Today, as the expectations of the end-users are changing constantly, the needs of businesses are also evolving with them. B2B businesses, on the other hand, are looking for different ways with a growth mindset to create meaningful solutions to the challenges that arise with these new and rapid expectations in the market to stay competitive.
To make a difference, especially in a B2B business, understanding the shift in the sales processes that require close contact with customers gains high importance. At this point, in order to work more leads, boost conversions and enhance customer satisfaction through the buyer’s journey, the most lasting solution seems to be sales enablement. Before we jump off to the details on structuring a growth-marketing driven sales enablement strategy, let’s first clarify what sales enablement actually means.
Sales enablement is a cross-functional strategic discipline focused on supporting frontline salespeople and sales executives with all the necessary integrated content and technologies to deliver a flawless buying journey and maximize sales results and productivity by removing any barriers.
In today's world, average B2B customers already do more than 70% of their research online. And even 59% don't want to talk to any sales representatives. This major shift in customer behaviour naturally affects the whole positioning and strategies of sales departments.
They now face highly prepared and acquainted customers. And, obviously, it's almost impossible for any sales team to deal with it alone. Therefore, it is now inevitable to build the right growth-marketing driven sales enablement strategy in which the marketing and sales departments will work shoulder to shoulder to provide an immersive, satisfactory buying experience to the customer and boost sales results accordingly.
Remember: The stronger the resources, the stronger the sales. Sales enablement with a growth mindset supports the sales team in this direction and provides customer-facing success, sales readiness, effective sales tools usage, sales engagement and retention.
Sales teams that are empowered by sales enablement have a 15% higher win rate. And throughout the processes, the sales team is supported most generally by the marketing department.
So let's start our review of the most important approaches by taking a closer look at how these two teams can work together to build a more effective impact and a more seamless customer purchasing experience.
According to Hubspot, when sales and marketing teams are well aligned and nurture each other, they average a 20% higher annual growth.
The reason for this is pretty obvious: Marketing teams focus on identifying potential customers, creating engagement, and turning them into real, loyal customers by providing them with relevant, essential materials.
The sales team, on the other hand, focuses on closing the deal by making individual conversations with potential customers whenever they may need it. When these two teams work in harmony with a common growth mindset, they provide the customer with a seamless experience. Thus, they increase all the trust, loyalty and revenue that a company needs.
For a perfectly running smarketing strategy, the following must be provided:
Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an inter-team commitment that establishes a clear framework of each team's responsibilities and a common set of expectations. And when it comes to sales enablement, it's essentially a deal, where marketing promises sales a certain number of leads, and sales promise marketing to contact those leads within a specified time.
As you can imagine, implementing SLA has many benefits for sales-marketing alignment. We can list them as follows:
Lead management is especially important for B2B businesses. The first step required for lead management is to generate leads. And generating leads for sustainable growth is possible through a growth-driven content marketing plan.
With the right content marketing strategy, you can present all kinds of output such as success stories, blogs, videos, infographics, whitepapers, and webinars via search engines and social media channels to reach, convert, influence, nurture and interact with your target audience.
This helps both to warm up your potential customers to the subject beforehand and to raise their awareness, perhaps helping them to come up with the sales team in a much more commanding manner about what they want.
For lead management of generated leads, first, define the leads demographically and firmographically. Then score them based on criteria such as the engagement level or their online behaviour. And this is called lead scoring.
Here is a graph on how to score leads as Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), and Unqualified Leads:
Thus, by prioritizing the SQLs that are more likely to close the sale, the sales team will save both time and effort.
In today's world, sales reps must frequently reconsider all of their sales content to stay relevant. For this, they should constantly make content audits in line with the marketing team.
Sales representatives' contents include case studies with best results, explanatory whitepapers and ebooks, informative product demos, pricing and discount documents, and competitive intelligence briefs. It would be much better to keep the content libraries in an online environment such as Google Drive or CRM so that the auditing of these documents can be done quickly, effectively and interdepartmentally.
As we mentioned when talking about the optimization of sales content, it would be logical to use some software CRM solutions such as HubSpot to store all the content and materials that the sales team will need in a central location.
Working by utilizing CRM solutions will be highly efficient in terms of rapidly creating resources, sharing them with other departments easily, making them cross-departmentally editable and providing much easier management. At the same time, it would be beneficial to use many tools that the marketing team can utilize, so you can interconnect sales and marketing activities to take a holistic view of all processes.
Sales enablement will only become efficient if it is seen as a continuous process and made a part of the corporate culture. Strengthening the sales team by providing the necessary support has a direct positive impact on company revenue. Thus, this is the indispensable way for all teams to grow with the company.
Therefore, although it may seem more related to sales and marketing teams, sales enablement actually requires all departments to be in maximum communication with each other with the right information and workflow.