Chris is the Head of Operations and a Growth Marketer at Lean Labs who enjoys strategizing and writing content that drives results. When not typing away, Chris is exploring nature with his two daughters, wife, and dogs.
Marketing should work for Sales.
There—I said it and I won't take it back! I'll prepare for the barrage of well-written hate-mail.
But in all honesty, why shouldn’t Marketing be working for Sales?
Ok, maybe Marketing shouldn't actually work directly under Sales, but they should be doing everything in their power to support them. After all, page views alone won’t pay the bills. Viewers need to move through the funnel and ultimately go through Sales before you can generate revenue.
Marketing and Sales need to team up if they want to get results — results meaning revenue, not just vanity metrics. If you agree with this philosophy, then it’s time for you to consider adding a sales enablement platform to your MarTech stack.
As a successful provider of sales enablement strategies, we know exactly what you need to look for in a successful tool that will help Marketing and Sales work together to generate more revenue for your company. Let’s take a look.
4 Must-Have Features for Your Sales Enablement Platform
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement includes information, tools, and content that can make a sales team more effective. Your processes should maximize sales enablement, and the platform you work with should make it easier to do so.
Not every platform will have a full suite of tools dedicated to enabling sales, but you should aim to have as many in one location as possible. Integrated technology streamlines your workload and helps ensure that nothing is missed.
We recommend HubSpot since it provides many valuable sales enablement resources, but can also integrate with other tools, consolidating everything you need.
Quick Disclaimer—Before you look at adopting a new platform, you should first take the time to determine if your current platform is really the source of your problems. Many companies believe with better tools their sales system will produce better results. This may be the case for some, but more often than not, their system isn't optimized for success.
We recommend ensuring your platform supports your processes and enables you to maximize your team's performance. You can revolutionize your system by refining these four areas.
Additional Reading: Check out our Sales System page to see how you can find better results from your system.
1. Analytics Tracking
Before you can improve anything, you have to know how to measure movement.
At a minimum, a sales enablement platform needs to include a way to measure your metrics. If there are no analytics or reporting options, you're wasting your time with a platform that can’t help you grow.
The metrics that influence your sales system the most are:
- the number of marketing and sales qualified leads generated over a time period
- your overall sales performance
- conversion rates from lead to customer
With this data, you can measure how successful your messaging is across your site and whether your sales team is engaging leads in a positive way.
HubSpot maintains an extensive analytics tool. You’ll have easy access to all this data and more within your portal. Most customer relationship management (CRM) tools have a form of analytics, but before you subscribe to one, ensure it meets your needs and allows you to track the data you need.
2. Content Management
Many sales teams produce more content than marketing. Why? Because they want to deliver something specific to the lead. They feel an article or video would serve the lead better than what's available.
The problem with this approach is that Sales doesn't have the skillset for creating successful content. They also don’t typically share content between sales reps.
The result? Inefficiency and poor customer experience.
- You will have mismatched content covering the same topic between your individual sales team members.
- Most of the content will be crudely assembled using whatever method each salesman is most comfortable with — PowerPoint, email templates, Google Docs, Word Docs, etc.
- Your brand voice and design will not be represented consistently, or in some cases, not at all.
- Your employees are all wasting time. Instead of having one team member or resource creating the content, each sales member is putting in time and effort while the Marketing team is also probably producing similar content as well.
…and that’s just scratching the surface.
However, Sales collects real-time information directly from leads as opposed to the research-based data that Marketing has.
You can probably already see the solution. Your marketing and sales teams need to talk and work together.
- Sales should rely on the Marketing team to use their strengths to create content they can use.
- Marketing should store that content in your sales enablement platform so that it’s easy for each member of Sales to grab and use quickly during their processes.
- Sales should provide real-time feedback on the performance of that content and suggest areas it can be improved.
- Marketing should track the success of the sales materials they create using the sales enablement software and use that data to craft a better buyer’s journey.
3. Customer Relationship Management
Despite the obvious advantages across the entire customer lifecycle, many companies still haven't harnessed the power of a full-fledged CRM.
They instead remain satisfied with tracking a contact's name, email, and phone number—without realizing how properly-utilized CRMs can provide much more than that.
Some CRMs allow you to track everything about a lead automatically.
You can see:
- The pages a lead has visited on your site.
- Which emails the lead has opened.
- The specific offers the lead has converted on.
Beyond that, the right platform will also be able to change the lead's status automatically based on pre-set conditions like form fills and interactions on specific website pages.
Essentially, you want a platform that can provide as much information to help your sales team as possible.
- If your sales team knows which pages a lead has visited, it gives them insights into why that contact may be interested in your service.
- If they know a lead has opened an email, but not responded, they can adjust their next conversation accordingly.
Again, we recommend HubSpot for managing your customer relationships. HubSpot's CRM is free forever and provides tons of information to your team. And since you can create your own contact properties, there's almost no limit to how much you can segment and collect on your contacts.
4. Tool Integration
Image from HubSpot
I've said it before, but not every platform will have everything you need. Because of this, a good platform will allow you to integrate apps and tools from other vendors to give you collected insights in one location.
For example, HubSpot has a wide range of sales enablement tools, but maybe your team prefers Slack for communications.
Because the tools integrate, you can get updates from HubSpot directly in your Slack channels. This ensures that when a lead fills out a form to talk to Sales, their contact info will display in Slack so a rep can quickly engage that lead without having to jump into another platform.
What's important is that if the platform you choose doesn't include a tool you need, there's an option to incorporate it.
Take the Next Step in Building an Optimal Sales Process
Sales enablement allows your company to produce better leads at a faster rate. If you ensure the platform you choose has these requirements, you'll find yourself well on your way to seeing those results.
However, a solid platform is only one piece of an optimal sales system.
There is a good chance that at your company, Sales and Marketing are having a silent (or not-so-silent) blame war.
- Marketing is trying to meet their quotas, so they throw as many leads as possible at Sales — forcing them to dumpster dive for prospects.
- Meanwhile, Sales isn’t providing feedback about leads, so Marketing doesn’t know how to adjust to provide better leads.
It’s a vicious and never-ending cycle that you have to break if you are truly interested in building a scalable sales system that can boost your company’s bottom line.
Fortunately, we’ve helped numerous companies solve this problem. We can walk through the root of these problems and show you the solutions. Check out Sales System page to see how you can improve your sales processes and performance to reach your expectations.
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