82.5% of marketers have a Sales Enablement strategy in place, but only 21% of those marketers are utilising Marketing Technology to implement that strategy.
Sales Enablement is one of the fastest growing initiatives for Senior Marketers today, and according to MarketsandMarkets, the annual growth rate of the Sales Enablement industry is 19.8%. This is where the Marketing Automation market was at 5 - 7 years ago, but as of 2020 that has now slowed to a growth rate of around 13.9%. In our recent State of Martech research, we found that most marketers have a Sales Enablement strategy in place, however many of these are not utilising technology to execute and optimise their Sales Enablement strategy.
Just 21% of marketers are using marketing technology to enable Sales with all the content and collateral they need to drive greater engagement with their customers. The remaining 79% of marketers enable Sales with most of their content and collateral, but do not utilise marketing technology for this, or do not currently provide any form of Sales Enablement. This highlights a huge missed opportunity for most organisations, and one that marketers would do well to address.
Here we look at why Sales Enablement is important and why you should consider it. If you’re looking for an overview of Sales Enablement before you read on, we recommend this resource to understand What is Sales Enablement?
1. Let’s begin with Sales and Marketing alignment
It is a topic often talked about in B2B, the utopia for most organisations; to have Marketing and Sales working in complete harmony, aligned to a common goal – the customer. However, our recent State of Martech survey found that 70% of senior marketers believe they do not have a close working relationship with Sales. Seismic, the leading Sales Enablement platform, also has a similar view as according to their research, 80% of companies feel their cross-functional collaboration is informal, ad-hoc, or non-existent.
It appears utopia is a long way off for many B2B organisations.
Sales and Marketing alignment is a buzzword that can be talked about in board meetings and everyone understands the strategic importance of achieving it, but how do we really align the two departments?
A quick way to build alignment is for Marketing to start adding value and solving Sales’ day to day tactical challenges. According to HubSpot, Sales spend just 39% of their time selling or interacting with prospects and customers. If they’re spending over 60% of their time NOT selling, what are they doing? According to Seismic, Sales reps spend 30 hours a month searching for and creating their own content for customer engagement.
By implementing and optimising a Sales Enablement platform and strategy, Marketing can host a central content library that Sales can easily access, without the need to build it themselves.
2. Improve the customer experience
B2B customers are now expecting that same level of experience in their work lives as they receive in their day to day life as consumers from the likes of Amazon, Apple and Netflix. As a result, organisations are no longer competing on price and value. They are competing on experience.
As marketers, we get that. We also understand the market and our customers greater than any other department in the business. We know their challenges and needs, and we know how our products and services can solve them and craft relevant stories that resonate and inspire action. So, it seems crazy that Sales are spending more time creating their own content than they are selling. That should be the responsibility of Marketing.
By investing in Sales Enablement technology and optimising this strategy, organisations can ensure that only content that has been signed off by Marketing is used by Sales. It means the exceptional experiences that we build for our customers translate throughout the entire journey by delivering a consistent brand feel and message.
3. Marketing to be an agent of change
In a recent survey by Bizible in their State of Pipeline Marketing report, 53% of senior marketers believe that their Marketing department is perceived as a cost-centre, and with just 47% of marketing departments perceived as a profit centre, there is more that marketing can do to change their image.
So how can Sales Enablement change the rest of the business’s perception of Marketing?
- Drive efficiencies across Sales and Marketing
Marketing can drive efficiency by providing a central resource for all the content and collateral that Sales need to better engage with prospects and customers. Content can be easily updated in real-time; no more countless versions of duplicate collateral being created.
- Provide greater insight on customer engagement for Sales
One of the core business reasons for implementing marketing technology is for greater customer insight. Sales Enablement allows marketing to understand what content and message are most engaged with, and then providing this insight to Sales to encourage more engaging conversations with their clients.
- Drive marketing effectiveness
Once you know what content is working well and resonating, Marketers can then double down on those messages to drive greater effectiveness.
Job growth and opportunity for future marketing leaders
The role of Marketing is fast-paced and changes frequently. 10 years ago, Marketing Operation job roles didn’t exist, now there’s over 63,000 people (Source: LinkedIn Sales Navigator) that contain Marketing Operations in their job title, and are predominantly responsible for Marketing Automation strategy and execution. Sales Enablement is still relatively niche, just 10,000 people with this specialist job role (Source: LinkedIn Sales Navigator) and given the growth rates discussed at the start of this article, Sales Enablement provides a great opportunity for the marketing leaders of tomorrow to gain experience in today.
Sales Enablement is a growing area in any ambitious organisation’s Martech Spine™ and is becoming integral to tying disparate Marketing and Sales departments together. Marketing has always had a fractious relationship with the rest of the business, and one of its’ key endeavours is proving the value of its existence – Sales Enablement creates that opportunity, as well as aligning Marketing and Sales under the same strategy and goals.
If you’d like to find out more about how we can support your Sales Enablement strategy, click here.