Sales enablement is the process of providing sales teams with the right content, knowledge, and skills for every buyer interaction. However, just because it’s a “sales” tool that doesn’t mean that it’s a sales-only tool. Today we’re exploring why sales enablement is an important tool for marketing, and how they can utilize it to help create and deliver coordinated messages throughout the buyer’s journey.
By now we’ve all heard about the importance of improved sales and marketing alignment, and the need for a comprehensive view of the buyer decision journey, these are just a few of the things that can be accomplished with the help of a complete sales enablement platform.
Marketing teams are the primary producers of digital content for sales professionals,
Content marketing is a dominant form of marketing with 89% of B2B marketers indicating organizational adoption in the latest Content Marketing Institute Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report (CMI, 2017). Additionally, content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates, on average, three times as many leads (CMI, 2016).
Not including staff, the average marketing budget spent on digital content now rests at 29% and 85% of digital sales content is created by the marketing team (CMI, 2017).
Unfortunately, that content tends to miss the mark on usefulness for sales,
75% of sales professionals report that they ‘occasionally’ or ‘never’ get what they need from marketing, and 78% of sales leaders have reported that their sales teams are creating their own sales presentation materials (Demand Metric, 2015).
Specifically, they feel that the digital content created for them by marketing is…
- Too generic (67%)
- Not relevant to their buyers (40%)
- Out of date (20%)
- (Firebrick Consulting)
Or worse, the content never ends up making it to the sales team at all,
Only 9% of organizations are using a dedicated content management system to distribute content to their sales professionals, and the majority of content distribution methods used are drastically lacking neccessary content accessibility and insights.
Here’s a breakdown of popular digital content management methods
- 22% - A cloud storage system (Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, etc.)
- 22% - Email attachments
- 18% - CRM or Sales Force Automation
- 17% - An Intranet
- 9% - Personal hard drive
- (5 Digital Content Management Lessons from Netflix)
All of these platforms lack the organization and accessibility needed for a great content management platform.
The icing on the cake - many marketers aren’t sure what content they should be creating,
Though most use marketing automation for their digital content, 17% stated they had no content effectiveness measurements, and 48% felt they only made basic use of their content effectiveness measurements (Demand Metric, 2015).
How Does Sales Enablement
1. It improves sales and marketing alignment
The majority of sales and marketing teams operate in silos, sending content and leads back and forth behind a curtain of obscurity and blaming the other for their problems. Sales and marketing alignment is achieved by lifting that curtain and pushing sales level insight to the marketing team.
Why? Right now less than 12% of sales teams are included by marketing in the digital content creation process, even though sales are the ones using the content and know first-hand what their buyers need.
It can be tough to just ask your teams to sit down and collaborate, but with the help of a sales enablement platform you can push content data for shared insights.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “My marketing automation system gives me plenty of data, what difference does sales enablement offer?” And that's a fair questions, the difference is with a marketing automation approach marketers have no idea how effective their content is for closing, nor do they know the quality of the leads being generated. They become highly tuned engines for lead generation, but not closing.
Here’s what it the digital content process looks like with the aid of a sales enablement platform.
[Image Source: Skura]
And here’s what it delivers:
Believe Content is Effective For:
With Sales Consumption Insight
With NO Sales Consumption Insight
2. It supports effective content distribution
The majority of sellers are struggling with ineffective digital content management, it’s difficult for them to find the right content and they have no clear idea about when to use content. Sales enablement offers a content management solution that allows for tailored content experiences, and content is organized to help sales professionals deliver the right assets at the right time.
Sales enablement allows marketers to distribute content to users all over world, from one convenient platform. It streamlines content distribution and automatically updates all assets so that sales professionals no longer have to fear that they’re using out dated pieces. Additionally, marketers can also benefit from unique content controls such as expiry dates and internal-use only flags, preventing common content problems before they can happen.
3. It creates actionable marketing insights
With marketers creating the majority of digital content, few analyzing data, and many sellers creating their own content out of frustration, the current state of communications are neither integrated nor coordinated.
Sales enablement helps marketers by providing them with access to data that can improve content quality and effectiveness.
Sales enablement provides marketers with:
- 84% improved awareness of the frequency of content use by others;
- 97% improved awareness of who accessed which content, where, when, and how;
- 186% improvement in actionable 360 degree view of the customer
- (Aberdeen, 2015).
It can be frustrating to be a marketer these days. Painstakingly creating digital content, struggling to coordinate the communications of a global sales force, and starving for target market awareness. Request a demo and let us show you WHUT we can do.