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Megan Prangley
by Megan Prangley
on December 27, 2016

 

Sales enablement, it sounds self-explanatory, but if it is then why do so many businesses struggle with achieving it? Sales departments in every business no matter the size could benefit from a thoughtfully crafted and executed sales enablement strategy because it provides a repeatable method to reach sales quotas.

Before you can reap the rewards of sales enablement, it's important to clear away the digital clutter, gaining a clear understanding of what it actually is. Many articles are floating around online that are long, analytical, and dry about sales enablement -- so let's cut right to the chase!

Sales Enablement in a Nutshell

Sales enablement marries the strategic, read marketing, side of your business with the sales department, ensuring your salespeople are set up for success. This process places sales in front of clients who are nurtured and ready to make a buying decision. Remember, 50% of your leads are not ready to buy, which means they need nurturing before they move on to the sales team. 

There are many different perspectives and avenues to enable sales depending on the particular industry, but inbound marketing is one effective tool to foster sales enablement in nearly every business including distributor sales, tech companies, small businesses, etc.

Inbound Marketing & Sales Enablement

Inbound marketing depends on premium content that addresses each one of your unique buyer personas in every stage of the buyer's journey. With a well-executed inbound strategy, you're already setting your team up for sales success. Your website and content should create a clear path from awareness to decision stage for each persona you've created. Content that educates on solutions and products will help nurture leads until they're ready to talk to your sales team. Does it feel like your sales and marketing departments are operating in two different worlds sometimes? Communication between these moving pieces is critical for sales enablement success through inbound. 

It's not just about content; you can also support sales teams by initiatives like carefully tracking metrics to boost sales morale, having senior sales reps. coach new hires, and by developing a thorough sales strategy that utilizes your content. While inbound content is important, so is the internal support the sales team receives. Even if your inbound content is strong, your sales team will fail if they don't know how to use it properly to address the buyer's needs.    

Are you on the Right Track to Sales Enablement? 

From a marketer's perspective, you should map your content and assets to ensure every stage of the buyer's journey has encompassing, quality content to achieve sales enablement. From a sales perspective, track how long it takes sales reps. to make their monthly goals, the average sales cycle length, standard deal size, customer buying cycle length, etc. For comparison purposes, HubSpot identifies a sales enablement strategy as "winning" if new reps can make their sales quotas within three months and if your success rate is 25%. Take accurate and careful benchmark data to see how your sales enablement efforts improve your numbers over time.

Sales enablement doesn't have to be elusive. With strategic inbound marketing and efficient internal communication, your sales team can reach their numbers. Remember, as a marketer, it's up to you to provide quality content for your sales team to be effective. If your content isn't nurturing leads, or if your sales team doesn't know how to leverage your assets then sales enablement will be harder to reach. There should be no separation between your marketing and sales teams when they're working towards sales enablement. 
 

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