What do we want? Increased sales!
When do we want them? Well, as soon as possible, actually!
How do we do this? By improving your sales enablement techniques!
Why should we do this? Sales teams work on the front line, providing you with a ton of information about your customers and competitors that you couldn’t easily find elsewhere!
Where can we find ways to improve our sales enablement? In this article!
This article will serve as a hub of sales enablement insights, focusing specifically on:
What is sales enablement?
According to our sister community, Sales Enablement Collective, sales enablement is “a strategy that encompasses the processes, activities, training, content, information, and technology to enable a business to move sales opportunities forward through knowledge-based interactions with clients and prospects.”
And in even simpler terms, it’s using different tools, resources, and training to help sales teams be the absolute best at what they do; close more deals.
Lawrence Chapman, Senior Copywriter at Product Marketing Alliance, wrote an incredible article that outlines the ins and outs of sales enablement including who owns it, sales enablement tools and resources, and how to get support for sales enablement.
Why is sales enablement important?
Adopting a sales enablement strategy for your business has many benefits. But the main one is that it’s an opportunity to revolutionize your selling technique, bring in more customers, and rake in increased revenue for your organization.
But let’s take a closer look at how this technique can help your product marketing function.
An opportunity for collaboration
In the State of Product Marketing Report 2021, we found that 78% of product marketers were responsible for creating sales collateral for their organization, an increase from the 2020 report at 73.8%.
In the same report, when asked which team(s) they worked most closely with, the results showed that 77% of product marketers worked closest with sales.
Helping your sales teams improve their technique will only improve your relationship with them and allow them to help you out more in the future when creating or sharing sales collateral, and so on.
Help to hit more KPIs and sales goals
It’s important to increase your knowledge on how to enable sales teams to become the absolute best they can be. It’ll help you to improve, refine, and increase the number of customers they bring to the organization, how many products they sell, and ultimately hit more sales goals. These steps will only benefit you and your company in the long run.
Increase customer and competitive insights
Sales teams are constantly on the frontline, talking to prospective customers and discovering the characteristics that are beneficial to know when marketing to them.
If you actively work towards improving your sales team’s approach to selling products, in turn, they can help your team with the insights and data they gather from their sales calls.
Through these sales calls, you can gain a deeper understanding of your prospective customers, including their pain points, how they like to be spoken to, and so on.
They can also help to gather more information about your competitors from what your potential customers are saying about them. For example, the product features they prefer, pricing and discounts, etc.
These insights in turn will improve your product marketing approach. It’s a win-win!
A fresh perspective
While sales and product marketing are working on similar aspects of the industry within their respective roles, understanding how the sales teams work will give you, as a product marketer, an opportunity to learn different ways to sell to the same customers.
Sales enablement advice for product marketers
In our 2021 Sales Enablement Landscape Vol. 2 report, we asked leading experts for their tips and tricks for improving your sales enablement efforts.
If you don’t wanna read through every piece of advice given, here’s a quick overview of the most important aspects:
- Communicate with your sales reps!
- Sales tools are your best friends.
- Actively sit in calls, and go out into the field.
- Carry out win/loss interviews - customer and prospect feedback is valuable.
Here’s what our leaders had to say:
“Balance sales requests between quick wins vs long term strategies for success.”
Jack Preece, Product Marketing Manager at Linnworks
“Put the focus on maintaining sell-in materials so things don’t become out of date.”
Susie Lage, Product Marketing Manager at Western Digital
“Be where sales are - don’t try to make them come round to your way of working/your tools, you need to fit into their workflows”
Jamie Wallis, Product Marketing Manager at Gearset
“Listen to the salespeople. Become their partner, not just their resource.”
Jason Siebert, Senior Product Marketing Manager at iObeya
“Make it a practice to sit in sales calls periodically to know how their needs evolve.”
Sai Anand, Marketing Analyst, Product Marketing at Zoho Corporation
“Use customer questions and interviews to inform content. Prospects can skew data because of bad targeting or bad use case fit. But customers are vetted and can provide insight into what potential customers may lack in the buying process.”
Eduardo Lopez, Senior Product Marketing Manager at FastSpring
“Hold regular open forums for requests and discussion, in addition to more formal talks and internal webinars.”
Laura Elliston, Senior Product Marketing Manager at YayPay by Quadient
“Ensure the process or tool you use is basic enough to understand the navigation, and sufficient enough that time isn’t a factor to manage.”
Brad Roark, Director of Digital Marketing at Inspirata
“Utilize and involve reps in the development of tools and in the training to increase adoption.”
Leah Vusich, Product Marketing Manager at Dejero
“Consistently communicate with the sales team and listen to their feedback.”
Bryce Carr, Digital Content Strategist
“Always have your case study handy and let it be easy for search and distribution.”
Omamuzo Samson, Product Marketing Manager at Curacel
“Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer, then imagine what you would want the salesperson to do to help you buy.”
Daniel Kuperman, Director of Product Marketing at Jira Align at Atlassian
“Make sure you have a regular open forum discussion with sales teams to get feedback and provide informal updates.”
David Friedlander, Director of Product Marketing at Red Hat
“Listen to sales reps, to customers you win, to prospects you lose. Be willing to adapt. Get the reps on your side by treating their time as valuable.”
John Finn, Sales Enablement Specialist at AudienceView
“Make sure you understand what your sales teams need. No one likes spending a lot of time on materials or initiatives, only to find out the sales teams won’t use it.”
Michelle Pannell, Director of Product Marketing & Sales Enablement at a4 Media
“One training session for the sales team is not enough. The information must be repeated so that the sales team remembers.”
Claire Bui, Product Marketing Manager at Trace One
“Strive to measure the impact of content efforts throughout the entire sales journey. This will allow you to prioritize efforts for bigger impact and then gain strategic visibility.”
Heatherly Bucher, Director of Product Marketing at Greenlight Guru
“Show that you’re willing to help. That you won’t be upset if they call your baby ugly. That you’re using the feedback they provide. Be better. Sales enablement is so much smoother when you find your champions and leverage them wisely.”
Monica Raszyk, Director of Product Marketing at Kontent by Kentico
“Always ask ‘what’s in it for them?’ - why should a salesperson care about this item, and how will it help them?”
Kristen Lee, Senior Product Marketing Specialist at simPRO
“Life gets easier and there’s greater buy-in when key sales folks are close to PM and when these folks are part of training, battle card development, etc.”
Christian Rohr, Head of Product Marketing at Ryte
“You have to be aggressive about internal marketing of enablement assets. A lot goes into creation, so you better know how assets are performing, even if it’s not the answer you want to hear.”
Chris Haberle, VP of Product Marketing at Nextiva
“Educate sales teams based on customer personas and needs.”
Seema Kathuria, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Duo Security
“Talk to reps directly! Don’t rely on feedback filtered through sales managers.”
Alex McDonnell, Market Intelligence Lead at Airtable
“Communicate with your sales team regularly and proactively. Welcome feedback, but don’t wait for it to come your way. Having consistent conversations with sales leadership and top sales representatives is the best way to ensure your sales enablement strategy is as effective as possible.”
Jessica Materna, Direct of Product Marketing at Litmus
“Enable more than just the sales team. Go in-depth with key account managers, support team, and other customer-facing roles. Give the whole company an overview so internal conversations are happening organically.”
Mike Rishworth, Head of Marketing at ezyVet
“Don’t create assets and then forget about them - if you do this, they’re unlikely to be utilized and they’ll be a complete waste of time. Ask your reps if they’d find your proposed resources useful, and if not, ask why.”
Lucy Allen, Product Marketing Manager at Linnworks
“If you focus on clearly and convincingly communicating how customer needs are met by your offering, sales team needs will take care of themselves.”
Todd Walker, Director of Product Marketing at Techstars
“Go out into the field with salespeople to acquire legitimacy.”
Pierre de Champsavin, Product Marketing at DIGITEMIS Cybersecurity & Privacy
Want to learn more?
No matter where you’re at in the journey; whether you’re partnering with a sales enablement team or owning it yourself, our Sales Enablement Certified: Masters course is packed with the real-life examples, case studies, expert tuition, templates, and activities you need to build and scale killer sales enablement programs.
Taught by Sapphire Reels, Director of Portfolio and Integrated Marketing at Pluralsight, this course is going to give you the skills you need to confidently:
👊 Articulate the importance of sales enablement and sell it internally.
🔥 Design a sales enablement program from scratch based on business objectives and sales needs.
🚀 Launch and iterate on sales enablement programs.
🤑 Demonstrate the impact of sales enablement on the business and revenue generation.
So, what are you waiting for?Get Sales Enablement Certified