How to Use Inbound Marketing as a Sales Enablement Tool
October 20th, 2015 | 2 min. read
What Is Sales Enablement?
People understand the concept of "sales" and the concept of "enablement," but when you put those terms together, the definition is widely subject to opinion. A sales enablement team may be part of the sales department, part of the marketing department, or somewhere else entirely. But there are commonalities in the many definitions of sales enablement.
Ultimately, sales enablement is about giving the sales team what they need to increase revenue. When marketing, research, or some other part of the company knows something that will help a sales professional deliver the right message to the customer, and communicates that to the sales professional, it's sales enablement.
Sales enablement includes tools and tasks that facilitate processes like sales calls, account management, and prospect gathering. In other words, it's giving sales what they need to solve customer challenges effectively, and that can change depending on the customer, the sales professional, and where in the sales process the customer happens to be.
Sales Enablement for Lead Generation
Inbound marketing content is designed to generate leads. Suppose you have a piece of inbound marketing content that's doing amazingly well: the blog post is getting hits and comments, it's being shared on social media, and your associated landing pages are showing increased activity. Doesn't it make sense that your sales team knows what's in this remarkable piece of content?
Knowing what really strikes a chord with potential leads helps sales team members have the information and the context to nurture those leads effectively. There are lots of ways to do this. You could have an internal email newsletter, a content library on your company network, or a link on your internal company social network.
Sales Enablement to Improve Conversions
Sales enablement is about getting the right information to the right people - whether they're leads or sales team members. Getting that information to the recipients instantly, or even before they know they need it, is the goal.
Fortunately, there are apps that can do things like notify a sales team member when a lead or customer clicks a certain link in your marketing newsletter, or visits a certain page in your website. That means the sales team member can gain a better understanding of how to make future conversations with that lead or customer as informative and fruitful as possible. It's a way of using inbound marketing as a trigger for prompt response or action by the sales team member.
Internal Content to Better Prepare Sales Professionals
When your sales pro has instant answers beyond what the well-informed prospect has, your competitors better step up their game.
A great inbound marketing strategy isn't the same as sales enablement, however. People are good at gathering information before making buying decisions. Often they're much further along in the buyers journey/sales process than we believe by the time they ask us for more information. By this point, they want information they won't get on your company website, so it behooves the sales professional to be able to provide this information on demand. Again, there are apps designed to help, allowing a sales professional in the field to gather some bit of information instantly, within the sales conversation rather than having to promise to follow up later.
It's all too easy to lose momentum or derail the sales process altogether when a sales professional doesn't have answers right away. Inbound content is like an ocean wave, bringing your leads to shore. Are you there to greet them, or are you going to let them wander down to where your competitor is hanging out?
More Efficiency, Fewer Mistakes
What, specifically "sales enablement" consists of at your company is probably unique. But it should includes the sharing of inbound marketing content, alerts to appropriate sales professionals when a lead takes a certain action online, and generally making sure sales people are able to have substantive, meaningful conversations with potential customers, wherever they happen to be in the sales process.
Inbound marketing content is of enormous importance to both customers and sales team members, and better sales enablement keeps the sales process on track, maximizing opportunities and preventing mistakes.
Until next time,
Owner/Head Coach @ Bernco Media. Digital sales & marketing since 1997. Passion for teaching companies to be the most trusted voice in their space. They Ask, You Answer Certified Coach & HubSpot Certified Partner & Trainer. Probably planning my next Disney trip.