What’s a “Grande Guide”?
We know what the typical day is like for marketers. After all, we are marketers ourselves. Between brainstorming and strategy sessions, last-minute requests and impromptu meetings (“It’ll just take a minute, really!”), and trips to meet colleagues and customers, you can barely find time to breathe, never mind keep up with the latest marketing trends. That’s why we’ve developed the Grande Guide series. In the time it takes you to drink a cup of coffee, you can become proficient on a key marketing topic, in this case, sales enablement.
Why Sales Enablement Matters
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement – also referred to as sales readiness – is about helping today’s salesperson deliver the right content to the right person at the right time to facilitate this (mostly independent) buying process. And it’s up to you to get your sales team ready, namely by making it easy to access and use the following:
A prioritized list of who to contact next based on lead quality and purchase intent
Behavioral data that summarizes prospect interests and intent
Tools that help salespeople track their hottest prospects and alert them to key activities as they advance through the buying process
A library of content aligned to specific stages of the buying process that helps build trust and rapport with the buyer – and ultimately encourages the prospect to reach a favorable purchase decision
Why Do I Need to Understand
Why Does My Business Need to
|need to know – sales enablement covers the sales side of the revenue cycle, including:
Which prospects are displaying behavior and engaging in activity that makes them promising buyers
What topics sales should focus on to engage each prospect in a high-value, relevant dialogue
What tools and techniques are available to track their prospects throughout the buying cycle
What information they can quickly access,customize, and send to prospects to help them navigate the buying process.
The Key to Success:
For example, on your registration form, a prospect might indicate interest in one of your solutions. But a greater need might become apparent when you see what content the prospect downloads and the time she spends viewing your online demos and Webinars. With this information, your sales rep can engage in a more targeted, relevant conversation with the prospect – which helps accelerate the close.
Sales Enablement Tools and
Tools designed to help sales reps quickly identify opportunities, communicate with prospects, and close deals:
Send real-time email alerts directly to sales when hot prospects visit your website, containing visitor details like pages visited, length of visit, and search terms used.
Decipher a prospect’s online activities and behavior so your sales people can focus conversations on topics that resonate with buyers.
Enable sales to access and customize pre-built templates and track recipient response directly through their email program. > Automatically email a report to your sales reps’ inboxes on prospect activities so they can track important contacts, companies, or hot leads.
Sales Enablement Best Practices
When it comes to excelling at sales enablement, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, follow these proven best practices.
Share relevant information. When you send leads to sales, do you provide any insights into the prospect’s recent activity? You’d be amazed at the amount of information marketers collect on websites and through campaigns, but don’t share with the sales team.
Incorporate a proven sales technique. Focus on your top reps – what communication techniques do they use to engage prospects? How can you pass these on to all your sales reps?
Arm sales to engage. Start with “foundational” email templates on the following topics; they are easy to draft and will get used frequently:
Fast facts about the company – maybe with a link to a fact sheet or “about us” page on the website
“I understand your pain” – customized messages that match the subsets of your prospect database
“Check out this online demo”
“I recently switched jobs and joined an exciting new company ...” – a big hit with newbies >Test your sales enablement tools. Get feedback from a small group of reps before rolling tools out to the entire sales organization. This helps develop sales champions for your initiative and builds credibility for your efforts.
Make it easy. Make prospect information and tools available in the environments that are familiar to your sales team, such as CRM, Microsoft Outlook, and mobile devices.
Don’t force adoption. Collaborate with salespeople to demonstrate the benefits of your tools – then publicize successes to the rest of the team.
Sales Enablement in Action
Not convinced of the impact sales enablement can have on your organization? Check out these examples of success.
Plum Benefits contracts with companies to offer employee perks, namely discount entertainment tickets. By tagging pages on its site to track online behavior and pushing that data into Salesforce.com, Plum Benefits enables its sales team to generate higher revenues when talking to prospects. For example, a prospect might indicate on a form that she is interested in ballet, but her onsite behavior shows she was viewing sports and concert tickets. With this insight, the sales rep can make a cross-sell.
Meridium provides software that helps companies track and manage the performance of their production assets. The firm’s inside sales team spent hours qualifying prospects by looking up information. By tracking what’s happening on its site and combining the information with data collected via form submissions, Meridium can proactively arm the sales team with additional insights. This sales enablement process allows the inside sales team to focus on higher value activities, such as sending relevant content to prospects. Thanks to targeted delivery of relevant content, Meridium’s sales cycle
|has been reduced by 3 to 6 months. Plus, by integrating Eloqua with its CRM system – and delivering marketing campaigns through Eloqua – Meridium has realized a 30% increase in sales opportunities.
What’s Next in Sales
Sales Enablement Resources
Want to dive deeper into the topic of sales enablement? These resources will start you on your way.
Eloqua sales enablement Web pages: http://www.eloqua.com/platform/
lead_management/sales_enablement/ and http://www.eloqua.com/services/videos/
Articles on Marketing and Sales Alignment: https://www.visionedgemarketing.com/
It’s All About Revenue blog: http://blog.eloqua.com/
Digital Body Language blog: http://digitalbodylanguage.blogspot.com/search/
Marketing Interactions blog: http://marketinginteractions.typepad.com/
Enable Your Sales: http://www.enableyoursales.com/
The Sales Enabler: http://www.thesalesenabler.com/
Sales Enablement in a Sales 2.0 World: http://salesenablement.wordpress.com/
The Top Line - http://www.bbmarketingplus.com/blog/eBooks
The New Rules of Sales Enablement:
How to Stop Sabotaging Your Sales Teams and Start Empowering Them for Success http://www.thesalesenabler.com/
Beyond Lead Flow - Enabling Sales Through Marketing Automation - http://media.eloqua.com/documents/
Reading Your Buyer’s Digital Body Language - http://www.eloqua.com/resources/whitepapers/Digital_Body_ Language_whitepaper.html
Sales Leadership Roundtable https://www.salesleadershiproundtable.com
Forrester’s Technology Sales Enablement Forum 2011 - http://www.forrester.com/events/eventdetail?eventID=2438
InsideSales.com/MIT Lead Response Management Study - http://www.leadresponsemanagement.org/mit_study
Don’t Understand Sales Enablement? You’re Not Alone! – IDC Sale Advisory Practice http://www.slideshare.net/lml999/idc-sales-enablement-jan-2009-presentation