How to create a winning Sales Enablement Strategy 

Are your marketing and sales efforts in sync?  Sales and marketing misalignment costs businesses $1 trillion each year in decreased sales productivity and wasted marketing efforts. According to Forrester, businesses with a sales enablement strategy are more likely to be successful. Learn how marketers can become best friends with their sales teams to break down silos and win new business.

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 This often leads to sales “doing their own thing” and using outdated marketing material or creating their own without the marketing team’s knowledge.

Lack of high-quality, relevant content. 90% of B2B sellers don’t use sales material because it is irrelevant, outdated and difficult to customize, according to Forrester.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.

Have your marketing managers join sales calls to understand customer wishes and pain-points. Invite sales managers to participate in creative brainstorms. Then, turn those insights into powerful content and strategies that add value in the most crucial parts of the funnel for your organization. Opening doors to both perspectives creates an environment of continuous learning and cooperation.

Paula Monteiro

Head of Marketing, Wikitude

To really strengthen a partnership between two teams, marketing shouldn’t simply stop at getting people to the website. Supply your sales team with extra materials so they can have a better conversation with potential clients. What works best are one-page flyers that condense case studies, information on your technology and the benefits.

Joy Corkery

Content Marketing Lead, Latana

Marketing and sales have to go hand in hand. It’s a healthy relationship in the company. My marketing activities are influenced by the sales team’s goals. I attend demo calls our sales team has with leads. I learn more and more about our product and offerings and get insights on questions that are being asked, which I later use as content for our website and blogs.

Elad Scharler-Plotnik

Head of Marketing, Text United

The future of sales and marketing requires the seamless integration of ‘art’ (creative, brand, culture) and ‘science’ (data & media). Sales and marketing teams must come together as one unit to make a difference in their industry. It’s the best way to understand the buyer persona and target ideal customers, which will result in better lead conversion and revenue generation.

Arslan Ashraf

Co-Founder & Marketing Expert, Data BI

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
  • Videos
  • Email sequences
  • Case studies
  • Customer testimonials
  • Blog posts
  • White papers and guides
  • Interactive tools such as assessments, quizzes and ROI calculators

Top 5 sales enablement tools

Sales enablement tools are platforms and applications designed to make sales teams’ lives easier and improve collaboration between sales and marketing. The right tools will help remove possible sources of friction, smooth over roadblocks in communications and expedite decision-making processes.

HubSpot

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

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.

SaleSphere

SaleSphere is an integrated sales enablement platform you can use to design tailored customer experiences. Sales reps can create dynamic presentations to win over prospects and there is a special collaboration function for marketing and sales teams.

The tool becomes especially powerful if you have all your marketing material immediately accessible. The CELUM SaleSphere Connector provides precisely that service, making it easy to combine sales enablement with digital asset management.

Vidyard

Vidyard makes it easy to create, edit, and share stunning videos with prospects. Many buyers today prefer to watch videos rather than consume text-based content. Sales reps can use the powerful, built-in analytics features to identify how prospects consumed video content, such as demos, and reach out to them accordingly.

ContentHub

Need something even more customized? HORSCH, the market leader for agricultural technology, created their very own content hub: the native Horsch Celum App. The goal was to make it easier for their sales teams to access product images, videos and brochures – using any device and even while on business travel to locations without a steady Internet connection.

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.