Marketing Enablement: What Is It?
Sales and marketing teams are often disjointed when they could be working together to bring in leads, develop customer relationships, and increase revenue. A sales enablement marketing strategy supported with the right technology can help both teams create, find, and share the marketing content needed to make the sale.
Let’s take a look at what sales enablement marketing is, the key elements of a strategy, and how to start building your own.
What is sales enablement marketing?
Sales enablement marketing refers to the process of providing sales teams with the marketing resources they need to efficiently drive revenue. These resources can include people, tools, and information that sales organizations use to conduct valuable conversations and support buyers throughout their customer journey.
This approach breaks down the barriers between the sales and marketing teams and helps everyone work together for the good of the company. Too often, teams are out of sync with each other and use different digital content and brand assets to sell the same products to customers. That causes confusion and unnecessary waste.
Introducing a sales enablement marketing strategy allows both teams to work together toward the same goals. And with the right technology, all your digital assets — like images, videos, audio files, and even 360º spin photography — are easily and securely accessible to anyone you choose around the world. Whether it’s giving both teams easy access to up-to-date materials or bringing your sales team’s valuable perspective into the content creation process, there are many benefits to bridging the gaps between sales and marketing.
Why use sales enablement marketing?
When you give your sales team easy access to the content they need for every step of the customer journey, everyone wins. Your marketing and sales teams work together more closely, the customer gets the right information at the right time, and your sales reps are able to close sales consistently.
Do you ever have to search through folder after folder to find the right white paper? Does everyone on your team have a slightly different version of the same file? Implementing a sales enablement marketing strategy helps eliminate common issues like these. With the right technology stack to support your strategy, you can attract more, win more, and keep more customers.
Another big reason to use sales enablement marketing is to protect your brand by making sure your teams are only using approved materials that are on-brand and up-to-date. You can also reduce friction by enabling the smooth distribution and sharing of information and resources from marketing to sales and beyond. To implement sales enablement marketing successfully, you need to start with a solid strategy that can evolve as you grow.
What are the elements of a sales enablement strategy?
Like any good strategy, you need to start with some key elements. Many of the pieces that make up a sales enablement marketing strategy are common in other types of strategies. One of the big differences here is that you truly need to budget time for employee onboarding and ongoing education. This ensures that your teams are working and learning together. Here are the main elements you need for a successful strategy.
- A clear mission statement for your strategy
- Defined and measurable goals with KPIs
- Central platform for sales enablement marketing
- Plan for sales and marketing technology (martech) integrations
- Time for employee onboarding and education
- Outlined roles and responsibilities for your sales and marketing teams
How to create a sales enablement marketing strategy
Outlining a strategy is easy, actually filling it in and putting it to use is the hard part. For example, what are some of the goals and KPIs that really matter in a sales enablement marketing strategy? How do you decide which subjective parts of the content are producing the objective results you’re seeing? These are ongoing questions for any organization, but here are three areas where you can dig in and get started.
1. Get on the same page
Your sales and marketing organizations are going to start with different pre-existing goals. Some of those goals and ways to reach them could clash without clear agreements and communication. For example, your sales team might want to bombard your email list to bluntly force their way to quarterly sales goals but your email marketing team might not be willing to compromise their audience's attention for short-term value.
When you create a sales enablement marketing strategy together you can smooth out areas of tension between teams. Setting targets together helps everyone understand each other’s goals and could alleviate tension that’s been there for years. If your marketing team understands which piece of information really closes a sale on a product instead of guessing on their own, both teams benefit.
2. Clarify your most effective messaging
Marketing and sales teams can clash on messaging. Your sales team might have a tried-and-true message that works over the phone or in person, but your marketing team might have a different approach. Working together to clarify these messages is a win-win for everyone.
One of the best ways to do this is to implement an A/B testing plan as part of your sales enablement marketing strategy. This gives you ways to test the intuition of both sides and to measure results directly. Your favorite sales sheet could help to sell products over the phone but might not do the trick in email. It’s vital to get data on everything from subject lines to file downloads so that everyone can agree on messaging that’s on brand and makes the sale.
3. Implement a system to qualify leads
Your customers are going to find you through many channels and it’s vital that marketing and sales are working together to advance their buying journey. Create a combined system to walk leads through their questions and research on the way to the sale. This system will be a combination of processes and the technology that powers them.
For example, you may need to integrate your customer relationship management (CRM) tool, digital asset management (DAM) platform, and product information management (PIM) systems. You may already use another piece of sales software like Showpad that needs a specific integration. Since qualifying leads is a complicated process you want to make sure all the technology you use to do it fits together as seamlessly as possible.
Build your marketing enablement system
Sales enablement marketing can help your teams work together more effectively to qualify new leads, build customer loyalty, and drive revenue. With the right technology and integrations, everyone will have a quick and reliable way to find and discover the most effective materials for a specific application, need, or buyer. All you have to do is draft your strategy and choose a central platform to support it.
Our combined DAM and PIM platform, Acquia DAM (Widen), empowers your sales and marketing teams with easy access to the right content at every step of the customer journey. When you’re ready, request, watch, or click through a demo to learn more about how Acquia DAM can help you execute and grow your sales enablement marketing strategy.
Note: This article was originally published on Widen.com.