The launch of the iPad brought dozens of sales enablement companies to life and revitalized several others that had flatlined. The hypothesis that salespeople can sell better if they don’t have to carry briefcases and laptops and have documents available on demand was correct. iPad sales soared and leading research companies such as Gartner and Forrester showed that the #1 reason why enterprise was buying iPads was to enable the sales force.
Cut to 2015 and yes, you do see most salespeople carrying iPads. The problem now is not just getting the sales content to the device, but how to get the right content to the device at the right time. Enterprises are still producing gigabytes of sales collateral, videos, case studies, spec sheets, etc., but struggling to get sales to use them when it matters most. Here are some steps on how to get marketing and sales to get aligned on what matters most: revenue.
Step 1: Track the gap between the marketing and sales funnels.
Challenge the generally accepted rule of 100 leads to 1 sale. We use Hubspot as our inbound marketing tool and Salesforce as our CRM. You may use different tools, but we have found that producing original content that resulted in many SQLs did not directly translate into a healthy pipeline on Salesforce. We started tracking the number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) we qualified in our marketing funnel and how many of those actually made its way through the sales funnel. This enabled us to get a benchmark of what content is driving qualified leads and what it is that we were trying to improve.
Step 2: Tag your collateral.
We have all experienced our sales teams wanting better collateral that they could send to our prospects and customers. To understand the need better, we wanted to know which stage of the funnel where they were sharing the collateral. There’s no point in spending valuable dollars on case studies, which are good for top of the funnel, when the need really is for a feature, advantage, or benefit document for later in the funnel. To solve this problem, we started tagging the collateral with the stage of the funnel they were in and when they were shared out of our Game Plan sales enablement app. Over time we were able to see if the right collateral was being shared at the right stage. Note: Your marketing and sales funnels may have different stages so track accordingly.
Step 3: Drop geofences around your customer locations.
To help salespeople get the most pertinent and valuable presentations, you need to understand which documents are best suited for customer presentations. You could use Salesforce to get this insight by pulling customer office locations and the industry type into Game Plan. When the salesperson presents, the collateral could be tagged with that customer’s name and industry type. You can now quickly sort which presentations were liked by salespeople and therefore were used more often than others.
Step 4: Provide meaningful insights to marketing and sales.
Once you have the data, you can share information on which documents were shared at what stage of the funnel and which documents are popular amongst salespeople with the marketing team. This helps marketing understand salespeople’s needs better because they have quantitative data along with qualitative information. We sent tagged data into the Salesforce.com system, which allowed the sales leadership to have the same view as marketing to create alignment between the teams.
Step 5: Execute
Once both sales and marketing are on the same page in terms of what salespeople needed and used, they are able to execute. For example, when a new document like an oil and gas case study became available in the needs analysis stage of the funnel, Game Plan sent a push notification to those salespeople that were presenting to customers that were in that industry. Marketing is also now able to show trending documents that have helped most salespeople so they know what works.
These efforts will help improve the sales efficiency of your team. We continue to work on our efforts internally to provide smart insights to both our own and outside marketing and sales so that the salespeople on the ground get the best, most pertinent collateral to win their client's confidence and win the sale.