From a brand and marketing perspective, almost all time is spent on what we’ve collectively come to refer to as the top and the middle of the funnel. We differentiate our story, create great content, use marketing automation like a ninja, collect marketing qualified leads that hopefully become sales qualified leads. Once that happens, it’s turned over to sales and they do their magic.
While having a process is of course very good, the thinking is of how this one works is terribly flawed.
The problem is the way marketing views the role of the sales team. Traditionally, once the ball goes into their court, marketing just goes back on doing what it does, focusing on the top of the funnel.
But this is a new era of sales and marketing. The role of marketing has never been more data and metrics driven. And the focus has shifted to what marketing sees that it has control over: generating leads.
As a result of this, marketing’s role is getting more diminished and the CMO seat at the big table that was hard fought for over the last decade is changing. The reason is that now a direct link to revenue generation from marketing isn’t a fuzzy line anymore—it’s now thoroughly expected.
But how can marketing really have a direct line to revenue, isn’t that sale’s job?
Enter Sales Enablement.
You have probably heard the term but might be a little unsure what it actually means. It means literally what it says—the process of enabling sales to perform better and at its peak.
But here’s the thing, don’t make the mistake of applying the word “sales” to a person or department. Instead, think of sales as a critical function, and you’ll start to see how it’s not just the territory of the sales team, but rather the entire company, especially marketing.
So how can marketing make a bigger impact on revenue?
Enabling your sales team with the right tools
Start by helping the folks on the front line tell a better story that is light years ahead of the competition.
Your marketing team no doubt spends a lot of time and resources creating content. But how do you really know what content is working and what’s not?
And are the sales folks using the content, or is it all “stuck in the upper half of the funnel?’
Are click throughs and downloads really the best measure for content? That only tells you half the story, what matters most is if your visitors are actually consuming the content and then acting upon it.
To make that a reality, new technology plays a key role. Sales enablement platforms take all the content your marketing team has produced and puts it in the hands of your sales people in a way that is designed for the buyer, not the seller.
Imagine if your sales person only had a few minutes of a prospective buyer’s time. What would they show them? A bastardized PowerPoint that they put together the night before that goes way off brand and might not even have the most up to date content anyway? And if you only have a few minutes anyway, are you going to waste that time forcing them through the linear structure of a slide deck that might not even be hitting their pain points?
A best-in-class sales enablement platform allows your sales team to do this;
- Put all of your content into a user-focused digital environment, such as a tablet or smart phone
- Structure content dynamically in a way that works best for your customers—by persona, by division, by solutions, etc.
- If the sales person quickly discovers that the buyer is having a specific issue she needs to address, he can go straight to that solution instead of trying to find where that is in their outdated PowerPoint, making for a much richer conversation
- Give marketing a clear window into the ROI of their content—which content is actually being consumed and passed around within a prospective ecosphere. If some content just isn’t being consumed, it can be removed and replaced with the type of content that is resonating more.
- Create custom apps that live within the sales enablement platform that allow sales to visually show how the brand’s services or products will provide specific solutions. Try doing that in PowerPoint.
- Cloud-based sales enablement platforms allows the files to always be up-to-date with every sales person using the same one—and all controlled by marketing. The search and requests for decks and content are over.
Sales enablement platforms are the missing link that enables marketing to put the right stories and content in the hands of sales that can be passed directly to the eyes and ears of prospects. There are so many ways to use a platform like this—it will be a game changer for the companies that do it right.
Why all the hype about sales enablement, what happened to marketing automation?
After being submerged in marketing automation for the last decade we are all feeling the suffocation of being “over-contented” online. Sales enablement platforms bring your content directly to your prospects via the sales team.
To demonstrate how impactful we believe this will be on brands, Brandigo has become a certified partner of Showpad, which is in our opinion the best sales enablement platform available (and we did deep-dive comparison research into all of them). We will be helping clients make the leap from differentiating their brand story to getting that story in the hands of sales in ways that have never been done before—a terrific competitive advantage that will have a direct impact on revenue creation for brands.
In coming posts, we will be providing examples of how sales enablement can do just that. In the meantime, if you’d like to have a conversation about how sales enablement could help solve this challenge for you, contact us by filling out the form below.