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Episode 2: Why Marketing Is a Must for Sales Enablement

The internet has completely changed the way we sell. Buyers are more informed and now hold all the power in the sales process.

Sales enablement is all about bringing marketing and sales together to keep up with today's empowered buyers.

Your sales team needs processes and high-performing content, and marketing is just the department to give it to you. But first, you need to align both teams.

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Episode Transcription

Hi, I’m Jorie Munroe from HubSpot and this is Skill Up.

The show where you’ll learn how to take your sales, marketing, and service skills to the next level.

I don't know if you've noticed this yet, but the internet has completely changed the way sales works. Let’s just wind the tape back a few years to a time before the internet. 

Mark Zuckerberg’s an angsty middle-schooler. Catching a movie means legging it to the theater, and everyone and their second-aunt is rollerblading.

In this time, if you're looking to buy something, your main source of information is the person selling it. Will the thing you’re buying work the way you want it to? Is it worth the money? Can you get a better price elsewhere? 

Who knows! It’s pre-internet days! Roll those dice and hope for a seven, friend-o! You’ll be fine. Right? [less hopeful] Right?

Regardless of whether you’re buying up Beanie Babies at auction, or investing in a new condo near Bayside High School, the only person you’re getting answers from is the sales person you happen to be working with. 

Luckily, those days are long gone. Now, everything you could ever wanna know about embarrassing 90s toys, fictional school zoning markets, or literally anything else is on the internet.

And it’s the buyers that are using this to their advantage.

With the advent of the internet, there’s been two big implications for modern businesses. 

The first, if you’ve ever read a blog post or used any of the tools or software from HubSpot, should come as no surprise. You've got to get your marketing and sales teams practicing inbound techniques. 

Inbound is all about creating marketing and sales that people love by providing helpful content and resources that attract people to you.

These days, regardless of what industry you're in, attracting people to you is far more effective than chasing down prospects and trying to convince them to buy from you. 

Here's Steve Bookbinder CEO and Lead trainer at DM training.

[BOOKBINDER]: I talk to a sales person. I'll go tell me about the first meeting the goal. I talk to the customer, they’re very interested. Okay. Did you call them? What do they call you? Like other but they were very interested. Yeah, but you call them, uh-huh. They were so interested that they what was the what was the dialogue of their company? I'm really I really hope the guy calls me today.

I really hope he cold calls me today, even though I have a phone and could call him. I'm not I'm gonna I'm gonna wait to be cold cold and that's kind of what we do. And as nutty as that is that if you look at the actual Behavior, that's what people have done. Does it ever work? Yeah, everything eventually works the stupidest thing at work.

I could open up the window and say does anybody want to buy from me and in theory eventually somebody will buy and typical salesperson will say see it worked. Well, if everything works once is what I need is something to work a lot and what's going to work a lot is always working with people who are more likely to buy who was who were as interested in talking to me as I am talking to them.]

You don't like your sales team feeling like they're shouting out a window. Instead, you've got to teach them to provide value to people before they try to extract value from them. But that alone isn't enough. 

That's the other big implication for modern business. Regardless of how inbound your marketing and sales efforts are, you've got to get your sales and marketing teams working together.

Let’s hit some numbers. Most researchers agree that the average buyer does 70% of their buying research before they ever talk to a sales rep, and 59 percent would prefer to never talk to sales at all.

If your customers are required to talk to sales at any point in their journey, you can go ahead and place a sizeable bet that they'll come into that meeting almost as prepared as you. 

And if the sales rep says anything that's inconsistent with what the buyer has learned online, that's gonna cause some problems. 

So sales and marketing have to be perfectly aligned, or you're going to lose potential customers.

The trouble is, marketing and sales.. aren’t always known to be the final rose ceremony type. They don’t always get along. 

Here's Doug Davidoff founder and CEO of Imagine Business Development. 

[DAVIDOFF]: Marketing is an awesome field, right? You got people who love rules. They think long-term and they want things to work. Then you go to the bottom of the funnel you think about sales and sales are awesome people.

They're opportunistic their short-term. They don't believe in rules because every situation is different, right? And so you have these two disciplines. They're not built to communicate. They're not built to align. Right there. They're very different disciplines their different mindsets their different processes.

They're not built to work together, but they have to work together.]

One way to get sales and marketing working together is to implement a sales enablement strategy. Remember, sales enablement is the processes, content, and technology that empowers sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity.

And when you think about it, that's a task marketing’s pretty well-equipped to handle. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the time, sales enablement lives squarely within the sales organization. Less than 8% of the time it’s a marketing function. 

It’s a Shakepearean tragedy, a real Romeo + Juliet -- not just because it’s another 90s film reference, but mainly due to the fact that marketing has the skill set for this job. Marketing owns your company's relationship with prospects pre-sale. And that’s when most buyers are doing more and more of their research -- before they ever talk to sales.

It might be tough for some to admit, but marketing's influence over the sales is ever increasing. 

Here's Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion. 

SHERIDAN: 70 percent of the buying decision is made before someone talks to a salesperson, before they talk to the company. So if this is true, what does it mean? If this number is true, which department of your organization has a greater impact on the actual sale? 

And this is why we're seeing a shift of more and more organizations saying, “Okay. Let's just stop calling and sales and marketing. Let's call it Revenue Teams because fundamentally that's really what we're talking about. And let's make sure that the sales team now gets involved way earlier in that buying process, during the digital side of the vetting experience so that they can be that much further ahead and reclaim that influence in the sales process that they've lost over time.]

That's what sales enablement is all about bringing marketing and sales together to keep up with today's empowered buyers. 

Your sales team needs processes and high-performing content if they're gonna thrive in the modern business landscape. And marketing is the department that can give it to you. But it all takes the right strategy.

Next episode, we’ll look at how you can develop a sales enablement strategy that’s right for your business. 

I’ll see you there.