Marketers: Are you enabling your sellers?

One of Marketing’s key jobs is to help Sales sell. But companies, and therefore marketers, have different attitudes and approaches to where marketing ends, and sales enablement begins. I’ve written before about providing Sales with a toolkit. I believe marketers in organizations that lack a sales enablement function may need to take a few extra steps to ensure that Sales is enabled to use what Marketing gives them.

Here’s an example. A marketing colleague of mine ran a campaign that did well. Their target audience responded by downloading campaign assets.

But when Marketing passed the leads to salespeople, they found widely varying degrees of follow-up – if the salesperson followed up at all. As a result, their sales enablement team is now holding workshops to help salespeople follow up appropriately.

Clearly, even though we’ve provided assets and leads to Sales, that doesn’t mean they know what to do with them.

What can marketers do to improve sales enablement? Here are 3 ways to help Sales sell:

  • Train them how to use your Message Map.
  • Teach them to educate before selling.
  • Show them which of their follow-up activities get the best response.

A Message Map is a great sales enablement tool

Creating a Message Map for marketing to use is one thing, but have you trained Sales – and other departments – how to use it?

Simply distributing your Message Map is not enough. As my business partner George Stenitzer writes in this blog, “Put one manager in charge of implementing consistent delivery of your message to attract customers and business partners. Make sure everyone speaking for the company stays 100% on message.”

Enable Sales by training them on your Message Map.

Take the time to show Sales how to use your Message Map to write clear, concise emails and presentations. It will be worth it in the long run – boosting their results and saving you time.

Educate buyers before you sell

For companies with long sales cycles, when a prospect visits their website or downloads an asset, they aren’t necessarily ready to buy. Yet I’ve seen salespeople, and even some marketers, follow up on the asset download with novel-length emails pushing the prospect to make a purchase.

The best marketing and sales enablement teams understand the buyer journey and serve up the right content at the right point in the journey. And even when you’re delivering qualified leads to Sales, prospects may not be ready for a hard sell. Work with your salespeople on a follow-up plan that educates buyers and gets them comfortable with your company and solution first.

Metrics can inspire salespeople

One of the best ways to enable Sales is to literally show them what tactics are working. From email subject line, to length, to messaging, find out what’s working – and what’s not – and show the results to Sales.

It can take time to change habits, but it’s hard to argue with facts. Once salespeople learn which tactics get the best results, they’ll work to change their ways. Some sales enablement teams even run contests to inspire salespeople to change their follow-up habits.

Sales enablement can fall by the wayside for busy marketers. But training Sales how to use your Message Map, to teach before they sell, and what tactics get the best results are proven ways to produce better results for your organization.

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