Newsflash: sales enablement has evolved.

In the past, it was rolled up into HR or tied into learning. But lately, the new sales enablement role has become a merging of the sales operations team and development. This means that sales enablement is involved in the selection, training, and education of people. They are responsible for the technology (the tool stack) and the process (the methodologies and principles) that sales professionals use daily.

But the most innovative companies recognize that the sales enablement role can’t just start with sales development professionals. They can’t just go from the top of the funnel sales professionals and inside sales and go all the way to close. Why? Because 57% of the buyer’s journey is happening before the sales development representative gets involved.

Great sales enablement members are also working hand-in-hand with, or are part of the marketing operations team. These team members function as “revenue operations” and “revenue enablement.”

Here’s how sales enablement works with marketing to ensure everyone is moving in the same direction.

1. They recognize that it’s a buyer’s journey, not a sales funnel

Sales enablement and marketing look at their team as “Team Revenue.” As a result, the buyer goes through one funnel which creates the necessity to become customer focused. Anyone who is customer facing—this means every sales professional and every marketer—has unified the buyer’s journey.

Sales pros are marrying their existing sales process with the buying journey. They’re thinking like a buyer, not as a sales process. They are carving up buyer’s journey into three specific segments, and creating solutions for how they can help a buyer within these segments.

The three segments are:

Sales Funnel

2. They create insights that spark sales conversations

The operations team is responsible for developing an insights committee, where sales professionals provide the marketing team with new content ideas through their market insight. The marketing team then creates content from these ideas, on a predetermined editorial calendar based on the needs of the customer.

To have the most business impact with marketing content, Forrester Research states that top CMOs center sales support strategies on:

Sale Support Strategies

3. They organize and ensure content is KISS-ed

This means Keep it Simple, Stupid. Enablement is responsible for organizing the content, and making sure it’s easy for sales reps to find. When content isn’t easily accessible for sales reps, this is where marketing dollars are wasted. Around 60-70% of content in B2B organizations goes unused. The number one reason is irrelevancy however reason two and three are that people don’t know it exists or can’t even find it.

Sales pros need to know where to find and use the content, how to use the content, and the best practices of distribution into the market. This is where tools such as a content library come into play. To drive sales productivity and generate pipeline, there must be a process implemented to manage content in a consistent and ongoing fashion.

4. Transforming sales into a resource

They are responsible for the people, process, and technology required for distributing on both a one-to-one and one-to-many ratio. They work to manage employee advocacy tools like EveryoneSocial, Dynamic Signal, PostBeyond, and others to get speed-to-engagement in the market. This is an opportunity to turn sales into thought leaders and a resource through social sharing.

“When sales tweets or posts interesting information, rather than thinly disguised pitches, prospects begin to see them as resources. Marketing can help salespeople build their social brand by supplying helpful, interesting, thought-provoking content and boost their top-of-funnel pipeline by giving them a platform that makes sharing these insights timely and easy.”

– Russ Fradin, CEO of Dynamic Signal

5. They evaluate engagement of new leads and lead influence and attribution

Enablement ties together the metrics of top of the funnel marketing data with later in the funnel sales data so they can get one picture of the buyer’s digital history, or content consumption story. Great enablement teams are the bridge between sales and marketing. They’re the glue that takes marketing and sales’ data and merges them together and makes sure every customer-facing team member knows how they buyer functions and thinks.


Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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