Sales Enablement Best Practices-How Sales Enablement Benefits All Reps

Sales Enablement Best Practices-How Sales Enablement Benefits All Reps

Sales reps are constantly coming up against challenges and problems as they attempt to close deals and drive revenue. From wasting nearly a third of every day searching for or revising content to feeling frustrated at the lack of available content marketing training materials, sales reps have a lot to deal with in a day—and not a lot of time. If these problems sound familiar, know there’s a better way. By making an organized, strategic push toward sales enablement in your business, you can drastically reduce the problems your sales reps routinely battle and start to work toward better productivity and increased revenue.

Sales Enablement: Solving Real Problems for Sales Reps

Sales Enablement Starts In House

There is no single answer for what makes sales enablement effective. It’s about applying the general principles to find the solutions that address your specific problems. Therefore, one of your biggest assets is your group of successful sales reps.

These people are finding ways to genuinely connect with prospects, shorten the sales cycle, and close deals. If you’re thinking about building out a full sales enablement program, step one should be going to your top-performing reps and figuring out how they do what they do. One goal of sales enablement is to create a replicable, teachable system to all reps (new or otherwise), and your current performers possess much of that necessary knowledge base.

10 Benefits of Implementing a Sales Enablement Program


1. Increase Sales Rep Quota 

A best-in-class company is twice as likely to use a sales enablement program, and best-in-class companies enjoy 50 percent higher quota attainment than other companies.


2. Use Sales Reps Time More Efficiently

A sales rep’s time is extremely valuable, and any minute not spent on core selling is a minute not spent actively closing deals and increasing revenue. The average sales rep spends about 30 percent of the day looking for content or revising content to be more relevant to the prospect. No company can expect positive results and growth when nearly one-third of a sales rep’s day is needlessly spent.

Currently, on average about 65 percent of created content is never even used (37 percent is simply unusable or irrelevant, and 28 percent isn’t findable). Sales enablement can help with both these issues.

In terms of irrelevant content, sales enablement can implement the framework that gets your marketing team creating content that actually helps in the sales cycle. An estimated $2.3 million is lost in enterprise organizations due to underused or unused content. However, when your marketing team writes content that specifically addresses your company’s buyer personas at the different stages of the sales cycle, this drastically increases the likelihood that the content will actually be relevant and helpful to your sales reps. These processes limit the time (and money) spent working hard on content that will never be used.

Two, implementing an organized, intuitive content system, where sales reps can quickly and easily find what they need, will stem the tide of wasted time searching through file after file to find that one desired piece of content. Sales enablement, when done right, means your reps spend less time doing this kind of administrative work and more time selling.


3. Help Sales Reps Close Deals Faster

As more people have become involved in corporate buying decisions, the length of the sales cycle has increased exponentially. Creating hyper-targeted content that truly speaks to the buyer persona’s barriers and problems can quickly address those issues and efficiently lead that persona to the next stage. The faster your sales reps can close, the more deals (and money) they can generate.

Even if a rep has to deal with multiple personas in a particular deal, an organized, strategic content system will have whatever content is needed, and it will be quickly and easily at the rep’s fingertips.


4. Focus On the Digital Age

Sales enablement is largely based in selling in the digital age. It helps sales reps know how to be successful with the kinds of leads they encounter now, which do largely come through a company’s website.


5. Align the Sales Team and Marketing Team (and everyone else)

Proper alignment between marketing and sales is key to a successful sales enablement program. But it’s not just marketing and sales that need to be on the same page. Sales enablement should be treated as a business within a business, which effectively ensures all departments are working toward the same goal: doing everything possible to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the sales team in order to up revenue.


6. Assist in a Consultative Selling Approach

For a sales rep to be successful today, he or she needs to provide real value to the prospect. That means doing more than just answering a few surface-level questions about the company or product. It means taking a more consultative approach: learning about prospects and their challenges and finding creative solutions to address those. The more targeted and relevant the content, the more value it provides to the prospect. And when a prospect perceives a sales rep as truly valuable, it builds credibility and trust in that person, which leads to a better opportunity to close that deal.


7. Provide Helpful Training

Sales enablement is still relatively new, and many sales reps find themselves frustrated at the lack of helpful training material made available to them. Essentially, their companies tell them to sell in this new way, and then they don’t provide the road map to get them there. If a rep doesn’t know where to find content, doesn’t know how to talk to a specific prospect, or doesn’t understand that prospect’s core challenges going in to a conversation, there’s little chance the rep will build that requisite trust with the prospect.

A good training system, however, will inform the rep about the sales enablement processes, explain the reasoning behind those processes, and educate about how logistically to use the content system.

Good training will do more than just provide a tutorial on how to log in to a content system. It will explain the underpinning logic of the buyer’s journey and how content can play an effective role in the buying decision. It will also explain why the marketing team is creating content in a specific way. When sales reps see this whole picture, the processes make more sense, and there tends to be much greater buy-in and follow-through.

All this leads to more informed, more insightful sellers. Training can show reps how to deal with a variety of personas in a variety of situations—and still have success. These skills translate well to any subsequent selling position.


8. Provide Better Opportunities to Prospect Clients

When sales reps understand the whole picture, they can potentially go and find viable prospects through online channels, such as LinkedIn.


9. Experience Less Frustration

Not reaching a quota is stressful and frustrating for any sales rep. Nobody likes working hard every day only to see minimal results. When reps have this increased opportunity to reach and exceed quota, much of the frustration associated with the job can disappear.


10. Improve Selling—Across the Board

Sales enablement isn’t about teaching a rep to close a deal in one limited situation. It’s about how to have success in any given prospect interaction. Sales enablement helps reps understand the core messaging for a variety of buyer personas—no matter what stage of the buyer’s journey. They also learn how to qualify and deal with a number of objections. All this creates a more insightful, valuable sales rep, and an organized system ensures the content that rep needs is never more than a few clicks away.

For more information about how sales enablement can benefit every rep within a sales team, please feel free to contact a representative of Brand Fuzion today!

Learn how to increase marketing and sales productivity by developing a predictable, gowning sales pipeline through isales enablement.

What Marketers Need to Know about Sales Enablement

What Marketers Need to Know about Sales Enablement

More and more companies are recognizing the need to invest in sales enablement tools and practices, but there’s still a lot of confusion among marketing teams regarding how best to go about that. The following are some essential tips to help increase the efficiency and efficacy of your marketing team’s sales enablement efforts.


Why Marketers Must Understand Sales Enablement


1. Bridging the Gap between Marketing and Sales


Companies have heard it repeatedly over the  years: marketing and sales need to be aligned in order to be more effective. This has led to increasingly integrated teams, which is great. However, it’s not about simply generating a lot of leads. It’s about getting qualified leads—leads that are more likely to result in closed deals and increased revenue.

If you’re seeing increased lead gen but minimal client conversion, your problem most likely rests with misaligned goals. Yes, marketing and sales need to work more closely, but that’s not enough. Their goals needs to be explicitly similar. That is, they both need to be working toward getting qualified leads and seeing better sales conversion.

To accomplish this, keep the following pointers in mind:

  • A service-level agreement (SLA) between marketing and sales defines and makes explicit shared goals between the two groups.
  • Both marketing and sales should be held accountable for revenue generation.
  • To improve the quality of the generated content, both teams must quantify and track conversion at every stage. This identifies which specific pieces of content are working and which are not.
  • In general, companies are better about aligning their marketing and sales. To get ahead now, it’s about marketers working with sales teams to implement the right tools to help salespeople achieve their quotas.


2. Adapt to a Changed Sales Funnel


As time goes on, the sales funnel becomes less and less linear. Prospects don’t simply progress from interest to awareness to purchase. Instead, information gathering is increasingly crucial to the buyer in the purchasing decision.  Today’s sales team needs to be prepared to walk a prospect through this complex journey.

This means:

  • Content must be increasingly targeted to effectively persuade a buyer.
  • There is no longer a clear time to hand off a lead to sales, so more collaboration between marketing and sales is necessary throughout the buyer’s journey.
  • Content must be measured by conversion. This is a far more powerful metric than simple lead numbers.


3. Take Into Account Consensus Buying


In any given B2B sales decision today, twenty or more people can be involved in that buying team. As consensus buying becomes the norm, you must face the challenge of engaging all these personas. When the group goes offline to discuss and collaborate on this buying decision, neither sales nor marketing is directly involved at that point.

Your best weapon, therefore, is your content. Arm these key decision-makers with persuasive, relevant, targeted content that that is informative and proves your value. Every piece of content you provide should establish and build trust in your company, brand, or product and illustrate what sets you apart.

If, for example, you provide a generic case study that has nothing to do with the particular company you’re working with, when that team meets to finalize its buying decision, you haven’t provided anything of value to persuade that group. You haven’t established your competitive edge, your benefits, or your trustworthiness. And you’re minimizing the chance of that buying team coming back with a decision in your favor.


4. Time Is Your Biggest Asset—Don’t Waste It!


A staggering 30 percent of a salesperson’s time is consumed by looking for, creating, or customizing content for prospects. Salespeople today recognize the importance of good content when nurturing a lead, but they have to waste nearly a third of their time just to get that content into their hands.

To minimize this tremendous time sink, employ these two techniques:

  1. Have sales and marketing work together to identify what content is resonating with particular leads. Moving forward, use that data to weed out ineffective content and help create more content that speaks positively to your leads.
  2. Segment content based upon your buyer personas
  3. Create a content catalog that maps content to the buyers journey.
  4. Use a sales enablement platform (SEP).


5. Benefits of a Sales Enablement Platform


An SEP provides one place to put all your selling tools. This streamlines all sales enablement processes and allows marketers to get faster, more accurate feedback about the content provided to sales.

1. Integrate the SEP with analytics. Numbers don’t lie. Analytics immediately show what content is engaging and converting leads. A piece of content might seem extremely powerful, but if the analytics show it’s not effective, marketers need to be prepared to throw it out and learn from what is working. Analytics allow you to quantify a piece of content’s ROI, which shows you what types of content are financially worth your time and effort.

If a salesperson tweaks a piece of content, that’s great. But the changes need to be reflected and tracked within the SEP. That way, everyone can see if the changes improved the ROI. If it did, everyone can also learn how that improvement can be applied to other pieces of content to make them more effective.

An SEP facilitates this kind of insight and helps you eliminate the deadwood and use data-confirmed content as a model for future tools.

2. Carefully organize the SEP. A pervasive barrier to success continues to be marketing creating content that sales doesn’t use—either because it’s not relevant or because sales simply can’t find what they need. An average company spends 28 percent of its budget on content creation, yet 65 percent of content is never even used by sales. This is hugely wasteful and leads to the vicious cycle of marketers creating and creating content, while sales just keeps requesting more—because the content they’re getting isn’t accessible, easily found, or relevant.

Having everything centrally located in one SEP means sales has access to everything, and if that SEP is intuitively and effectively organized, sales can quickly and easily find the relevant content. For ease of access, pieces should be ranked based on what performs well for various selling opportunities (different customer sizes, industries, products, and so on). This way, high-performing content for a particular lead type will be readily at the fingertips of the sales team.

3. Ensure the SEP is for marketing and sales. Just because it’s called a sales enablement platform doesn’t mean it’s just for sales. This should be another aspect of sales enablement that both marketing and sales collaborate continuously on. It also highly facilitates closed-loop analysis. If either sales or marketing proposes a change to the SEP (or anything within the SEP), data can back up the suggestion and intelligently inform the decision-making process.

4. Make the SEP remotely accessible. Sales teams are increasingly spread across the country—even the globe. An effective SEP will be cloud based and mobile ready. This ensures team members, no matter where they are, can access and use the platform.

Sales enablement is a proven tactic. Companies that put an emphasis on sales and marketing alignment and sales enablement processes saw concrete results. Half the companies had at least a 10 percent increase in sales conversion, while 23 percent saw 20 percent of more. If you can identify your company’s best practices and make those practices repeatable, even new employees will be able to quickly and effectively hit the ground running. It requires collaboration, flexibility, and concentrated data analysis, but when that comes together, increased conversion (and revenue) often follow.

For more information about what marketing teams need to know about sales enablement, please feel free to contact a representative of Brand Fuzion today!

Learn how to increase marketing and sales productivity by developing a predictable, gowning sales pipeline through isales enablement.

Sales Enablement Content Mapping Best Practices

Sales Enablement Content Mapping Best Practices

Sales Enablement content mapping is a pivotal step in the implementation of any sales enablement plan. It allows you to chart the organization of your content and create a more strategic plan for how you’re going to implement content into your selling process. Many companies have content at their disposal—in some cases, a lot of content—but it’s simply not being used effectively. Content mapping is a way to more strategically and thoughtfully organize, use, and analyze that content.


Sales Enablement Content Mapping : What It Is and Why It Matters

 What Is Content Mapping?

Sales Enablement content mapping is essentially a way to organize and categorize your content. Because every company has different types and volumes of content and different organizational structures, the specifics of what that content mapping entails are going to vary from company to company.

Most often, though, it’s as simple as a spreadsheet that organizes content by different factors (content publisher, content type, content description, targeted buyer persona, and so on). This aims to ensure that anyone who needs the content, specifically salespeople, can easily and intuitively find it.


The Steps Involved with Effective Content Mapping


1.  Identify the stakeholders.

The first step is to ascertain who’s going to be doing what with these various pieces of content. You’ll want to identify not only who creates the content but who publishes it and analyzes it after the fact. Determine who these people are as well as their roles in the system.

In a large company, there might be many people who deal with any given type of content. However, it’s best to have one publisher for each of these categories. That person can then manage the process and communicate directly to sales representatives. 


2.  Map the content.

Once you’ve identified stakeholders, it’s time to actually think about what content needs to be captured within this system. At this stage, it’s important to remember to be focused. Dedicate your time and energy to what’s most important for your salespeople rather than anything and everything content-related that a seller might need.

Time is a limited commodity for your salespeople, and they simply can’t sift through a burdensome amount of content. If, for example, you provide a salesperson with all your case studies rather than one or two highly specific case studies that apply to his or her selling situation, you’re just inundating that salesperson with content. If your system doesn’t provide precise information, you haven’t developed an organized, strategic plan of attack.

Remember also that the improvement process in this Sales Enablement content mapping stage is never complete. It’s always evolving and changing as your company evolves and changes, so waiting until the system is “perfect” or “done” is only going to delay the launch. Never lose sight of your number one job: making your map organized, easy to understand, intuitive, straightforward, and effective for your salespeople.

A content map, which will ultimately look different for every company, should include some or all of the following information:

  • Content type.
  • Publisher (including the one point of contact within a team or division who will manage this content type).
  • A brief description of the content.
  • Targeted buyer persona.

Limit the top-level content types to eight to twelve categories. For example, a content map could include:

  • Case studies.
  • Product marketing.
  • Demo material.
  • Sales training.
  • Sales tools.
  • Lead generation.
  • Competitor information.
  • Industry news.
  • Prospecting (including e-mail templates, social media prospecting, etc.).

Note, these categories should be broad. If they are overly specific, your Sales Enablement content mapping will quickly become unruly, confusing, and ineffective. When developing these topics, have your most universal selling situations in mind. Get your content right for these common, repeatable situations before organizing and dealing with niche sales, sales in specific regions, and so on.

These categories should always be obvious and unambiguous. The last thing you want is a salesperson having to guess where content might be stored or any other employee guessing what category to file something under.

That single point of contact for a content type is also crucial. Even if an entire team or department handles that content type, having one person as the lead minimizes confusion and facilitates problem solving. 


3. Consider the buyer’s journey with Sales Enablement content mapping.

As is the case with every step in this process, the buyer’s journey is going to look different for every company—and it could even vary for different selling transactions within that company. With that in mind, the steps of the buyer’s journey are not set in stone. They are always approximations of the stages people typically go through when making a purchasing decision, but they are certainly an effective starting point.

While the buyer’s journey is crucial to creating the right kind of content, it is not the ideal way to organize that content. A case study, for example, could be requested at any stage in the buying process. Therefore, trying to organize your content around a given stage will only lead to confusion, since case studies are equally plausible in the lead stage and the negotiation stage. 

Create plans for common selling scenarios within your company, varying content according to key differentiators, such as product, region, and customer type. (After all, somebody expanding the account of an existing customer is necessarily going to need different content than a salesperson dealing with a customer who’s never even heard of your company.) Limit yourself to no more than seven crucial pieces of content that salesperson would need in that situation. Create these plans for the various stages of the buyer’s journey and then create a generalized plan (for any deal at any stage) from that information.  

This is by no means a static process. Start simple and refine as you go, examining what is and isn’t working and adjusting accordingly. If you wait for the system to be perfect, you’ll never even get it off the ground.


4. Integrate existing resources with the new solution.

If you’ve invested in content marketing at all, chances are you already have existing resources. For example, you probably have a content catalog where this content is stored. To effectively implement sales enablement solutions, your existing resources will need to integrate with your new changes.

This integration includes the CRM you’re using to track sales opportunities as well as tools that enhance selling, such as web conferencing to facilitate demonstrating the product or answering questions in real time.

If all you have to facilitate your sales enablement efforts is a slew of content, you’ve probably already discovered just how little help disorganized content can be. By changing how you organize (or map) your content, however, you can ensure your content is findable, usable, and effective in closing more deals and generating more revenue.

Learn how to increase marketing and sales productivity by developing a predictable, gowning sales pipeline through isales enablement.

Sales Enablement Needs to Be Managed As A Business Within a Business

Sales Enablement Needs to Be Managed As A Business Within a Business

Sales enablement continues to be a growing, evolving industry, and with those changes comes a level of uncertainty about how best to implement sales enablement solutions. From enterprise companies to middle-market firms to startups, alignment between departments is consistently an issue—as is overall organization and communication—making the implementation of sales enablement problematic. Obviously, companies want to increase the productivity of their sales teams and consequently increase revenue, but in today’s competitive business landscape it’s becoming more difficult to reach their sales goals. Treating sales enablement as a business within your business is one crucial step toward that goal.

How to Implement Sales Enablement as a Business within a Business

The Sales Enablement Society

Although the best practices of sales enablement historically have been difficult to define, the establishment of the Sales Enablement Society has done much to bring together various sales enablement practitioners and formalize the strategic processes and goals of sales enablement.

In order to make sales managers and representatives more productive and give them the ability to increase sales productivity, the Sales Enablement Society promotes this business within a business model. So, what exactly does that look like?


Establish a Central Location for Sales Enablement Programs

It’s not enough for a company to simply say it is dedicated and committed to sales enablement. The people running the enablement efforts for sales need to approach their processes, strategy, and implementation like any business. This ensure there is a centralized, defined department to handle these issues, and it identifies points of contact to deal with the enabling sales within a company.

Often, departments don’t know what sales needs to be effective. Other departments can even inadvertently work against the efforts of sales. By operating like a business, there’s a central place to identify, tackle, and solve these organizational miscommunications and issues. 


Alignment between Sales and Marketing and Other Department

Sales enablement is an incredibly effective way to bridge any existing gap between marketing and sales and ultimately make both teams more effective. However, a truly effective sales enablement program isn’t exclusive to marketing and sales divisions. It’s a whole-company approach.

For example, Human Resources needs to be involved because they’re crucial to hiring the actual sales representatives. If HR doesn’t know what to look for in a sales rep, they could hire people who will allow these enablement processes to fall by the wayside. Similarly, IT needs to be involved. They install and integrate many enablement tools for sales, such as your CRM, marketing automation functions, content catalogs, and more.


Three Steps to Implementing Sales Enablement


1. Identify internal stakeholders.

The first step is defining your internal customers, which will usually predominantly be the sales force. Just like any business, you have to understand your customers for success, so you must identify, define, and seek to understand the needs and barriers to success of the customers your sales  force is looking to help.


2. Identify business needs—and how sales enablement can address those needs.

For a sales enablement program to be effective, the company must first understand their overarching goals and then determine how enabling sales  can help facilitate those goals. Sales enablement goals must always align with overall company goals, which means specific enablement processes are going to be different for every company. This is part of why sales enablement is hard to pin down. The framework can be similar, but the specifics and the sales ennoblement playbook are always going to be contingent on the company.

As with any effective goal, you must define sales enablement services with measurable metrics. This will allow you to ascertain if your efforts are reaching goals and proving effective. Once you can quantify something, you can identify where errors are made and hiccups occur, and you have the framework to measure your improvement after changes are implemented.

Striving toward sales enablement goals is not a one-off process; it’s ongoing. The goals should be incremental, they should build on each other, and again, they must be measurable.


3. Define how sale enablement will affect the company’s bottom line.

When executives are presented with the possibility of implementing sales enablement, the first factor they consider tends to be cost. They see these measures as cost centers rather than revenue-generating potential. For enablement of sales to truly work, though, you need the full buy-in of the company’s higher-ups, and if you can prove the financial worth of sales enablement, your chances of getting that buy-in increase dramatically.

As with goals, there is no cover-all answer for every company. How to get executive sponsorship is always going to be customized to that business, but the overall approach should be tying sale enablement’s goals to revenue-related goals. This will prove the immediate and continued worth of sales enablement (through a financial lens). If you don’t speak in terms of bottom line and the pivotal metrics to gauge that progress, you risk executives dismissing  enablement of sales as nothing more than a costly addition to the company structure. 

Companies are used to paying for trainings and new technologies in the hopes of increasing revenue down the line. You need to show that enabling sales can provide the same value and remove those underlying barriers to revenue generation.

Remember also that establishing sales enablement doesn’t need to come with huge overhead. It doesn’t necessarily require hiring an entire new team. People already within the organization can take on these roles—with the possibility of one or two new hires to facilitate the process. 


One Common Barrier to Sales Enablement Success

A consistent issue that companies run up against when trying to implement sales enablement as a business within a business is that people look at the traditional hierarchy and organization of a company and try to find where sales enablement fits. They want a  enablement program for sales to plug into an existing slot within their organizational structure. However, this mind-set often leads to departments operating as individual, disconnected “islands.”

Instead, a company should streamline the communication channels between these departments. In this way, the traditional organizational structure is a huge barrier to success. Sales enablement should not be viewed as its own separate division. Although it will be operating as a business, it must interact with all departments to improve the salespeople’s ability to sell and improve other departments’ ability to facilitate sales in that goal.


Learn how to increase marketing and sales productivity by developing a predictable, gowning sales pipeline through isales enablement.

10 Significant Sales Enablement Problems and How to Solve Them

10 Significant Sales Enablement Problems and How to Solve Them

Although more and more companies are paying attention to and implementing sales enablement programs today, many businesses are still not fully capitalizing on these methods. By and large, the majority of companies are just implementing bits and pieces of sales enablement rather than a full strategized intiative, which necessarily leads to diminished results. With that in mind, the following are ten of the most common mistakes companies make when attempting to successfully plan and implement sales enablement strategies.


Sales Enablement Problems: 10 Mistakes You Could Be Making

1. Failing to train sales representatives how to effectively use content.

You can have the best content possible, but if your sales team doesn’t know how to use it effectively—or even find it—it simply does you no good. You must, therefore, implement a system to train your sales staff regarding where this content catalog is and how to use it.

On top of these logistical points, training should also cover the strategy behind content creation. This ensures your sales team can effectively help create that content and use it during a sales call. Your salespeople should be well versed in the following:

  • The sales cycle—what it is and how to identify what stage a lead is at.
  • Your buyer personas.
  • How to use content within the sales cycle in order to take a more consultative approach to selling.
  • The technological resources at their disposal to answer prospect questions and facilitate selling (content catalog, CRM, LinkedIn, and so on).

2. Implementing systems where deals get stuck in the sales process.

Poor or incomplete strategic planning can cause deals to stall somewhere in the sales process. Common mistakes range from not granting your salespeople access to the data or systems they need to effectively communicate with a lead to not training those salespeople about the different stages of the buyer’s journey and how to use content to facilitate selling at those different stages.

By creating content that’s targeted to your specific buyer personas at each stage of the buyer’s journey and training your sales staff how to effectively use that wealth of content, that created content should help your salespeople seamlessly drive leads through that sales funnel all the way to conversion. 

3. Lacking systems that educate sales about your content system and how to access it.

A fantastic shared content catalog means nothing if your sales team doesn’t know it exists or doesn’t know how to quickly and easily use it.

Therefore, keep the following pointers in mind regarding your content system:

  • Everyone should have access to the shared content catalog, CRM, and other sales enablement tools.
  • Content should be organized according to specific buyer personas and stages of the sales cycle.
  • Every piece of content should have a quick description to alert the user what he or she is looking at. Online, this description could be a meta description. (Remember, a salesperson doesn’t have time to wade through one hundred pieces of content looking for a specific article. It needs to be intuitive and quick.)

4. Focusing on traditional high-level sales procedures.

Sales enablement programs can sometimes receive pushback because salespeople think it means overhauling their “traditional” sales techniques. That’s not the case! Sales enablement is about maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of the sales team by facilitating their sales processes.

If you’re implementing sales enablement but sales and marketing aren’t talking and meeting at least once a month to share feedback on what’s working and not working and strategizing for future content, you’re setting yourself up for little to no positive results.

This collaborative approach to content creation can feel new and different, but at its heart, it’s about utilizing the shared knowledge base of the people on your team in order to do their jobs to the best of their abilities and address the needs, questions, and concerns of potential customers to facilitate lead-to-customer conversion.

5. Sending sales content as e-mail attachments.

This might not seem like a big deal, but e-mail attachments are not the ideal vehicle to send sales content. There’s no way to organize that content, e-mails are easily lost in the shuffle or inadvertently deleted, and it’s not possible for everyone to access that content later in a centralized content catalog system.

6. Creating content that is not specific to your buyer personas or the buyer’s journey.

If you’re creating content, you might think you’re ahead of the game, but that’s not necessarily the case. Creating an onslaught of content is not effective unless that content is highly targeted to your specific buyer personas. Beyond that, you need content that addresses the problems, challenges, and questions of those buyer personas at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

To be effective for your sales team, the content you create needs to be highly relevant to the prospective buyers they are interacting with every day.

7. Having an unorganized or incomplete sales enablement program, which costs your sales team time and loses you buy-in.

This is one of the most common ways companies fall down in terms of sales enablement.

If you implement bits and pieces rather than a full sales enablement strategy, you can needlessly cost your sales team time within the selling process. If, for example, they aren’t trained about how valuable the sales content can be during lead nurturing or they can’t easily and quickly access content within a shared content catalog, it will be difficult for the sales team to see the value in these sales enablement processes. Once the sales team can’t see the value, you will almost certainly lose buy-in.

Buy-in of team members is critical to the success of your sales enablement efforts. Failure to get that often means failure to find success with sales enablement.

8. Not having a sales-level agreement (SLA) in place between marketing and sales.

An SLA is a document created collaboratively between marketing and sales that makes their shared goals and objectives plain and explicit. It essentially lays out what goals sales and marketing are going to work toward together, and because it’s created with both parties, it addresses the concerns, needs, objectives, and collective knowledge of both your sales and marketing teams.

If your sales and marketing teams aren’t talking, working together, and striving for shared goals, your sales enablement efforts will simply never take off.

9. Failing to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) for specific goals within the SLA.

A good SLA will incorporate relevant KPIs to ensure you can track your goals and ascertain how well you’re actually achieving or working toward those shared goals.

Sales and marketing should report monthly on these KPIs. This tracks progress, but it also helps identify core challenges and problems. By reporting monthly, these challenges can be identified and resolved quickly—before they significantly impact the teams’ ability to reach shared goals. Don’t forget to implement a quantifiable benchmarking system to ascertain if goals are truly progressing and being achieved. 

Just as content should be mapped to the buyer’s journey, your goals should also be linked to achievements at every stage of the sales funnel. That means reporting should be done in the context of achieving goals throughout the sales cycle.

10. Not having the right technological infrastructure in place.

Technology is an important and integral part of sales enablement. It makes things quicker, easier, and more effective for your sales and marketing teams.

The most common technological tools include the following:

  • A customer relationship management (CRM) system to track and manage lead engagement with your company (website page views, documents downloaded, and so on).
  • A shared content catalog.
  • Marketing automation tools to make sales interactions more efficient.

These tools help further qualify leads and inform the sales person about how to best start the conversation with that particular lead.

Sales enablement, as an industry term, has been around for quite some time, but there’s still a lot of confusion about what exactly it entails and how best to implement a sales enablement strategy. Part of that confusion stems from the fact that sales enablement is going to manifest differently in every company. There is no coverall application that will work for every business. Instead, you have to take the idea of collaboratively working toward shared goals and apply it to the specific tactics that will work to align your sales and marketing teams, increase the productivity of your sales reps, and ultimately increase company profits.


Learn how to increase marketing and sales productivity by developing a predictable, gowning sales pipeline through isales enablement.


HubSpot License Levels: How to Evaluate and Selecting the Right One

HubSpot License Levels: How to Evaluate and Selecting the Right One

If you’ve recently decided to embark on an inbound marketing program for your company and deciding to use HubSpot, it’s very likely you’re currently asking yourself what HubSpot license level is right for you and your business. First off, whatever level you select, you can rest easy knowing you’ve made a big push toward aligning your marketing and sales teams. The automation, content tools, SEO applications, analytical tracking, CRM, the integration of sales and marketing tools, and the various sales enablement features of HubSpot mean you are better positioned to have more success with your inbound marketing. HubSpot’s strength is in having an all-in-one inbound markeitng and sales solution. Now, it’s just a matter of selecting the HubSpot license level that best serves the needs of your business and your current marketing efforts.


What HubSpot License Level Is Right for Your Business?

An Important Note about All HubSpot License Levels

Regardless of the level you choose, no paid package will solely be a marketing or sales tool. Part of the appeal and success of HubSpot is that it works to bridge that gap between marketing and sales, effectively providing a platform that aligns those two groups and better prepares them to reach shared goals.

Even with HubSpot Basic markeitng software, it’s a powerful marketing and sales tool that provides features such as a shared database, allowing marketing and sales access to the same contact information that automatically updating relevant fields in individual connect records.


What Factors Should Influence Your HubSpot Licensing Decision?

The HubSpot level that is ideal for your business depends on a number of factors, but first and foremost, it’s important to remember that those factors are not set in stone. As your business grows and changes, you do have the ability to upgrade and easily integrate all your HubSpot portal data. 

Some of the deciding factors to consider when selecting a package include the following:

  • The size of your company (number of employees).
  • Current and projected monthly traffic to your site and/or blog.
  • Number of email campaigns you send out on a monthly basis.
  • Contact list size.
  • Marketing budget.
  • Do you require markeitng automation.
  • Content strategy 


The HubSpot License Levels: Basic, Pro, and Enterprise

HubSpot currently offers three license levels for their software: basic, pro, and enterprise.


  • Basic – Generally for small businesses or those just starting to create strategic content through inbound marketing efforts. This package includes features such as the marketing analytics dashboard, social media suite, e-mail marketing, and content creation (and optimization).

At the basic level, you can also integrate your HubSpot CRM with powerful application such as PandaDoc, a sales enablement tool that allows you to write, send, analytically track, and get legally binding e-signatures on proposals, quotes, and other documents. 

The one drawback- you don’t have markeitng automation capabilities.


  • Pro – The most popular choice. It provides everything basic includes, but arguably the largest difference is pro provides marketing automation, Salesforce and other third party integration, and custom workflows. As your leads increase, this automation ability lets you more efficiently and successfully nurture potential clients through the sales funnel.

Other included features include: many more templates (for e-mails and more), sales software that facilitates integration of assets, calendar tool to more easily schedule meetings, sequence creation to create sales or marketing workflows, and more.

  • Enterprise – Primarily for large, established companies. It provides everything in pro but with extra features, such as A/B testing (to determine the best conversion success among various calls to action, e-mail templates, landing pages, etc.), predictive lead scoring, enhanced reporting tools, and more.



Basic: $200/month ($600 required onboarding fee)

Pro: $800/month ($3,000 required onboarding fee)

Enterprise: $2,400 /month ($5,000 required onboarding fee)


Signing Up—and Paying—for Your HubSpot License Level

Once you’ve selected the level that’s relevant for your company, there are a few things to know about the payment process.

First, HubSpot operates as a yearly license. That means you must financially commit to a twelve-month requirement.

Payment for your plan can be made as a monthly charge, or you can pay for that year up front.


What If You’re Not Ready to Commit to a HubSpot License?

Depending on your business and your marketing budget, HubSpot might seem like too much of a financial burden. If that’s the case, remember two important things.

One, HubSpot is an investment. It helps you track your successes, optimize your content, and better nurture your leads though the buyer’s journey. All this ultimately works toward the goal of increased revenue, which means the underlying idea is that HubSpot will eventually pay for itself in increased clients and associated revenue. 

Two, if you’re hesitant about the value of HubSpot, you can try the marketing package for a free thirty-day trial. If you’re not convinced the software is right for your business after that month, you aren’t committed to paying anything.

There are also free features of HubSpot. That includes:

  • HubSpot Leadin. A free lead capture and contact insights tool.
  • Sales CRM. (The marketing CRM is part of the pay service.)
  • HubSpot Sales. (This is free up to a point. Features such as tracking and unlimited templates are part of the pay service.)

At the very least, I would recommend using Leadin as  you start your inbound markeitng program. Providing you the ability to capture leads, manage leads in one place and analyze your markeitng efforts.


HubSpot Support Makes the Mark

Strong software support is vitally important to any organization. Especially with the sophistication of today’s tools and over level of functionality. This is were HubSpot really shines. The ability to quickly call or email a HubSpot support rep, and in most cases receive a thorough response quickly is invaluable. Their attention to detail and willingness to find  solution to your problem is refreshing. 

Also, they have  great deal of support documentation and videos that can quickly get you the response you need. 


HubSpot Licensing: Look before You Leap

While most people do choose the pro level, reasoning that it offers the most value for services provided, the important thing to consider is what will provide the most value for your organization and ability to scale with your marketing and sales divisions. What will benefit your marketing team, sales force, C-level executives, and everyone between?

It’s crucial to give this forethought because jumping into a package could mean you’re needlessly overpaying for services you don’t yet require, or it could mean the software isn’t as effective as possible because the package is not comprehensive enough.

Remember, though, every HubSpot license level offers content optimization tools, seo capabilities, landing pages, call-to-actions, email campaigns, social media tools,a lead management system, CRM and analytics, increase the productivity of your sales and marketing teams, and better align those teams to work toward shared goals. Choosing the right level, therefore, comes down to where you are in your web traffic, lead generation, lead nurturing and revenue generation goals. As your inbound marketing efforts expand and create more opportunities, HubSpot is able to scale with your increased success.



Receive a Free Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales Assessment

Page 2 of 512345