These days sales enablement is defined as “providing the right tools and resources at the right time to the sales team to effectively sell the company’s products or services.” What’s the simplest and most effective way to enhance the sales team opportunities for improved business performance? Creating clear lines of communication between the sales and marketing team. Read on for a few suggestions to ensure that your sales and marketing teams are taking advantage of each other’s resources and expertise.
Ensure that the need-to-know content is easy to find. Place important information on the company website such as white papers, case studies, pricing, and customer quotes. Make it easy for the customer to research and digest so that when the sales reps are with them, your reps are saved from providing the “fluff” and can get right to meeting customer needs while closing the sale. In this age of immediate connectivity and almost instant gratification, having the best information about your company a side swipe away is a powerful sales enablement solution. In fact, according to the 2014 B2B Procurements Study from the Acquity Group 83% of respondents stated that they used company websites for conducting online research, making it the most popular resource.
The second part is to track the engagement from the website. Are they going directly to the site or coming in through links in email or social media? Once on the site, what area gets the most interest? Are they reading case studies or just customer quotes? Knowing the answer to those questions will enable the marketing team to focus their efforts on what is working. If you are getting minimal case study reads but a lot of traction from testimonials, then more time needs to be spent on getting those high-level impressive customer feedback quotes than drafting yet another paper.
Weekly team meetings between sales and marketing. Talk to your sales team to better understand the questions and concerns their customers are having. What do they like? Dislike? Do they mention case studies? Ask for referrals from other companies? Or does the website content drive conversation? Ask the same question a few different ways to help the sales rep remember if it did come up during their latest call or visit. Keeping track of those “mentions” and adding them to your other metrics will help you determine the type of sales content that best enables your organization’s sales representatives.
Those conversations pay off in added dividends as well. According to the Sales Bench Index, increasing communication with sales reps yields a 5% increase in revenue and a 22% in sales staff turnover.
Provide new material in a timely manner. In a recent study by Ring DNA, sales reps are not using nearly 90% of the content created by marketing. Provide the material in a way that is easy to share and update, such as QR codes, web links and videos, and then track its use to determine what works, what doesn’t, which sales reps use it and if it reflects in their sales numbers. At the same time, do everything you can to collect, delete, destroy and archive old material that is not relevant to your current branding message. Conflicting brands can stall growth and make your business look unorganized and inefficient.
What’s the bottom line? The most effective sales enablement solutions are successful because they align with the best marketing practices to create a bi-directional chain of communication that improves marketing ROI and sales productivity. What other sales enablement solutions do you use to bridge the gap?