Sales Enablement Strategy: Some Key Elements to Consider

Sales Enablement Strategy: Some Key Elements to Consider

In the digital era your buyers are performing their own research online before engaging with your salespeople. Your sales team is no longer the first point of contact, so it’s essential they adapt their selling techniques to fit in with the new customer journey. 

Unfortunately too few sales teams are managing to do this. According to the World-Class Sales Practices Report, just 56.9% of sellers achieved their forecasted quota in the past year. 

Sales enablement empowers sales teams

To close more deals, a modern day sales team needs access to new types of content, training and communication. They need to be sales ‘enabled’ i.e. there needs to be a sales enablement strategy in place. 

A good sales enablement strategy requires sales and marketing to collaborate. Marketing needs to create high quality content then teach sales how to apply that content at touch points in a prospective customer’s journey. Make sure you check out our in depth guide to sales enablement – Sales Enablement: The secret to predictable sales revenue growth.

What is sales enablement?

In brief, sales enablement is a function within an organisation that strives to make sales people more effective. It’s a strategy whereby all content is streamlined and tools are readily available throughout the sales process.

By implementing a sales enablement strategy your sales people can spend more time talking to prospects; and less time creating presentations that your target audience find irrelevant. 

sales enablement

Content plays a big part in a sales enablement strategy

As part of a sales enablement strategy your sales team will need to have access to customer-specific content. This will help them initiate conversations and help inform buyers along the buying process.

And lots of content is required (it’s been estimated that the number of decision makers involved in a sales cycle averages out at  6.4).

These decision makers are spread across many roles and departments, all with their own unique pain points and interests. To successfully engage with each individual, sales need to tailor their messages carefully.

How to create content for sales enablement 

Marketing is usually tasked with creating content for the top of the sales funnel (i.e. a one to many approach). Sales reps however need to access one to one messaging. Since reps are constantly speaking to prospective customers they have a unique understanding of a target account’s content requirements.

sales enablement strategy

Sales input is crucial to content creation

Sales’ input is crucial to help marketing create content that will resonate with prospects. 

For example a prospect may ask one of your reps for an ROI analysis to share with their CEO. If your salesperson doesn’t have that kind of content available, they may have to throw something together quickly. Or even resort to sharing the wrong kind of content with them e.g. a case study. 

The result: The prospect will become frustrated – leaving the door open to the competition. 

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Elements of a successful sales enablement strategy

These 5 elements are essential to the successful implementation of a sales enablement strategy:

1. Sales must be 100% onboard with sales enablement 

Your sales team need to understand the value sales enablement will bring to your organisation. They need to see that the need for content will have to increase – so that they can share specific materials with prospects. Content includes onboarding docs, training videos, product specifications and so on. 

2. Your company board should see the value in sales enablement

Sales enablement will inevitably require new investment in technology in order to make the strategy work efficiently. You will need to identify current gaps and opportunities and present them to senior management to illustrate the benefits of the strategy.

3. A documented enablement plan 

This is another key element of a sales enablement strategy. It’s essential to review both the sales cycle and individual sales team members to identify where new training materials or coaching is required. 

4. A cross-departmental approach 

Sales must be able to communicate at all levels of the organisation. For example they may need to provide feedback about products (with product development) or connect with the legal team to clarify language. Collaboration across all teams is crucial to ensuring sales get what they need, seamlessly and efficiently. 

5. Investment in technology 

There are several types of sales enablement technology available e.g. HubSpot that can help structure a program. It’s a place to hold content, training resources and playbooks as well as share content with specific prospects. By simplifing your sales team’s activities it will make it easier for them to find what they need.

In adopting a sales enablement strategy you are illustrating a commitment to giving sales the processes and resources to help them sell more.

With a successful sales enablement strategy in place your sales team will be better placed to fulfil their potential and convert more leads into customers. 

Sales enablement

How Can A Customer Relationship Management System Help My Business?

How Can A Customer Relationship Management System Help My Business?

A customer relationship management system (CRM) is a great way to keep all the information you need on a prospect or customer in one place. This will include the basics such as their name, email phone number and their address.

As your business grows and the details you collect on customers grows ever larger, it is likely that you will need somewhere to store and access them easily, this is where a customer relationship management system will help you stay organised.

‘That sounds like little more than a contacts book?’

Well, CRM systems have a few special features which help to unlock your full marketing and sales potential. Forever striving to be helpful, CRMs manage, organise, track and store all the interactions your customer has with your company and website.

It can be used for contact management, sales management, marketing and content strategies as well as boosting your productivity.

This can help you to streamline and tailor your communication strategy towards a company or customer by tracking your interactions and conversations over time. Therefore, you can deduce what their contact preferences are, i.e. time and medium, and how they respond to certain marketing strategies.

customer relationship management

A CRM software system can then automate some of your marketing and sales tasks to improve your efficiency and the effectiveness of your customer relationship management and other campaigns you may be working on.

In time, you should begin to convert more marketing qualified leads into sales qualified leads because your marketing efforts will be much more precise and well-tuned. Your customers should be much happier with your interactions and are therefore more likely to come back and buy from you again.

Essentially, a CRM allows a business to deepen, strengthen and reinforce its relationship with customers, users, partners and suppliers. According to Gartner, CRM software systems will be the single largest revenue area of spending in enterprise software by 2021.

But how exactly can each department use customer relationship management systems to help them?

Sales Team:

By having access to a wealth of information a salesperson can use a CRM to better understand their sales funnel and at what stage their prospect is at. They can then perhaps change or tailor their sales technique based on which customer they are dealing with, increasing their chances of making a sale. Salespeople will also have much less admin to do and will therefore have a lot more time to spend on selling.

sales funnel

Furthermore, a sales manager can use the CRM system to keep track on how individual salespeople are performing in terms of matching their targets. It can also help them to see how products and campaigns are performing so that they can identify any areas for improvement. Read more about Inbound Selling tactics here.

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Marketing Team:

One of the big benefits to marketing teams is that a CRM makes forecasting much simpler and more accurate. This is because they have clear visibility on the behaviours of every opportunity or lead and can see the whole buyer’s journey from start to finish. This makes them better informed when they are outlining their next marketing campaigns or strategies. They can even pull in activity from the prospect’s social media activity to see their likes and dislikes and even their opinion’s on certain brands and companies. Essentially, your marketing team should be much more cost effective and efficient when devising marketing campaigns as they will have a wealth of information to call upon.

Customer Service Team:

One of the benefits a good CRM can bring to your customer support team is that they can track conversations across different channels. For instance, a customer could start a query or complaint on Twitter but might want to resolve it in live chat. This makes the customer’s experience much more enjoyable as you have tailored their query to best match their needs.

Furthermore, if a customer has made a complaint, your customer service team could use the CRM to access information about their habits, like and dislikes to best tailor how they will handle their response. Ideally, this would lead to any unhappy customers turning into happy customers who feel as though your company really do care about them and their experience.

Benefits of a customer relationship management system:

  • Increased Productivity
  • Improved cross-team communication
  • Better contact management
  • Empowered sales management
  • More accurate sales forecasting
  • Reliable reports
  • Better sales metrics
  • More efficient and precise marketing, leading to a better ROI
  • Improved products and services
  • Better customer satisfaction and retention

What’s a good customer relationship management software to use?

While there are many customer relationship management software systems out there, not all of them perform to the same level.  Here at DME we would suggest HubSpot CRM as being the best as it groups together everything you could need on a customer in one place. It also allows you to manage and analyse each contact and gives you the ability to automate some of your marketing actions, saving you time that can be better spent in other areas.

However, not everyone has the same preferences and there are many out there which you could use. SalesforceNimble and Pipedrive are some well-known CRMs which you could use to store your customer information. But have a look around and see what works best for you.

A CRM will genuinely help your business grow and will save you a lot of time and money. Hopefully, reading this has persuaded you that they are more than just a contacts book, and you will begin to realise all the benefits a CRM can bring. However, you don’t have to take my word for it, do some further research and maybe do a trial period with a CRM software system to make sure they are right for you and your business.

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Search Engine Optimisation: How To Get Your Website To Number One

Search Engine Optimisation: How To Get Your Website To Number One

By now, you’ve probably heard about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which must be kept in mind when uploading content. So, why is it important, how does it work and what are the benefits your business stands to gain when you have good search engine optimisation?

Before we start, the aim of SEO is to essentially make your content or website rank higher on a Google results page. The further up the page your piece appears, the higher the SEO. But how does Google determine your SEO score?

Well, the first major change to how Google calculates SEO came in 2013 with the introduction of the Hummingbird algorithm. Hummingbird aimed to calculate where posts would rank by placing greater emphasis on natural language queries, considering context and meaning over individual keywords; while also looking at content on individual pages of a website to best direct readers.

Following Hummingbird, the RankBrain algorithm was confirmed to be in use in October 2015. RankBrain was the first machine learning based algorithm and helped Hummingbird to make quicker and more intelligent search results by making educated guesses on what people will search based on familiar words. It is considered as the third most important algorithm behind content and links.

Shortly after in January 2016, the Panda algorithm was incorporated into Google’s core algorithms to help filter out bad content from web page results. To do this, Panda assigns a content quality score to pages and down-ranks sites with spam, thin or poor content.

SEO tips

When put together, the three algorithms make life much easier for customers to filter out the bad content and keep the helpful or useful stuff. Handy for them, right? However, while it is useful for those in buying positions, it makes life a bit more difficult for those who are trying to market or sell.

This is because more emphasis now needs to be placed on factors such as the quality and meaning of the content, the length (800 words are suggested) and, essentially, how ‘human’ the interactions are. While meta descriptions, featured photos and other web pages linking to your page are also important factors.

Therefore, businesses and likewise are now having to put more time and effort into their web pages and content production in order to improve their SEO. 

In the world of instant information it is essential to get a good SEO ranking to make your business stand out form the rest of the crowd. We’re all guilty of clicking the top result and not properly browsing through the Google results page.

However, as previously discussed, there is good reason for doing so. Getting as far up the results page as possible is a great way to attract new customers and become a trusted source in your industry.

Remember, 74% of people tend to buy from the place that first provided them genuine value and 93% of a buyers’ journey is completed online online. Therefore, if you can couple a good inbound marketing strategy and good SEO, you are creating the perfect concoction for a successful business. Read more about the buyer’s journey.

understanding the buyers journey

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Look at it as a snowball effect. The better your SEO, the further up the results page you are, the more customers you attract, the more reviews you get, which leads to more customers. It really is a good way to organically grow your business and maximise your selling and marketing potential.

Even if your web visitors don’t become customers instantly after visiting your site, you can view them as marketing qualified leads and get to work on trying to attract them back and moving them through the sales funnel.

However, focusing on improving your SEO, website and content creation is almost pointless if you’re not tracking how well they are performing. By doing this, you can see what is working well and helping to boost your site up the results page and where you need to pay more attention to or even stop production altogether.

Through a content management system, you can track how many visits your site receives, when you receive them and even how long people are on your site for, helping you to really channel your resources into the right area.

If you’re not sure on which customer management system you want to use for your business, then HubSpot may be worth a look. The marketing system allows you to do an array of things related to content production and SEO and really helps you to focus your efforts on what you need to do to improve your place in Google’s search results.

Tips for improving your Search Engine Optimisation score:

  • Make sure you have a good META description and try to include the keyword from your title
  • Make your blog posts at least 800 words
  • Create pillar pages and link your blogs to them, the more links you have the better
  • Make your content interactive and meaningful; remember Google values ‘human’ interactions
  • Include featured photos in your post
  • Try asking your customer’s for feedback get good reviews, this will really help boost your SEO

Unfortunately, improving your SEO score isn’t a quick and easy job. It will take time to lay the foundations and you’ll need to continuously build upon them and even change the entire structure at times. But Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your business be.

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A Quick Guide to Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

A Quick Guide to Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

What is the difference between Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing ? The simple truth is that traditional outbound marketing is becoming very outdated with the message your are broadcasting designed to interrupt your prospects and force your message on them, this is a costly method and yields much lower ROI than Inbound Marketing. Inbound Marketing is the process of creating and sharing relevant and valuable content to prospects who are looking looking for information to solve a specific problem.

According to Forbes, the average person is exposed to around 4,000 – 10,000 ads each day which, as you can imagine, is rather annoying for both the consumer and you as the seller – the consumer doesn’t want to be inundated with useless information, while you wish to bring in new leads and generate sales, and not push potential customers further away from your brand.

With all these adverts and modern technology, it’s now easier for people to ignore and only focus on the messages they wish to engage with.

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

Outbound Marketing:

Outbound Marketing relates to the old traditional methods of marketing, these methods actually disrupt and obstruct any potential customers as messages being pushed out via businesses are intrusive and often impersonal to the customer.

HubSpot definition of outbound marketing: a traditional method of marketing seeking to obstruct potential customers. Outbound marketing includes activities such as trade shows, seminar series and cold calling. It is costly and the ROI (Return On Investment) is much lower than inbound marketing.

Methods include:

  • Trade shows
  • Telemarketing
  • Seminars
  • Cold calls
  • Email blasts

These methods are classes as outbound marketing as marketers using these techniques are pushing their message as far as they possibly can, hoping that it will resonate with someone, somewhere. These messages are broad and generalised so they don’t necessarily cater for an individual’s needs, and with so many options out there for us as consumers, it’s easy to simply ignore messages.

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But these methods no longer work. Why?

Well, as already mentioned previously, people are inundated with thousands of messages and emails every day and it’s become far easier for us to just block them out via spam, or people can simply just opt to unsubscribe to annoying emails, unless it’s a brand or product we are actually interested in. This is also just as easy with cold calling, the use of caller ID on phones has allowed for us to identify exactly who is calling, and if it’s someone we don’t recognise, we tend to simply ignore the call. If those calls continue to obstruct and disrupt us – we can simply block numbers.

As far as consumers are concerned, it’s now also fast, easy and cheap to search for things via the internet. If a consumer has a problem or pain point, they can simply search for answers on the internet which will then present a whole world of possibilities through search engines, blogs and social media. Without even leaving their house, their answers are presented to them so quickly, and this is where you come in…

Why you and your business should adopt an Inbound Marketing mindset:

If you’ve never heard of, or come across inbound marketing, then you may be asking yourself “what is inbound marketing?”

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

With inbound marketing, you are putting the customer at the centre of everything that you do, you are attracting customers like a magnet. Rather than pushing out your message and disrupting potential leads, you’re using your industry knowledge as a way to pull these potential customers in by attracting your best prospects who are out there looking for solutions to their problems.

Buyer Centric Flywheel

How you can do this:

Your website should act like a hub for your industry, not just shouting about what you do as a business or what your products offer, but by utilising content, such as blogs, to answer any potential customer questions. That way, you are nurturing them through their buying process and by the time they get to the all-important decision stage, they are left with no questions and both yourselves and the customer will know that they are ready to make that purchase.

Why inbound marketing?

  • More cost effective
  • Make use of content such as blogs to draw customers in
  • Draws 3x as many leads as traditional outbound methods
  • Build trust between you and the customer by providing knowledge and answers to their questions/pain points
  • Engage and interact with your audience/customer

So now you understand the difference between inbound marketing vs outbound marketing – which are you going to master and focus on ?

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