Guest post by Mary Ade.
Sales enablement significantly drives higher conversion rates and revenue. Nearly 75 percent of organizations using sales enablement tools say it greatly influenced sales growth over the past 12 months.
Even though it’s been around for a while, sales enablement has undergone several improvements, with dozens of tools for sales professionals, solutions, and software platforms to make it easier and faster for reps to do their job.
Since it promotes an integrated approach to selling, sales enablement involves both marketing and sales teams. Here are five tactics your B2B marketing team needs to master to empower sales people to close deals faster.
Determine Product Messaging
To close deals, product language has to be consistent from the top of the funnel down to when a prospect becomes a client. Sellers and marketers have to collaborate to develop this consistency in product messaging.
Sales teams are in the best position to inform marketers of the language prospects are using, while marketers are best able to create and develop messaging that takes the language into consideration. A sales organization improves its effectiveness when it speaks the language of prospects.
Developing a product language is only part of the challenge as marketers need to maintain the continuity of this storyline and experience during the entire buyer’s journey.
The language a buyer uses when he or she talks about the problems your product addresses is important in winning deals. Help your sales people understand who their ideal buyer is, how they want to be engaged, and where to find them. The majority of reps struggle with this.
More than 75 percent of prospects feel the sales professionals who contact them lack knowledge of their specific business, role and responsibilities at work, or even the issues they’re trying to resolve, according to research from Forrester.
Nurture Your Sales Team like Customers
In addition to nurturing your company’s external customers, you’ve got to be prepared to nurture your internal customers. And for marketing, that’s your sales team. It’s time to learn how to make your sales force win more deals. And that means that as a marketer, you are also in sales enablement. Enablement can be seen as the medium for marketing to serve the sales organization.
Understanding how sales reps operate, what they need, where they are struggling, and what their goals are, can help to better equip them to build pipeline—faster. You also get to understand their abilities and properly map them to your buyers’ needs. Crafting buyer personas for sales reps and treating them like customers by tailoring outreach, tools, and techniques to the needs of different teams will go a long way in improving their sales effectiveness.
The most fundamental way to empower your sales force is to train and onboard them to the point that they know how to sell. Consider running drip campaigns featuring training resources to better understand and equip your sales force to improve on performance. Use a tool like OppSource to help new reps understand how your best sales professionals talk to your prospects, and Modus to understand what marketing collateral your sales team finds most effective, to help get them up to speed faster.
Develop Sales Rep-Influenced Content
Sales reps are in constant touch with prospects and know what they want. They know the questions that are frequently being asked. Marketing can use these insights to develop content in the form of a FAQ page, manuals, white papers, blog posts, or other content you can easily share to advance deals.
Prospects love this, as research reveals that 87 percent of buyers select a vendor who provided them with relevant pieces of content at each stage of the buying process. This content can be housed in a central hub to make it easy for your sales force to access and use, while marketing gets to gather insights that help to optimize content for greater conversions.
Develop communication materials that can be customized to help sellers win deals. For example, provide email templates your sales team can easily customize and send to prospects (before and after campaigns). Use a tool like SalesReach to let them easily create customized landing pages for prospects (while maintaining your brand standards) on the fly.
Map Content to the Buying Cycle
To drive revenue, marketers have to impact conversions and activities throughout the pipeline. Taking the time to understand the buyer’s journey helps to put the right message in the right place at the right time to help sales professionals win more deals.
Consider the different content pieces and formats it takes to push prospects down the funnel. Targeting users with content relevant to their position along the buying process yields 72 percent higher conversion rates.
Identifying and understanding the steps a buyer takes throughout their journey—from initial content consumption to sales interactions, purchase, retention, referral, and advocacy—helps to determine appropriate content and how it can be used.
Gathering insight into the customer journey involves knowing which messaging prospects see during a demo, the case studies they access, and the content pieces they read before committing to a deal, as well as the common objections that must be addressed for a deal to advance.
It also helps to analyze where prospects are dropping out of the funnel and what content keeps them engaged and moving down the pipeline. This leads to the creation of content that works for lead generation and placement at strategic touch points in the funnel.
Put Solutions Above Sales
Position your organization as a problem-solving one by empowering your sales people to share information freely and direct customers on how to proceed at each point on the buying journey. This helps to position your company as an authority and an empathetic consultant.
Traditional sales people focus solely on closing the deal, but it’s better to understand consumers’ problems first and then provide solutions through the company’s offerings. This helps to build trust as customers value organizations that share information.
Sales enablement is not a done and dusted thing. It is an ever-evolving process which marketers can continually improve to empower sellers. Practicing the above tactics will put your customer-facing teams in better control of revenue, provide a customized buying experience, and align your sales activities with the buyer’s decision process.