We know that one of the biggest challenges facing business leaders today is getting their sales and marketing teams to work together. The functions of selling through a channel further hinder many sales enablement efforts.When your sales and marketing teams don't work together, a number of things can happen, such as:
- You won't know where your advertising dollars are going
- Neither team will have clear goals
- Neither team will know how to improve
And, if neither team improves, your business doesn't grow. Closing the loop between internal sales, indirect sales, and marketing teams means the ability to market more effectively to today's modern buyer, who is looking more and more often to make purchase like a B2C customer.
To close this loop, you need to connect these teams. This is where sales enablement and channel enablement comes in.
What is Sales and Channel Enablement?
Sales enablement services connect your sales and marketing teams. They ensure your marketing efforts are yielding the right kinds of leads and that your sales team has the tools to turn those leads into customers - and fast. Sales enablement helps to close the loop between sales and marketing, which just means that each team knows what the other is doing, and that one team is using data from the other to do their job better.
Channel enablement is similar in concept to sales enablement, but its focus is on improving the level of expertise and buy-in from your partner's indirect sales individuals to then pitch your brand's offers. In effect, channel enablement is sales enablement, but for your partner's sales teams rather than your own.
Let's focus on the ways sales enablement efforts can help pull marketing and sales teams together for a more effective sales process.
The Key Elements
The key elements to a sales enablement strategy that will help your teams work together and close the loop are:
A Clearly Defined Goal:
If you have a sales vision, define it. But be aware that business goals and sales visions are two different things. This is the point where you figure out what you want so you can begin to work toward it. Dream big, but keep it attainable: how does a new office sound? Or an espresso machine for the break room? Then, you can work backwards to determine revenue goals, and how many new sales and opportunities you'll need to get there.
A Target Prospect:
Who exactly are you targeting? This is where you buyer persona comes in. Your buyer personas should be agreed upon by both sales and marketing and should be extremely detailed. This ensure that both teams have a clear vision of your idea customer and can pinpoint the marketing and sales strategies that will best catch their attention.
A Content Plan:
Content tells your story and customers relate to stories. The marketing team creates the content that will answer customers questions and meet customer needs through every stage of the buyer's journey. The sales team uses this content to close sales. Your content plan is what will get visitors to your page, and BOTH teams need one.
The information gathered in your closed loop can fill these elements, help you decide what kind of content to create and what types of visitors to target.
A large part of this developmental portion of sales enablement is answering key questions like:
- ⋅What is a Marketing Qualified Lead for your business?
- ⋅What is a Sales Qualified lead?
Because while sales and marketing should be working together, success looks different for each team. When you define success for each team, they can work together to achieve it.
To gather the information you need to ensure your sales and marketing teams are working together, you need the right tools. To find these tools, you can turn to marketing automation programs like HubSpot.
Growth-based initiatives like aligning your marketing and sales help to transition contacts from marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads, sales qualified leads to opportunities, and opportunities to new business. Then, you can take things a step further by taking those customers and ensuring they are satisfied with your customer experience process. That, in turn, makes them your best brand advocates and referral source for new business.
When your teams are using a centralized platform to track contacts, respond to inquiries, and score leads, it's even easier to tie sales revenue to marketing activities. Using this information you can learn:
- Where your customers are coming from (email, social media, websites)
- What they're up to (which sections they're reading on your website)
- Their info (how you can reach back out to them and make contact)
- What you need to close (what their biggest pain point is)
By analyzing this data, your marketing teams can find out which channels need work or where they should be focusing their efforts, and sales can see which questions to answer in order to close a sale. With these tools combined, each team is sharing the information that will help the other succeed.
If you want to learn more about closing the loop between marketing and sales, click below to schedule a free growth assessment with one of our Business Growth Consultants. It won't cost you a thing and will provide you with practical suggestions on how you can accomplish your growth initiatives.