By Joshua Baez, Marketing Consultant for Heinz Marketing

Sales enablement is nothing new, and in recent months, it has been a buzzword surrounding meeting rooms and office spaces.  However, many make the mistake of stopping here, unable to look more holistically at their business infrastructure to find ways to optimize and better their teams.  The buck doesn’t stop at sales enablement – it continues to a competency known as sales development.

Sales development extends its reach beyond the sales team to impact the entire organization.  It’s a competency that focuses on ensuring there is alignment between sales and marketing so both work in tandem towards common, unified goals.  But there’s a gap between enablement and development, and an even wider one between planning and execution.  Saying you want to enable sales doesn’t mean you will, and unless you fully understand how the pieces fit together, attempting to develop a sales enablement competency can do more harm than good for your sales team and your organization as a whole.

Empowerment is what helps bridge those gaps between sales enablement and sales development.  For your sales team to excel at their jobs and close high-value deals to expand your organization, they need to have the tools and resources to become self-empowered and self-sufficient.  But where are the points of contention?  And what can you do to address them before risking productivity, time, and resources?

In this three-part series, discover three ways to bridge the gap between sales enablement and sales development, empowering your sales team in the process.

  • Part 1: Sales and Marketing Alignment
  • Part 2: Data and Information
  • Part 3: Technology

Sales and Marketing Alignment

Everyone talks about sales and marketing alignment, but what does that action require in order to yield positive results?  To align your teams, consider these three pillars:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Communication
  3. Visibility

Collaboration:  For meaningful, long-lasting success, sales and marketing must be united and collaborative from the very beginning, and that means agreeing to commonalities within your business.  Lead requirements, revenue goals, nurture strategies, and core objectives are just a few of the areas that both teams need to agree upon at the start.  You can’t have marketing pursue one path while sales pursues another.  Otherwise, you’ll never find collaboration between the teams, and will always discover more strife than strength.

Communication:  Communication is the river which connects every member of your organization, and without it, the current could easily take your entire organization off-course.  A big point of contention between sales and marketing is the issue of lead qualification, so if you really want to ensure marketing is delivering previously agreed-upon qualified leads for sales to close, establish a regular communication pattern, be it an email, phone call, or meeting, to confirm nothing has changed and that everyone is moving in the same direction.

Visibility:  Hand-in-hand with communication comes visibility between the teams.  While teams don’t need to see everything that the other is doing, some level of visibility and transparency can foster more productive, and valuable, sales and marketing efforts.  For marketing, telling sales both who they’re marketing to and what they’re marketing with can be a powerful view.  When a rep can reference the marketing strategy, they can use the asset and status of the lead to dive into a more meaningful sales conversation.  Establish visibility from the get-go, and see sales and marketing work in tandem rather than in silos.

Sales and marketing alignment is crucial in moving your sales team from enablement to empowerment, but it doesn’t mark the end of the road.  Though it helps build the foundation to empower your sales team for success, there’s always room to improve.  Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series where we’ll dive into the next area of sales development: Data and Information.

What more can you do to move your sales team from enablement to empowerment?

Sales Technology

To learn more, join Robert Pease and Matt Heinz for the latest Modern Marketers Workshop Sales Development:  The Essential Building Blocks for Revenue Growth where you will learn how to develop the foundation and building blocks for successful Sales Development.