Note: In January, we introduced marketing trends to watch in 2020 (read the post here.) Here is an in-depth look at the first trend, sales enablement.
Part 1 of 3: Provide alignment with content strategy.
As someone who has spent much of my career in sales, and all of it in marketing, sales enablement is a subject close to my heart. My inner salesperson appreciates and understands the importance of synergy between sales and marketing. If we’re not all on the same page, everyone’s jobs are harder.
From the outside – as a marketing consultant who works with clients to help them enable their own sales teams – I’m even more passionate about the content and tools they need to succeed.
Who creates the content your sales team uses? In many organizations, that answer is, “It depends.” Much of it comes from the marketing department. Some is generated by sales managers or leaders. Then there is the content that individual salespeople create for themselves.
At best, this leads to inconsistent messaging. At its worst, content created by multiple sources can result in materials that don’t comply with brand standards or industry, corporate or government regulations.
This is where a content strategy comes in. Especially in larger B2B organizations, where different divisions may create their own content, an overarching content strategy ultimately enables your sales team to sell better.
Sales and marketing need to work closely together to create sales content. I cannot stress how the siloing of sales and marketing weakens any organization. When we’re working with clients, we ask them for feedback so we can create content they find relevant and authentic. Why wouldn’t marketing do the same for sales, so they can create relevant and authentic content for the salespeople?
Trying to build a sales enablement tool without seeking salespeople’s input is like assuming you can build a plane because you’ve been on a plane. Just because you’ve talked with a customer doesn’t mean you know what it’s like to sell to a customer. But you definitely need both experiences to inform your content.