Aligning sales and marketing to create sales enablement strategy.
With the shift in buyer behaviour and the power of the internet. Buyers seek out solutions to their problems in many different ways. Attracting attention to your products or services is known as inbound marketing. In theory everything we could ever want to know about any product now lives on the internet, and buyers can fully research products without ever having to talk to sales. Before we assume that this means the world no longer needs sales people, a person searching for a solution is only a prospect, in a lot of cases it still takes a person to person relationship to convert a lead to a customer.
Inbound is about creating marketing and sales that people love by providing helpful content and resources that attract people to you. An inbound lead is a buyer who is showing an active interest in your product or service. We all love inbound leads, it's always easier to do business when someone comes to you, and wants to do business with you. Working with people who are more likely to buy, who are as interested in talking to me as I am to them. Unfortunately, this is only the case when your marketing is aligned with your sales. If your marketing is designed to generate leads for sales, then sales needs to be involved in the creation of marketing content.
Aligning sales and marketing to reach revenue goals.
The facts are sales and marketing are very different parts of your organization. In most circumstances they operate independently of one another. With 70% of buying decisions being made without talking to sales, the fact is marketing controls your relationship with your leads, yet sales is held accountable for closing deals and customer satisfaction. By aligning marketing goals and sales goals into a common funnel of revenue goals, you will create a more consistent message in your marketing.
Why is a consistent message important?
Create a consistent message between what the buyers pre-meeting research discovers, and the sales reps message. Any inconsistency will cause pause, pause creates doubt, doubt kills deals. You want to ensure that the message your marketing team is putting out to prospects and nurtured leads is aligned with the sale process. This is where sales enablement comes into effect. Sales enablement is the processes, content, and technology that empower sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity.
Developing a sales enablement strategy
A sales enablement strategy consists of three things:
- A clear goal - The goal of a sales enablement strategy should be based on sales results, rather than traditional marketing metrics. A shared revenue goal is the most important piece of the strategy. Marketing and sales have to be aligned around a single revenue goal.
- A target buyer - The best way to enable your sales team to sell more efficiently is to have them focus on the people most likely to buy from them. You have to help your sales team get focused on the right people. Ultimately the time spent with people who are never going to buy is wasted.
- A content strategy - In too many organizations content is something that Marketing creates, without the help or input from any other departments. Sales people are important to content creation because they face questions everyday. The answer to those questions makes for great content. remember 70% of buyer research is done before talking to sales, your content should answer the questions your sales team regularly faces.
Once you have these three things in place you will be able to build processes on top of them.