Sales Enablement: You’re Up and Then You’re Down

High Prioritization of Sales Enablement vs. Low Prioritization of Sales Technology

I’ve spoken before about how sales enablement will be a key component of many companies’ B2B marketing plans going forward. (See these articles for more: 1 and 2.) When executed with careful strategy, innovative solutions, and a keen ear to the needs of the sales team and their customers, it can be a powerful tool—and, as a recent article from Hubspot points out—a powerful productivity booster.

The article references the 2014 MHI Research Institute Sales Performance and Productivity Study which states that there are two main priorities for sales teams that are overwhelmingly agreed upon:

  1. Knowledge Transfer: Improving product knowledge and market competitive intelligence.
  2. Behavioral Change: Improving process, skills, or competency training.

As marketers, where do we fit into this equation? It’s simple: we make sure these two priorities don’t act as ships passing in the night. We bridge the two. Quoted in the article, Tamara Schenk, research director at Miller Heiman explained it simply: “These services have to be connected to create value instead of noise. Providing content alone is not enabling the sales force.”

Here’s the challenge: one of the best ways to do that is via powerful CRM and other marketing automation technologies that can help lead prospects down the sales funnel, creating marketing-qualified leads. Unfortunately, according to the survey, “the two least commonly planned productivity investments are deploying CRM systems and deploying new sales productivity applications,” and even less planned to spend money on sales productivity apps.

In other words, there’s a gap between what has been prioritized as important and what companies are willing to spend B2B marketing dollars on. The implication, then, is that if sales technology is prioritized so low and sales enablement is prioritized so high, B2B marketers have a challenge (and opportunity) to rely on strategy rather than technology.

For more insights from the article, give it a read here.

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