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There’s no question that sales and marketing have to adapt to the modern buyer’s journey. Especially in B2B, so much of the purchase process is self-serve, leaving you with limited time to stand out from competitors and build relationships with prospects.

That’s why the sales enablement field has exploded in recent years. According to the 2018 Sales Operations Optimization Study from CSO Insights, nearly 60% of B2B companies have a formal sales enablement program in place. That’s a significant jump from 19% back in 2013.

The reality is that sales enablement has become a critical component of any B2B organization. But if you’re starting at square one, it’s important not to just go through the motions of building a sales enablement program.

When you already have a foundation of intent data for sales and marketing, you’ll be able to make these 4 pillars of sales enablement success stronger.

1. Setting Team Objectives

In a broad sense, sales enablement is all about giving salespeople the information and assets necessary to close deals more effectively. That’s the high-level goal. But what are the lower-level objectives that you think will drive toward that goal?

For some sales enablement teams, the focus might be on gathering detailed information about products and services. For others, it will be building training programs based on top-performing sales strategies. And in many cases, it will be creating content tailored to specific target accounts.

More likely than not, your sales enablement strategy will be a combination of these objectives and others. But the key to choosing your approach will be understanding the tactics that will have the greatest impact on the bottom line. With intent data at the core of your sales enablement strategy, you’ll have deeper insight into buyer behavior. The more behavioral data you can collect, the easier it will be to make educated decisions about sales enablement objectives that will help salespeople serve the unique needs of your buyers.

2. Creating Relevant Content

Content plays such a critical role in the B2B sales process now. Giving prospects the right content at each stage of the buyer’s journey can be the deciding factor in any purchase decision.

This is why having a dedicated sales enablement team has become the norm in B2B. Traditional sales and marketing don’t have the time or resources to personalize each piece of content for target prospects. With a dedicated sales enablement team, marketing content can be tweaked to fit the needs of target accounts while new content is created as sales identifies opportunities.

The challenge is understanding which types of content and which topics will have the greatest impact on purchase decisions. When intent data is the foundation for your sales enablement processes, you’ll have insight into the keywords and topics that are most compelling to target accounts. And better yet, those topics and keywords will be mapped to specific stages of the buyer’s journey. All of this data will help you create content that delivers the right message, enabling the sales team to build relationships with prospects more effectively.

3. Delivering Assets at the Right Time

Even though a B2B buying team could take months to come to a purchase a decision, the smallest mistakes in sales timing can make or break your chances at closing the deal. Delivering an educational white paper one day too late could mean a prospect now has a stronger relationship with your competitor as they enter the middle of the funnel.

But there’s a lot of grey area for sales enablement teams trying to help salespeople get the right assets to prospects at the perfect time. In the past, timing your engagement has been more art than science.

However, intent data gives you the insights to deliver just-in-time content to prospects. The key is having detailed intent signal scores that tell you exactly how active a target account is in the market. As the scoring evolves, you’ll have real-time insight into exactly which stage of the buyer’s journey a prospect is in. And with that real-time data, you can support sales outreach that is perfectly timed with the most appropriate assets.

4. Creating a Bridge Between Sales and Marketing

When B2B companies first start to build a sales enablement function, there are often questions about where it will sit in the organization. Will it be led by the marketing team? Or, will the sales team oversee the operation?

The truth is that there’s no single right answer—there’s only what’s right for your specific organization. Rather than looking at it as black and white (sales or marketing), the focus should really be on bridging the gap between these two departments, regardless of where the sales enablement function technically sits.

Even though sales enablement is tasked with ensuring the sales team can engage with prospects more effectively, the marketing team can’t be ignored. From assistance in content creation to qualification of top-of-funnel prospects, marketing plays a key role in sales enablement success. Using intent data as the common language between sales and marketing makes it easier for sales enablement to bridge the gap and facilitate high close rates.

Do you know which specific companies are currently in-market to buy your product? Wouldn’t it be easier to sell to them if you already knew who they were, what they thought of you, and what they thought of your competitors? Good news – It is now possible to know this, with up to 91% accuracy. Check out Aberdeen’s comprehensive report Demystifying B2B Purchase Intent Data to learn more.

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