After a quick Google search, you’ll see a variety of statistics. For example, 54% of teams feel that their marketing and sales teams are siloed. Twenty thousand labor hours are wasted per year due to silos between sales and marketing teams. If sales and marketing teams aligned, B2B revenue could increase by 20%. Or something along those lines.
TLDR - sales and marketing silos leave money on the table, waste time, and create frustration for both teams (and probably your customers).
So, how do we fix this?
While marketing and sales teams do not work for one another, both departments exist solely to serve your customers. So, logically, they should work together to ensure that customers are receiving the best experience possible. So, how do we make that happen?
Implementing a culture focused on sales enablement is essential to eliminating the silos and empowering sales and marketing to serve one another.
Definition: Sales enablement is the iterative process of providing your organization’s sales team with the resources they need to close more deals. These resources may include content, tools, knowledge, and information to sell your product or service to customers effectively.
Marketing’s Role in Sales Enablement
The overall goal of marketing is to create an excellent customer experience while generating and nurturing qualified leads for your sales team to convert into revenue for your organization.
To best achieve this, marketing teams should consider the following:
First, make sure you’re qualifying leads before sending them to your sales team for outreach. If your organization has not implemented lead scoring, please do so ASAP. Unqualified leads or leads that are not ready to speak with sales take time better spent with interested, ready-to-convert leads. Also, your sales team will quickly lose trust in leads delivered by marketing if they’re consistently unqualified, and your hard-earned leads will move to the bottom of the priority list.
Put yourself in your sales team’s shoes. Take a look at a marketing qualified lead that’s ready to go to sales. When you open the record, do you have all of the information readily available to call or email the lead? Can you easily see where the lead came from and what makes them qualified for sales? If not, consider reorganizing the contact record to put the most important information for sales in an accessible spot.
In HubSpot, you can add a section to the left sidebar for ‘Sales Qualification’ that includes information about the source, conversion qualifications, and key indicators for conversion in one spot. Surfacing this information saves your team time and enables a faster response for your customers.
They Ask, You Answer
Your content should serve your sales process by answering your customer’s questions. Take a look at your customer journey map. Identify the common questions, thoughts, and concerns your customers have throughout the sales process and build content that supports the sales team in addressing them.
For example, suppose your customers usually ask how your product compares to a specific competitor with lower prices. In that case, a detailed value comparison for that competitor will quickly help your sales team address that question.
Collaborative Content Creation
Involve your sales team in the content creation process. But, do so wisely. Do not put the burden of creating content or reviewing every piece of content on your sales team. Instead, invite your top performers to a monthly or quarterly meeting to discuss your content calendar. Share the upcoming topics and themes your marketing team is building content for and welcome their feedback on the relevance and value of this content. Be sure to save time to get open feedback from the sales team about new questions and objections they’re receiving from prospects and work content focused on those into your FAQs, articles, or knowledge center.
Pro-Tip: After you create new content, share it in an easy-to-find location with your sales team so they can quickly access it when communicating with prospects.
If your sales team is following a process, odds are they are sending many of the same emails to prospects. We’ve found that many sales representatives have a running Word document of emails they typically send that they copy and paste from when needed. Eek!
Prove your team’s trustworthiness and earn a few gold stars from your sales team. Take the templates they’ve created (or build a few from scratch) and convert them into templates in your CRM that can be easily accessed, personalized, and sent. Templating frequent communications will save your sales team time and deliver your customer’s a more consistent experience.
If you’re using HubSpot Sales Hub, take it a step further and put these templates into a sequence that your sales team can use for easy follow-up. Sequences deliver a series of emails until a meeting is booked or a response is received. Automating these communications will save your team hours of time prospecting.
PS: HubSpot has a beta that allows teams to automate HubSpot sequence enrollment.
Sales’ Role in Sales Enablement
Sales teams exist to support, educate, and guide customers towards the best solution to their current challenges. While marketing plays a large role in tee-ing up success, the sales team plays a huge role in the ultimate success of sales enablement.
Use the CRM
Using a new system can honestly be a pain. It takes time to learn and adds new steps to your sales process. However, if used correctly, a CRM can greatly reduce the overall amount of steps in your sales process and free up hours of your time. To enable your success and the success of your team, commit to using the CRM daily.
Trust in Marketing
“Trust can’t be earned. It can only be given.” - a therapist I once had
After your team commits to sales enablement, give the marketing team a fresh slate and a chance to wow you with their revamped sales enablement practices. Ditch the grudges you may have and commit to being better together. And, yes, extend trust even before they’ve ‘earned’ it!
Are you a top-performer on your team? If you are, share the wealth and regularly provide insights on your successes with your team to help them reach top-performer status. If you’re not, find the top-performers and replicate their methods. You’ll see an instant increase in your confidence, and your sales numbers will quickly reflect that.
Serve as the Voice of the Customer
As part of marketing’s role in sales enablement, they will loop your team into content creation and lean on you to share customer questions, concerns, and pain points regularly. Dedicate a page in your notebook or a Word document on your desktop to documenting questions as they come up to share with the marketing team. Sharing this intel will help the marketing team create content that you can proactively communicate with your prospects in the future that will really ‘wow’ them!
Now that you have the foundation for creating a culture of sales enablement, invite sales and marketing leadership to meet and agree to commit. If you feel you need a mediator to lead and moderate that conversation, feel free to reach out. We’re happy to help.
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