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B2B Sales Enablement
Create alignment between Marketing & Sales
Sales enablement is the technology, smart processes, and content that make sales teams more successful at a higher velocity.
Success in B2B sales is no longer a question of drinking enough cups of coffee with your customer. Clients are increasingly better informed and are relatively late in their buying process ready for a personal conversation with a sales person.
In order to establish a good alignment between marketing and sales you need to work the following topics:
1. Reporting and Analysis
The modern B2B sales world is data driven. But a constant stream of information can overwhelm sales people and negatively affect productivity. Sales enablement professionals build systems to make data a valuable asset.
The most immediate way to derive valuable insights from business data is to agree on a set of standardized sales reports. Reporting will vary from company to company but some common reports are:
Sales leadership often has a high level understanding of what reports are relevant to a business. However, they might lack the technical ability to create these reports. Sales enablement professionals can bridge this gap.
Review Sales Process
Company reports will often highlight points of disconnect in the sales process that leadership should address.
For example, if the sales team books a significant amount of demos every month, but hardly any result in closed customers, the company should investigate its demo process.
An sales process audit is an in depth, data-backed analysis of a company’s sales process to discover areas where sales performance could be improved. Many external sales enablement consultants begin service contracts with a sales process audit.
Modern salespeople are overwhelmed by information on leads who are a poor fit for their business. However sales enablement professionals implement lead scoring systems that assign positive or negative weight to contacts and companies based on data indicating how good a fit a given lead is.
Local businesses with limited geographic reach, for example, will negatively weight contacts that live in a different country. Similarly, a company that sells only to small businesses will assign positive weight to a company with 10-20 employees.
Businesses using a CRM can surface good fit companies and leads to reps the minute they convert on your website. Less qualified prospects are moved to a CRM queue that salespeople can work on their own time.
2. Sales Content Optimization
On the contrary to common assumptions, marketers are not the only people producing content. In fact, in most companies, Sales produces more content than Marketing.
Every minute a sale rep spends creating content is a minute they are not selling. The fact that salespeople take time to produce personalized content shows how important it is in the final stages of a buyer’s journey.
Organize Sales Content
The first step in an sales enablement content strategy is a full content audit. Most companies already have high quality sales content on their website. Centralizing all existing sales content in one location ensures salespeople can find these resources quickly.
Examples of sales content include:
Content libraries should be hosted in company cloud drives like a CRM. Times change and content that was relevant to buyers just a few years ago may not perform as well today. Keeping the document library up to date is a crucial step to enabling sales team success.
Create Case Studies
Case studies are the most critical content in a sales team’s document library. Nothing speaks as strongly for a business as a previous customer’s success.
Four times as many buyers prefer video to written content but producing high quality video case studies takes time. For this reason, many companies find it helpful to outsource case study production to marketing agencies, while still acting as the liaison to featured customers.
Within six months of launching a new product, companies should aim to have at least one case study highlighting the product. Companies using a CRM can track usage of new products to quickly identify potential case study customers.
Create Email Templates
According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound Sales report, email is still one of the most effective ways for sales reps to connect with prospects, only behind connect via phone. It’s no surprise many salespeople spend hours on email copy. Standardized email templates that salespeople access directly from their inbox can dramatically increase productivity.
Template creators should not assume every buyer is the same. Leaving spaces for customization with every email template ensures a sales rep will personalize it with information relevant to the prospect.
3. Technology and Automation
Ten years ago, sales was a heavily manual business. However, this is not the modern sales person’s reality. Many processes that used to be entirely manual can be automated for the salesperson, enabling them to sell at a higher quality and velocity.
Create Email Sequences
Sales enablement professionals can craft follow up email sequences that automatically trigger if a prospect has not responded to the salesperson in a set amount of time. Using personalization tokens for contact and company details in email sequences tailors the message to the specific prospect.
Sales people often send dozens of follow up emails per day. Automating the follow up process with ‘set it and forget it’ sequences saves the sales rep hours of unnecessary work.
Automated prospecting is a set of emails sent in a salesperson’s name that include direct links to their calendar. Prospects who are ready to buy can schedule a conversation with the salesperson using the calendar link. Sales reps open their calendar every morning to find multiple meetings with qualified buyers, saving them hours of prospecting time.
Implement Direct Messaging
There is no better time to chat with a prospect than when they are already on your website. Setting up live chat on a website allows sales reps the opportunity to engage and close interested contacts in real time. However, to avoid wasting reps’ time with bad fit contacts,sales enablement professionals should use filtering criteria to ensure live chat boxes are only surfaced to high quality leads.
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