How Marketing Can Contribute to Sales Efficiency
Just this week, Docurated and InsightSquared teamed up to produce an eBook that explains how sales managers can create a working sales enablement function within their organization. Our team of sales enablement experts came together to answer one vital question: What can sales managers do to increase the amount of time reps have to connect with decision-makers?
Today’s post is the first in a three part sales enablement series to coincide with the release of the eBook entitled Sales Enablement: The Rocket Fuel For Sales Leaders Who Need to Scale. Our blog series will examines the cross functional nature of sales enablement and will cover the following areas:
- How Marketing Can Contribute to Sales Efficiency
- What Sales Analytics Can Do to Optimize the Sales Process
- Why Content Management is Essential For Sales Enablement
3 Key Ways Marketing can Contribute to Sales Enablement
Your company’s sales process begins in marketing. Marketing is where the leads that will ultimately become customers are generated, and it is where their first interactions with your company take place. There is no denying that the effectiveness and efficiency of your sales process is heavily influenced by the way your marketing team functions.
Because of this, it is vital that sales leaders understand how the marketing department in their companies operates and what they can do to make the sales reps’ jobs easier.
There are three key ways marketing can contribute to sales enablement:
- Content Creation
- Lead Nurturing and Scoring
- Lead Intelligence
As the primary content creators in the organization, it is marketing’s task to create the “right information” which sales enablement is dependent on. Marketing must provide sales with tailored and targeted content that generates qualified leads and helps push sales opportunities down the funnel.
Lead generation is becoming more reliant on inbound marketing efforts based on unique and value-adding content. And it’s not just lead generation. As the buyer moves through the sales funnel, relevant content can also be leveraged to overcome objections.
Creating high-quality content that enables sales reps is not always easy, though. There are a number of steps companies should follow to create the type of content necessary to improve the effectiveness of the sales organization.
- Follow the Buyer’s Journey
- Audit Current Content
- Set Content Creation Plan
- Prioritize Mobile Content Creation
- Use CTAs Effectively
Lead Nurturing and Scoring
While content can play a central role in lead generation, it is far from the only way marketing can contribute to sales enablement. Unless marketing and sales are in alignment, the sales enablement initiative will struggle to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the sales organization. According to MarketingSherpa 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Marketing teams may be too eager to hand leads off to sales who, in many cases, do not deem the lead to be sales ready.
Another stat provided by MarketingSherpa points out that while 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to Sales, only 27% of those leads will be qualified. Sales leaders need to meet with marketing to create a shared set of guidelines on lead hand-offs. A one size fits all approach to lead management will not work; companies must develop a formula that is specific to their situation.
A good place to start is an agreement between marketing and sales about what quantifies a marketing qualified lead (MQL), a sales accepted lead (SAL), and a sales qualified lead (SQL). A shared lead scoring system can also help to demarcate the lines between the types of lead.
Sales effectiveness can also be increased through lead nurturing and personalized email marketing campaigns. Market2Lead research found that nurtured leads have a 23% shorter sales cycle and a 9% higher average deal size. Think about including ungated thought leadership pieces in your email marketing campaigns to build trust and demonstrate expertise in your field.
Once Marketing hands over qualified leads to sales, they still have an important role to play.As marketing passes a lead to sales, they should provide the answers to these questions:
- How did the lead first hear about our company?
- What content did they read?
- Which pages on our website did the lead visit?
- Did they engage with anyone on the marketing team?
Our sales enablement series continues tomorrow where we will look at the importance of sales analytics. Download our free eBook to learn more about sales enablement and how it can help sales leaders scale their organization.
Written by Cóbhan Phillipson