The Last Mile: How Sales Enablement Can Help Close a Deal
Getting Sales and Marketing to Work Together
Whether your business has a chief marketing officer or a chief revenue officer, chances are good that they both share the same goal: revenue. Recently, consulting firm SiriusDecisions identified one surprising factor that’s critical to revenue growth: whether a business’s sales and marketing departments worked together.
When sales and marketing were aligned, businesses saw 19 percent faster revenue growth and 15 percent higher profitability. Why? We’ll explain. And then we’ll show you how you can start to replicate those results in your own business.
Selling to Today’s Informed Consumer
Consumers in today’s world are more informed than ever before. As a result, your prospective customers are already 50 to 90 percent through the purchase journey before they ever engage with your salespeople, according to industry estimates.
By and large, customers are doing their own research, mostly self-guided and online, through social media and searches. That means that the bulk of your engagements with today’s customers won’t be through your sales reps; they’ll be through your digital marketing materials.
And when the members of your sales team finally do talk directly to customers, they’re dealing with different customers than they used to. Many sales reps waste time telling customers things they already know.
In contrast, today’s most effective sales teams spend their valuable one-on-one time addressing customers’ specific concerns and questions. They offer personalized arguments in favor of your business that are tailored to the informed customer, weaving in customer data they get from your marketing team to make the best-possible pitch.
Sales Enablement Helps to Close Deals.
So now you know that in order to achieve results with today’s informed customer, the members of your sales team must deliver personalized pitches—something only possible when they’re in close conversation with your marketing team.
Unfortunately, most organizations aren’t able to achieve this level of cross-departmental conversation that’s both granular and all-encompassing. Instead, sales reps spend about 31 percent of their time searching for or creating content that already exists in a business’s marketing materials or data, according to HubSpot.
That said, it doesn’t make sense for the marketing department to brief the sales reps on each individual case. So how do personalized sales pitches become possible at scale?
The answer is sales enablement.
Sales enablement is a systematic form of cross-departmental communication that ensures that everyone knows what promotions are in market when, what value propositions consistently translate into leads, and what customers are saying in response to campaign messaging.
Typically, sales enablement involves the creation of customizable sales presentations, translating your marketing materials and data into sales pitches that can be quickly personalized to each individual customer.
When done right, sales enablement arms your sales team with consistent messaging and easily personalized reasons that a customer should choose your business. At the same time, it can create a feedback loop between sales and marketing, arming your marketers with information about what’s working, when the competitive climate has changed, and what new requirements their prospects may have, allowing them to update campaigns while they’re still in market.
Telling Your Best Story
When sales and marketing are aligned, your sales reps tell far more compelling stories to your customers. By grounding their presentations in customers’ needs and aspirations—information gleaned from your marketing team members and their data—sales reps can steer the conversation to the topics of greatest urgency to the customer. As a result, they close more deals.
But it’s hard to get everyone on the same page, particularly when it involves coordination down to each pitch to an individual customer. That’s why successful businesses invest in systematic sales enablement to help close more deals, making their chief marketing officers and chief revenue officers very happy indeed.