In December 2019, Mediafly hosted a webinar titled ‘5 Predictions You Can Use To Uplevel Your Sales Enablement Strategy in 2020’ where Forrester Research director Mary Shea and Mediafly’s Chief Evangelist Tom Pisello discussed their top 2020 sales enablement predictions. In that discussion, Mary spoke at length about the increasing importance of marketing’s involvement in modern sales enablement strategy. She has also echoed this sentiment in her published research stating, “As B2B marketing begins to take on responsibility for architecting an engagement strategy for the entire buyer journey, we expect that more than 50% of B2B organizations will realign the SE function to marketing.”
Why is it so important for marketing to get involved in sales enablement? Here are our top three reasons your marketers should have a bigger stake in your 2020 sales enablement strategy:
1. The typical B2B buyer is already 57% through the purchase process before reaching out to sales. (Source: CEB)
The sales process may officially start when a buyer first engages with a seller, but in reality, the buyer’s journey begins much earlier. To drive continued revenue growth, you have to offer a premium, consistent customer experience from the first interaction a buyer has with your brand through to purchase and beyond. This is extremely difficult to do when marketers and sellers are working in siloed systems and processes.
2. Effective sales enablement is fueled by contextual and engaging content experiences, not just sales content management.
Most organizations today focus their sales enablement strategies on managing marketing-produced content for sellers. But with buyers doing the majority of their research on their own, the content buyers see and find online becomes a critical component of the sales process. The content experiences you create for buyers online should be personalized, relevant, and impactful. And when the buyer is ready to engage with a seller, that content experience should be fluid. Sellers should understand exactly what content the buyer has consumed, what resonated, and exactly where to pick up the conversation to accelerate the path to purchase.
3. Today’s marketers hold greater revenue responsibility.
Gone are the days of marketers generating leads and tossing them over the fence to sales. Today’s marketers are responsible for helping sales teams effectively communicate with those leads throughout the full sales lifecycle. After all, what good are leads if they never convert to customers? Marketing must provide sales with the right content for the right buyer at the right point in the sales process. Understanding how and when that content is used by sales and how buyers are engaging with that content at every step of the journey is critical to optimizing your content strategy and ensuring your sales team can win deals.
Supporting your sales enablement strategy with a unified sales enablement platform can align your sellers and marketers for continued revenue growth
When marketing and sales share ownership of sales enablement, your strategy becomes less about increasing sales efficiency or managing sales content, and more about providing the revenue-generating functions of the business with the processes, tools, content, and training they need to create, develop and retain customers. Deploying one unified sales enablement platform can help you create a consistent, relevant, and personalized end-to-end content experience from the first interaction your buyer has with your brand, through to conversion and post-sale.
To address the challenges discussed above, Mediafly has recently released two new marketing-specific features of our sales enablement platform:
Mediafly Content Hub
Traditional sales enablement platforms ignore the early stages of the buying process, choosing instead to focus on what happens after the handoff from marketing to sales has taken place and creating a disjointed buyer experience. Mediafly recognizes the need for a consistent, personalized, and relevant content experience across the entire buyer journey – especially in the customer’s self-guided phases of research.
Mediafly Content Hub aligns sellers and marketers to begin surfacing the most relevant content for a buyer on the website in the early stages of buyer research and carries that content experience through to purchase and post-sale. The solution also provides marketers the ability to manage public-facing website content, customer-facing sales content, and internal-only sales content all in one place.
The majority of leading sales enablement platforms today allow marketers to track and measure vanity metrics including views and shares. But Mediafly’s advanced content analytics and dashboards allow marketers to measure content engagement and quantify the impact of each specific piece of content on revenue. This data not only helps marketers quantify the return on investment of the content they produce but also strategically optimize content and reallocate budget and resources to drive more revenue.
Key Takeaways for Your 2020 Sales Enablement Strategy
As you advance your sales enablement journey in 2020 and beyond, here are some key considerations to increase your odds of success:
- Marketing and sales should share ownership of the Sales Enablement function. According to Forrester Consulting, “organizations in which SE reports to marketing are exceeding revenue expectations more frequently.”
- Combining the right sales enablement strategy with the right sales enablement technology can help you bridge the gap between sales and marketing.
- Sales enablement is more than content management. Creating a measurable, end-to-end content experience will help your sellers and marketers engage earlier and accelerate the path to purchase.
- Personalized content experiences drive higher buyer engagement.
- Vanity metrics (e.g. content views and downloads) are not necessarily indicative of success. ROI-driven reports and insights with predictive analytics can help you truly understand what content resonates with buyers and drives revenue.
Interested in learning more about how Mediafly can help align your marketers and sellers with one unified sales enablement platform? Contact us for more information or to schedule a demo.