Sales enablement is the strategic, ongoing process of equipping sales teams with the content,guidance, and training they need to effectively engage buyers. Sales enablement analytics provide marketing and sales teams with data-driven insights to optimize their business and drive revenue. (HubSpot)
"65% of sales leaders who outperformed revenue targets have a dedicated sales enablement person or team, highlighting how an investment in a sales enablement team can lead to revenue growth." As per HubSpot 2021 Sales Enablement Report
Sales enablement may just seem like a fancy title for sales, but it's not. Sales enablement is a strategy that engages the right buyer, at the right time, with the right resources - and also focuses on guidance and training to continually optimize the strategy. Then layering on the key role that marketing plays in content creation, we really have a large process to manage.
Sales enablement for industrial manufacturers is similar to quality assurance. Quality assurance is the catalyst for producing quality throughput with materials and machines in your shop. Sales enablement is the catalyst for producing revenue with sales and marketing.
The Sales and Marketing Manufacturing Line
Just like a manufacturing line, in Sales and marketing enablement we have a start, and an end, and process and materials to create a final product. If we want to manufacture leads we need to get our process written our tools in place and train the teams and keep them connected. Nothing new to industrial organizations . However there is one nuance - is is an iterative process - it is never done. This process requires ongoing refinement and updates. The data insights we gather set us up to get better and better with each iteration. However, the "constant -ness" of doing sales and marketing enablement the right way can eventually create burnout and lack of interest if the team does not have buy in, or it is left for the sales guys to manage. It is a group effort for sure.
There is a way to set yourself up for success, and it is pretty easy to do, as long as you follow the process and stay focused. After all this process is how you manufacture your future revenue. Do not leave this up to serendipity.
Create a framework for Sales and Marketing Enablement
Create a flowchart of how leads come in, and how they are processed? What tools do you use? What tools do you need?
Who are your teams and what are their responsibilities? What information or training do they need?
What is the process to create and follow on quotes? What happens if the opportunity is not ready?
What will you measure and track to make sure all is working well? What data dashboards will you review weekly?
In addition to the process above, consider these best practices specific to the industrial marketplace. Long sales cycles and multiple decision makers require you to engage on several levels and most importantly nurture and stay top of mind when you are in a lengthy sales cycle. Do not be forgotten!
Best Practices to Include in Industrial Sales and Marketing Enablement
Creating (and updating regularly) a user-friendly website
Publishing newsworthy press releases with updates about your company
Writing informative blogs about the challenges your prospects and clients face
Designing helpful eBook guides to provide in-depth guidance to challenges
Writing technical white papers to share your subject matter expertise with your peers
Paying for partnerships and advertising that could expand your reach beyond your current audience
Posting educational content to social media accounts
Engaging in social media conversations with other thought leaders
Create nurture workflows: Calls -Emails - Invites
Hosting webinars and sharing your subject matter expertise with those who need it
Publishing videos and webinar recordings to YouTube (which is the second largest search engine after Google!)
Enlightening your audience with podcasts on topics they care about and connecting with other thought leaders to expand your audience
Connecting sellers to the most relevant content for each buyer engagement
Providing flexible ways to present content to customers, like digital copies of your brochures or even animated video experiences of your product
Delivering real-time visibility into whether or not customers find content engaging
Applying advanced analytics so pitches and content can be optimized
Enabling sellers to get the training they need and measuring how effectively that training delivers bottom-line results