By moving towards a sales enablement strategy you’ll not only help your sales reps sell more – but you’ll be solving a traditional headache for many companies: The misalignment between sales and marketing. This can be solved by embracing sales enablement meetings.
This is a problem you can’t afford to ignore. What used to work for the sales process no longer applies. Few people choose to meet a sales rep in person – most of the sales process now takes place online. Make sure you check out our in-depth guide to sales enablement here Sales Enablement: The Secret To Predictable Sales Revenue Growth.
In order to meet the requirements of the modern buyer, sales and marketing need to collaborate in order to
- figure out what a qualified prospect looks like
- develop buyer personas
- Initiate the right conversations with prospects at the right times
Failure to align the two teams will lead to wasted budgets and resources.
Successful sales enablement requires sales and marketing to work together
Recent research indicates that companies with aligned teams are 67% more efficient at closing deals. So it’s essential to get the two divisions talking. And a good way to do this is to host regular sales enablement meetings.
Run sales enablement meetings or ‘smarketing’ meetings
According to HubSpot a ‘smarketing’ meeting is
“A time when sales and marketing teams come together to discuss problems and collaborate on solutions.”
Some main benefits of running regular interdepartmental sales enablement meetings are:
- Regular meet-ups will build stronger personal relationships between members of both teams. Despite initial differences, they may start to like each other!
- Working together means campaigns will be more impactful
- Both teams will be motivated towards the sale goals i.e. increased revenue
- Team members can get clear feedback and work to refine strategies
- Teams can keep each other informed of competitive tactics
- Meetings are a good place to establish trust
During these meetings both teams can talk about important concepts around changing customer expectations, and establish accountability. Sales and marketing may also find it useful to set up a ‘service level agreement’ (SLA) to define the expectations each has of the other.
This is a kind of contract between the two teams which documents the agreed responsibilities of all parties. An SLA can make a good point of reference during a meeting.
How to make ‘smarketing’ meetings as productive as possible
Aim to do these three things:
1. Make the focus of the sales enablement meeting to solve specific problems
Rather than make participants sit through an endless procession of slides – to show historical or ‘aspirational’ data – make the meeting entirely about problem solving. This should be a place where teams can discuss what isn’t working and how to fix things.
Within the course of a meeting aim to identify problems with current goals, brainstorm solutions and create assignments that need to be completed before the next meeting.
2. Invite only necessary people
Don’t invite too many people to your ‘smarketing’ meeting. Groups are more effective when fewer numbers of people are present so don’t invite more than 10 participants. If you need to cut down the numbers, start with top managers. They can stifle proceedings, since fewer people are happy to contribute when the CEO is in the room.
You could also break the meetings into smaller groups – maybe for different regions, or product lines. Then representatives from both meetings could connect to ensure everyone’s on the same page.
In larger organisations it can help to invite participants on a rotational basis.
3. Give everyone a voice
Make sure everyone contributes. Ask attendees directly for their input if you haven’t heard from them. People may be disinclined to speak up for various reasons.
Maybe they don’t actually have anything to add (in which case they shouldn’t be at the meeting), or they feel others are domineering the meeting.
Certain attendees may be happier just watching proceedings. If that’s the case you can send them a link to the recording in future rather than invite them to the meeting.
Or they don’t like the opinions being presented but don’t want to appear negative (this is a mindset you need to change) by making it clear you welcome all negative feedback.
The harmonious existence of sales and marketing is fundamental to a growing business. Both must have a common aim – to capture, nurture, engage and convert leads (without necessitating any conflict between the two teams). There needs to be a continual flow of information between sales and marketing via technology including the CRM.
As well as this there should be a place for people to discuss issues and provide feedback in person. By creating a strong marketing/sales cohesion in the workplace both teams will feel they’re fighting the same battles and share a common goal; that of creating more revenue for the company.