Marketing Organizations As Sales Enablers

May 17, 2011

We spent a few days in the spring heat of Scottsdale, AZ participating in the Annual Sirius Decisions Summit. The impact of new generation technology on organizations are very transparent among attendee conversations and the agenda. Marketers are at the forefront of change brought about by the influences of open source technology, social media and mobile. Marketing roles in organizations are shifting as we integrate and synch up new channels of conversation with the current. 

The most popular sales effectiveness break out session was  Sales Enablement' - Building a Sound Sales Enablement Strategy and Sales Productivity. You may be thinking, "I thought this was a Marketing event?" The speakers addressed:

  • how must b-2-b organizations develop their sales effectiveness and enablement initiatives to best impact sales productivity?
  • What is social enablement, and how will it drive better sales collaboration?
  • What does sales need from marketing to better enable reps and partners?

Marketing effectiveness is not just about creating demand and managing brand and reputation. We have an important internal customer  - the sales organization.

Three tips to better align your sales and marketing teams

Sales Enablement Tip #1 - Get the Black Market Content. 
You know what I am talking about, the content that sits on your reps desktops, and the assets that get passed peer-to-peer. How does this happen? It usually starts with a simple question. "Hey so and so, I have this prospect and they are an X company and have this X challenge.  Do you have anything that speaks to this organizational challenge? This is how the Black Market Content get's started and refined.  This content is rich in best practices and obvious value for a sales representatives.

Key thought: Get your hands on this hot commodity and build it into your marketing content then bring it back to sales. 

Sales Enablement Tip #2 – Give Sales A One-Stop-Shop for Content.
Make it easy for your representatives to access your marketing content. Where are they going to get the latest product update or collateral? Tools like Content or other Learning Management systems (LMS) can increase sales productivity and provide marketers a place to update old content and add new assets.

Crowdsourcing is a great platform to share content with your sales organization, most specially when you are disseminating information to a remote work force. Crowdsourcing can generate great brainstorm sessions, get questions answered across all sales channels and share fresh content for distribution to their clients. Crowdsourcing environments can be set up privately for your internal teams and publicly to support customer conversations.

Sales Enablement Tip #3 - Don't Throw Knowledge Over the Fence.
The days of building content that sits on your portal and doesn’t get downloads are over. Market to your sales team with as much rigor and creativity as you market to prospects and customers.  Get creative and build into your launch process a program to educate and engage your sales reps on your assets value and how to access it.

Marketing roles are ever shifting, and we see growth in new roles like marketing operations, solution marketing and more. How is your organization managing these shifts? We'd love to learn with you!


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