Sales and marketing alignment is a challenge that continues to plague organizations across all industries, and, while powerful tools like marketing automation exist to help bridge the gap between the two departments, it is ultimately the marketer’s responsibility to provide education on how those tools can be leveraged throughout the sales cycle.
Sales enablement goes beyond content and collateral development. In fact, a study by the American Marketing Association found that 90% of marketing-produced content goes unused by sales. To be successful, marketers have to better equip their sales teams with the tools and resources to help make conversations with prospects more effective.
One of the key benefits of marketing automation that’s often overlooked is sales enablement. Read on to see how email can be leveraged within the marketing automation platform as a vehicle to support and drive sales conversations through each stage of the funnel.
Internal sales enablement nurture campaigns Think of it as internal content marketing. Just as lead nurture is used to educate prospects, internal nurture campaigns can be used to share relevant resources, product marketing content or sales strategies with your sales team. In addition to providing sharable marketing content, such as guides and eBooks that can be used in one-to-one outreach, consider the range of unique selling situations that reps encounter, and provide resources that can be leveraged to make those interactions more effective. A few examples could include key differentiators for your top competitors, effective elevator pitches or compelling customer stats and success stories.
Sales email templates Develop a library of marketing-approved email templates that sales reps can leverage for one-to-one email outreach. Customizable email templates offer both flexibility and control, enabling sales to easily edit and personalize HTML-designed emails for prospects, while giving marketers control over branding and tracking. Sales templates are particularly useful for personal outreach and follow up, such as a webinar invite, post-tradeshow recap or demo follow up.
SQL nurture campaigns Once sales qualified leads have entered into an active sales cycle, lead nurture can help drive ongoing sales conversations and accelerate the decision making process. Work with sales reps to determine prospects’ bottom-funnel needs and pain points, and develop targeted nurture tracks that deliver supporting content and messaging. Leverage CRM integration to its full extend by enabling sales reps to directly add prospects to relevant campaigns, such as nurture tracks for specific products or services or competitive drips that highlight key differentiators from competitors. Go a step further and personalize emails from prospects’ assigned reps and set up alerts to notify reps when prospects take action.
Sales enablement is an ongoing process that requires continuous communication and collaboration between marketing and sales. Remember to check back in and gather feedback on additional ways marketing can offer support. For more strategies on sales alignment, check out our article on lead qualification to learn how marketing automation can be used to identify sales-ready leads.