Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is a hot topic for sales and marketing agencies in 2014. DemandMetric and SAVO Group recently hosted sales enablement summits. Sirius Decisions produced a sales enablement framework and model. HubSpot is hiring “Sales Enablement Stars.”

Alongside these companies, AG Salesworks is encouraging sales and marketing agencies to seriously consider their sales enablement process. Before now, sales and marketing may have had different understandings of the elusive term “sales enablement.” Our newest guide, “Sales Enablement Explained,” includes worksheets, tips, and advice for organizations to agree on what a successful sales enablement plan means to them, including its definition, role, and effectiveness.

Before delving into the ways both sales and marketing departments can contribute to sales enablement, it’s important to define the term. However, sales enablement is a multi-faceted function, and it’s hard to agree on a single definition. After all, no single definition can encompass every feature of sales enablement for every company. One definition can help make its role in the sales process clear, though. In our guide, we define sales enablement succinctly.

Sales enablement is a function that combines responsibilities of both sales and marketing departments. Therefore, it’s impossible to have an effective sales enablement process in place without aligned sales and marketing departments. Here are three activities sales and marketing can try to open communication regarding sales enablement:

1. Work together on buyer personas.

It’s important that both sales and marketing have a thorough understanding of their buyer. To gain better alignment across the two departments, the buyer persona should be developed and agreed upon by both sales and marketing. After a comprehensive buyer persona is created, including a summary of duties, in-depth responsibilities, pain points and challenges, and messaging to the persona, sales enablement can tailor their work to accommodate and engage these buyers.

2. Organize sales and marketing meet-ups.

Steer clear of the meeting room; instead, combine sales and marketing socially. Whether after work at a local restaurant for appetizers, or at work for a sales and marketing luncheon, create a space where both sales and marketing can catch up on what’s going on in the company and have meaningful conversations outside of the daunting conference rooms. These events will foster camaraderie between both teams, who will learn about sales and marketing needs in a different setting.

3. Create an ideas board.

The ideas board is a safe space for marketing, sales, and sales enablement. Each department can nominate ideas for improving the sales process, and then they can vote on which ones the team should implement. They can also rate which tools are most helpful to them. HubSpot recommends creating a Wiki that allows for comments and editing. Therefore, there is a continuous information flow from the entire company. Plus, executing this idea online will most likely increase engagement, as it’s easier and more accessible for millennial inside sales reps. Closed-loop feedback between sales, marketing, and sales enablement is important, and the Wiki can help facilitate this communication.

Overall, it’s important to always communicate in order to maintain a healthy alignment and shared company goals. Your answers to the questions in the worksheet might change over the years as the company expands and changes. Always meet to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knowledge is shared across the board in order to foster an environment where discussion and recapitulation are the norm.

For more ideas on developing a comprehensive and successful sales enablement plan catered to your company’s individual needs, read our guide, “Sales Enablement Explained.