The changing marketing and sales funnels are dictating how we do business. Specifically, this refers to how sales is approaching new prospects and closing the deal. Sales enablement is collaborating marketing and sales while producing a revenue. Ensuring that these initiatives are aligned is imperative to the success of both marketing and sales.
As a marketer, of course I find marketing efforts important. But at the end of the day (depending on the situation), the sales team is still going to have a more “intense” impact on a prospect because there is direct and personal communication (once they make it past the permission-based marketing or make direct contact). Having a strategic plan on how to approach prospects from a sales perspective is becoming more important than ever. While the sales cycle can be as long as the marketing cycle, each individual touch point can determine whether you are closer to a sit down with the prospect or whether they're done talking to you forever.
If you want to ensure that you're one step closer to that meeting, then here are a couple of sales enablement tips:
Get a feel for your prospect's personality type and learning style. People learn and digest content in different ways. Specifically, there are 3 types of learning: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic.
- If your prospect really seems to learn by “hearing” what you say, make sure to include podcasts, social links, or videos in your proposal. These are the content mediums that will resonate with this type of prospect.
- If your prospect seems to respond more with graphs, charts, or pictures, then you have a visual learner on your hands. This is the most prominent type of learner. Multiple content types appeal to this learner – videos, infographics, ebooks, whitepapers, images, etc. If you “show” the prospect what you're about, then they are more likely to understand and place importance on what you're saying.
- Finally, there are the kinesthetic learners, who learn by doing. This is a little bit harder to handle from a content marketing perspective, but it can be done. They want a “how to” guide or content that tells them “how” they can succeed. Whitepapers, ebooks, videos, and webinars that are focused on how to accomplish something are good for this type of prospect. Showing expertise and providing that knowledge to them is crucial.
Be aware of all possible avenues. In general, there is not one decision maker at a company. Deciding to invest in a service or product is a team decision. While there are some individuals who have more say than others, it is important to appeal to multiple parties within the decision making process.
- Who is your product or service going to benefit? This probably includes marketing, sales, operations, and execs (bottom line). Have you identified how your product/service helps each of these personas?
- We're seeing an increase of question calls-to-action. Instead of telling a prospect to do something, companies are posing questions to encourage click-throughs on their sites. Individuals make decisions based on what's best for them – content surrounding “personas” will help persuade the team decision.
Our sales proposal sponsor, TinderBox, provides an opportunity to create rich media proposals that will appeal to every type of learner, as well as be aware of who is viewing your proposal. These metrics will ultimately help close the deal and develop customer profiling. Sales proposal management is key to succeeding in sales enablement. Learning how to create an effective sales proposal will increase conversions and click throughs.
What other sales enablement tips do you have? What else are you seeing in the industry?