We're constantly encouraging industry leaders to think of their marketing and sales departments as one team with the same goal - driving revenue. Unfortunately, when only one part of the team is performing well, then everyone loses. This can manifest itself in one of two ways - either your sales team begins to starve for leads, or your marketing team generates leads that never make it to sales. When these issues arise, it's important to identify how to double down on the area of your business that needs the most attention.
We're going to help you address one of these issues - when you have more leads than your sales team knows what to do with. When this happens we suggest you "fire" your entire marketing team. Not because they're underperforming, but because they have produced a surpluss of leads, and the other half of your revenue team will need help to close them. What we have in mind for these recently unemployed marketers is Sales Enablement.
What is Sales Enablement?
Okay so hold on, you're not actually ditching your entire marketing department. What we're suggesting is that a temporary shift in focus further down the funnel for consistently high-performing marketing teams, can support the sales team to close more deals. Sales Enablement may already be in part of your job description as a marketing professional, but think about how much more you could do to support sales if you were solely dedicated to it for a month.
You may even be thinking, "What exactly constitutes sales enablement?". Well HubSpot defines sales enablement as the technology, processes, and content that empower sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity. This still seems like a pretty broad explanation, I know. But what we want to focus on here is the support you can provide to ensure your entire revenue team is successful.
How You Can Enable Your Sales Team
If you recognize that your marketing team has room in their day to day to focus on sales enablement, here are a few actionable ways you can provide value:
1. Sales Views
Much like marketers utilize Lists in HubSpot, Sales professionals can utilize Views to segment and prioritize contacts for outreach. Take a quick health check to see how or if you sales team is using Views and then determine where there is an opportunity to optimize. What we've seen all too often is that sales teams are great at activities and outreach, but when it comes to knowing which prospects hold priority over others let's just say there are people that are better suited for it. Us analytical marketers more often have a better idea of the contact database, and what contact and company properties are best for segmentation. Go into the sales side and create views for each member of the sales team that are separated by highest to lowest priority. Having a uniform set of Views across the board will ensure your sales team is staying on top of their highest priority contacts, while not forgetting about the slower moving ones that are also in their name. Taking the guesswork out of who they're talking to and in what order will do your entire revenue team a great service.
Having prioritized Views of contacts for your sales team to reach out to is great and all, but now the challenge is what you're actually going to do with these leads. Well I'll tell you, Sequences are the answer. Just as marketing Lists are to sales Views, marketing Workflows are to sales Sequences. Essentially, Sequences are going to allow your sales team to enroll contacts into a cadence of follow-up tasks, whether it's a call reminder, a reminder to send an email or just a general "to-do". It takes all of the worry of remembering to follow-up with leads out of the equation for your sales team and instead sends them regular email alerts and tasks of what to do and when. Pretty nice right?
For example, you might create a Sequence for hot bottom of the funnel (BOFU) leads that first get passed to your sales team. In this Sequence you'd have a reminder set to call right away, followed by an email. A couple days later if the contact hasn't engaged, the sales member would get a task reminding them again to follow up with another call and then a few days later it might be another email and so on and so forth. If you're feeling extra supportive, Sequences will also allow you to add templated emails directly in with cadenced tasks. So if you're recognizing your sales introductory email is pretty similar across the board you can design the Sequence to automatically send out the email template to the contact. I'd suggest getting your sales team set up with Sequences that are "task-only" before you start going through and adding automated email templates.
3. Email Templates
As mentioned above, sales email templates can be extremely useful to making Sequences extra efficient but email templates can be useful for more than that situation. Maybe your sales team is noticing the same questions are coming up regarding case studies or contacts are requesting the same resources over and over again. Creating templated emails with personalization and areas to *insert resource* can be great for your greater sales team to send those one-off emails by spending less time on the copy and more time on the value added.
4. A Daily Sales Activity Calendar
At this point I'm sensing I'm losing you because you're probably programmed to have doubt your sales team will actually utilize any of these awesome Views or Sequences or email templates. But they will, and sometimes you just have to show them by seeing it from their point of view. Sales are often getting hounded by higher-ups to do X amount of emails and calls throughout the day, on top of meetings/calls with prospects, scoping out work, running assessments and building proposals (see they really DO do a lot). Rather than throwing your newly fabricated sales enabling technology, content and processes on their plate as another thing they have to do, tell them how it will help them do their daily activities more efficiently and effectively. Better yet show them.
Create a day to day calendar for your sales team showing how they can prioritize everything they have to do in a day while utilizing Views, Sequences, Tasks, and templates. A daily calendar of what they should be spending their time on and when, is less about being restrictive, and more about having a visual representation of how a prioritized day of Sales Activities can ideally look. Yes, meetings and conflicts are going to come up, and from time to time your sales team may need to stray from the calendar. But having an ideal image of where to prioritize their time is going to help them focus on getting the most impact out of their sales efforts throughout the day.
5. Continued support
Change is inherently difficult for sales professionals, it's an inherently difficult thing for everyone if I'm being completely honest. Don't drop all of this new sales stuff in their laps and then swiftly run back to the comfort of your inbound marketing campaigning. Make the sales enablement shift a smooth one by offering extended support in adoption of the new processes. Continue to have an open dialog with your sales team about what's working and what isn't. Where they could use more support and where they feel their day to day is falling off the rails. Continuing to support their efforts will ensure that your efforts in enablement create long-lasting impact for your whole team.
Why it Matters
A full month of marketing dedicated to sales enablement might not be doable, we get it. But if you've been seeing consistent over-performance in your lead and demand generation and you've got some strong automated campaigns in place, you'd be surprised how easy it can be to say "sayonara" to marketing for a month without getting behind. If you're marketing team is crushing it and they continue to focus on marketing, even though the sales team isn't able to keep up, they're only going to create a bigger backup of qualified leads and that's not doing your revenue team any favors.
A selfish marketer would say, "Why the hell would I be spending my time doing stuff for sales!?" , while a smart marketer would say, "I'm going to help my entire revenue team close more deals and make more money, in any way that I can." Because at the end of the day marketing and sales are working towards one revenue goal.