Sales Enablement: A Guide to Bridging The Gap Between Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing departments strive for the same thing: generating revenue. Both do so in their own individual ways; with sales attempting to find new businesses as well as growing the relationships with current customers, whilst marketing looks to engage a wider audience across various industries. In the middle of the two is the sales enablement department, a unique position that could bridge the gap between sales and marketing.
Assembling the two departments and making them work together is the perfect recipe for success, as both compliment each other and make each other better. In order for this to work, the sales enablement department needs to act as more than a channel. To ally sales and marketing, they need to know exactly what to do, and what not to do.
Encouraging a healthy and direct line of communication between the two departments is one of the first initiatives that sales enablement should take. It is vital for them to avoid becoming a “messenger” that constantly relays information between sales and marketing. A stable level of conversation with both sides is essential as it prevents the sales enablement department from aligning with one side more than the other. Any partiality from the sales enablement team could lead to an even greater gap between sales and marketing, so it is crucial to keep communications active and balanced.
Sales enablement need to balance macro-thinking with micro-thinking. Generally speaking, marketing work on a macro-scale, using popular industry trends to cater for a wide array of needs across various businesses. On the other hand, sales often focus on the individual needs of the customer. It is the sales enablement department’s job to help both sides: assisting the marketing team in customising messages when needed, and helping the sales team by providing insights that will resound with the current market. In order to move deals across, sales enablement need to take into account both macro and micro focuses.
Catering for the needs of the sales and marketing departments is no easy task, and can sometimes lead to the sales enablement team to lose sight of the client. It is fundamental that they do not just focus on the demands of sales and marketing, but rather understand those of their customers. When sales enablement has an understanding of the buyer and their needs, it is easier to gauge where they stand in the purchasing process.
The role of sales enablement comprises of more than fulfilling instant needs, they also need to be able to sustain an impeccable level of practice to maintain a sales process that can be reproduced. Sales enablement need to keep an eye on long-term sustainment, meaning they should avoid letting the daily needs cloud their aims in the long run. In order to prevent this, the enablement team needs to communicate with the sales department to see what needs to be improved in terms of skill-set, tools needed and how to satisfy the demands of new customers.
New competitors constantly enter the race and solutions are becoming more complicated; even the most seasoned sales professionals need training to stay on top of it all. Sales enablement help to achieve this by offering continual skill development.