One of the most ubiquitous challenges in today’s business context, crossing departments and industries alike, is the lack of both time and resources – organizations across the board have “gone lean.” Budgets are tight, staff is scarce, but organizational goals are high. Consequently, marketing departments are faced with the question of how to do more with less. Rising to this challenge begins with optimizing your resources and time, to maximize the value of your efforts. Here are three steps for improving sales enablement:
1. Slow down to speed up
In today’s constrained and harried context, quality is often sacrificed for expediency. Paradoxically, it is precisely in such times when you need to slow down in order to make important gains later in the process. By slowing down, you can thoughtfully apply a disciplined approach to creating a stronger foundation from which you can later reap larger dividends. In terms of marketing this means taking the time to do the right research, determine the ideal market segment, and agree on objectives to ensure your campaigns return higher quality, better qualified leads. This also means optimizing your teamwork by creating the space to join forces with Sales in order to better inform each other’s work – it’s the proverbial “two heads are better than one” scenario.
2. Build a better database
An accurate and current target database is really your most important marketing asset. Fresh names and email addresses mean greater campaign efficiency and higher response rates. A database’s effectiveness largely lies in taking the time to understand up front, with the utmost clarity and level of detail possible, precisely who your target audience is – their industry, their business size, their location, and so on down to individual titles, roles, and responsibilities. Brainstorm with Sales to more accurately define your target market and determine key qualifying questions – you might be surprised at some of the hidden assumptions that get exposed in the process! Combine this detailed knowledge with a clear understanding of your list’s objective, and you’ll have a winning formula for successful list and database building.
3. Maximize the value of your research
To build your database, you’ll likely have engaged in copious amounts of research – especially if your market is highly-focused and targeted and you’ve utilized surveys to gather contacts and qualify leads. Don’t miss the opportunity to squeeze extra value out of this effort! Within this research you’ll find key insights, emerging trends, information on hot (and cold) markets – content just waiting to be developed into assets. In fact, prospect surveys, beyond providing you with highly targeted and qualified leads, are also useful for generating trend reports that can then be mailed to your new database contacts, as well as freely offered online in the form of a white paper or webinar, for example. Your research has multiple layers of value – use them. Coordinate with Sales to determine what types of assets are required where in your buyer’s journey.
Optimizing sales enablement begins with taking the time to engage in a deliberate, well-considered, process. In today’s constrained business context, the alignment of Sales and Marketing is the new driving force enabling Sales to more efficiently and effectively move prospects through the sales funnel. It’s about joint efforts and a pooling of knowledge to gain a richer picture relating to all aspects of your target segment(s), industry, prospects, and buyer’s journeys, in order to more capably, artfully, and efficiently leverage this information. Maximize the value of your efforts, your time, and your resources by working smarter, not harder.
The debate continues…What is Sales Enablement? What’s your view? How can Marketing best help Sales succeed? Read our previous blog post: Six Critical Sales Enablement Strategies for Marketing. Then please post your comments below.
For a comprehensive list of sales enablement information requirements and to evaluate how complete your current sales enablement efforts are, please download the SimplyDIRECT B2B Sales Enablement Checklist. Click on the button below to access the Checklist.