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The 3-Step Guide to Enabling Your Sales Team

In last week’s Sales Summit hosted by Demand Metric, Meagen Eisenberg, VP of Demand Generation at DocuSign, walked us through the three steps to sales enablement success. Her justification for putting so much emphasis on sales enablement? The stats below:

67% of the buyer’s journey takes place online. (SiriusDecisions) tweetbutton

52% of lost sales are due to sales enablement failure. (SiriusDecisions) tweetbutton

In fact, Eisenberg went on to say that the future of sales enablement is sales-marketing alignment — meaning that for either team to be successful, both teams have to understand their buyer personas, stand behind a unified message, and create a solid process for the marketing-sales handoff.

Eisenberg suggests three steps to make this happen. Let’s take a look at each one to see how marketing and sales can start working toward success — together.

1. Build Together.

Tackling sales enablement means starting at the very beginning, with understanding the buyer’s journey. Interview your sales team to get a better idea of the stages that your buyers go through as they move through the sales cycle, then start building out a content roadmap to correspond with what you’ve learned. Discuss how your buyers learn, how they evaluate, and what content marketing can create to meet their needs.

Eisenberg also includes lead scoring as an essential part of this step. “Lead scoring is really critical to the efficiency of our sales team. We need to focus on the most impactful leads that are going to convert in the fastest amount of time.”

Once a scoring and grading system has been implemented at your company, with the input of both your sales and marketing teams (you can learn more about setting up a scoring and grading model in our recently-released Handbook), turn your attention to your lead metrics. Working from a communal model to determine MQLs, SQLs, and closed/won business will make it easier for your two teams to cooperate and work toward common goals.

2. Transparency in Results.

If you want to enable your sales team, you need to be transparent about what spend worked and what didn’t. Your sales team wants to know that you’re doing the right thing with the budget, and that you’re getting as much of a return on your investment as possible. Look at your conversion rates and your closed won deals, then rank your spend across programs to see where you’re getting the highest return. Cut any programs that fall below what you consider an acceptable ROI, and double down on the programs that are seeing the most success.

If you want your teams to be as aligned as possible, always make sure you’re monitoring and measuring as much as you can.

3. Habitual Communication.

In the words of Meagen Eisenberg, sales enablement is about “partnering with sales in a habitual way.” There are several ways to go about this:

  • Gain executive support. Let your executives lead by example. Your heads of marketing and sales should be touching base on a regular basis.

  • Pilot. See how your new content roadmap, lead scoring model, and sales metrics work for your top performers, then roll them out to the entire team. Hearing about the success of the pilot from their peers will be a powerful motivator.

  • Onboard. Marketing should be available for sales reps from the very beginning.

  • Create a feedback loop. Marketing and sales should be meeting on a regular basis to get feedback on what’s working and what’s not. That way, sales can also stay updated on any ongoing or upcoming marketing initiatives.

  • Act on feedback. Just getting feedback from your sales team isn’t enough. Acting on it is just as important, if not more.

What other tips can you provide for marketers who are looking to enable their sales teams? Let us know in the comments!

sales and marketing alignment