Sales Enablement: The Secret To Predictable Sales Revenue Growth

The key to modern sales success is in firstly getting your sales and marketing teams to embrace powerful inbound techniques and secondly to get them aligned and working together around revenue goals. Creating a sales enablement strategy is the proven approach to aligning marketing and sales and driving predictable sales revenue growth.
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The impact of digital and social media on business lead generation and customer acquisition has been profound. The day’s of buyer’s relying on a call with a sales person to find out about your company, product or service are long gone. Now everything your buyer could want to know is on the internet and statistics show that buyer’s are now 70% through their buying journey before speaking to a business. Sales enablement is a strategy which has been developed to allow for this change and enable you to position your business to help buyers make informed decisions.

The answer lays in your marketing and sales teams working together to produce insightful, valuable content to attract the right buyers.

The best way to get your marketing and sales teams working together is to execute a sales enablement strategy. You need to get them aligned and create “revenue teams” that can keep up with today’s empowered buyers.

What is Sales Enablement?

As discussed above, sales enablement is a strategic approach, bringing sales and marketing together to keep up with today’s empowered buyers.

The goal of an effective sales enablement strategy is to set up processes, content and technology to allow your sales team to sell more efficiently and at a higher velocity.

The fact that 70% of the buyers journey is done before sales normally speaks to a buyer means that marketing are perfectly positioned to work with sales and enable them to achieve these revenue goals.

 

Definition of Sales Enablement

3 Key Elements of effective Sales Enablement Strategy

An effective sales enablement strategy will contain three key elements, a goal, a target buyer and a content strategy:

Sales Enablement Goal

A Clear Goal

One of the main differences between marketing and sales teams is the metrics they measure for success. Marketing is focused on lead generation and sales is focused on customer acquisition. So the starting point for your sales enablement strategy is to get both teams aligned around sales results such as meetings and revenue. Revenue is the ultimate goal so a revenue centric approach by the marketing team will break down all barriers between the two. Especially if they start talking in terms of meetings booked, quotas and revenue. Make sure you set a clear revenue goal for your sales enablement strategy, then bring together the assets, content, process and technology to achieve that goal.

account-based-marketing-target-account

A Target Buyer

The most effective approach to increasing sales velocity is to enable the sales team to spend all their time talking to people who are most likely to buy. The additional benefit is that you are wasting less time talking to people who are not likely to buy from you. This sounds obvious but an audit of the majority of sales teams will reveal that this is not the case.

So having a clearly defined target buyer including ideal customer profile and buyer persona is essential to getting the sales team speaking to the right fit people and not wasting time with anyone else.

Sales Enablement Content Strategy

A Content Strategy

 The sales team will already hear many of the questions that buyers ask, the concerns, the fears and the education that they need, as they are out in the field.

By feeding this back to the marketing team at meetings, marketing can produce social media, graphics, videos and documents to answer these questions and support the sales team moving the buyer along their buying journey. Content that is helpful, valuable and insightful for the buyer.

Aligning your teams around a unified revenue goal

The first step in developing your sales enablement strategy is in working out exactly what you want to achieve. You need to create a clear vision for your company, this will give clear direction for the metrics you need to set along the way to achieving this. Your vision must be equally exciting to the marketing and the sales teams. How much revenue will you need to generate to make this vision a reality, this is your revenue goal for the teams to achieve. You can then break it down into metrics of how many bookings, presentations etc you need to hit this goal.

 

The Importance Of A Lead Qualification Framework

In order for marketing to generate leads that sales will love, both teams need to work together to define what a qualified lead looks like. This will allow the marketing team to then focus their time on generating leads that the sales team will close. There are two things which need to be agreed:

1. What makes someone a good fit for your product, service or solution?

This can be defined by auditing existing customers and using sales intelligence data to define an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

An ICP is a check list of the basic attributes that a company or person needs to have to be successful as a customer. This should be 4 – 6 key criteria that would allow you to make this a simple decision. Yes they are a good fit or no they are a poor fit.

Ideal Customer Profile

2. What actions demonstrate that someone is sales ready?

If a business or person is a good fit for your Ideal Customer Profile, it does not necessarily mean they are currently in buying mode.

Actions taken with content engagement on the website can be a key indicator. However, it is important that the sales and marketing teams agree which actions are the most meaningful i.e is reading a blog post as meaningful as downloading a content offer? The setting up of “Lead Scoring” through your CRM can be a fantastic way to identify the most active leads. These will be leads who are clearly going through the research stage and actively buying. We love this article by Hubspot covering “How to target Sales Ready Leads In 4 Easy Steps”

You need to identify when someone has moved from Passive to Active buyer status. The simplest way to achive this is to discuss with your sales team and ask existing customers. What timeframe does a piece of business close over ? Ask customers why they said yes when they did ?

Developing A Lead Qualification Matrix

When you understand who is a good fit and who is sales ready you should have four qualities for a Lead Qualification Matrix.

1. Good Fit

2. Poor Fit

3. Sales Ready 

4. Unready

We also have an additional two categories to add to the matrix. Those of “handraisers” or a person who explicitely asks to speak to sales. A “handraiser” will close 3 x faster than a standard lead. But there are also good fit and poor fit handraisers.

5. Good Fit (Handraiser)

6. Poor Fit (Handraiser)

Once you have these 6 qualities defined, the next decision is:

What get’s passed to sales and what needs nurturing by Marketing in lead nurture campaigns until they are ready to buy ?

Lead Qualification Matrix

Utilising SLA’s and Meetings To Drive Accountability

As we have already discussed, the key to successful sales enablement is in the alignment between Marketing and Sales. The key to this alignment is in avoiding friction and enabling the two teams to work together, you achieve this by making all goals complimentary to each other.

Your business needs to have a clear revenue goal, but also to effectively communicate to each team what contribution is expected from them, in the achievement of that goal. This is where a Service level Agreement or SLA, between marketing and sales, proves invaluable. 

definition of a Service Level Agreement

When it comes to alignment between sales and marketing the Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a two-way agreement. Marketing commiting to deliver a certain number of leads and sales commiting to contact leads within a certain period of time.

NOTE: Download our “Preparing Your Service Level Agreement” Checklist.

Maintaining Alignment with regular Smarketing Meetings

Now you have an agreement between sales and marketing in place, based around a clear revenue goal and what each team is going to be accountable for with an SLA. The final piece of the puzzle is to bring the teams together regularly at Smarketing Meetings.

These meetings are there to bring the teams together to discuss problems and collaborate on solutions, encouraging a working partnership. They are there to get work done, to discuss specific goals and projects, finding solutions as a team.

DME TIP: A Smarketing meeting is an operational meeting between marketing and sales teams to openly discuss problems and find solutions. Do not invite C-Suite leadership to these meetings, as this will stifle open discussion.

The importance of understanding your Buyer Personas

Defining your buyer persona is a a key part of inbound marketing and developing your lead generation. But how do we continue to develop our understanding of buyer persona’s and apply them to sales ?

In sales, the way to increase velocity is to focus is to only be talking to ideal buyers and not poor fit prospects. So we need to understand exactly who these buyers are and what their “job to be done” is i.e what are they trying to achieve.

Definition of A Buyer Persona

If you have put effort into defining a Lead Qualification Matrix (as above) then you should now have a good idea of your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). This is a checklist of the basic attributes a company needs to be successful as a customer. This should broadly describe a company category of your target market.

A buyer persona focuses on the people who work at those companies and make up the decision making group. We must understand these personas and their roles within the company, challenges and jobs they are trying to get done each day.

DME TIP: As you define your buyer persona’s use LinkedIn and search “job posts” for similar positions within the company. For example, if you are creating a persona for a Sales Manager what does the job description say their responsibilities are ?

It is important to map out responsibilities for each buyer persona and what they will be measured on in their role. Think about:

1. What are their daily responsibilities? Identify 3 or 4 activities that you can discuss in conversations.

2. How can we help them achieve these activities easier? How can you make their life easier on a daily basis ?

3. What are their longer term goals? This may be a question to ask them in an initial call.

4. How can we help them achieve these long term goals?

5. How can we help this person get promoted? This will create a champion for us by identifying and articulating how we can help the persona be the hero and get promoted.

This process needs completing by the sales and marketing teams for each persona for each of the key roles and decision makers within the company.

Maturing Your Buyer Personas

As your sales team speak to these personas on a daily basis, it is important that they feedback the problems they are hearing and why they will buy from you.

But Marketing can also speak to existing and past customers who fit the persona. Completing a Persona Interview and asking questions to 15 – 20 good fit personas the same structured questions can really help you flesh out your personas with even more detail, ask them questions around:

  • Goals – What is the person trying to accomplish ?
  • Challenges – What holds the person back from achieving those goals ?
  • Watering Holes – Where does the person go to get trusted sources of information ?
  • Shopping Preferences – When they buy something relating to their job was does the process look like ? Who is involved in the buying decision ? At what point do they feel they need a sales rep involved ?

This will give you a detailed and rich description of the demographics but also the psychographics of why they buy off you. Give the persona a name and find a picture that will give them an identity for the team to discuss.

The Importance of “Jobs To Be Done”

Jobs Theory has been built around why people buy products, services and solutions. Every time we make a buying decision we are trying to get dsomething done.

So now we understand our buyer personas we need to understand what job the persona needs to get done and show them how we can help them do that job better than anyone else.

So how do you uncover your customer’s jobs ?

As with the buyer persona interview, the easiest way to uncover what jobs people use your product, service or solution to do is to ask them in an interview.

We are trying to establish a timeline here, from the “first thought” they had through to “purchase” and “satisfaction”.

So the simplest way to achieve this is to use an unscripted interview apporach, and work back from the time they purchased.

Ask questions such as:

  • Why did you buy the product / service?
  • How long did you think about it before buying it ?
  • What made you finally go through with the sale ?
  • Did you have any previous thoughts about buying but did not do so ?
  • Where you making do with something else ?
  • When did you realise you did not have to make do anymore ?
  • What was the series of events from first thought through to becoming a customer ?

Again, if you map this out for 15 – 20 customers, it will give you a greater understanding of why they bought and the job they were trying to get done.

DME TIP: Write out a “Jobs To be Done Story” – from all the information you gather work out the following for your persona, write this on their persona profile. This should read as follows “As a {WHO} when I am {SITUATION} I want to {MOTIVATION} so that I can {OUTCOME}”

Creating Your Business Positioning Statement

You may be able to sell your product, service or solution to many types of people but for true sales enablement that enables your sales team to sell more efficiently and at a higher velocity then you need to work out who you want to be a hero to and focus all your efforts on that particular persona and helping them get their particular job done. The customer success is everything.

 

Who do you want to be a Hero to ?

Now you know the sectors, companies and people you can help. It is important to decide on one persona and focus all your efforts on helping that one persona get their job done.

Have a singular focus and own it. Do not be mediocre and try appealing to everyone. It is vital you obsess about being the best at what you do for that person. Follow this blueprint:

1. Define your persona.

2. Figure out heir job to be done.

3. Put it all together in a Business Positionig Statement.

4. Focus all you do on being a hero to that one persona.

The key benefit to this apporach is that you start to know that persona and customer better than anyone else, you are investing in their success and happiness. You will constsantly be asking yourself How can we deliver more customer happiness and success ?

Sales Enablement Digital Media Edge Guide Download

The power of content in sales enablement

The power of content for marketing is that it educates, teaches and empowers people with knowledge. At every stage during the buying process, the prospect is asking questions and researching the best answer to those questions.

Content is the glue between marketing and sales alignment. Marketing will produce great content that will enable the sales team to answer questions that prospects are asking, provide comparisons and sell more efficiently.

Sales can constantly feedback what they are hearing from prospects and customers, to enrich the content that marketing is producing but more importantly, ensure that they produce sales-related content i.e content that will help sales close more deals. It is important that every piece of content produced is driving people towards making a buying decision.

sales enablement content

There are a number of types of content to focus on as part of your overall sales enablement strategy and these need to be readily available to the sales team as they speak to and engage with prospects at various stages of the buying process.

Pre-Sale Content

Creating content that will help buyers solve probems that are related to the product or services you sell should be the starting point of all marketing teams.

The fact is, if you can attract people to your business with engaging, educational content, they will naturally want to talk to sales.

Ask yourself  “What are the first questions we get asked on 80% of our first sales calls ?”

By focusing on answering these questions through educational content, you are moving people along the sales process. The additional benefit is that it keeps your business buyer centric and talking about what buyers want to talk about and not what your business wants to talk about. The inbound way.

Of course by aligning with one another the sales team can record these questions and feed them back to the marketing team.

Remember the point of this is that the more educated a prospect is, the more qualified they will be when they talk to sales. More qualified leads makes your sales team life easier.

Content During The Sales Process

Of course, as the sales process proceeds, the sales team need easy access to relevent content when they meet prospects. So focus on building a library of assets that are easily accessible such as slide decks, infographics, checklists, reports, case studies, testimonials and email templates with links to these resources, that sales can access and use to support a sale.

Then build this content into the fabric of your sales process.

Just because the sales team have access to this content, they are not guaranteed to use it unless you build each piece into your sales process. You are enabling your sales team to reach out with helpful content that adds value to the buyer.

Driving Post-Sale Customer Success With Sales Enablement

The power of customer marketing is the fact that your existing customers are the ones who are most liekly to buy more from you, will give you referrals, leave you reviews, give testimonials and help you improve your product, service and most importantly your sales process. So the final piece of the sales enablement puzzle is developing a post-sale customer success process to create these opportunities throughout the customer lifecycle.

How do you define customer success ?

Do you define it as “another sale” or can you define it as a longer term customer success. Your sales, marketing and service teams need to align to create a culture of celebrating customer milestones such as renewals, additional sales and referrals generated.

Help the customer to fire their old solutions

As discussed earlier, when a new customer comes onboard they are adopting your product or service, to get a job done. They may still continue using their old system too, so we need to ensure that they succeed with the new product or service and get rid of the old.

It is vital to produce content to help the new customer succeed, continuing to build the relationship and trust that eas earned during the sales process, this will help them get rid of their old solution forever. Old habits die hard.

Encouraging a customer to buy from you again

If you truly understand why someone purchased your product or service and what job they wanted to get done, you can continue to support them with new and improved ways to get that job done, helping them everytime that job needs doing. This will encourage them to buy from you again and again.

Be a partner to your customer not a vendor

Make sure you constantly listen and feedback what the customer is saying to sales and service. Marketing can then continue to develop revant content that supports customer success.

Helping your clients to succeed positions you as a partner with them and builds competitive advantage that no competitor can beat, as you have the relationship.

Your customers will love you for it, buy from you again and again plus provide the sales team with new leads to work with.

Building Your Sales Enablement Tech Stack

The final piece of your sales enablement strategy is aligning all your internal teams around the technology that will allow your sales team to sell more efficiently and at a higher velocity.

There are three key reasons that you need to use technology at the heart of your sales enablement strategy:

1. To measure the results of your efforts

The metrics put in place in the Service Level Agreement need to be measured to ensure that marketing and sales are meeting their agreed targets. Is sales using the content that marketing is creating ? Is marketing attracting the right qualified good fit leads ? Are slaes engaging with those leads in a timely manner ? Is the content being produced being consumed by prospects and driving the right actions ? A solid tech stack or all-on-one tech platform such as Hubspot can produce reports on all these metrics and allow you to continue to optimise and make improvements when the results are not what you want them to be.

2. To provide a single source of truth

The results that are being driven by your sales enablement strategy need to be reported and visible to the leadership team to demonstrate the value created. The importance of all teams sharing the same “single source of truth” of data, information and customer records allows a seamless experience for your customers.

tech stack single source of truth

3. Smart Automation

An important part of running a sales enablement strategy at scale is leveraging technology to automate elements of the process. We must ensure that everything is aligned before automating i.e start with a manual process and then look at ways automation can help.

Selecting the right technology

The most effective way to build any tech stack is to start at the core and then move to the edges. At the heart of your technology needs to be an effective CRM system, to act as the “single source of truth” for all contact with a prospect and customer. Then around the CRM you need to build out email, marketing autonation, website, analytics, live chat and various other platforms to support the process.

What normally happens in organisations is that Marketing use their own marketing software such as automation, social media and email tools, while sales use the CRM for the sales effort. The main problem here is that different data and information is being entered by different teams at different times, so this can lead to inconsistencies and give a poor user experience to the prospect. The more your tools and tech stack align the easier it is to prove ROI and get meaningful data on what is working.

Building The Right Tech Stack

When putting together the technology that will help your sales enablement strategy to succeed, make sure you think through:

1. What are the goals we want to achieve ?

2. What organisation and skills do we need to achieve those goals ?

3. What technology stack of tools do we need ?

Digital transformation is all about business growth and embracing the technology that can help you to grow better. The vision and buy in of your senior leadership team or C-suite is vital to driving change. Then accelerate growth by adopting the appropriate technology.

Sales Enablement Digital Media Edge Guide Download

Lets Get Started On Your Sales Enablement Strategy

As you can see, when it is broken down into predictable steps, account-based marketing strategy is all about creating a remarkable user experience and using inbound marketing principles to attract, engage, convert and delight new and existing customers.

Simply focus on identifying those “good fit” target accounts, then use effective inbound marketing tactics to connect, engage and attract them to your business.

At DME we are experts in helping B2B business to grow better, through inbound marketing and sales tactics that work. We can help your business to plan and execute your next Account-Based Marketing campaigns, to drive 20 – 30% year on year growth in traffic, leads, customers and revenue.

Simply get in touch and let’s talk about your business growth goals you can email support@digitalmediaedge.co.uk or call us on 01522 837259

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If you own, run or work in a B2B business and are looking to grow your business leads, customers and revenue by 20 – 30% over the next 12 months, then let’s have a 15 minute chat about your goals, challenges, gaps and timescales. Unlock the true power of inbound marketing, sales and account-based marketing.

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If you have any questions regarding the creation or execution of an effective marketing and sales strategy for your business, please reach out and get in touch. Call, message, email or live chat - Whatever suits you...

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support@digitalmediaedge.co.uk

Digital Media Edge

Ropewalk,

Lincoln,

LN6 7DQ

Tel: 01522 837259

Email: support@digitalmediaedge.co.uk

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