Creating Value With B2B Sales Enablement

B2B sales enablement is the iterative process of providing your company’s sales team with the necessary resources to convert more prospects into customers. Resources typically include information, knowledge, tools, and content to sell your service or product to customers effectively.

A sales enablement strategy is the method your company takes to provide sales with the resources they need to sell effectively. These are tailored strategies specific to your business and sales team’s needs. This also includes specifics that target your audience’s needs, which increases conversion rates. Overall, it should include an analysis of the resources, tools, content, and information you provide sales with to ensure it’s helping them convert more leads and audience members into customers.

The importance of B2B sales enablement correlates with the ever-evolving need to provide increased value to customers during the sales process. Gone are the days of cold emails that are spammy and ineffective.

However, with the onset of insightful new data-driven practices, today’s customers expect more. It is now routine for your prospects to see targeted marketing, advertising, and email campaigns online. With generic, untailored messages and antiquated sales methodologies losing their effectiveness, sales teams are scrambling to maintain their quotas. This prompts them to rely on gimmicky tactics and cold emails with cliffhanger subject lines like “Meeting?” or “Have a minute?” to impersonate a colleague.

They send multiple follow-ups pleading and irritating their recipients, for example, “I noticed you hadn’t responded yet. I’ll take that to mean you aren’t ready to talk, but please respond and let me know…”.

This type of spammy outreach degrades your business’s image, plus these tactics are ineffective at best. However, there is a more immersive way of selling that truly connects sales teams with buyers. It involves relying on marketing data and cross-channel strategies to attract, nurture, and educate leads.

73% of sales teams say cross-functional collaboration is very important to their overall sales process. –Salesforce

Smart sales reps are developing playbooks for value-driven sales enablement. Effective sales teams are engaging their leads with helpful content and sincere questions. They’re seeking to educate prospects before suggesting a sales meeting. And quality is finding a place next to quantity. In fact:

66% of sales teams track customer satisfaction as their top KPI this year, edging out “team quota met” (65%) by a small margin. –Salesforce

How can sales teams create value with their B2B sales enablement? Through the use of effective nurturing that improves engagement rates and SQL-to-opportunity rates. Adhere to these strategies to collect and utilize useful data for more value-driven sales emails.

Sales enablement’s presence correlates with a 31% improvement in supporting changes in sales messaging and a 15% improvement in improving low-performing salespeople – Spotio

Progressive profiling + lead data

Firstly, to do sales enablement effectively, you need sufficient lead data. Useful data gives you information about a lead so you can speak to their specific pain points, goals, and challenges. Through the use of Progressive Profiling, your company can obtain incremental data about its prospects and more accurately focus its marketing efforts. However, on a larger scale, this data helps determine if the leads you’re converting are a good fit for your business. For example, a metric you could consider is how many of them have identified a relevant pain point?

Read more: What is Progressive Profiling?

Sales teams are twice as likely (33%) to prioritize leads based on data analysis of “propensity to buy” rather than on intuition (16%). –Salesforce

Collecting useful lead data starts with B2B marketing. Here are best practices:

  • In all of your campaigns, establish a baseline set of questions to gather. These are often name, email, job title, company name, or more.
  • Utilize progressive profiling to require these answers over time, with subsequent conversions.
  • Some examples for progressive questions may include pain point, challenge, goal, job function, and more.
  • Ask well-structured questions so you can build out your data on a lead for both content marketing and sales follow-up.

Unify marketing + sales tactics

For an excellent lead-experience, minimize overlaps between marketing and sales. You do not want to over-communicate or oversell with any single (one) lead. With a CRM like HubSpot, both teams can share one real-time contact record for each prospect. Every action, from website visits to emails to content downloads, will populate this unified record.

With this record, you can:

  • See which engaging actions the lead has taken
  • Identify the lead’s place in the funnel
  • See if there are any drop-offs in engagement where you may need more content (videos, guides, or eBooks) to solve problems your leads have
  • Understand which sales rep have a particular lead assignment
  • Demonstrate to marketing the ROI of their campaign efforts as a lead progresses
  • Monitor which lead nurturing you’re doing, for example, email drip campaigns or ad campaigns
  • Check how your emails are performing with a specific person

For a macro view, use your CRM to create lists or filtered views of your target leads. Ensure that each lead has a designated contact owner, usually a sales rep, tracking and pushing that deal’s progression through the pipeline.

Read more: The Missing Element in Your Strategy: Marketing + Sales Alignment

Every lead should have a follow-up action set, with either a one-to-one sales email or a marketing email drip campaign depending on the person’s level of interest. You will prevent leads from slipping through your net and close more sales.

Add value to your 1-to-1 outreach

Successful emails contain something of value to a prospect. Do away with low-quality, spammy “just checking in” emails. Instead, send short videos where you explain your company’s methodology and put a face to your name. There are many tools (like Soapbox) that integrate with popular CRMs, so you can see how a prospect engages with your videos and get real-time analytics on which topics/formats are the most captivating.

Read more: Use Content in the Sales Process

In other emails, include snippets from content offers with useful information. Instead of asking directly for a meeting, provide more details, like a company overview or a case study. Ask meaningful questions and connect to specifics in that content offer, such as images, charts, or stats. Always restate the value of the content piece in the simplest terms.

Here are more value-added alternatives:

  • Speak about problems that a lead or similar lead identifies with
  • Identify a point of interest, for example, a compelling statistic
  • Connect to specifics in a content offer, and include simple screenshots from content pieces to add visual value
  • Restate value in the simplest terms
  • When pitching a “next step,” for example, a demo, clearly articulate your goals by implementing transparency for your plans and discuss the methodology 
  • Collaborate with your marketing team to craft sales emails and gain insight from their messaging tests
  • Create genuine and focused questions to put a plan in place for a sales conversation
  • Perform A/B tests your subject lines to see what’s resonating, and be concise, clear, and not gimmicky

With improved lead data, alignment between your sales and marketing teams, and value-added to your B2B sales enablement, you will see a significant advantage to your sales pipeline. This approach will allow your business to say goodbye to the days of hitting quotas with low-quality outreach.

Sources

Salesforce, “State of Sales 2019.

Spotio, 130 Eye-Opening Sales Statistics For 2021, 2020.

Learning Hub, 35 Sales Enablement Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind, 2021.

HubSpot, What is Sales Enablement?, 2021.





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Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency and lead generation agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.