Even the most tightly targeted and timely marketing content won’t inspire the sales team to employ it if you forget (or ignore) this one critical task.
A recent ITSMA sales enablement article rightly clarified the obligation of marketers to:
“…provide salespeople with the tools to connect customer needs with the company’s solutions. Marketers must create content that makes it easier for salespeople to uncover customer needs, outline capabilities that solve the need, and articulate the value.”
You know I stand by the truism that “content is king”—and its sister axiom “context is queen”.
But I don’t believe that providing the best content is the only, or even the primary, way to ensure that your sales team will consider it valuable in their conversations with customers.
(Isn’t that normally the big pink elephant in the room? You can lead sales to fantastic content, but you can’t make them use it?)
If you want sales to support and use marketing programs, there’s only one way to do it:
Get salespeople involved early and often.
Sounds…obvious, doesn’t it? But as you probably know, it’s harder than it is obvious.
What makes it a lot easier is planning your sales enablement strategy with this upfront, ongoing involvement in mind.
In my experience, these are the five points in a program where you should invite sales participation:
- Align marketing and sales on the ideal audience: attributes, insights, pain-points, title, etc.
- Engage the sales team’s help in building your lists.
- Discuss success metrics from the get-go and revisit the topic throughout the program. Let your salespeople determine how and when leads will be passed to them.
- Expose your salespeople to the campaign elements-in-progress early. Get them comfortable with the messaging.
- Align on the sales team’s role in the touchpoints and follow-up.
Bonus: Per the recommendations in the ITSMA sales enablement post – make sure your salespeople have the proper tools for follow-up.
Have you had great success (or not so much) with this route? Tell us all about it in the comments.