5 Sales Enablement Priorities for Transformational CMOs
Sellers are facing one of the most difficult buying landscapes in recent memory—and they need your help.
B2B deals are high-cost, span multiple touchpoints, and take months to close. It falls on marketers to support their teams while ensuring salespeople are armed with content that captures buyer attention and closes deals.
In times of crisis, businesses that innovate and rethink conventional approaches are the ones that are likely to win. Bottom line: you must be as agile as your customers to succeed.
The good news is that even with all of the current challenges, CMOs have the perfect opportunity to raise their game, transform their teams, and stand out among the noise of the marketplace.
Tapping into the Power of Sales Enablement
As a CMO or product marketer, the ball is in your court for how well your company handles market pressures. Equipping sellers with the content, tools, knowledge, skills and coaching required to optimize buyer interactions—known as sales enablement—is essential.
Sales enablement is an emerging function that serves as the glue to unite previously siloed activities including sales content management, onboarding and training, product launches, coaching, and virtual selling.
With a holistic sales enablement strategy, you can accelerate the sales cycle, drive higher average win rates and contract values, boost profitability—and transform marketing and sales.
5 Transformative Sales Enablement Priorities
Now that most B2B sales are virtual, a unified approach to sales enablement is more critical than ever for keeping teams on track. Transformational CMOs will adopt an evolved sales enablement approach that includes these five essential capabilities.
#1 Sales Content Management
Sales enablement drives the creation, distribution, and management of customer-facing sales assets and internal sales training content. All content needs to be readily discoverable, easy to consume, trackable, and reusable by sales and marketing teams. Organizations that know what’s working—and what’s not—can improve sales content to be even more effective.
But it’s not enough to simply make assets available, sellers must know how and when to use these resources to deliver maximum impact to their prospects. This means powering up content with relevant talk tracks, best practices, win stories, and SME knowledge that sellers need to handle objections, nurture prospects, and close deals.
CMO Priority > Focus on content adoption metrics and connect content usage to pipeline acceleration and revenue goals to measure success based on business outcomes. When you know what content is working—and what’s not—you can make sales collateral even more effective and stop wasting time on activities that don’t get results.
#2 Seller Training
The most effective sales enablement programs ensure sellers have the knowledge they need to articulate product messaging by using formal training and rep-centric, collaborative content.
These programs support sellers throughout their careers with continuous learning and reinforcement on product marketing information, messaging, competitive positioning, and the skills needed to have valuable interactions throughout the virtual sales process.
The best efforts foster engagement with company culture and reduce new hire attrition by exposing sellers early and often to peer learning and best practices, maintaining the human-to-human connection even in virtual environments.
CMO Priority > Make formal sales collateral and informal learning available from anywhere at any time so sellers can get the latest intel to handle objections and close deals no matter when or where they find themselves.
#3 Product Launches & Rollouts
Sales enablement also supports launches and rollouts for new and existing products and services. Simply put, you must ensure your team is ready to effectively deliver the value proposition of your new product or service when they begin interacting with buyers.
Marketing teams need the ability to deliver messaging and positioning updates in a timely manner to ensure consistency and help reps hone their talking points. The most effective initiatives accelerate team proficiency by disseminating key launch information, certifying reps and managers, sharing best practices, and establishing a critical feedback loop to inform marketing and sales of buyer response.
CMO Priority > Gain visibility into sellers’ proficiency with new product messaging and learning engagement. Use AI to track strengths and weaknesses and pinpoint topics that need more coaching support or remedial earning content.
#4 Sales & Marketing Collaboration
Sales enablement facilitates communication within the sales and marketing teams and across other functions. It fosters collaboration between reps and marketers—learnings from calls, new ideas for addressing common prospect pain points, win / loss stories and more.
Alignment and continuous collaboration between the marketing and sales teams are critical. Without it, reps lack the insights marketing is gathering from its top-of-funnel campaigns, and marketing loses the chance to shape campaigns based on first-hand sales conversations. Technology that helps your team empower reps with information from all departments is crucial.
CMO Priority > Ensure that sellers and marketers are sharing information with each other so that the organization is not missing out on essential intel that could lead to more deals.
#5 Virtual Selling
The final essential capability of modern sales enablement is virtual selling. B2B buyers report that they prefer remote to in-person sales interactions. But many sellers hope to resume their previous face-to-face approach.
Successful virtual selling depends on learning new skills and tactics. Key capabilities include the ability for sellers to create and share ad hoc videos, track and analyze content to optimize success, transcribe and analyze meeting recordings for note taking and seller skill improvement, and deploy digital sales rooms to improve seller/buyer collaboration.
CMO Priority > Implement a technology solution that allows sellers to nurture prospects, share information, conduct demos, and host meetings without the benefit of sitting side by side with a prospect.
Meeting the Demands of Today’s B2B Buyer
Today’s competitive economy—and the new requirements of virtual selling—have increased the demand for modern sales enablement. There is a greater need for marketing teams to be flexible and responsive and to align more closely with their sales teams.
CMOs must develop strategies to support their sellers with an integrated process:
You need a solution that helps you connect marketers, sellers, managers, and SMEs with buyers along the entire sales cycle to nurture and close deals.
Find out how the right sales enablement solution can help you overcome these issues and turn your marketing into an engine that can turbo-charge your sales growth for years to come.
Download The CMO’s Guide to Sales Enablement for actionable advice on how to align with sales and accelerate growth.