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The CMO’s Guide to Sales Enablement Tactics

The last few years of sales and customer service trends demonstrate that marketing has undergone some major changes. Many organizations are finding that B2B deals are high-cost, span multiple touchpoints, and take months to close. This means sales and marketing teams both must work hard to answer questions and continue to highlight the value of their solution across multiple channels and milestones. 

Today’s CMO is a business leader that drives alignment toward customer-centric experiences that generate revenue. However, there’s a lot that CMOs get wrong when it comes to sales enablement. A 2018 report from Spencer Stuart tracking CMO departures revealed that marketing leaders must embrace the right sales enablement tactics to succeed in this volatile role. Here, we’ll consider what sales enablement tools and strategies a savvy CMO should lead with. 

1. Teams need the right training 

According to PwC, 63% of companies say a lack of properly-trained teams stands in the way of success when it comes to embracing new technology or processes. If you want your teams to be successful, they need to be aligned toward a unified set of goals and trained to deliver the desired outcome. 

An investment in microlearning technology allows you to develop:

  • Bite-size learning segments. Help teams learn their way around new technologies and more quickly begin taking advantage of these solutions.
  • Reporting. Rich reporting tools give managers and project teams insights about who is taking the training and who is struggling in the process.
  • Ongoing coaching opportunities. Coaching opportunities abound where staff can demonstrate their knowledge of the new systems and processes. They can also receive feedback from project teams and managers asynchronously.  

2. Marketers need access to content performance insights

Marketing is supposed to create materials that help sales reps prepare for questions about competitors and advanced features, breaking down the fine print in a way customers can understand. Yet, marketers often have no idea how sales is performing, nor do they understand whether the content they create helps or hurts reps’ ability to close deals. 

Sales Enablement software empowers marketers with details of how your sales team actually uses content — when combined with CRM software like Salesforce.com, this provides direct insight into which content is helping to close specific sales.

Marketers will start to see how the sales team and buyers interact with content, helping them understand which topics to prioritize. If there specific features that sales teams have trouble explaining to buyers or questions surfacing over and over again that aren’t addressed in sales collateral, marketing can directly address this in content.  

3. CMOs must focus on outcomes, not output

According to Gartner, there’s no question that CX now plays a vital role in marketing. However, they also found that organizations still spend too much time focusing on vanity metrics like awareness and engagement, rather than those that represent revenue. 

Marketing leaders can tend to focus on team outputs, instead of measuring success based on business outcomes. Marketing leaders must stop equating performance with how many items their team delivers, and move toward reviewing how the assets they create, adding value to the organization.

CMOs need to rethink the metrics in their dashboard and update the reports to reflect revenue goals and pipeline acceleration. The first metrics a CMO should review include:

  • Content usage
  • Quota attainment
  • Time spent selling
  • Time to revenue
  • Lead to close conversion rates
  • Time needed to find content
  • Deal size
  • Marketing-originated customers
  • Customer acquisition cost

CMOs should consider if they are using these metrics already and if not, how they can shift away from output toward outcomes. 

4. CMOs need to prioritize data capabilities

According to Gartner’s 2019-2020 CMO Spend Survey, 76% of CMOs say they’re using analytics and data to inform their decisions. Yet, on the whole, marketing leaders continue to struggle when it comes to evolving data capabilities.

While most companies already have some type of strategy in place for gathering consumer data — think Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, and paid ad strategies — marketers miss out on the full picture when they can’t view sales metrics alongside these efforts. 

Marketing leaders need to bring more visibility to their team to allow them to determine which messaging to use and which features to highlight. Sales enablement tools such as an integrated CRM or a content management platform can help marketers answer the following questions:

  • How effectively are reps moving prospects through the sales funnel?
  • How much time do salespeople spend on customizing content?
  • What do reps say on calls that resonate with prospects?
  • How do reps present benefits during demos?
  • Is there a particular customer segment driving the most revenue?
  • How many platforms are sales and marketing teams using to develop, manage, and deliver content?
  • What content do sellers use to follow up with prospects?
  • What language do prospects use to describe problems?

When you can answer these types of questions and have that data at your fingertips, creating relevant content becomes much easier.

5. Set up a centralized content repository

Enablement doesn’t flow in one direction, where marketing simply supplies information to sales. Sales collects valuable information every time they interact with a prospect, that marketing could use to develop strategically aligned content that will benefit the entire organization. Setting up a centralized content repository allows marketing to easily gauge what content they have available and update it with relevant feedback from sales in a timely manner. This also allows Sales teams to access the information they need easily. 

Beyond setting up a centralized content repository, it’s also necessary to develop a system for organizing content assets inside your sales enablement software. You might organize items based on the following categories:

  • Buyer segment
  • Topic
  • Solution
  • Pricing information
  • Product comparisons
  • Type of content
  • Funnel stage

Sales shouldn’t have to search for information.

6. Scale up the sales enablement team with the right tools

Ensure your team is set up for success by establishing sales enablement processes you can replicate. A few examples:

  • Use coaching to reinforce sales enablement tactics: Bigtincan’s Sales Coaching can be used to reinforce content best practices that help increase marketing ROI. Inside, outside, and channel sales teams will benefit, gaining a better understanding of the marketing process, as well as where to find content and leave feedback. 
  • Integrations help you get more out of existing tech: If you are using Adobe solutions in your marketing technology stack, Bigtincan for Adobe is your best choice. Bigtincan has integrations with Adobe InDesign, Adobe AEM, Adobe Campaign, and Marketo, increasing the value of your existing investments.
  • Use attribution to track marketing interactions: Attribution follows the entire sales cycle from the time a potential lead makes that first anonymous touch to every interaction that leads to a closed deal. With this information, marketing teams can see where prospects are dropping out of the funnel, and which channels are most successfully capturing leads and nurturing prospects on their journey.

Can sales enablement help CMOs innovate?

The CMO doesn’t have the luxury of hiring more people or investing in more technology to address their challenges. Instead, they need to maximize every dollar in the marketing budget.

Bigtincan is a leader in helping CMOs keep up with the demands of personalized content, sales enablement, and omnichannel, multimedia communications. Integrations with Adobe Cloud products, Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Dynamics, and more help marketing leaders take sales enablement tactics to the next level.

With the right set of tools, CMOs can establish a collaborative relationship between their team and sales that sets the foundation for driving revenue and delivering the solutions buyers care about most.

 

To learn more about how sales enablement supports your entire organization, download our Essential Guide to Sales Enablement for 2019.