Sales Enablement and Marketing Content’s Role
Matt Heinz, who I had the pleasure of almost literally bumping into at the Sirius Decisions Summit a few weeks back, always has great ideas and content on his site — particularly around how marketing can support sales enablement. This week’s post really caught my eye as he looks into sales enablement in detail. The nub of his discussion is that increasingly the line between sales and marketing is blurring. We see that in the rise of inbound marketing and inside sales teams in the B2B set. That blurring means that marketing and sales should increasingly look to a shared responsibility for revenue — and I might add, sales enablement. When looked at in that light, Marketing’s goal becomes less about demand generation and awareness. It requires a total view of the demand waterfall. It requires that Marketing look at the full process from lead to revenue. That is, if marketing is not focused on sales enablement after leads have been passed to sales, then they are missing a critical element of the buyer’s journey and wasting opportunities. A revealing number that came out of the summit was that only 29% of sales people’s time is devoted to core selling activities. If there is any place that sales enablement should look it should be to:
- Reducing the 71% of time that is devoted to non-core activities where practical
- Making the core selling activities as effective as possible
From our survey data we’ve found that a large amount of the 71% of non-core activities are dedicated to uncovering relevant content or reinventing the content wheel. That is, reps struggling to find the right content to deliver to prospects and customers. We also see that for the core-selling activities, if reps aren’t communicating impactful messages when they speak to prospects, then their pitches will fall flat. So, sales enablement from our perspective must include enabling customer-facing teams to find the right messages for their sales engagement. Essentially what this means is yet another blurring of lines between marketing and sales. This time bringing the lessons of content marketing to the sales world with Content Marketing as a tool for sales enablement. When marketing and sales are aligned around the entire lead to revenue process, then hand-off risks diminish and overall team effectiveness increases. Go team!