When a company starts selling a product or service, they usually have lots of goals that relate to sales and revenue. However specific the goals, the selling tactics are often random and without a formalized strategy. The fast growing trend of sales enablement aligns people and software for a measured impact strategy. Formalizing your sales enablement strategy will lead to better buyer reactions, shorter cycles, bigger deal sizes, and improved win rates.
Sales and Marketing are Aligned for Effectiveness and Productivity
Sales and marketing professionals should be working hand-in-hand to get prospects filtered and moving through the cycle. Typically, the departments work separately with some communication, but formalizing your sales enablement strategy will require you to increase the collaboration and alignment of these teams. Your entire content process needs to be revitalized to focus on streamlining the attraction and motivation process.
Companies have reported generating 208% more revenue when their sales and marketing functions were aligned.
Your Team Will Have Better Tools
A recent study from CSO Insights found that salespeople are spending only a third (35.9%) of their working hours actually selling. But better sales aren’t going to happen with a sole focus on the amount of time spent selling. You don’t just need more calls—you need great calls. In order to help them spend less time on other tasks while increasing effectiveness, your sales and marketing teams are going to have to work together for better content. This sales enablement strategy has to become a formal process that the company uses at every turn.
Most companies have both marketing and sales creating content for the company. This can lead to a lot of content that is utilized for varying purposes. When a sales enablement strategy is in place, it should define the purpose of the content, what goals it will to meet and who will be creating it. A content strategy is going to increase your win rate because it will drive performance.
You Can Get Ahead of the Competition by Formalizing Your Sales Enablement
It doesn’t matter if your company is an enterprise corporation or a small start-up. Sometimes your sales teams will be big groups that have to work together and some companies have one person running both sales and marketing. Yet, the sales enablement process isn’t being formalized by every company—and it shows. According to the CSO Insights study:
- 39.5% of companies have an informal sales enablement vision
- 35.7% of companies have a formal sales enablement vision
- 15.3% of companies have a formal sales enablement charter (covering services, company vision, a road map and success metrics)
Yet those same companies found a clear distinction of increased success when they were following a formal sales enablement process with a vision or even a defined charter, versus having no sales enablement approach or an informal one. According to the reported results, companies with a formalized sales enablement strategy were 16.6% more effective at sales initiatives than those companies with an informal sales enablement approach.
Ensure All of Your Tools are Being Used
When the sales enablement strategy is formalized in your company, you know everyone is on the same page regarding your vision, goals, tools and process. As you integrate new technologies into your company, you won’t have to worry about struggling against existing sales habits. The training and coaching that will be a part of formal sales enablement strategy is going to push your sales team to think outside the box and work with the best tools your company has.
Prioritizing Your Sales Initiatives
Most companies have many goals, and defining those goals with metrics to measure success are an important part of increasing effectiveness. However, enablement will cause you to have multiple goals that are often in competition. Even though acquisition might be the most expensive way to increase your revenue, your enablement goals might be set on increasing acquisition of new accounts as well as reducing sales costs. Enablement goals should be custom-fit to your company and specific to improving your processes for better results in an ever-changing environment. To be truly effective, this is going to have to be a formal process that is sold internally and defined clearly.
LinkedIn found that the biggest challenges companies face when trying to align sales and marketing is a lack of accurate data on prospects, a lack of communication and a misalignment of metrics. If marketing is focused on generating and nurturing leads through content, they are often ignoring the part sales can play in nurturing relationships. The sales team is worried about streamlining the process for sales qualified leads and closing the deal. They can get too focused on pipelines while the marketing team is more concerned with funnels. At the end of the day, the focus is incredibly similar, but not formally aligned. This leads to ineffective teams that aren’t working together for a better impact.
The empowered buyer is forcing companies to reconsider their strategies when it comes to attraction, selling, and retention. Today’s companies should embrace a formal sales enablement strategy that restructures their departments to align with company-wide goals and metrics if they want to compete.