Table of Contents
What is sales enablement?
Sales enablement is a strategic initiative that aims to equip sales teams with the right processes, content and tools to meet business goals.
Strengthening the partnership between marketing and sales teams empowers businesses to attract, engage and win over prospects more effectively. You will know your sales enablement strategy is working if revenue is increasing, average deal size is higher, and sales cycles are shorter.
Key challenges in sales enablement
Siloed leadership and team structure lead to misunderstandings and lack of a holistic strategy. For example, marketing may be using gated content on social media to attract upper funnel leads, which sales teams haven’t been trained to nurture appropriately. This often results in the sales rep offering a demo too soon and scaring off qualified prospects.
Separate folders and files make it hard for sales and marketing teams to create, share and distribute content. This often leads to sales “doing their thing” and using outdated marketing material or creating their own without the marketing team’s knowledge.
Lack of high-quality, relevant content. 90% of B2B sellers don’t use sales material because it is irrelevant, outdated and difficult to customize, according to Forrester.
How to create an effective sales enablement strategy
As with any strategic initiative, sales enablement strategy starts with setting clear objectives and measurable goals.
Getting two separate organizations to work together is complex, so planning and alignment from the very beginning are crucial. Senior leaders in the marketing and sales organization have a particularly important role to play and should lead by example to drive inclusion and collaboration.
How marketing leaders are winning at sales enablement
We spoke to senior marketers to understand how they are successfully driving sales enablement in their organizations.
What are the elements of a sales enablement strategy?
A sales enablement strategy involves three key elements:
No matter if you have the time and resources to elaborate your strategy in detail or you are working in a smaller business with a more hands-on approach: For a sales enablement strategy to work, you need to define the processes, the content and decide on the tools you want to use for executing the strategy.
Defining sales enablement processes
Sales and marketing teams have traditionally worked in silos and usually have very different mentalities, habits and approaches.
Furthermore, business processes such as sharing product information, scoring leads and reaching out to buyers are often unofficial and undocumented. In order to work together effectively, sales and marketing teams should both review their processes with an open mind, be flexible about changing how they collaborate and map out a workflow that makes sense for both sides.
What is sales enablement content and why is it important?
Traditionally, the marketing team owns the content marketing strategy. However, as buying cycles are becoming increasingly complex and more stakeholders are involved in purchase decisions, it is crucial to leverage valuable content at every stage of the buyer journey. The “old way” of using gated content to attract prospects before handing the leads off to the sales team is no longer considered a best practice. Content designed specifically for the conversion and closing stages of the sales funnel is key to converting leads into customers.
Sales enablement content is important because it plays a fundamental role in winning new business. When sales reps have access to buyer-centric content tailored to each stage of the customer journey, they are much more likely to engage leads effectively and hit their sales quota. If sales reps don’t have access to the right content, leads cannot be nurtured properly.
Therefore, sales and marketing teams must work together to build out relevant buyer personas and craft content designed to answer the questions and pain-points experienced by customers throughout the funnel.
What kind of content do sales teams need?
Sales teams can benefit from a variety of content, including:
- Battle cards
- Email sequences
- Case studies
- Customer testimonials
- Blog posts
- White papers and guides
- Interactive tools such as assessments, quizzes and ROI calculators
Top 4 sales enablement tools
Hubspot is a comprehensive CRM platform which we use here at CELUM. Marketers can use the marketing hub to create landing pages, lead forms and email campaigns, while the sales hub contains a suite of sales tools designed to boost productivity, shorten deal cycles and improve close rates. The basic version is free.
Showpad helps you to understand how salespeople and prospects interact with content. You can use content usage analytics to identify how top performers are using content, onboard new reps faster and make smart decisions about what kind of content to create, based on usage and revenue data.
How a DAM solution can help drive your sales enablement strategy
A Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution like CELUM enables marketing and sales teams to locate the files they need and share content without endless back-and-forth via email.
Sales reps spend on average 440 hours per year searching for the right content, probably because lots of it is scattered around various files and hard drives. A centralized content hub means all of your content is in one place. This is not only more efficient; the version control also helps ensure consistent messaging across touchpoints. That way, everyone is using the correct, most up-to-date version of say, the brand logo, rather than just pulling the old one from Google Images because they can’t find it on their hard-drive (true story, this actually happens).
Need a hand with your sales enablement strategy?
Businesses whose sales and marketing teams are aligned achieve 27% faster three-year profit growth, close 38% more deals and generate 208% more marketing revenue according to Hubspot. Learn how CELUM ContentHub can help scale your sales enablement initiatives and finally bridge the content gap between marketing and sales.