Imagine trying to score a goal without a soccer ball. Baking a cake without a recipe. NASCAR racing without a pit crew. Trying to convert a website prospect without knowing who they are or what they need. Sales enablement won’t result in a delicious cake, but it can transform your conversion process and delight your customers in the meantime.
Sales enablement is complicated to define — five different people might give you five different definitions. The Magneti team follows the definition below:
Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing communication between sales and marketing to ensure effective engagements with leads and customers. Through processes, technology and content, organizations can better engage prospects to generate qualified leads.
Connecting marketing and sales efforts, as you may know, can be a difficult process. The marketing and sales sides of your business are two halves of the same team. In order to drive results, they both need to speak the same language and have the same organizational goals. A strong sales enablement strategy is crucial no matter the scale of your business.
Lock your marketing, sales, operations and customer service teams in a room until they come up with a process for how to manage leads. You think we’re kidding, but we’re not. Collaboration is key, even if you have to imprison your team in a conference room for two hours!
It’s important that the sales team understands what the marketing teams’ goals are, and vice versa. Taking time to deep dive into each other’s worlds will help the marketing team develop stronger campaigns to help the sales team meet their goals. Defining the process between sales and marketing includes several things (mentioned below), but understanding the lead nurturing and scoring process is a big part, especially for the marketing team.
As you know, not all leads are created equal. All teams should understand lead scoring — a system to determine which prospects are ready to convert, which need further nurturing, and which are unlikely to buy. From there, establish a process for managing leads that are ‘hot’ and leads that are ‘not’.
How to define this process is up to you, but all teams should at least agree on:
- Shared goals for number of leads
- What is a qualified lead and how does marketing deliver that lead to sales
- Target audiences and the marketing team’s plan to nurture that audience
- A content management system (CMS) platform and customer relationship management (CRM) platform
- Clear expectations for how each team uses the CMS and CRM
- Define service level agreements (SLA)
- Regular reporting and consistent communication (there is no such thing as “under communication”)
All teams should be reliable and work together to accomplish mutual objectives to ensure effectiveness and efficiency.
In order to get your process up and running, you need to establish a system that will help you nurture leads by providing the appropriate information and answers prospects need for every stage of their buying process. Your teams have already agreed on what tools to use — they just need to commit to using them every single day to capture and manage leads and customers.
The best platforms are easy to use and will include the follow inbound marketing integrations:
- Content creation and promotion (social media, blogs)
- Lead conversion (eBooks, landing pages, forms and call-to-action tools)
- Lead nurturing (personalized content)
- Marketing automation (email marketing, list segmentation, lead scoring, lead management)
- CRM integration (content management system)
There are a lot of tools that can help you with your processes. Here at Magneti, we use HubSpot, which has the best marketing automation and closed-loop analytics we’ve seen. The platform is easy to use, and is not only good for our clients, but HubSpot also works with us to help make us a better agency. Some other CMS and CRM tools include MailChimp, Salesforce Pardot, Marketo and Constant Contact.
A streamlined sales enablement process allows marketing teams to create targeted content and marketing campaigns to support sales reps. To do this, you need to create specific content to help the sales team serve their target audience — creating a personalized experience for the prospect and client.
The sales team will use the marketing collateral to have helpful conversations with the client based on their needs, establishing a trustworthy relationship, and ultimately leading to a successful conversion for your company. The marketing team should provide the following content for both marketing campaigns and the sales team:
- Blog posts: focused on frequently asked customer questions
- Case studies: references for the sales team to share with prospects
- One-pagers: prospects can see an overview of the solution your brand offers to their problem
- Sales scripts: prepares sales reps for their initial meeting with a client — a list of talking points ensure that they hit the most important points during a client call
- Email templates: availabler every type of customer or prospect interaction to guarantee a timely and consistent response
The sales team needs to be equipped with the proper information to understand the customer and create a personalized experience. Make sure up-to-date content is easily available and maintain open communication. By connecting sales teams to the most relevant content and optimizing for each opportunity, sales effectiveness can be transformed.
So, who is responsible for converting the website visitor into a customer? The marketing team? The sales team? The answer is both. Marketing and sales partner to create one unified team providing a relevant, personal and delightful experience for each prospect — from start to finish.
Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions on how to implement a sales enablement strategy, or strengthen the strategy that your company already has in place!