Beyond lead generation – Sales enablement
Marketers who want to help their sales teams close more deals are now focusing on sales enablement. But unlike established corporate functions such as accounting or finance, sales enablement is still an emerging concept that has not yet made its way into job titles and still means different things to different companies. For some organizations, sales enablement is putting marketing materials onto the intranet — without giving the sales force an insight on what clients want.
Therefore, one of the many definitions of sales enablement floating around the web is "getting the right information into the hands of the right sellers at the right time and place and in the right format to move sales opportunity forward". This implies providing sales representatives with the right information, knowledge, tools and advice through aligned marketing and sales processes. Thus "enabled" reps tend to win more business. Therefore, sales enablement can be a key driver in generating revenue through sales.
Studies have shown that a lot of marketing-produced content is not used by sales people. Some spend hours looking for and creating their own selling materials. Often the information they need is poorly organized: Rather than being structured by consumer segment or buyer profile or by specific sales situation, it is organized by product. Furthermore, sales reps frequently do not use the information because it is not integrated within the CRM system or available on mobile devices.
A common problem is the vast amount of data that digital media and analytics generate from multiple sources. The data that is collected and analyzed often remains in silos. However, these assets should be centralized to provide insights sales representatives can use in the sales conversation as well as to identify sales opportunities. On the other side of the equation, marketing are still too far away from the sales conversation. Sales enablement helps them play a bigger role in the sit-down sales situation and makes a company's sales support activities less random.
In a world where consumers have access to larger amounts of information and increasingly come to a purchasing decision before they come into direct contact with the brand, embedding efficient sales enablement in your organization makes perfect sense. It can help align marketing and sales functions, and help de-silo them, to boost revenue.
For more information on how you can implement sales enablement in your organization, contact Thomas Bosshard.