Organizations are rapidly becoming aware of the importance of adopting marketing and sales technologies in giving a fillip to their sales growth. Sales enablement is a function that companies are warming up to in order to aid sales teams in their jobs. Backing this is data from B2B research and advisory firm Sirius Decisions which signals a 63 percent jump in spending in sales enablement.
So what are the trends governing this space?
Social media to display content
Social media has become an integral and indispensable channel of communication for businesses today. With buyers and prospects connected 24/7 to social media platforms through mobiles, tablets, and computers, the reach of social media is unimaginable. Whether it is research for a new purchase or reviews on their latest one, people take to social media channels. This avenue can be a powerful tool for sales reps and marketers too. According to Forbes, 78 percent of salespeople who made use of social media reportedly outsold their peers. Thus, marketing teams, when they develop content, should not just limit it to sharing via direct channels. They must utilize the plethora of tools available to make that content reach potential clients who are seeking information, finding answers to their problems, or looking for a switch from a product or service. Companies will thus gain visibility in the minds of audiences and sales reps will be viewed as authorities in the space.
Strategically targeting data
Only having data and not analyzing it is the waste of a valuable resource. Similarly, companies may have the best of content which can connect with the audience, but it needs to gain visibility to establish a connect with the audience. Content needs to be strategically targeted to the audience, so as to maintain credibility. This eases the transition of an individual from being only a prospect to being a buyer. Survey results of B2B buyers by Forrester showed that 70 percent of the content buyers indulged in prior to a decision was through self-discovery. Strategic targeting of suitable content by the sales teams is thus the need of the hour.
Automation is key
A 2014 study by CSO Insights on sales performance optimization highlighted that in a day in the life of a salesperson, only 37 percent of the time was spent on actually selling. The rest of the time went in administrative and account management duties. However, the increasing number of sales enablement tools available today can automate the sales process and free up sales for their core task of selling. These sales enablement tools provide valuable and actionable insights and make the data they hold extremely accessible to sales reps.
To get the most out of data, sales and marketing teams need to work in tandem. Companies need to make use of sales effectiveness metrics to understand which content is being consumed and shared or merely ignored. There can be knowledge sharing sessions held where sales teams identify and highlight loopholes in the content basket based on the feedback obtained from customers, and marketing teams can use the inputs to develop suitable content.