By Robert Pease, CMO Practice Lead for Heinz Marketing

This is part six in an eight-part series on the keys to marketing greatness in 2015.  Part one focused on demand generation, part two focused on content marketing, part three focused on database health, part four focused on process, part five focused on people.

We’re featuring these keys leading up to our webinar on November 6 where we will cover them in greater detail.

Today’s topic is sales enablement and what you as a marketing leader need to be doing to about it.

The first step is to go meet the sales team. All of them.  Any time a process crosses functional groups there is the potential for mis-communication and friction.

 The intersection of marketing and sales in an organization is a natural point of friction so understand that and you are on your way to removing it.

Sales says the leads marketing generates are weak and they don’t know what they do all day.

Marketing says sales never follows up on the great leads we create and is only concerned about their commission.

The truth is sales and marketing have much in common and that all comes together around sales enablement.

Both teams are focused on lead conversion and successful customer acquisition so unite behind those objectives and you are well on your way to marketing greatness.

Both teams need to understand they are working to enable the buyer’s journey.  Marketing must be laser focused on attracting and engaging the right type of prospect at the very top of the funnel.  The “right type” is one aligned with the target customer profile who has an interest in engagement.  Simply passing contact information to sales for follow up will lead to frustration and wasted time.

As a prospect enters the middle of the funnel, sales and marketing must work together to nurture and engage a prospect in the right way.

As a prospect becomes a true qualified lead and sales pursuit begins, marketing must stay focused on getting sales what they need to get deals closed – battle cards, competitive positioning, customer referrals – the list is lengthy but all efforts focus on the sale pipeline.  Marketing effectiveness is measured by what is in the sales pipeline, how it got there, and how successful both teams are at driving conversions.

Join us November 6th for more on this and seven more keys to marketing domination in 2015.