Today’s most disruptive companies are winning on customer experience and driving growth with a unified revenue department. We share what you need to know on sales enablement and customer experience.
Sales teams are at the centre of any growth-driven organisation, yet many companies struggle to positively impact revenue using existing processes.
Today’s most disruptive companies are winning on customer experience (CX) and driving revenue growth with a customer relationship platform (CRM) at the centre of it all. How you sell now matters more than what you sell.
This blog is designed for sales managers and their teams, business owners and even marketing teams who want to break down the traditional silos of sales and marketing to build a unified revenue department.
Having deployed multiple enterprise sales enablement rollouts in a variety of industries, we’ve changed the mindsets of legacy salespeople and opened them up to the opportunities of working with HubSpot; a powerful, data-driven CRM. Here, we’ll share what we know and what you need to hear to empower your team’s success.
What is Sales Enablement?
According to the folks at HubSpot, sales enablement is succinctly defined as, “the iterative process of providing your business’s sales team with the resources they need to close more deals.” Noone would ask marketing to build campaigns without the appropriate information and tools, so why treat your sales team any differently?
By equipping sales with the right resources — whether it be knowledge, content or technology — you empower your team to sell more efficiently and subsequently, grow your business. You’ll see sales focus more on having sales conversations, improving their productivity, which results in more deals closed and increased revenue. Plus, the right resources mean sales can provide real value to buyers to enhance CX.
However, don’t expect sales to go at it alone. For sales enablement to have the greatest impact on the bottom line, sales and marketing must take collective ownership and cooperate as a single, aligned unit. Sales enablement is absolutely a two-way street.
And yet, you’d be surprised how often sales and marketing teams work in silos. It goes something like this…
Typically, marketing creates resources to help sales guide interactions with potential customers, things like informational videos, blogs, FAQs and product guides. They also send over potential customers, often without a second glance. “Sales will take care of it,” they shrug.
The sales team then goes about their magic, leveraging the resources during the sales process, to help convert those prospects into customers. Along the way, they might identify gaps where there’s potential for a new asset that can better educate or persuade to help close the sale. And that’s where the thought stops.
It would be remiss for the teams to operate in this manner, right?
Except this scenario is all too familiar when sales and marketing function separately. With a siloed mentality, you won’t really engage the leads you’ve generated or delight existing customers. You miss out on the opportunity to collaborate and drive revenue, together.
On the flip side, when marketing and sales align, salespeople are empowered to more efficiently push more leads through the buyer’s journey, and proactively contribute to CX and your organisation’s success. Research says 19% extra growth occurs when sales and marketing are provided with tools to work collaboratively. If you combine your teams using the same resources you can align company goals and efforts.
“By equipping sales with the right resources — whether it be content, knowledge or technology — you empower your team to sell better and subsequently,
grow your business.”
So, start thinking of sales and marketing as a unified revenue department responsible for executing your organisation’s sales enablement strategy. We’ll dive deep into the ‘how’ in a moment but first, let’s get into why sales enablement is critical for any growth-driven organisation.
Why Your Organisation Needs Sales Enablement
Selling has undergone a massive transformation over the last few years and traditional sales processes are becoming a thing of the past. Salespeople find it increasingly difficult to meet their quotas which eventually lands them in hot water if revenue targets are missed. It quite literally pays to move with the times.
Because sales enablement plays a critical role in reversing this trend, it’s rapidly becoming a fundamental part of the selling process for growth-driven organisations.
A recent study from the global sales training firm, Miller Heiman Group, states that almost two-thirds of sales organisations currently have a dedicated person, program or function for sales enablement. This is almost double the results seen two years ago! Therefore, from a competitive standpoint, organisations going forward without sales enablement will struggle to keep pace with the rest of the industry.
Except that’s not the only reason sales enablement is critical for growth.
Customers are more informed and empowered than ever before. Information is actively sought to understand and define their pain points, allowing them to identify solutions before even speaking to sales. They type questions into Google, research and generate ideas on social media, and ask their trusted networks for recommendations. They’ve become better at blocking interruptive sales techniques and exert a degree of control over the sales process. It’s usually not until the consideration stage that customers connect with sales: 60% will research a shortlist first.
Most importantly, they move through the buyer’s journey on their terms and timeline. No wonder sales have difficulty in making a lasting impact on potential customers.
How do you solve this, you ask? Stop being a messenger to an audience of many and start having one-to-one conversations with potential customers.
Businesses should meet potential customers on their platform of choice and be available to engage in frictionless two-way conversations. To serve them in this way, you’ll need the right processes, technology and content on hand to address prospects’ challenges in a one-to-one format.
How to Build Your Sales Enablement Strategy
Sales enablement strategy, when driven by HubSpot’s robust CRM, empowers salespeople to add value at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Ultimately, you can build better relationships with potential customers while driving revenue growth. Each business’ strategy may look a little different, but at the heart of it should be a CRM that automates the sales process while driving exceptional customer service.
Here are three resources you can leverage HubSpot to execute your sales enablement strategy and win on sales and CX.
Powering Sales Automation with Technology
Sales enablement (at scale) is synonymous with technology. With a powerful CRM like HubSpot at the core of your revenue department, you can benefit from running sales tasks on autopilot, saving you valuable time and effort. HubSpot couldn’t have explained the benefits any better, saying it leads to, “a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. Plus, it can also help you generate more leads and increase sales. Your marketing team will spend more time strategizing ways to increase conversion rate, while your sales team increases productivity.”
Sound good? Well, let's look at how to automate your sales process with some clever HubSpot features:
Sales Automation Tools
We’ve previously talked about how if you’re not using automation, you’re not really using your CRM. And the data speaks for itself. According to HubSpot, 61% of overperforming leaders use a CRM to automate parts of their sales process. Essentially, automation takes the hard work off your hands and creates process efficiencies that enable your success. What’s not to love?
Below we share how you can set HubSpot to automate processes such as sending follow-up emails or setting tasks reminders, freeing your teams up to put effort where it matters most.
- Email sequences. Schedule a series of automated sales emails and follow up tasks connected to each prospect. Focus on closing warm leads while the sequences manage prospecting for you.
- Email templates. Repurpose engaging email content into handy templates for use in sequences. They are accessible on-demand within the salesperson’s inbox.
- Email tracking. The second a lead engages with an email, sales will know about it thanks to email tracking. Surface the most relevant notifications to the top of the activity feed, then follow up at the perfect time.
- Workflows. Different to email sequences, this automates sales processes by setting triggers to create deals, follow up tasks, quotes, and more in a series of actions at predefined intervals.
An example of a simple workflow
Beyond automation of day-to-day sales tasks, HubSpot has a bunch of useful tools for streamlining sales coaching and meeting scheduling:
- Conversation intelligence tools. Unlock sales conversation insights. Interactions are captured and transcribed by artificial intelligence, ready to be unpacked in sales and customer delight training.
- Meeting scheduler tool. Simplify meeting scheduling by letting prospects pick a time to talk without salespeople lifting a finger. Meeting and appointment times automatically sync to the calendar from a calendar link or website module.
Last but certainly not least, let’s briefly dip into the world of conversational marketing.
Buyers are tired of businesses being unavailable or slow to respond when it matters, so much so, 75% of people switch brands if the buying process is too difficult. Imagine then, if you had the tools to communicate with buyers in real-time, in the way your buyer wants, and provide a great customer experience at the same time. Well, with conversational marketing (and a robust CRM), you can.
Conversational marketing encompasses the technology, information and interactions in which sales and service engage people in a one-on-one dialogue with your business. This is much unlike the one-to-many approach typical of traditional outbound marketing practices. The great thing about conversational marketing is that your teams can connect with prospects and customers
Your CRM will be integral to your conversational marketing strategy. It’ll provide teams access to a shared knowledge base containing important details about the person speaking to your business, such as customer information and interaction history. In other words, a CRM provides vital context for truly helpful conversations. Customers expect businesses to have access to previous interactions and find it irritating to repeat information, so a central database is a win-win for everyone. Your teams can provide answers quickly with minimal effort and truly delight the customer because you’ll be speaking to them as though you know them.
Putting conversational marketing into practice can take the shape of automated chatbots or live chat; tools you can take advantage of using the HubSpot CRM. See below:
- Chatbots. Personalise conversations with prospects and customers at scale. Your chatbot automatically fields common questions and converts visitors into high-quality leads, so sales can focus energies on other tasks. They are brought back into the mix to work the most important conversations. You can also create a bot for Facebook Messenger.
- Live chat. With Hubspot’s live chat feature, you’re able to connect directly with prospects while they actively engage with your website. Convert new leads, close more deals, distribute content and provide better customer support.
The key thing to remember about conversational marketing is it should be designed to help the customer first. Do that, and you can grow more wonderful customer experiences.
Enhancing Value by Sharing Helpful Content
We’ve mentioned the importance of content as a driver of sales success, but what sales enablement resources do salespeople actually need? The answer might not be what you’d expect. First, there’s lead generation content. It gives sales helpful context when making the sale such as:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
Plus, you have the obvious content pieces which directly assist with selling such as:
- Sales scripts
- Product and price lists
- Competitor comparisons
And of course, sales can use other educational content to assist in driving the sale such as:
- Email templates
- Presentation decks
Of all the various forms of content used to close leads, case studies are above all the most important tool in a salesperson’s arsenal. In fact, 50% of people say they attribute accelerated movement of leads through the sales funnel to their case studies. They speak volumes about your business’s capabilities with persuasive proof of results.
Shameless plug time: here’s a real-life case study of our own that we’re pretty proud of!
Getting on your way to sales enablement starts with an audit of existing sales content. Dig through all the possible places it could be buried — on the desks of the sales team, up on your website, or strewn across team members’ devices. This is your starting point for taking stock and uncovering content creation and refresh opportunities. Keep anything you think will add value.
Once you’ve completed the content audit, use HubSpot’s File Manager feature to upload and organise everything. You might find it helpful to categorise resources into the buyer’s journey stages. A well-thought-out content library right at sales’ fingertips means information can easily be located and shared in a snap.
“Case studies are above all the most important [sales] tool... 50% of people say
they attribute accelerated movement of leads through the sales
funnel to their case studies.”
When it comes to producing new, purposeful content, marketing needs to be in tune with sales and customer needs across the buying journey, just as sales should communicate the types of resources they’d benefit from. Keeping the lines of communication open will ensure content creation is a collaborative effort. The ultimate goal of this exercise is to produce valuable resources that are just as beneficial for customer experience as they are for acquisition.
Also, don’t forget content needs to be updated regularly to maintain relevance, so be sure to keep your HubSpot content library fresh.
Acquiring Knowledge with Reports & Analytics
The modern seller’s world is driven by data. A 2020 LinkedIn report found top-performers (reaching 125% of their quota or more) have a higher likelihood of using data than their counterparts. However, information overload can hurt productivity instead of helping it.
Make your data work for you and leverage reporting and analytics tools that organise, consolidate and present data in a meaningful, digestible way.
The good news is, there’s no need to choose between a platform built for ops or sales — you can have it all. With a comprehensive CRM platform like HubSpot in your sales toolkit, you can gain complete visibility into sales and business performance.
Begin the process by defining a set of standardised sales reports that are relevant to your organisation. You’ll quickly find valuable insights and gain surety of what’s working and what isn’t.
Below are the reports essential in any winning sales enablement strategy:
- Contacts report. A high-level view of your potential customers to help identify new opportunities or weaknesses in the sales funnel.
- Lifecycle stage funnel report. Categorises your leads according to their lifecycle stage which can also reveal where conversion inefficiencies lie.
- Revenue report. Allows you to understand revenue sources, so you can invest in the most rewarding channels.
- Companies report. Great for tracking multiple leads from a single company and a boon for account-based sales when combined with lead scoring.
- Win/losses report. As the name suggests, this report shows which deals are being lost or won and the associated salesperson.
Of course, once you’re familiar with HubSpot’s basic reporting you can dig deeper into your sales data goldmine by making custom reports. Your business data is as unique as the next, so your reports should be too.
HubSpot’s reporting and analytics tools are a no-brainer for growth-driven organisations. For one, you have a 360-degree view of the customer journey because your data now lives under one roof. But the real gold lies in the insights sales and marketing can gather from this level of visibility. Additionally, a 360-degree view enables your teams to deliver exceptional customer experiences that go a long way to building loyalty.
Sales and marketing alignment is pretty powerful in itself. But by placing the customer at the heart of every decision and interaction, your organisation becomes strongly positioned for growth.
If there is one thing to take away from this post, it’s this: How you sell now matters more than what you sell. And by breaking down sales and marketing silos to form a unified revenue department, you open up the lines of communication and pivot teams toward a common goal. All that’s left is to bring everything together — technology, content and knowledge — with HubSpot at the heart, to truly power your sales efforts.
Here’s to your team’s success!