two ways about it; successful sales enablement centers on integrating marketing and sales to deliver fast, enduring, and penetrating results. More specifically, marketing has a core responsibility to provide qualified leads to the sales division, and at the same time elevate the brands. It’s expansive role demands exerting sales-driven energy across all the relevant functions and understanding the sales processes at work.
Sales, on the other hand, must connect with marketing to ensure they are equipped with the most effective tools and understand how to apply them to sell the way buyers want to buy. Automated Sales Enablement is only as robust as it’s the weakest component, and if indeed there’s an imbalance between sales and marketing the damage to ROI can be devastating. Reliable references show:
• B2B entities lose up to 10% of revenue every year on the back of marketing/sales disconnection.
• Conversely, the same company categories generate 208% more revenue if these two main divisions align to drive a more efficient and effective sales team.
• Sales and marketing teams working in sync with one another boost customer retention by 36% and close rates an even higher 38%.
Everyone knows that a chemical reaction can be either groundbreaking or destructively explosive. The former depends on careful planning, measuring data, mixing ingredients with measured assuredness, and a large dollop of expertise; the latter is generally a hit-and-miss affair, weakened by lack of conviction, and conducted by incompetent participants. Here are the seven most essential actions that underlie a groundbreaking program, designed to support sales with smart resources.
1. Deliver the right message for every conversation
Customers in the sales-funnel respond to messages most closely aligned with their level of interest in the composite brand offer. A buyer on the end of a first-time cold-call is worlds apart from one that’s virtually ready to commit. Turning new prospects into new customers is the objective in both cases, but the process stage and pre-disposition will materially affect the marketing and sales strategy applied.
Settling on the content for the occasion means that Marketing and Sales must be willing to collaborate; to share information with the ultimate goal of deciding what works and what doesn’t. Deriving slotted solutions for targeted situations is indeed complicated. It’s inevitably all about the reps building their credibility by competently addressing customer queries and objections, and where necessary educating prospects.
Unbeatable sales pitches correlate with omnichannel engagement to close more deals in less time, helping buyers to buy faster and smarter. Imparting innovative content in a customer-convenient way involves optimally matching it to the communication channels available (including social media and messaging Apps). Examples of several engagement options are eGuides or webinar recordings (on-demand) as ideal conduits to address prospects at the interest-stage of the sales-funnel; alternatively, use case studies, and even aggressive price-discount action offers that nudge customers on the edge of committing. Even then, customers tend to ebb-and-flow in their progress to a buying decision, sometimes going cold for no apparent reason. Sales and marketing should continually review progress, reigniting interest where it’s seen to wane, and step up the tempo and aggressiveness where risk/reward is warranted.
2. Make sure you update published content
Failure to alert your reps on publications of new blogs, white papers, or on-demand communications sucks the air out of the sales enablement team’s painstaking effort. How can actions be implemented if an essential cog in the wheel doesn’t know things are on the move?
Marketing should routinely go out of its way to transmit a motivating communication that summarizes any new content, how to access it, and point out to which category of customers it best applies. Motivation to succeed notably accelerates as the sales team gets the gist of the bottom-line benefit in meeting their buyers’ expectations.
Keeping track of content inventory (and digging it up to connect to the occasion as it arises) is a discipline all in itself. Articles, videos, emails, technical brochures, (and the like), perhaps delivered in the past and still applicable to similar situations today, are often quickly forgotten in an undisciplined organization. What a waste of valuable resources! Moreover, enhance the impact of old messages by merely changing the media that carry them. It can create a meaningful difference. Co-ordinated focus and awareness of what’s in the library on both the marketing and sales side give a new dimension to the meaning of collaborative effort.
3. Keep the information flowing
Stagnation is the archenemy of a dynamic environment. Sales and marketing often work closely in the office or at least on a virtual plane. Ideas don’t follow a predictable pattern: they sometimes blast out like a machinegun feeding off each other, and at other times squeeze out in erratic intervals. Built-in “sounding board” technologies like Slack foster the seamless generation of innovative concepts through a smooth 2-way channel ideal for the exchange of thoughts, sharing data, and establishing inter-departmental co-operation. When the marketing specialists and the reps know that the means for instantaneously connecting to their go-to mentors and counterparts are part of the system, the system automatically gets into gear. Development of information then flows fast with a substantial effect on differentiating customer journeys and growing revenue more quickly.
It’s advisable for marketing and sales to formally arrange interactive sessions in the same room or via conferencing tools, with the sole objective of getting the creative juices bubbling. Invite guests from outside operations (e.g., the factory) to join in where you need objective viewpoints disconnected to the everyday routine of customer scrutiny. Create threads or message boards through Apps like Trello that encourage team members to register their thoughts when interfacing customers, or just relaxing at home (i.e., not in a group dynamic). It all counts if channeled correctly and you attach due attention and respect to an excellent forthcoming idea. It’s essential to show that “suggestions” don’t end up in a bottomless box going nowhere. A transparent brainstorming network that leads to action will be a welcome boon to any sales enablement platform.
5. SME interviews are a must
Your sales enablement, by definition, relies on the proficiency of your sales team. The latter is expected to know your products, services, and branding goals from end-to-end. Most importantly, reps connect to customers every day - thus picking up on the specific “language” nuances that resonate positively. Subconsciously, the reps receive and process feedback from their customers, mentally molding it into effective responses that get a revenue result.
Absorbing rep experiences and translating them into articles and videos so that others can learn from it is quite another matter. Also, there should be intent to use this content to make marketing messages more pertinent, to hit “hot buttons” more often and more appropriately. Therefore, interview the reps; encourage them to submit blogs and articles. As the latter come through, recognize these submissions - even reward them by publishing for all to see as recommended reading. In a nutshell, this is an active strategy built to maximize the natural resources at work every hour of every working day in the marketplace, where your revenue potential is there for the taking.
6. Shadow your sales reps whenever possible
Shadow sales calls to pick up on feedback as it happens in real time. Make a note of the questions, the objections, and the gaps in communication that may denote confusion, and identify how different selling styles affect the results. Shadowing opens up black holes in marketing strategies that sales reps - caught up in the intensity of the sales pitch - often miss. Again, we reiterate, coordinated effort converges on a better-personalized sales experience.
7. Share Accomplishments
This centers on the three R’s - Recognition, recognition, and more recognition. In other words, develop a culture of ultimate reward inside your sales enablement platform. Never miss drawing attention to breakthroughs with stubborn customers, and particularly to the results that highlight collaborative sales/marketing efforts. There’s no better encouragement to the sales and marketing participants on the outside looking in when an accomplishment occurs. It spurs him or her to emulate, to aim higher, and to make the most of the integrated content and media you provide.
Pitcher is a company at the cutting edge of the seven best-kept secrets. It is a company with cost-effective, ROI oriented technologies to make sales enablement resources your friend. Small businesses in the B2B arena can access the full spectrum of technologies and methods to affordably advance beyond one’s imagination in the marketplace.
To experience Pitcher first hand, interested parties can request a demo at pitcher.com.