This post is for business owners, marketing directors/managers or sales directors/managers. This is a MUST READ whether you’re in marketing or sales.
Today the Internet is a source of almost all the information your buyer needs.
70% of a buyer’s research is done before they talk to sales. 59% of buyers prefer not to talk to sales at all. – Source: Aligned To Achieve
Selling is hard.
There’s increased competition on the Internet.
The power is with your buyer.
Gone are the days when your buyer learns everything from you or your salesperson.
People are to do the majority of their research on their own. Some might call you right away, but the majority won’t.
Many don’t really need your advice, apart from maybe to answer a few important questions just before they buy.
The solution sees marketing and sales working together.
Have You Reacted To The Shift in Power?
The shift in power between the salesperson and the buyer has been going on for years.
If your sales and marketing teams haven’t yet reacted, then you’re late to the game.
But as my favourite chinese proverb goes,
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
In other words. Don’t despair.
Simply tell yourself that today is “Day 1”.
Today is much better than tomorrow for making the change. And it’s certainly better than ‘never’.
Read on, because this change to your sales and marketing will have a serious impact on your revenue.
What Is Sales Enablement?
It might sound like a slightly contrived title, but ‘Sales Enablement’ is a solid shift in how you should approach sales and marketing in 2024.
Don’t underestimate it. This is an approach with a solid foundation.
“Sales Enablement is the processes, content and technology that empower sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity. And that’s a task that marketing is well equipped to execute.” says Hubspot.
Marketing has the skillset to make ‘sales enablement’ happen. But all too often, sales enablement lives in the sales department and no where near marketing.
That’s an issue because before the prospect gets in touch with your sales team, marketing owns the relationship with the prospect.
Customers are doing more and more of their research before they talk to sales. So marketing’s influence over the sales process is ever increasing.
70% of the buying decision is made before someone talks to a salesperson.
If the majority of the buying decision is made before the buyer gets in touch, who has more impact?
Sales or marketing?
To all business owners and directors reading this…seriously consider getting your salespeople involved much earlier in the buyer’s journey – ideally when the buyer is still doing the research on your website and elsewhere on the web.
The sales team can then start to reclaim their influence in the sales process. It’s not really the sales process any more, it’s a “buyer’s process”, because the boundaries between marketing and sales are so blurred.
Sales enablement is about bringing marketing and sales together to keep up with today’s empowered buyer. – Hubspot
Marketing is the department that can give your sales team robust processes and excellent content to thrive.
Instead of thinking sales and marketing are a different entity, think of them as your ‘Revenue Team’. It makes sense. Marketing and sales work together to achieve your revenue goals.
Start to align marketing and sales. Bring them together around a single company wide revenue goal.
Here’s what Google has to say about getting your sales and marketing teams to work together
What is a Sales Enablement Strategy?
A sales enablement strategy will help you execute the delivery of sales enablement.
Here’s what Hubspot, the popular inbound marketing, sales, and service software, says your strategy should include:
- A Clear Shared Revenue Goal
- A Target Buyer
- A Content Strategy
Once you have those 3 elements in place, you will be able to build processes on top of them.
And when all of that is in place you introduce the technology to improve and accelerate those processes.
What do the three points above actually mean?
1. What Is A Clear Shared Revenue Goal?
Every marketing team or marketing agency is trained to look at leads. That’s still important, but there are more important metrics and goals.
If you’re going to get sales and marketing to work together, you have to use a common language.
The common goal should be revenue. Goals for demos, bookings and meetings can help too.
How do you create a shared revenue goal? Take a look at my post: How To Create A Clear Shared Revenue Goal To Boost Sales & Revenue
Once you have those revenue goals you can drive results.
Start thinking along the lines of: “How many new bookings do we need to put into the sales pipeline by the end of this quarter in order to drive the revenue over the next couple of quarters, depending on the sales cycle length.”
- When it comes to marketing, focus on revenue. It’s what sales people want to hear.
- Use a clear shared revenue goal.
- Marketing and sales need to be aligned around that single revenue goal.
Once that’s done, implement the processes, content and technology that will allow them to drive results.
2. Who Is The Target Buyer?
If your sales team focus on speaking to those people who are most likely to buy, then the chances of selling dramatically increase. That’s where the target buyer, or ideal buyer comes in.
There’s only one way to make more sales. Maximise your time with people who are more likely to buy – and reduce your time with the others.
Spending time with those who are never going to buy is a waste.
- Increase the time your sales people spend speaking with more qualified buyers.
- Reduce the time your sales people speak with less qualified buyers.
- Implement the processes, content and technology that allows them to do that.
3. Get A Content Strategy
In too many companies, content is produced by marketing people without any input from your sales team.
“Your sales team is already producing content, they just don’t call it that.” – Hubspot
Sales people produce lots of great content to answer the questions posed by the buyer, such as phone calls, emails, powerpoint presentations etc.
In the interests of your company it would make sense to pass a lot of this content onto marketing.
But a lot of the time that doesn’t happen.
Don’t Let Perfection Hold You Back
Some of the figures and maths you use to build your goals might seem complex (please ask if you need help with this), but don’t chase for perfection yet.
For now, have the conversations you need with sales and marketing to get to the next step. Later, when you have more data to hand, you can get more accurate.
At that point take a look at my post: How To Create A Clear Shared Revenue Goal To Boost Sales & Revenue
Whether you have one marketing specialist, or a team; one salesperson or a sales team, once you have a hang of it, sales will enjoy a steadier stream of higher quality leads, and marketing will have more flexibility about the types of leads they provide.
Once you have the goal in place, with marketing and sales working towards the same company wide goals, your chances of hitting your revenue goals will significantly increase.
Getting going with Sales Enablement won’t be plain sailing. But if you’re serious about increasing revenue you need to do the difficult things to make the selling easier.
Stop seeing marketing and sales as different departments in your business.
The traditional boundaries between marketing and sales have been obliterated.
Now is the time to get everyone working together towards a single common revenue goal.
Create a Sales Enablement Strategy.
Make the selling easier in your company and start the conversation about Sales Enablement.
I’ll be happy to answer your Sales Enablement questions as well as help you with your website and digital marketing.