Sales enablement, for most companies, has become an integral part of their business. The alliance forged between a company’s sales and marketing departments is a powerful one, definitely in terms of driving sales.
We are very much data-driven, so in order to see how sales enablement is accelerating growth across the business landscape, we have conducted a survey among marketers from various industries. We have asked how they felt about sales enablement in general, but also went more in depth ranging from tools used to insights gained.
Sales enablement at its core is all about providing salespeople the content and tools to sell more effectively. It also helps them to engage buyers throughout the buying process, all the while optimizing the process using a data-driven approach. A close partnership between a company’s Sales and Marketing departments is a critical component for this approach. In this survey, we looked at the way in which companies have integrated sales enablement into their commercial affairs.
Yes, sales enablement is a combined
effort of both sales and marketing teams
to create more opportunities to capitalize
on. But the fact that close to 60% of those
questioned say they have a dedicated
Sales Enablement Manager speaks
volumes of the importance to properly
manage this process.
Furthermore, well over 70% of the respondents say their sales and marketing teams meet at least once a month, which strengthens the claim that these teams are actively cooperating. Encouraging.
Proper sales enablement heavily relies on a set of tools which facilitate sales and marketing teams in their quest for more clients, more revenue and a better customer experience overall.
Following the process that is sales enablement, the marketing team creates content first and then distributes it to the sales team, for them to share it with the prospect.
There is a plethora of means out there for sharing content with other people, which is reflected in the response to
the question which tools are used to distribute content to the sales team.
Email remains the most popular way
to communicate, but it’s not far ahead and even sharing the top spot with WeTransfer. Just behind these two, we find Sharepoint and Bynder, followed respectively by perhaps more well-known platforms such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive.
Distributing content is one thing, but opening and using it remains a different beast, so to speak. Sales people definitely still fashion the good old email to
access content, swiftly moving forward to save these files on their desktop or handheld device.
Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are slowly gaining more popularity, but they are still some way behind simply dragging a file from your email to your desktop.
With this in mind, it is no surprise that almost half of the respondents felt that salespeople do not make the most of the available sales content during meetings and follow ups.
This is where sales enablement peaks: creating quality content that can be utilized in every logical way to drive forward the performances of your salespeople.
Good salespeople are naturally capable of delivering a commercial pitch when it matters. But, even the most talented need a hand every now and then. We asked
our respondents how they felt about the role content plays in terms of delivering a sales pitch. The result was as clear as any result: 83% of those questioned feel the role that content plays is become increasingly important.
That does not mean it is all plain sailing. With today’s world and therefore markets, always changing at breakneck speed, it is a big challenge to keep this content fresh and up to date. Almost two thirds of the respondents fully agree on this.
In order to improve, you need to know what works and what doesn’t. Sounds simple, but actually having the insights is one of the key questions in sales enablement. The fact it can be challenging is reflected in this survey, as the numbers are close to being even when asked whether the insights are there.
If there is one thing sales enablement will definitely do, given it is done properly, is giving you valuable data to improve on previous accomplishments. Data can be both on how content is actually used, as well as which content really drives any deal home.
It is not uncommon, that salespeople have no possibility to track how content is being used by a prospect. More than half of the respondents admit they cannot track the way their prospect is using the content they provided.
As for the marketers, two thirds of them say they can see which content their sales people are using. About 50% of those questioned however, cannot see which content is being shared with prospects nor can they pinpoint which representa- tive is using what content. Most of them feel, that anywhere between 26 and 50 percent of the content provided is not being used at all.
A bit contrasting it is perhaps, that 64% of the respondents claim to have insight into the kind of content that really drives conversion.
All in all, there is no doubt that sales enablement adds value to businesses.
Content plays an increasingly important role in the sales team’s ability to deliver commercially. But on the other hand, there is the challenge for the Marketing department to keep the content that is being distributed up to date.
Despite the many ways in which content can be distributed, most marketing and sales teams still share content via email. Salespeople also share most content with their prospects by email. Downsi- de to sharing by email is the fact that tracking whether content is actually viewed by prospects can be rather difficult, this goes for both the marketeers and the salespeople.
If there is one field where sales enablement really comes through, it is by creating quality con-
tent that drives sales to the next level. Not that it is easy, with markets developing faster than ever keeping up can be a daunting task.
But it is definitely worth the effort, as ultimately the data acquired will keep pushing businesses to a better tomorrow.
In conclusion, sales enablement has already done a lot of good things for many businesses around the world. Of course, there are challenges ahead and this survey has pinpointed quite a few areas where things need to improve.