Few businesses can afford to shrug away the current economic uncertainties and ongoing market turbulence. The pressures on the bottom line are considerable, so operational efficiency and team alignment are more important than ever.
This is particularly true for the two teams that lie at the heart of any business and your buyer’s journey – Sales and Marketing.
When these teams work together in harmony through an effective communication and sales enablement strategy, they drive more predictable revenue long-term.
However, without good communication and a lack of alignment between the sales and marketing departments, the energy and resources for both teams can be exhausted, which harms the morale and performance of team members, and impacts your customer relationship management (CRM).
That’s why Highspot created our biggest-ever European report: The European State of Sales and Marketing Alignment 2022. Over 750 sales and marketing professionals were surveyed in the UK, Germany, and France with an organisation size of 250+ employees. The report pinpoints where businesses can take decisive action to establish a more collaborative, consistent, and integrated relationship between sales and marketing teams – and the insights are telling.
Findings from the report show that 72% of sales and marketers agreed that implementing sales enablement to support the alignment between the two teams is something they believe their company should consider in the near term.
Salespeople and marketers are often faced with a very similar goal — delivering value at every turn to their customers. Prioritising the relationship between sales and marketing teams can create customer experiences that help you differentiate from your competition and land messaging that resonates with both new and existing customers, throughout the customer journey. That’s where sales enablement comes in.
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is the strategic, ongoing process of equipping sales teams with the right content, guidance, and coaching they need to engage buyers and potential customers. Implementing continuous training ensures that your salesforce is constantly learning and improving, as well as reducing salespeople ramp time for new employees. Effective onboarding and sales training will ensure that your salespeople are up to date with current sales operations and empower your salesforce to possess winning behaviours.
While many professionals acknowledge the importance of aligning your sales and marketing teams, it’s become clear that it isn’t always easy for businesses to achieve.
Our research found that 71% of professionals believe misalignment has had a significant impact on business revenue, and nearly half (48%) of sales and marketing respondents say they don’t know the impact their function has on revenue, due to a lack of revenue visibility. These pain points stem from salespeople and marketers struggling to effectively measure the success of their content and sales pitches, which is demotivating for both sales and marketing teams and can easily lead to contradictory messaging and outdated information that doesn’t resonate with prospects during sales interactions.
So what’s the solution, and how can sales and marketing teams start to optimise their performance and work more effectively?
The benefits of Sales Enablement Tools
A Single Source of Truth for Sales Content
Implementing a sales enablement strategy allows sales and marketing teams to have a single source of truth for sales content and marketing materials, which helps both teams to optimise productivity, increase efficiency and drive sales performance. Without a single source of truth, salespeople are often left wasting time scrambling for relevant content that’s hidden amongst an abundance of different sales tools and platforms. A sales enablement software allows salespeople to know exactly where to find the right content at the right time during the sales process, which not only increases workflow efficiency, it also increases sales productivity, ultimately leading to higher win rates.
“We’re focusing more and more on the buyer’s journey, but we had very little ability to target buyers with the most effective content at each stage of the sales cycle,” said Quincy Smith, Director of Content Marketing at SAP Concur. “The sales teams love Highspot and they’re so glad that we now have a centralised tool.”
Analyse and Optimise Your Content
The ability to deliver content effectively to salespeople is one challenge, but ensuring that the content is right for specific personas and selling scenarios is another.
In fact, our research found that over a fifth of salespeople state they are not confident in measuring the effectiveness of sales content for closing deals. At the same time, marketing teams feel the pain point of not having complete visibility into how their initiatives and marketing content impacts revenue and business growth, as without a sales enablement tool marketing teams don’t have access to the proper metrics. Over a quarter of marketers also reported not feeling confident in demonstrating the ROI of marketing efforts.
Having access to detailed real-time Analytics and metrics via a sales enablement platform means both marketers and salespeople can immerse themselves fully in the content, and visually see what content is working and what isn’t. Having access to these valuable insights and metrics and being able to measure the success of content is not only a way to provide a key performance indicator (KPI) for the sales team on what works, but it can also help guide marketing teams on how to optimise the performance of their marketing efforts for the future, and produce a more personalised customer experience. This allows sales and marketing teams to leverage data-driven metrics to improve their performance and seamlessly together, and collaboratively work towards the same goals.
There’s no denying it, misalignment between sales and marketing teams results in unnecessary difficulty for businesses to succeed in hitting their goals and optimising their performance. Sales enablement acts as the bridge that equips businesses with the tools they need to maximise ROI and deliver results.
Download the full report to get more insights on sales enablement strategy and tips on how to improve sales and marketing alignment. If you are looking to see how sales enablement solutions can profit your business, request a demo.