7 Sales Enablement Tips
Sales Enablement is een onmisbaar onderdeel van een modern sales proces. Meer en meer klanten zien de voordelen van een optimale samenwerking tussen marketing en sales in hun streven om optimaal te voorzien in de behoeftes van hun klanten. In dit blog 7 tips om nog meer voordeel te halen uit sales enablement.
A few years ago, nobody had heard the term “sales enablement” and almost nobody had ‘sales enablement’ as a job title. Today, a cursory glance at Linkedin shows that there are now over 100,000 people who are in “sales enablement.” Sales enablement is serious business: data from SiriusDecisions points to a 69% increase in spending in this area in the past two years. Why? Because effective sales enablement strategy has a major impact on revenue.
The Pedowitz Group defines ‘sales enablement’ as “aligning marketing processes and goals, and then arming sales with tools to improve sales execution and drive revenue.” It’s an increasingly important practice for organizations that are finding their sales teams falling at a variety of hurdles: from poor lead qualification processes to being unable to find the right marketing content to send to a prospect.
Whilst the complexity of the sales process gives rise to myriad problems, here are seven steps you can take right now to better align Marketing and Sales in your organization:
Seven steps to better sales enablement
1. Define your terms
Having a formal definition of a qualified lead is essential for effective lead-to-opportunity conversions in the funnel. Incredibly, only 50% of companies have a formal definition of a qualified lead according to CSO Insights’ 2014 Sales Performance Optimization Study. It’s crucial that this is rectified quickly otherwise the lead flow passed from sales development reps to quota-carrying sales reps will either be too fast, too slow or non-existent!
As a SaaS sales intelligence tool for media, telco and financial services, our definition of a qualified lead is regularly reviewed and refined as we encounter different roles and responsibilities in these sectors. In each case, we’ve found that arriving at a definition requires getting our sales and marketing teams talking to one another, sharing feedback and coming to a consensus.
2. Focus on the lead handoff point
Marketing often builds up a context of each individual prospect through marketing automation, including the content they have read and should probably read in the future. Unfortunately, Sales receives that lead and usually starts from a zero base, unable to build on the pre-existing context as it is lost or diminished in the lead handover process.
Laura Ramos of Forrester has been bullish on the importance of Marketing stepping up and making sure that it is providing a “shared customer context” with colleagues in Sales. The nexus of this is at lead handoff: marketers need to make sure that they are not just generating a lead but also passing on all lead information so that each sales rep is fully empowered with as much lead context as possible.
3. Measure, feedback, iterate, repeat
Once a good handover process has been established, a feedback loop must be put in place. This should be a quick and robust process for capturing and actioning on feedback from the sales team. Since the sales team are closest to customers and prospects, they have valuable insight that needs to be extracted and used by marketing and demand generation.
When Sales reject a lead make sure that they input the reason for rejection into the CRM system so that marketing can understand how best to nurture that lead. In our Salesforce dashboard, we have several preset labels (‘wrong vertical’, ‘wrong job title’, ‘too small’, etc) that allow our reps to feedback why they’ve rejected a lead that has been passed through. By moving away from a fire-and-forget mode, marketers can ensure they take on-board feedback about lead quality, consistency, and message, in a timely way.
4. Provide more lead data, not just more leads
According to CSO Insights, 42% of sales reps feel they do not have the right information before making a sales call, whilst nearly half of companies report that their sales reps need help figuring out which accounts to prioritize. Despite sales reps having access to contact names, firmographic details, product purchase history and — in some cases — an engagement score based on scored interactions by a marketing automation platform, they are still struggling.
We’ve found that tracking our prospects’ content consumption is a really useful way to work out what they’re interested in and their likely pain-points. Once our sales reps have this interest data, they are in an advantageous position to have an engaging phone call with new leads — rather than trying to make conversation based on just a name and an engagement score.
5. Make it easier for Sales to find and access marketing content
At Corporate Visions’ Conversations That Win summit in London, their latest research showed that salespeople spend an average of 40hrs a month looking for marketing content or creating their own when they can’t find it. This chimes with research by Kapost that suggested that 65% of sales reps say they can’t find content to send to prospects, representing the most common complaint cited by sales teams.
To combat this, our sales team use idio for Salesforce which learns from buyer reading patterns and suggests to the rep which piece of content they should send to each of their leads. This has been a boon for our sales team who often find themselves in the middle of an ever-expanding ecosystem of marketing content and a swathe of prospects whose interests are changing all the time.
6. Incentivize and reward better behavior
A vital piece of the puzzle is to ensure that team have compensation plans that rewards improved lead handover process, and the positive activity that supports it. Alongside other softer methods, a financial incentive alway goes a long way This is not something that should just be limited to Sales: increasingly, marketing teams are measured on revenue targets too. So ensuring they have a financial motivation that goes beyond the Marketing Qualified Lead is important to ensure they are as helpful as possible to Sales in closing deals.
7. Share dashboards
We have integrated Salesforce with Pardot which means it’s now possible to track a lead all the way from the top of the funnel to a closed sale. Dashboards deliver a single, clear way to track the entire buying process, based on real-time data. With a great dashboard, it’s easy for sales and marketing to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Since Marketing and Sales share the same dashboard, Marketing is able to take the feedback and optimize against it. More importantly, it enables both Sales and Marketing to identify where there are bottlenecks or a breakpoint in the funnel — something that would have taken longer to identify if both departments had stayed siloed in their respective CRM and marketing automation technology.
Sales enablement is a continuous process and one that requires every person involved revenue generation to collaborate. Fortunately, with a commitment to sharing knowledge, dashboards and targets, both Sales and Marketing teams can find themselves better aligned and, in turn, better enabled.