O Over the past few years, organizations in every sector have felt the need to digitize their operations. As consumer buying behavior continues to change at a radical pace, it has sparked an entire industry around "transformation"—the quest to re-invent conventional processes to align with the modern consumer.
The effects of these changes are felt even more intensely with sales and marketing teams, as the need has arisen to unite these traditionally separate departments to focus on a single target growth number.
By aligning sales and marketing initiatives, your organization can get a more holistic picture of your new leads, and their path to becoming paying customers. It’s called having a 360 view of your customer. With this information in hand, you can easily view their journey from their first interaction with your company, to every subsequent touchpoint from sales and marketing, all on a single timeline.
In your pursuit of sales and marketing alignment, it's critical that you focus on your sales enablement strategy. At its core, sales enablement is a mindset that focuses on reducing friction for your sales team—just as you want to reduce friction for the end buyer. That means making sure your sales team has easy access to high quality, relevant content that allows them to close more business, faster.
Here are three tactics to work on as part of your sales enablement strategy:
1. Reduce Manual Data Entry
How is your team capturing its frontline sales engagement activity? Most organizations have a CRM tool that acts as a single source of truth for all lead and customer information. However, we are well past the days of manually logging emails, tracking LinkedIn engagement, and logging phone conversations. There are now ,multiple tools available to auto-sync email threads to your CRM system, enable phone conversation intelligence, etc.
The point is, there are many ways to automate basic sales admin tasks so your team can focus more on selling.
2. Centralize All Sales Resources
Where do you keep all of your key sales resources? Does the sales team know where to find them? Does each member of the team have a copy of the content on their desktop that they have tweaked on their own?
Marketing will often have specific content for the top of the funnel (blog content, infographics, etc.), while sales will require more targeted content for the bottom of the funnel (case studies, product sheets, etc.). Is there alignment on how content is created and housed?
Depending on your CRM and marketing automation setup, it's essential to have all of the relevant content accessible for the sales team. As a goal, you should work toward making sure they are able to find whatever they need in under a minute.
3. Automate Notifications for Engaged Leads
A CRM system is essentially a database. And as such, it can create challenges for getting real-time information on what is happening with leads. Your sales team should have a front-end sales engagement platform that syncs with whatever marketing automation tool the marketing team uses.
The goal here is to have real-time updates on the level of engagement of your company’s leads. That prospect you were talking to last week? You just got notified they clicked the eBook link that you emailed them. Very important to know. And that prospect that went cold on you a few months ago: they just read through seven pages on your website. Time to give them another call.
In conclusion, finding new ways to automate and optimize sales and marketing activities across the customer journey is a job that should never cease. Audit your own processes and resources to see where the gaps are, and take the necessary steps to reduce friction for your sales team.