A healthy sales and marketing partnership is strengthened with sales enablement goals and metrics that are transparent and aligned. Sales enablement done right improves sales knowledge, tracks effectiveness, and boosts productivity. Sales enablement done right also informs marketing about what’s working and what needs to be improved. Sales enablement is the last mile of a company’s go-to-market strategy bridging marketing planning and sales execution.
Companies today that are building high performing sales teams are realizing huge improvements in attainment, win rates, deal sizes, and time to ramp when marketers prioritize sales enablement. I’m inspired by many marketing leaders who regularly sit on calls with sales teams, build playbooks , crowdsource battle-cards reps love, direct new hire training, and run sales training calls. They are committed to the success of their sellers and their sellers know it.
How many hours a week do you think marketers spend on sales calls with customers? I posed this question on LinkedIn and anecdotally the numbers are low. I believe we need to refocus and reprioritize sales enablement for marketers and to do that requires education.
Here are some proven sales enablement guiding principles for marketers to embrace that will add more value to sales and your company’s bottom line. Embrace them and watch marketing become sales heroes.
Talk (And Listen) To Salespeople And Sales Leaders Often
Set up regular calls with salespeople and front line sales managers. Join sales manager weekly calls. Share your priorities and get feedback from sales teams and sales leaders. Don’t work in a vacuum. Find out what’s working and what they need and create materials that will move the revenue for your sales people. They should be perceived as the ultimate customer.
Sit In On Customer Sales Calls
As a general rule of thumb, marketers should try to spend at least one hour a day on calls with sales teams, talking to live customers. The benefits are huge. I’m always inspired by what customers say and also how salespeople position and sell value. There is so much to learn from customer sales calls. There should be targets and goals for the amount of hours a week marketers should spend on customer sales calls.
Crowdsource Sales Tools And Battle-cards
Set up a regular cadence to collect presentations and tools from winning deals including emails sent during the sales process. Get sales teams to share their winning presentations and have them share feedback on the tools and playbooks you’re building. Crowdsource competitive battle-cards too by having reps share the objections their hearing from their customers and prospects.
Create Just-In-Time Sales Playbooks
Create sales playbooks that map out buyer profiles, presentations, qualification criteria, discovery questions, compelling events, value drivers, common objections, and competitive traps. Turn content into playbooks that are dynamic, easily accessible and in context. Map the playbook content and tools to the sales process with clear to do’s. Learn more about what just-in-time Guided Selling looks like.
Make Content Short And Personable
Marketers are great at creating sales tools and a lot of them. Sometimes less is more. I’d like to encourage marketers to create less tools and create tools that are short and very personalized with video storytelling. Also answer the question what’s in it for me? (WIFM) for your reps too.
Map Tools And Training To The Sales Process
Create tools that are mapped to the sales process and sales methodology. As marketers, we should understand what the sales process is and be able to translate customers stories, product training, and corporate presentations to the buyer’s journey.
Measure The Effectiveness of Content and Tools Created
Know which tools are being used and how effective they are in helping salespeople close business. Track views, downloads and pipeline influence by asset. Share scorecards highlighting the return on all sales tools created.
Be Open To Constructive Feedback
Marketers should have think skin. Ask for feedback and be grateful. Be ready to rethink assumptions. The reality is salespeople and sales leaders are the feet on the street and are at the pulse of what’s working and what needs to be improved.
The best marketers understand these tips and embrace them. The best CMOs share these guiding principles with sales and holds their teams accountable. The fastest growing, high performing organizations align sales and marketing by creating shared sales enablement goals and metrics.