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    What Comes After Sales Enablement

    What Comes After Sales Enablement?

    In-Person Meetings Are the Human Element that Follows the Digital Setup

    As building products marketers, we spend an extraordinary amount of time and energy planning the perfect marketing strategies and tools and, often, sales enablement is part of the planning package.

    A well-defined sales enablement program can make or break a B2B company dependent on large-scale sales. Companies who prioritize sales enablement usually have higher—and more predictable—sales, more satisfied customers and a prepared and invested sales force that readily connects with buyers in ways that enhance the buyer experience. Successful sales enablement usually consists of content, training and coaching.

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    Just as with many marketing efforts, sales enablement is not a one-off initiative, nor should it be approached in a haphazard and incomplete way. It must be applied again and again with all stakeholders on-board to achieve results. Enablement must also align to the company’s marketing and promotional messaging, according to the Salesforce guide to sales enablement.

    Even though sales enablement affects revenue indirectly, companies with developed and thoughtful enablement practices, complete with value messaging all along the customer journey, report better performance metrics than those that lack an enablement protocol, reports global organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry.

    Done right, sales enablement can provide teams with the tools needed to generate and nurture more qualified leads and close more deals. But what can often go overlooked is what comes at the close of sales enablement—the authentic, human-to-human contact that finalizes a sale.

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    It’s not just sales enablement that can fall victim to this, either. We know many marketers who spend time creating highly detailed marketing campaigns, lead-scoring systems and special trade show events, but who never develop follow-up plans to determine what will be done in real life with the leads produced from their efforts. Companies can collect all the form submissions they want on a landing page, but if they don’t do anything with those submissions other than sending the prospects more automated emails, they murder any chance for closing a deal.

    And it’s more common than you might suspect. Marketers may fail to deliver qualified leads to sales and the sales team may fail to pick up the phone and call the leads they do get from marketing. Misaligned marketing and sales teams can waste time and cause leads to vanish. If it goes unaddressed, it’s an endless cycle of fruitlessness and unprofitability. The evidence can be found within the numbers.

    Face-to-Face is Still Important

    As B2B marketers, we cannot rely on digital-only tactics or sales enablement in its checklist form. Face-to-face is still the best final act to follow any sales enablement program.

    For complex products and services (most B2B purchases!), decisions are made more based on organizational/personal relationships and trust than technical features and functions. Cognitive studies prove that, in B2B sales, there needs to be an emotional attachment beyond analytics, even after the non-contact years of the pandemic when we all became accustomed to little-to-zero personal contact. And relationship selling is a valuable concept, according to customer service company Zendesk, and business relationships usually flourish with in-person contact.

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    “Most people are more than happy to make smaller purchases using self-check-out kiosks or eCommerce sites. You probably don’t need a trust-based relationship to buy a desk for your home office. But for larger purchases that carry more risk and long-term commitment, such as in B2B sales, trust is an essential factor that can’t be outsourced to software,” according to Zendesk. “Trust-based relationship selling is about showing—not telling—your leads that you’re worthy of their trust.”

    Go ahead and build the sales enablement protocol because it’s a proven tool in successful selling, but consider the human aspect if you want the sale to close.

    “At the top of the funnel, you want to grab someone’s attention. It’s all about the pitch. The offer. The value you’re presenting,” according to an article in the Harvard Business Review. “But as you get closer to the deal, that dynamic shifts. Instead of just being about numbers, the deal becomes more and more about the relationship—a prospect’s decision usually comes down to how they feel about you. That’s where it’s so important to build a strong, human connect. And nothing does this better than meeting in person.”

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    You know why it matters, but let’s review: You can see and hear the person clearly, which creates both nuance and context around the interaction. When you meet in person, you get an insider’s view on how to pitch and negotiate. Communication is 93% nonverbal, which means you’re missing out on so much if you can’t physically see the person with whom you’re talking. You get higher-quality time. while you might not get to talk to as many prospects by closing in-person, you’ll get better quality interaction.

    Face-to-face is important in the B2B world, but don’t let it absolve you of the responsibility to incorporate digital marketing and/or sales enablement. Instead, consider what your marketing can do to prime a prospect for a face-to-face meeting. And consider what sales enablement tools you can provide that will make the biggest impact for your sales team during a trade show or another face-to-face meeting with a buyer.


    FAQs

    What is sales enablement?

    Sales enablement is a comprehensive program involving content, training, and coaching that equips a sales force to effectively engage with buyers, leading to higher sales performance and customer satisfaction.

    Why is sales enablement important for B2B companies?

    Sales enablement is crucial for B2B companies as it leads to more predictable sales, happier customers, and a well-prepared sales team that enhances the buyer experience.

    Is sales enablement a one-time effort?

    No, sales enablement is an ongoing process that requires consistent application and involvement of all stakeholders to achieve optimal results.

    What does successful sales enablement involve?

    Successful sales enablement involves value messaging across the customer journey, providing teams with tools to generate qualified leads and close deals.

    Why is human-to-human contact essential in sales?

    Human-to-human contact is crucial for building trust and emotional connections, especially in complex B2B purchases where relationships play a significant role.

    How does face-to-face interaction benefit sales?

    Face-to-face interaction provides nuanced communication, insider insights for pitching and negotiating, and the opportunity to build strong, meaningful relationships with prospects.

    About The Author

    Elton Mayfield

    Elton's career spans media, production, digital and building industry expertise. His diverse experience makes him nimble, innovative, and curious – always pushing the envelope to create extraordinary work that delivers real results for our clients.

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